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Seeking advice on Pusser's Rums


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Paul B (PREMIUM)

Posted 5 Jan '21 from United States with 414 ratings

It has been two years since I had my only bottle of Pusser's Gunpowder Proof Rum, bottled at 109 Proof. I have that one rated as an 8 and their Blue Label 84 Proof version rated as a 6. That Pusser's 84 is available almost everywhere, but the Gunpowder Proof is very hard to find. The nearest bottle is about 200 miles away and I am understandably reluctant to drive that far just to get that rum (and some more Frigate Reserve 15 Year.). I gather that the main difference between these two rums other than 25 Proof is that the Gunpowder is 100% Guyana, whereby the Pusser's 84 is a blend of five different Caribbean rums all blended in Guyana. Am I right or am I missing the boat here? Clarification is greatly appreciated. Pusser's own website does not even clarify this.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 5 Jan '21

The Blue Label is made with the exact same blend of rums as the Gunpowder Proof, but it’s hard to believe that it should be as rich and full-bodied flavored even if they said so when it was released. Before they released the Blue Label the Gunpowder Proof also had a Blue Label and wasn’t called Gunpowder Proof but at ABV 54,5%. Both the Blue Label and Gunpowder Proof Black Label is still possible to find in three different blends. The oldest one consists of rum originating from Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados. Then you can find a blend originating from Guyana and Trinidad. Finally there’s also one, the latest, that just contains rum from Guyana. Which one you buy/taste you can read at the front label. To complicate even more can also the Pusser’s Overproof (75%), be found with a blue label but also with a green label, don’t know which one is the latest.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 414 ratings Replied 5 Jan '21

Stefan: Wow! That is enough to make anyone's head spin without drinking a drop! I will make sure to read the fine print on the label before buying.
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 25 ratings Replied 8 Jan '21

Where would you recommend to start the adventure with pussers rums? I've never tasted them yet.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 367 ratings Replied 8 Jan '21

@Kudzey Pussers Gunpowder with 54% is very good. It's dark, molasses based smell and taste, intensive. The current Pussers 15 is also great, much more balanced and enjoyable (when 54% is too strong for you). It's better than the old Nelsons Blood in my opinion. The old one is not dark, more Jamaica and Barbados based. And the best one is Pussers 50th Anniversary. This one is different, more honey, some other flavours (it's like a mix of MDXC with Enmore rum). I had the old overproof blend with 75%, it was too sweet and out of balance. Not good overall. I think that all old Pussers blends are worse than the current Guyana blends. Buy these three and you won't need the others.
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 25 ratings Replied 8 Jan '21

Thanks for the advice, I'll search for the basic 15 for a start
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 414 ratings Replied 8 Jan '21

The other day, I found a bottle of Pusser's 84 Proof Blue Label. My bottle was a blend from Guyana and Trinidad, with the latter portion obviously added to keep the price cheap at $22 US. It cannot be sipped neat! It is made for either being on the rocks or in the tropical drink called Goombay Smash. In other words, it takes lots of tropical flavors to make this blend drinkable. After several years, I still have it rated as a 6. So my mixer wheels got turning upstairs as to how to make this Pusser's 84 able to be enjoyed neat. First off, they left out rums from Barbados and Jamaica. This led me to the Black Tot website. Both their 50th Anniversary and Finest Caribbean are affordable, but I cannot get them where I live. So all I could do was copy the percentages of rums from each location to come up with my own blend to make this Pusser's 84 acceptable. I already had rums from Guyana and Trinidad in my cheap bottle. For Barbados, I used Doorly's XO. For Jamaica, I used Appleton 12 Year Rare Cask. I was not about to go out and buy more rums from these two countries and I used just what I had on hand. I compared this dirt cheap version of Black Tot to Pusser's 84 neat. Yes, this did indeed make my new concoction drinkable! So what was the final blend into an old Admiral Rodney bottle? It was 9 ounces of Pusser's 84, 2 ounces of Doorly's XO, and 1 ounce of Appleton 12 Year Rare Cask. The final percentages were basically from me adjusting what was on the two recipes for Black Tot. Damn shame that I cannot get a hold of their real thing! I am still not back to normal after witnessing the attempted coup on our democracy two days ago. And I sure in hell don't feel like driving almost 200 miles to pick up some more bottles of Pusser's Gunpowder Proof.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 414 ratings Replied 8 Jan '21

While sipping on the improved Pusser's 84 on this gorgeous day, I thought to myself, "Why even bother with the cheap Trinidadian rum in this blend?'" So I came up with my own second version of dirt cheap Black Tot based upon their "Finest Caribbean" breakdown of 60% Guyana, 35% Barbados, and 5% Jamaican. I used the same Bajan and Jamaican rums in my last post, but swapped out Pusser's 84 for El Dorado 8 to make that potion a full 60% from Guyana. The results were a better tasting rum indeed, but I seriously doubt that the sailors for the Royal Navy were served a daily ration of something this good. However, the Black Tot website does indeed state that tastes have been upgraded for modern times. In other words, what they served to the British sailors was crap just to keep them happy! Refer to my previous post in this thread if you want to truly recreate the British Royal Navy daily rum ration based upon Pusser's 84 with small improvements. My recently proposed version simply tastes too damn good to be served daily to all of those drunken sailors. I also seriously doubt that rum snobs even existed 50 years ago. Being buzzed was what it was all about. Thank goodness our rum community has evolved, except for those still stuck on Captain Morgan Spiced or Bacardi Superior. Sorry for this lengthy diatribe, but this is my own way of dealing with the total madness all around the USA now.. Trumpanzees are downright obsessed with whatever he says because he has led many factions on how to control masses just like a dictator. I have hated this madman since 1991 and am very proud to admit it. And you know what? There is not a fucking thing that he can do about it because he is the ultimate coward!!!!! I double dare him to come face to face with me and I will surely call him the LOSER that he is!!!!!! (P.S. I have a history of wrapping unscrupulous car salesmen around my little finger just to get with I want while not giving a rat's ass about humiliating them!!!)
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 8 Jan '21

Both my son and I like the varieties we have tasted so far, Blue Label (Guyana), Gunpowder Proof (Guyana) and Nelson's Blood. We both think they are in the range 7-8 in rating even though Nelson's Blood is quite sweet, but what can you expect from a rum that has been aged with the Admiral. We both think that all three feel original and especially then Gunpowder Proof. Haven’t tasted the 15yo, the Overproof and the 50th Anniversary yet. Unfortunately is the 50th Anniversary out of stock at all webshops sending to Sweden, but perhaps it shows up at auctions soon. Picture: My Pusser’s shelf by moment.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 414 ratings Replied 9 Jan '21

Stefan: How are the two different bottles of 15 Year olds compare in taste? Is it the same rum in a different bottle or totally different blends? Three years ago, the 15 year old on the far left of your photo was in my top 10. It eventually sank much lower due to it being a sugar bomb and deteriorating within the bottle. As I very gradually came to appreciate dry and semi-dry rums, the heavily sugared taste of this 15 Year eventually became a total turn off. It does not matter now because neither of the 15 Year Pusser's are available where I live. Have you tried my recommended improvement to Pusser's 84 with any of your Bajan and Jamaican rums to help out?
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 9 Jan '21

Paul, This will be a quite bad answer cause I haven’t taste the new 15yo yet and it’s been a long time since I emptied my penultimate bottle of Nelson's Blood and the one I have now is still unopened. On the front label of Nelson’s Blood it says that the contents are from Barbados, but on the back label it’s written about a wooden pot still, which indicates that there is also Guyana rum in it. It has similarities, even though it’s smoother, with Pusser's other assortment, but is perhaps the sweetest of them and sugar is probably added. Unfortunately, it’s no longer produced, so if you find a bottle, you will probably have to pay a price that it’s not worth. When it comes to the new 15yo, it only contains rum from Guyana. I know, however, that it’s not as sweet, otherwise I have heard that it should be easy to drink and well-balanced. Many people think that it’s Pusser's best in ordinary range, which makes me think that it is quite refined and quite far from the original Navy Rum. Despite that, I will certainly like it and I believe that it probably is a good entry point into Pusser's world before testing the younger and rawer distillates.
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Boyse69

From United Kingdom with 27 ratings Replied 9 Jan '21

I believe they Buy from DDL and Foursquare as does Black TOT as the Navy Did back in the Day . I'm sure they request a profile that fits Pusser's which DDL are happy to supply ! Pusser's don't over charge and don't forget the 100 year "Covenant to Charity" 50% of all Net profit's are returned to Sailors Charities so the Company is Special in that way . The Owners way of repaying the Gift of the recipe from the Royal Navy . 1979 until today so it's got to be a fair sum of Money I would hope
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 14 Jan '21

@Paul Now I can give you a better answer after having tasted the new 15yo. My answer will not differ very much from my initial answer. There’s two big differences, first it’s not nearly as sweet as the old one and secondly is the blend just consisting of rum from Guyana with a lot from the Port Mourant which makes it a little like a less sweetened El Dorado 15. It’s a rum well worth trying. For more info read my review. Picture: My opened bottle.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 14 Jan '21

@Boyse69 I totally agree with you that Pusser’s never overcharge, their price level is something for others to follow. But when something gets rare because it has stopped being produced the dealers always rises the price. As a retired military officer I also love that they give back a great deal of their profits to the sailors charities.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 414 ratings Replied 15 Jan '21

Stefan: I just returned from a few days in the Florida panhandle and now have two bottles of Pusser's Gunpowder Proof. Now that I know of three stores over there where I can get more on my next trip to those beautiful beaches, I chose to spend most of my money on three Frigate Reserve 15's, one Plantation XO Guatemala, one Carta Vieja 18, and 8 other old favorites. Only three new ones for me wound up coming back home (Clarke's Court Old Grog and two Hamilton's). I cannot even get the new Pusser's 15 anywhere near me. I had a love/hate relationship with the old bottle because of way too much added sugar.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 15 Jan '21

Paul, Just wonder where you were! The Gunpowder Proof is, as I believe, the closest you can come to a real navy rum from the past. Sorry that you can’t find the new 15yo. Is the old one with the red label still possible to find over there? Great to hear that you can find Clarke’s Court Old Grog, it’s impossible for me to buy now since the UK left the EU cause it’s only the British dealers that sells it. I really hope you like it, it’s very special with lots of tastes of banana, citrus, nutmeg and other spices. Picture: My Grenada shelf.
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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 414 ratings Replied 16 Jan '21

Stefan: The old red label 15 Year Pusser's are nowhere to be found anymore. That Clarke's Court Old Grog was quite a pleasant surprise and I have already posted my review on it to rate it a 7.
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 25 ratings Replied 3 Feb '21

I've finally tried Pussers Blue Label and I'm amazed. I'm not very experienced but this was completely different from what I used to drink before. It's really difficult to believe that there are no additives, the rum is so smooth and honey sweet. I didn't feel any alcoholic taste, so I think I'm ready for higher proof version. Thank you a lot for your recommendation! PS it's extremely cheap, only 25 EUR (110 PLN) in a supermarket. Wow.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 13 Mar '21

Hi Guys! I’ve now increased my Pusser’s shelf with a bottle of Overproof (ABV 75%) and 3 bottles of the 50th Anniversary, which will be sold out in the near future. I was also lucky to win a lot of 3 bottles of “Nelson’s blood” at Catawiki for 150€. Had one leftover since before for a special occasion, but now isn’t that necessary anymore instead I can open one of them for comparison, cause I hardly remember how it tasted, with the new 15yo and the others.
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Boyse69

From United Kingdom with 27 ratings Replied 13 Mar '21

When you try the 50th let us know please . Missed out on that ! Have seen it at the Auctions but consoled myself with the Black Tot 50th which is lovely and I recommend it Oliver Chilton did a great job . Big fan of Pusser's Value for Money rum is for drinking attitude keep my going back for more Love the Gunpowder in the Winter with a splash of warm water brings it to life for me just had 3 Bottles of the 15 YO delivered it's far too easy to drink that one . Thanks Stefan
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 13 Mar '21

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Boyse69

From United Kingdom with 27 ratings Replied 14 Mar '21

I contacted Pusser's and asked them to release/Produce a cask strength product
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 31 Mar '21

Boyse69,
Saw your last post first now.
Did you get any answer?
I think it would be great if they released a 15yo at navy strength.
I have now tasted The 50th Anniversary and have published my review.
I tasted it together with the 15yo and the Gunpowder Proof.
It’s a great rum that’s rich and complex an the best Navy Rum I’ve ever tasted, that I rated 9+.
In comparison with the other two is it not as smooth as the 15yo but smoother than the GP. 
GP is much rawer and I believe it tastes a little like the Navy Rum tasted way back in time.
The 15yo is also a great rum that’s much smoother, but it felt very diluted when drunk after the 50th Anniversary.
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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 313 ratings Replied 2 Apr '21

Wow this blog is right up my ally. I was drinking’s Blue label in the late 70s it was my favorite rum and was over proof. They changed the formula many years later to 40 percent and I wrote them about it and they said most people liked it better. Not me I boycotted it for about 20 years. This is before Gunpowder proof existed. Then they did the same thing with the 15 year old a few years back. I tried like hell to buy up any of the original 15 year I could find. Luckily I found one bottle at auction recently, and also got a bottle of the 50 year anniversary which is like the original blend, Excellent. Maybe due to nostalgia or great memories this is one on my all time favorite rums, but the blends have changed from the 70’s to today. Also the beautiful ceramic decanters don’t age as well as the bottles. I purchased one for each time my children were born, 1996, 2000, 2001 to drink the night before their weddings. Unfortunately non of them kept the rum for the 20+years. They all evaporated to a very strong over proof minuscule of the original bottle, mostly to rotten cork I suppose.
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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 25 ratings Replied 2 Apr '21

If you want to keep the rum for a long time is best to pour it to a smaller glass bottle (so there is as little air as possible) and use a metal cap. It's a pity your good rums got spoiled :(
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Boyse69

From United Kingdom with 27 ratings Replied 2 Apr '21

No Answer Stefan sadly , they can listen to their customers or ignore but I know that would be a winner
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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 313 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Guys I might be wrong but I think the original Pusser’s 15 was a blend of Guyana, Trinidad, and Barbados. My understanding from writing them is they lost the rights or finished their contracted supply from Trinidad, that’s the best of my memory but I think it’s correct. I don’t think or original orange label Pusser’s 15 is available anywhere. I have tried to purchase it online time and again even Flavair they still show the original orange bottle and ship the new bottle.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 367 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Should be the same for old Nelsons Blood. Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Guyana. I like the current Gunpowder Proof. It has also some similarities with the original tot.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

As far as I know, Pusser’s has used three different blends. The oldest contains rum from Guyana, Trinidad & Barbados. Thereafter they changed it to contain rum from Guyana & Trinidad, which came back in the 50th Anniversary. Finally nowadays they just use rum from Guyana. The changes have been done because of logistical reasons as I understood it. If they also changed how much from each country or different stills is out of my competence area. Some bottles says that it’s a product of BVI, but that doesn’t mean that there are any rum from BVI in it as far as I know. Jimmy, The old redorange 15yo with the text “Nelson’s Blood” on it can only be bought at auctions or eBay nowadays. I was lucky to get me three bottles at Catawiki some weeks ago and are now the lucky owner of four bottles.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 367 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

You are right, it was the location where the rum was blended.
They have a very old distillery on the island but I could not find any information about usage of their rum.
  https://www.diffordsguide.com/producers/80/pussers-west-indies-ltd
Pussers closed their location on BVI due to financial problems.
https://www.bvitraveller.com/pussers-marina-cay-closes-for-good/
I read also that Pussers used three Demerara rums and two Angostura rums for their blend. Most shops say Pussers contains six rums in the blend, then the last one could be a Barbados rum. Maybe du to financial reasons they stop using Barbados rum first and now they are using only the Demerara rum.
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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 227 ratings Replied 4 Apr '21

Vomi, The only facility they’ve closed in BVI is the one in Marina Cay, if I understood it right, all other facilities that also was damaged they rebuild or restore. I suppose that they can’t blend or age by the moment at least, cause the 50th Anniversary was blended and aged for four more years at WIRD Barbados. The 50th Anniversary contained the 3yo distillates you mentioned from DDL, with quite much from Port Mourant, and Angostura. Do you know if that was the same blend as they used when their earlier rum consisted of rum from DDL and Trinidad?
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Boyse69

From United Kingdom with 27 ratings Replied 15 Jul '21

Maybe they did listen when I wrote to them a few months ago about a cask strength 75.5 % ABV Cask select in EU uk late July I've been told 
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