The Best Navy Rums

Navy rum—traditionally, a rum blend featuring rums from Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad—was once given to sailors by the Royal British Navy as daily rations or “tots”. That is until 31st July 1970 now known as Black Tot Day. Try in your next Grog or Painkiller.
Feb 02, 2019
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    What do you do when you want to test the strength of your rum but are on a ship in the middle of the ocean? Why you douse gunpowder on it to see if it will light to ensure your rum hasn't been watered down. At least that's what British sailors would do. This navy strength rum has been repackaged from a former blue label to a black label. Pusser's Rum Gunpowder Proof (Black Label) is bottled at 54.5% ABV.
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    Rich & Hogo
    Although the British Royal Navy stopped providing rum rations in 1970, you can still enjoy the same rum formulation thanks to Pusser's Rum. Blended in Barbados with rums from Guyana and Trinidad, Pusser's is a bold rum that is true to the English style: funky and full-flavored. Bottled at 42% ABV in the US and 40% ABV elsewhere. If you're looking for the true Navy Strength ABV version, look for the brand's Gunpowder Proof with a black label.
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    Roast & Sweet
    Skipper is a rum produced from molasses of Demerara sugar at the Diamond Distillery. This distillery boasts 9 different types of stills of which seven are used with this rum, two of which are wooden (their Port Mourant double wooden pot-still and their Enmore wooden Coffey still). The rum is aged for at least 3 years in ex-bourbon barrels. The label for the bottle has gone relatively unchanged since the brand was launched in the 1930s.
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    Rich & Sweet
    Pusser's is a Navy Rum created from a blend of pot-still and column-still rums from Guyana and Trinidad with at least one wooden pot-still used. Their 15-year rum is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and is bottled at 80 proof. Note: As of 2019, this rum has been discontinued and replaced with a 15 Year version made entirely from Guyanese rums.
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    Distilled in Guyana at the Diamond Distillery (also known as Demerara Distillers, Ltd.), Wood's Old Navy Rum is made using pot-still and continuous distillation. This rum is aged from 1.5-3 years and sold in many European countries, most notably in the UK. Note: In 2016, the brand underwent a name and packaging update. Formerly known as Wood's 100 Old Navy Rum Export-Strength. Despite the change, the rum remains the same.
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    The British Royal Navy's 300-year tradition of issuing daily rum rations to sailors ended on July 31, 1970, known as Black Tot Day. The remaining stock of rum was to be used only for Royal Weddings and other special state occasions. Forty years later, Specialty Drinks Ltd acquired the entire stock and bottled it as Black Tot Lost Consignment. It's a blend of various aged rums distilled and imported from the Caribbean.
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    Lars Renbjer, co-owner of Sweden’s Gunroom spirits, has exhaustively studied centuries old “navy style” blended rums. Working in conjunction with master rum blenders E&A Scheer, they’ve released a Navy rum clocking in at a head-turning 130 proof. The rums in the blend originate in five countries: Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana, and “unspecified.” However, informed sources indicate that the mystery component is Batavia Arrack from Indonesia. In true navy style, this rum isn’t about long aging, with the average component at around three years. Note: Limited Availability in the US.
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    Hogo & Fruity
    One of the most beloved rums in the mixology and Tiki communities, Smith & Cross is revered for bringing back the funky, high-hogo style of rum that had been sadly absent for many years. Distilled at the Hampden distillery in Jamaica, it’s a blend of two styles of pot-stilled rum, Plummer and Wedderburn, which fall at different points on the funkiness scale. Its gold color implies more aging than you might expect – the oldest rum here is three years, and most is far younger.
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    Rich & Hogo
    Plantation O.F.T.D. (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) Overproof is a group effort. Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender for Plantation Rum, brought together six rum luminaries--Jeff "Beachbum" Berry from Latitude 29, Martin Cate from Smuggler's Cove, Paul McFadyen from Trailer Happiness, Paul McGee from Lost Lake, Scotty Schuder from Dirty Dick, and Dave Wondrich, cocktail historian extraordinaire. Over many tasting and blending sessions, they formulated a rum ideally suited for use in top-shelf Tiki and tropical cocktails. The O.F.T.D. is a blend of rums from Barbados, Guyana, and Jamaica in the overproof dark style, and replaces Plantation’s Trinidad-sourced Original Dark Overproof Rum.
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    Rich & Woody
    Master Distiller Maggie Campbell, previously with the renowned Germain-Robin distillery, has put out a series of expressions that are turning heads in the rum crowd. All Privateer offerings are 100% molasses-based, double-distilled, and aged in full-sized new American oak barrels. Since each cask is unique, your bottle may be a bit different. This particular cask (P88) was aged for just over three years and bottled at 57.7% ABV.