There are many rums with "navy" in their names. While I can somehow distinguish them from the tasting notes, I don't know where the division actually is. How do you define navy rums? What's your favorite navy rum?
Before I came to this site almost 5 years ago, I did not know anything about Navy rums since they were made as daily rations for the British Royal Navy Sailors. They stopped with these handouts on Black Tot Day in 1970. I forgot the exact day, which means nothing to me here in the USA. There are now all kinds of Black Tot imitations, but Pusser's Gunpowder Proof makes what I believe to be the best. If it ignited gunpowder and went Proof!!!, then it was a good rum.
And as you have probably guessed, these rums were a blend of rums from British colonies in the Caribbean. These include Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad (in that order for the blend). Many of those old distilleries are now closed, so if one finds an authentic Navy rum, it could cost about $1000 US per bottle. Does this mean that it is really a good rum? I find this hard to believe, since these rums were doled out to their sailors daily to keep them happy. My guess is that these old blends were made from the cheapest rums that they could find at any time on the British colonies. Antigua and the BVI's were always left out, but Pusser's now has a base in the BVI's (to the best of my knowledge).
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I had over 100 flagons that I sold, and these were turned into a fairly expensive bottle all nicely packaged up. I kept one flagon and decanted it into bottles (all had meniscus meaning no air at all). So got 7 or so bottles. There are some flagons coming up for auction shortly with an estimate price of GBP2500. Oh if I had kept the 100+ that I sold.
Nowadays Navy Rum means that you have a blend of Rums of Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, like Paul said. There are some with all four, some with just two. Mostly Guyana & Jamaica. Navy Rum also means an ABV between 54-58% alcohol. Not much more to do for a Navy Rum at the moment. I personally like the Black TOT 50th Anniversary, Velier Very old Navy Rum & Velier Tiger Shark very much. As with most rums there are good and bad Navy Rums. Getting a real original flagon is very rare and expensive. But the original navy rum was far away from beeing bad. First, rum was so much cheaper and a lot of rum we love today wasn't popular 5-10years ago. And second there were flagons for sailors and for officers with different quality, if i remember correctly.
I will agree that the daily rations had to be of much higher quality for the officers. But how will anyone know if a flagon was for officers or the sailors? Also, were there any buyers of flagons from the USA? I seriously doubt it. I also gather that most of these flagons were empty when bought.
I never had the opportunity to try a true flagon rum. I guess i never will. From what i heard those who could try liked it very much. I guess most people will never know what kind of rum they had back in the days. Oldest rum i tried was from 1980. At that time names like Caroni or Enmore didn't mean much to most people. I read an artical that in Jamaica they produced extrem high ester rums with Esters up to 6000gr/hlpa. That rum was only for the german market for a blend called "Rumverschnitt". Now people would put it in a bottle as single cask and pay a lot of money. Same goes for the very dark and heavy Guyana rums. And how they know if the flagon was for officers or not? Maybe they labeled it, or stored it at different places. i really don't know. When u buy a closed flagon i guess u take the risk anyway. Still Navy Rum is a big part of the hole rum history and how it came to europe and how distilleries worked, and for who they worked for.
I can add that navy rum can be considered blended rum from any british Colony. E.g. rum from Australia. The most elaborated navy rums that i know are the "Black Tot 50th Anniversary", "BT 2021", "BT2022" Series. Because "Elixir Distillers" besides using the right Destilleries keeps some amount of the original casc and blends it with the next casc. Just like the British Navy did. And the BT50 has even a small amount of the original navy rum inside it.
I have one for NATO air forces. From Hunter Laing - Kill Devil RumSingle Cask Rum, Distilled in 2005, Matured for 16 years, Distiled in Diamond Distillery in Guyana. Only 241 bottles were made,cannot be purchased nowhere on the market. Bottled at 55.7% AbV.Do you know any auctions or offering websites?
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