Pusser's Rum Gunpowder Proof (Black Label)
Navy Rum — Multiple Countries
Reviewed July 20, 2021 (edited August 15, 2021)
Rating: 15/23 This rum claims to be the most faithful reproduction available of the British Navy's traditional rum (though oddly it is bottled a little below navy strength). Just like with government cheese, there are a lot of fans of these legendary consumables provided for free by the government. I've long wondered whether it is just people's nostalgia that is the source of all of the praise or whether some borderline-accidentally brilliant products have been lost to the world. This may not be exactly the British navy's rum, but it's as close as I'm likely to get to answering this question. N: Rich and full. Molasses with a tartness nuttiness that makes me think of oloroso. There is some funkiness in here too. I'm having some trouble describing it, but it's definitely in the hogo direction. Soy sauce and barbecue sauce show up at times, adding a savory character. P: Sweet molasses with a bit of caramel and maple even. There's some nice tannic character that suggests woodiness, though this doesn't taste super woody. I get that tartness from the nose, along with the nuttiness. It's not the most aggressive oloroso flavor, but I do get a bit of that vibe. Definitely some spiciness in here with ginger, cinnamon, and even some odd juniper. The standard barrel char mixed with a little bit of fireworks meets some dark Venezuelan chocolate. Hints of some nice meat at times, but not really anything I'd identify as soy sauce or barbecue sauce. I don't get much, but I also get little bits of tropical fruit here and there, mainly banana, lime, and grapefruit. F: The bitter side of the molasses and wood. Funky without having a ton of that firework character to it. Not that complex, but some bits of spices and tropical fruits remain. It's a long-lasting, full finish. - Conclusion - I like this. It's not that refined and it tastes like the aging was either sped-up or faked, but it has several brash flavors all coming at each other, making it fun to drink. It's kind of a nicely complex dark rum with well-executed flavors and a nice fullness. This is absolutely a sippable rum and it would also make a great mixer. It has that Elijah Craig B520 forcefulness, but it lacks the maturity and finesse of refinement and complexity. But the B520 sets an incredibly high bar. This is closer in quality to Plantation Xaymaca, which - although stylistically very different with its tropical fruitiness - has a similar edginess. I don't see this being less than a 14, but I'm struggling to see it above a 16. I could maybe faintly imagine, a 17, but that seems unlikely. Turning to Russell's Reserve 10 - my canonical low 16 for bourbon, but close enough for this I guess - this has some fullness and richness that I love, but it just isn't quite as good. Based on that, this will be a 14 or 15. I'm giving it the 15.
30.0 USD per Bottle
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