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Three of these rums named after old British HMS warships have recently graced the shelf of one of my favorite liquor stores. Since this one was the cheapest at $47 US, I took a chance and bought it. I have no regrets!
There is no burn at all and the aroma and taste of oak is very subdued. It tastes like pure rum with no bitter after taste. For those fans of rums from Richard Seale, I wholeheartedly recommend Admiral Rodney rums to you. Adding a few small ice cubes to the snifter really opens up the flavors. This is some damn fine rum, but after more than 200 reviews over the past 16 months, it just could not quite rise up to get my rating of 8 at first. My second bottle had me bump it up from a 7 to an 8.
As an added bonus, the bottles from all three of these HMS rums are keepers. It is basically perfectly square at the bottom, tapering rapidly up to the top to keep the overall height down and finished with a very wide mouth. The cork fits just right, not too tight and not too loose. These types of bottles are ideal for complex pre-mixed drinks that have no carbonation, such as the staple Mai Tai. Notice that the bottle shape had no influence whatsoever it getting me to purchase this fine rum. My memory of the Admiral Rodney name from these reviews is what inspired me to buy.
Update July 13, 2019: This is a truly amazing rum! It deserves to be upgraded to my rating of 9 because it is so close to perfection. Most rums get downgraded after sitting for a month in the bottle. Not this one!
Smooth finish, light Carmel tones and not too sweet. A good rum to savour and if I had more I would drink more often! Well done St Lucia!
The Admiral Rodney rum range from St. Lucia Distillers was inspired by the naval victory of Admiral George Rodney, who ensured British domination of the Caribbean after he defeated the French at Battle of the Saints in 1782. Each rum is named after ships that distinguished themselves in the battle, with this edition being named the 'HMS Princessa'. The HMS Princessa blend contains rums aged for 5 to 9 years which had been made from Coffey still distillates and matured in American white oak Bourbon casks.
Light smooth aroma, first taste is sweet and fruit (apricot tones) body not too much complex and average aftertaste.
40% ABV (so we are setting our expectations low). 5–9 years mostly ex-bourbon aged, with some ruby port aging. It is a little fruitier than the others in the lineup. Not super complex, but easy to enjoy. A crowd favorite. 8-
Nice rum, true to the definition of what rum should taste like. Notes of light fruit with a hint of dark fruits. slight hint of sweetness.
Young rum lacking sophistication & complexity. But,... smooth enough, with gentle fruit and oak notes. Nothing wrong with this, but unexciting with the young spirit having an ever so slightly harsh edge to it. Not as good as the "normal" Admiral.
Edit - now that the bottle has been open for a while, the rum has opened up and the young spirit dominates. Not a rum I'll be buying again. Given the price being almost the same as the Rodney XO average age of 12yo, this to me is way over priced. It calls itself a 5-9yo rum, and I wonder how much is 5yo? And TBH, if I want a 5yo, I don't want to pay this price and I would go for the far more honest Doorly's 5yo. Dropped from a 6 to a 5.
Enjoyed a bottle of Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa while in London. Bottle and label design are very nice and high end. Golden color. Vanilla and oak straight to your nose and palate complemented with traditional Jamaican glue. Whisky like burn at the end. If you are a whisky lover, then add 2 points to the score. Not my cup of tea.