Thanks so much for submitting a report. It has been emailed to the Rum Captain and will be actioned shortly.
Pot stilled brilliance, real rum bottled at 57% so needs watering in the glass and a rest before drinking but is a taste explosion. A beautiful thing on it's own or with a full bodied cigar. Not for sugary liqueur rum lovers. A real rum gem.
Let's start like this, whoever said they drank this neat is a lying sack of ship. I like bold rums, I am quite the fan of navy rum for this reason. Now this is something else. This is like seeing your good buddy finally get a girlfriend and she is Kate Upton, this is like expecting your first kiss and you get 3rd base. This is like falling out of an airplane without a parachute. Smelling the guy you get a bit of the appleton mixed with pussers type of vibe. Drinking it straight is like nothing else. You get sausage slapped in the mouth with so much flavor your mouth redlines and your brain even goes crazy. Basically you cannot drink this straight. Even in coke this is one bold rum that will take your coke out back, slap it around a few times, make it wear a dress and make it call it daddy. It starts like this, lick an oak cask, now burn your house down and snuff up a bunch of fumes, throw in some appleton/pussers blend and that is what you have. I would rate it 10/10 but it's so overbearing straight I just can't call it perfect. But holy goodness this is one you won't forget. Give it to a friend as a shot and watch their face.
I've never quite experienced the explosion of wafty spice that this stuff brings to the palette. I'd serve it in a flight to demonstrate the range of odd possibilities that rum makers explore, but wouldn't turn to this as a daily sipping rum. It's like an exciting girl that you can't stop thinking about, might leave your wife for, is spectacular in bed, but ultimately but you know she's nothing but a fling.
The trend for rums has very much been for light, smooth, creamy, and vanilla-accented (think column-still) which also, subsequently, has little flavor. But when you're looking to mix, and you need something to punch through and integrate with tropical fruits, spices, and sweets, you reach for a rum like this. So much funk... its wonderful.
Truly excellent when used for classic punches and tiki drinks. Try it in a Jungle Bird, or blended with an aged Martinique for an original Maita'i.
The "Hogo" can be overwhelming for newbies, but to the experienced nose and palate, comes across as layers of over-ripe tropical fruits caramelized in dark sugar. I can pour it into a snifter and experience absolute euphoria for an hour just from smelling it. Highly recommended.
This smells like jet fuel. This tastes like someone force-fed you caramel and cherries, then threw a pineapple at your face. And the finish is just funkier than Uptown. For no discernible reason, I love it...
Unmistakably Jamaican, pre-industrial pot-still firewater. This type of rum drove the Spanish distillers to create overly-filtered, flavorless white rum (e.g. Bacardi) because they were horrified by the assaultive aromas and rotting-goat-carcass aftertaste of Jamaican rums such as Smith & Cross. Now that it's goat-free, why not enjoy some on the rocks?
Probably to strong for most for cautious sipping, but after a while, when the mouth gets
used to the profound numbing effect, there are some nice flavors to enjoys. I mostly get
overripe (rotten) bananas and some chocolate, so a foul banana split if you will. Still,
everything feels very organic and natural. I didn't enjoy it diluted with water or anything
else. Instead I take small sips, mix it with saliva (that instantly jumps out as protection) and stir in my mouth, before sending it down the throat. I get the feeling that it probaby removes some of my plaque in the process.
At 57% ABV (114 proof) this navy strength rum will kick your ass. I will stomp a mudhole in ya and walk it dry. Definitely not a rum for the uninitiated. Initially upon sipping one gets a taste of sweetness...molasses...a little vanilla...and then the burn hits...a burn which feels like a layer of skin is being eaten away in ones throat leaving a little tingling on the tongue. But that all fades rather quickly enticing one to take another sip. Almost as a double-dog dare. This is he-man's rum. The amber color belies how little aging goes into this rum. I really cannot identify the aroma in the bottle but it's a good aroma. Admittedly this is the first overproof rum I have sampled so I really have no frame of reference but from the flavor I would seriously think it would work well in mixed drinks especially frozen and fruit-based drinks. Quite an interesting rum.
[UPDATE: A day after posting my initial review I tried this rum with Coke Zero. For whatever it's worth I used my normal 3oz of rum mixed with the 16.9oz bottle of Coke Zero knowing full well this was going to have more of a "kick" than the normal 80 proof rums I normally use in Coke Zero. Although it wasn't horrible, it wasn't good either. Ended up tossing it and fixing another rum & Coke Zero with an 80 proof rum. I will try it again someday but with half the amount of the S&C Navy Strength rum and see how that works.]
The blast from the nose lets you know quick that isn't anything that is a standard rum. The collection of flavors such as pepper, tobacco, sugar cane and dark chocolate make this rum something to enjoy in excellent cocktails or on its own.
This is a serious challenging aromatic put-hair-on-your-chest (even if you're a woman) pot-stilled rum, with about 4-5 times the ester content of most rums.
If you find Pusser's or Appleton 12 year just too bland for you, give this one a try.
It took me about ten years to find the perfect rum. This is it! A lovely nose. Everything should smell like Smith & Cross. Why not even spice up your boring cereals with this godly aroma! Or replace your Paris cologne with this irresistible aroma! Instant success.
It's great at what it is meant for and that's in Tiki drinks. Straight? No.
edit- 2 years later? Well, damn if I didn't come all the way around on this one. Enjoyable with a bit of water, but I enjoy it most as an addition to fruit-based drinks.
If you know what you want and that thing is funk than it's hard to get funkier than Smith and Cross.
Like Laphroaig it's easily one of my favorites for its unabashed pungency. Shocking to the uninitiated and haunting to those who have sipped it straight.
Maybe not a 10 in the overall scheme of Rum balance and flavor but deserving of a 10 for what it does better than most and thats the dunder funk.
I can imagine Ahab's crew bolstering their courage with this at the approach of the great, white beast they pursue. Naval strength means if your knees are knocking while readying your harpoon, spilling your rum on the power charge, no worries - hit the cannon with the punk...she'll fire right up.
Not 'smooth'. A chain-mailed fist to the snout. Spice, orange, dark tea, molasses sugar but not burnt, the maximum security lifer whom you just got bunked with (goodbye virginity!), Pusser's on steriods....damn, this is good stuff! Add all the water you need, you can't dilute the stuff. Banana, cedar, tannins, and dried dark fruit bum-rush the palate. Toffee, pepper and a bit of salt - yeah...toffee - on the finish.
The people behind this deserve a standing ovation for daring to resurrect and bottle it, and are magicians for doing it at this price. Rum's riposte to cask strength Islay Scotch. Almost like no other rum you'll encounter.
Absolutely cracking rum as it really brings the funk and a real complex flavour . Not a sipping rum for me unless In an old fashioned. Great in painkillers and a daiquri with it is quite the experience. Upon first taste I wasn’t sure but with time absolute loving the overripe banana funk of it
This is probably a little strong in proof and profile for a supper, but makes an amazing base spirit in a punch or cocktail.
Purchased a bottle of Smith and Cross Navy Rum and my first impression was the aroma which reminded me of the Appleton 12 yr rum, however at a much higher ABV. This rum at 57% ABV is too strong to drink on its own but on the rocks, it is delicious. No added sugar, a pure and traditional Jamaican rum.
First, I am most impressed with this being a blend without any added sugar and being so cheap.
The nose strikes you with leather, toast and coconut, cottonsedge, pineapple and cherry. On the palate, caramel and fried banana with an oaky finish and slight burn. Impressively long aftertaste for a decently priced blended rum.
You might need some experience with Jamaican rum to enjoy it, but even Captain Morgan can offer some of that funky fruit, just remember this is dry and navy strength.
A unique and tasty rum with loads of tropical fruit, some spices, a little caramel, chocolate, and a unique funkiness with so much agave on the nose it can be mistaken as a tequila in a blind tasting.
Traditional jamaican navy strength rum 57%abv.
Pure plummer and wedderburn marque pot still distillate, so the funk is there but not too much.
Rumor has it that this is Hampden estate rum.
Nose: strong dunder and esters, molasses, toasted butter, brine
Taste: oh some more of that lovely pungent molasses dunder taste, strong toasted butter and brine also caramel, i think im in love with this rum.
Finish: Dry and some oak in the end. Has some kick( thanks to 57 abv) but no ethanol taste.
The dry taste of dunder, butter and bit of oak lingers for a long time, i like that.
Overall: Delicious honest traditional jamaican rum that has very strong punching esters kicking through but with beautiful molasses butter caramel taste too.
Also bottled at higher abv 57% which is always a good thing and greatly appreciated.
Mixability is also great so i have to give extra points for that.
Makes beautiful balanced navy grogs and also works magic in most of the tiki cocktails.
No added sugar like most jamaicans, probably has caramel colour for color consistency but i dont mind about that.
I approached this with caution because of reviews that describe it as too strong. I found it wonderful with a full low-sweetness flavor that truly suited a whiskey sipper like me.
I was very hesitant to try this authentic Jamaican rum for a long time because of some of the frightening descriptions in these reviews. This is NOT a rum for beginners and I am certainly not a beginner. So I plunked down $27 US for my bottle of this and brought it home today. It is blended in the UK, which has long ties to Jamaica. You can read the whole story on the back of the bottle.
When I broke the plastic seal around the cork, I was afraid to open it for fear of some awful smells. Instead, it was anything but that. My first pour was neat in the snifter. Aromas of exotic tropical fruits greeted me. On the palate was mild hogo and lots of burn. Hey, it's only 114 proof, so what can you expect? Adding a few ice cubes swapped out the burn for lots of pleasant hogo flavors. This is the way to drink it, on the rocks. Then I tried one of the drinks on the back of the label called Million. A million of what? Stupid name, but I tried it with measurements given to the nearest quarter of an ounce for this rum, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Angostura Bitters. Gosh, that is a damn good drink, but I would rather savor mine on the rocks and stick with no added sugars. Whomever said that dry rums are boring has obviously not tried this one. This one can also put any Mai Tai over the top!
I feel like assigning this rum a score is a bit of a lost cause. This drink truly doesn't give a shit.
The aroma is hard to pin down. There's a bit that's a little reminiscent of Appleton, maybe leaning a little more on the banana. I smell still funk and something not dissimilar from white wine? There's a good amount of alcohol on the nose, too. Not more than there should be, but a good amount. Almost whisky-like, all told.
The flavors hit you all at once, and I mean all at once. It's an experience. Smoke and spices, leather and rotten fruit, molasses, metal and fire. It's like you can taste the whole distillery. As you mull it over some of the flavors peter out and you're left with a long, medium bodied, bonfire sweetness, with a weird bilious undertone. The aftertaste is gentle and tastes something like rust and mango rind. Strange but pleasant.
I haven't tried this mixed yet, but I imagine something to give the flavors more space will be an adventure all on its own. This is one for every rum lover to try once, but I imagine once will be enough for many. Others might find themselves keeping a bottle in reserve to spice things up now and then.
Oh! And the bottle was an absolute steal. For less than Appleton's 12 year you get something both bolder and more complex, even if it ends up a little challenging because of that.
Let me say from the start that this is my first taste of 57% proof, to me it’s the taste before the strength.
For a rum that’s so light in colour, it certainly punches above its weight. The nose is to me, very confusing. Nothing really stands out, but a lot seems to be going on.
The burn appears to be harsh, but disappears almost immediately, leaving a pleasant warmth in the throat, and a long aftertaste that seems to invite more sips.
Only tried it as yet with my normal 1 ice cube, and more than happy.
Not a every day sipper, more of a bottle to dip into now and again.
Advertisement | Go Premium to remove
"Smith and Cross Navy Strength rum review and cocktail suggestions by A Mountain of Crushed Ice"
Easily access Rumratings while on the go by adding a shortcut to your home screen. All you have to do is click the icon and then Add the RumRatings App