Category Archives: Rum

Pusser’s Rum, Blue Bottle, 40%, Guyana, Trinidad & Barbados

There’s a number of British based rums claiming heritage to the historical ‘sailors tot’ that was given daily to members of Britain’s Royal Navy.

Image courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop

Pusser’s Rum is one of them.

Using Jamaican Rum – a former British colony – is generally a given in these offerings which are usually a blend of Caribbean rums interpreting the original ‘tot’.

Pusser’s however stresses the use of pot still rum from Guyana blended with marks from Trinidad & Barbados to create their ‘Admiralty Rum’.

A very dark nose of rich molasses & treacly funk greeted me.

Smooth & sweet on the palate with dark muscovado sugars dominating.

A prickliness on the finish exhibiting a slight funk & departing with a drying experience.

Ship Inn, Elie c/oTheWhiskeyNut

Pusser’s made a suitable tipple to celebrate completing another section of the Fife Coastal Path in the nautically themed Ship Inn by the Firth Of Forth in Elie.

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Stroh ’60’ & ’80’, Original Austria Inlander Rum

A favourite pastime of mine is having a peek at other folks drinks cabinets to see what’s lurking there.

My friends in Bournemouth pulled out Stroh 60.

Never having tried Austrian rum before – I gave it a go.

A rather strange reddish hue greeted me on pouring – along with that burnt rubber, dark molasses heavy treacle kind of nose.

Oily mouthfeel.

Very sweet towards the finish – almost liqueur like – which just about hid the 60% strength alcoholic punch.

Indeed punch might be a more apt descriptor of this ravel novelty style drink.

There’s also an 80% version.

I happened to pick up a miniature when last in Scotland!

The reddish hue & burnt rubber were still there – but no amount of sweetener could calm the rather harsh & biting 80% kick coming through.

Until the finish that is – rather sweet & sticky.

If anything – the 60 version was more palatable.

Just wondering at which point a rum becomes a liqueur with Stroh?

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All photos authors own.

Four Bells Navy Rum, 40%, in The Windsor Hotel, Kirkcaldy

After getting off the train from a highly enjoyable session at the Fife Whisky Festival 2022 I thought a night-cap in my hotel bar would be in order.

Having spotted an unknown bottle of rum behind the Windsor Bar when booking in earlier – my curiosity was piqued.

Courtesy Rum Auctioneer

Turned out to be Four Bells Navy Rum.

A tot was ordered amid the sounds of a loud karaoke & merry youngsters downing globes of vividly coloured cocktails.

Four Bells had a soft hint of burnt rubber off the nose.

A rather weak & watery palate – compared to all the wonderful drinks I’d just experienced at the show.

A touch of spice on the rear enlivened this otherwise rather flatly flavoured rum.

Courtesy Rum Auctioneer

Easy drinking indeed – but lacking flair.

Information on Four Bells could only be collated from a number of websites.

Courtesy Tannico

It appears to be/was a Whyte & Mackay brand distilled in Guyana, offered at 40%, 42.9% or 100 Proof, has had several bottle designs & brand owners over the years & seems to be fondly remembered by fans.

I’m assuming I enjoyed the 40% version & despite the lack of punch – Four Bells is just the kind of hidden spirit I enjoy encountering when visiting a bar.

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Header image of The Windsor Bar courtesy Booking.com

The Opening Up Of Whiskey Shows In A Post-Pandemic Setting – Fife Whisky Festival 2022

There was a bit of rounding the circle to my attendance at the Fife Whisky Festival 2022.

The show was my last event back in 2020 before lockdown ensued – & marks my first in a post-pandemic situation.

An eager & good natured queue formed outside Cupar’s Corn Exchange building in anticipation of the spirits within & it wasn’t too long before I arrived at my first stall.

Nc’nean are part of the new wave of Scottish Distilleries springing up around the country.

Their debut Organic Single Malt proved a lovely ex-bourbon & wine cask style of whisky with elegantly clear flavours.

I liked the clean, bold no nonsense Ardnumurchan bottle – along with the whisky too! A lovely combination of ex-bourbon, sherry & smidgen of peat.

Badachro‘s whisky isn’t matured – but they offer a gently peated Highland Single Malt from an unnamed source as a taster of things to come from this boutique distillery.

Established distillery Glen Moray provided the first of a few peated drams with their easy & accessible Peated Single Malt.

Springbank showcased their single malt range – but what took my eye was Campbeltown Loch Blended Malt.

Andy Stewart no longer needs to wish Campbeltown Loch was whisky – it is now!

Made up of Springbank, Hazelburn, Longrow, Kilkerran & Glen Scotia malts it proved to be a lovely well balanced soft peater.

I couldn’t come to the Fife Whisky Festival without sampling some of the local produce.

Lindores Abbey’s core release is a very pleasant – if somewhat understated – well balanced single malt. Still think Irish Whiskey needs an MCDV release myself.

Kingsbarns Distillery Reserve at 61.8% provided a bigger hit for my palate both in terms of flavour – and spirity punch!

There were a few non-Scotch entrants at the show.

Mackmyra impressed me with their AI:02 Intelligens. The algorithms must be in tune with my tastebuds as I preferred this one over the Stjarnrok single malt from their seasonal release range.

New Zealand’s Cardrona were back with their Growing Wings 5yo single malt. It offered a fuller flavour than the younger Newly Hatched I enjoyed back in 2020. Both packed a high ABV punch at 65.6%!

Spotting Black Tot Rum on the Elixir stall I couldn’t resist.

A delightful blend of Jamaican, Guyanaian & Barbadian rums modelled on the Royal Navy rum tot proved to be a highly entertaining tipple!

My last few samples were from a selection of independent bottlers who mainly do non chill filtered, natural colour & often single cask, cask strength bottles in limited – not to be repeated – releases from a variety of distilleries.

At Carn Mor I enjoyed a 7yo peated bottling distilled at Highland Park named Whitlaw.

For Scotch Malt Whisky Society -SMWS – I shunned their limited edition single malts & opted for the attractively designed label of Peat Faerie blended malt for yet another sweet peater with a kick.

The Single Cask Staoisha 6yo distilled at Bunnahabhain offered a combination of soft peat & sweet wine cask influence.

Fable Whisky‘s artwork had me hooked.

Sadly they had no peated bottles on show – so I chose by artwork. Chapter 11 happened to be a Glen Spey & whilst very nice – didn’t wow as much as the art did!

And with that – it was all over!

A generous feed of chips ‘n’ cheese, a packed train of fellow whisky fans back to Kirkcaldy & a short walk to the hotel ended yet another wonderful foray exploring the fine whisky on show at the highly enjoyable Fife Whisky Festival 2022.

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Whiskey Nut’s Readers Favourite Blogs Of 2021

It’s nearly the end of 2021 – and what a year it’s been!

A little reflection of the previous 12 months is in order.

The blogs below are my readers favourites for 2021.

1) Proper Twelve V’s Jameson, Dec 18.

Proper 12 must be the most divisive Irish Whiskey ever – yet it’s already outselling Bushmills 400 years of heritage in the American market after only 4 years. Go figure!

2) Kyasuku World Whisky, Oct 21.

Rising to 2nd spot in only a couple of months is a remarkable achievement for this Aldi brand from Japan.

3) Dundalgan Single Malt IPA Cask, Nov 20.

This popular range of whiskey continues to be an attractive & affordable purchase.

4) Irish Whiskey Distilleries, Dec 21.

The only page to make the list! My constantly updating list of Irish Whiskey Distilleries!

5) Púca Blend, Nov 20.

These mischievous spirits make a welcome return to the Top 10 – as well as Aldi shelves!

6) Ron Rumbero Miniature Pack, Dec 19.

The 1st of a number of rum entries into the list – and a great introduction to the category.

7) Liberté Rum, May 20.

This affordable white rum charmed me with it’s attractive range of flavours.

8) Black & Blue Whisky, Jan 19.

This Nigerian Whisky brand made in India with UK connections demonstrates the global reach of whisky.

9) El Bandido Beer, July 20.

While I can’t say I love this beer – there’s clearly a lotta love for it out there!

10) Ardfallen Whiskey, Jun 19.

A no nonsense Irish Whiskey blend at an affordable price.

A big thanks to all my readers – without you I’d be drinking on my own!

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By pressing on the links you’ll be directed to the original blogs.

Fear, Paranoia & Tasting By Numbers In The Spirits Category.

There appears to be a palpable fear within the spirits drinking community.

Fear of being ‘gouged’ or ‘ripped off’ by rogue producers.

Paranoia that brands aren’t being ‘honest and transparent’ in refusing to disclose every conceivable nugget of information.

Refusing to taste a spirit until the correct check list;

Trusted distillery – check.

Non chill filtered – check.

Single Malt – check.

Cask Strength – check.

Distillery release – check.

Or whatever criteria you choose has been adhered to.

It’s all so reductionist.

Taste is not defined by what is – or isn’t – written on the side of a bottle.

Taste isn’t made by engaging tweets or larger than life characters.

Taste is the complex interplay of the individual drinkers palate with the fruits of the raw ingredients, distilling process, blending & maturation regimes of the liquid before them.

Someone’s ‘amber nectar’ is another’s ‘gnat’s piss’.

What if all that extraneous information was removed?

What if all bottles of spirits simply stated the legal minimum?

No branding, no advertising, no stories?

Would the spirit taste the same?

Well – yes and no.

Yes in that the liquid – and your palate – remains the same.

Having blind tasted whiskey for the Irish Whiskey Awards over a number of years a familiar pattern of brands & styles consistently rise to the top.

On the other hand slick advertising, where & whom with you taste the liquid as well as your mood on the day can all sway the results.

But is there another fear at play?

Fear of enjoying a drink that is deemed unpopular?

Fear of enjoying a spirit that hasn’t matched your check list?

Or simply a fear of not conforming?

You don’t have to like the popular brands or top sellers.

Just enjoy what works for your individual palate.

Above all – enjoy the journey.

Sample & taste as far and wide as possible – you’ll quickly find your own sweet spot.

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All images authors own.

With the spirits industry embracing premium – I’m enjoying budget!

I used to have a bottle ceiling price of 100 – euro or sterling – but with escalating costs & criticism of rising bottle prices I’m revising that down to 50.

Rather than simply moan about the situation – I’ll take action.

At first you might think my choices would be limited – but when you begin to look – there’s a surprising amount of highly entertaining & enjoyable spirits to be had.

In the sub €20 white rum category I found surprising variety. Liberté from Lidl won out here. Press on the highlighted links to be diverted to my reviews.

Dunnes do a highly engaging sub €20 whisky by the name of JG Kinsey.

Single Pot Still c/oTTB/Colasonline

All of Royal Oak Distillery’s output – blend, single grain, single malt & single pot still – is below €50 & thoroughly decent they are too.

However – most of the above attract little attention & appear to be looked down on by the blogging community.

Budget doesn’t mean a lack of taste, flair or character. It might mean a lack of bragging rights & exclusivity and it certainly involves a degree of exploration to find the one that suits your palate – which is part of the fun.

But looking down on such offerings & the folks that drink them is nothing but snobbery – which is never attractive.

To me this is evident in the almost total rejection of Conor McGregor’s Proper Twelve brand within Ireland – despite it becoming the 4th biggest selling Irish Whiskey in the world after only a few years.

It’s also behind the lack of reviews for the correctly labelled Kyasuku World Whisky.

For €30 you get an attractively presented Mizunara casked whisky blended & matured in Japan.

Only fools would turn their noses up at such an opportunity given the clamour over inflated prices for similar product.

The companies – as far as my basic economics goes – are after all doing what they’re meant to – boosting profits for the shareholders.

And no – I won’t be missing out on high end stuff.

There’s been a positive explosion of on-line tastings, bottle swaps & exchanges, clubs & societies as well as good old fashioned pubs & whiskey shows where opportunities arise to taste the delights – or disappointments – beyond reach.

My nearly 120 bottle selection is always open for exchange – Irish based only – so get in touch to try out something new.

For me, tasting & exploring is far more important than owning.

Sláinte

All images authors own unless stated.

Copeland Smugglers Reserve Overproof Rum, 57.2%, Barbados & Northern Ireland.

Nestled a stones throw from the picturesque harbour of Donaghadee sits Copeland Distillery.

Pretty Harbour, Pretty Distillery!

Part of a growing resurgence in spirits distilling popping up all over Ireland, Copeland don’t restrict themselves to whiskey – exploration of gin & rum is also ongoing.

Using rum from Barbados along with some distilled in Donaghadee itself – Copeland have released this very attractively presented Overproof Rum.

Now Barbadian Rums tend to display a rather sweet tooth on my palate – but I did notice the long fermentation time used. This generally boosts the richness of the flavours.

Information

I was also intrigued by the French Pinot Noir barrel ageing – along with the Overproof strength!

Despite not being able to purchase at the actual distillery when I visited – a local off-licence satisfied my curiosity.

There is a sweetness to the nose – but it’s augmented by a richness of depth & a welcoming hint of soft fruity funk.

Very enticing!

Initially smooth & mouth coating – the intensity of the high ABV gradually kicks in with a melange of prickly heat & bold flavours in an entertaining explosion!

The rich dark juicy fruitiness is complemented by a dry oaky spice – all pleasingly topped off by a decent & well balanced frisson of funk!

Powerful & bold – yet packed full of flavour – Copeland Overproof Rum is certainly worth exploring!

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All images authors own.

Watson’s Trawler Rum, 40%, Barbados & Guyana.

My ancestors made their living from the sea – so a bottle of rum displaying a fishing vessel automatically connects with me.

Rum Ahoy! c/othewhiskeynut

Readily available in Scotland, Watson’s Trawler Rum follows a long tradition of dark rums & hails from independent bottlers Ian MacLeod Distillers.

It’s a no nonesense affordable rum presented in a screw cap bottle displaying an old fashioned aura – which immediately caught my eye.

Info c/othewhiskeynut

Sweet & rubbery nose – inkeeping with the origin countries signature flavours.

Dark molasses, treacle cake like with a touch of oaky spice on top.

More treacly spice on the finish which gently fades away.

Trawler in a Túath c/othewhiskeynut

A very easy & approachable rum pleasing to my palate, my purse & providing a characterful flair to boot.

A suitable offering to toast all the seafarers of the past & present who put their life’s at peril to provide food for our plates & transport the goods we desire

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Saison Rum Tasting, 40% to 48%, Barbados, Jamaica & Trinidad

The diversity & quality of rums within the Saison Rum range impressed me very much.

Saison rum tasting c/othewhiskeynut

Part of the excellent Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder tasting series. As usual I missed the actual live Zoom event – but tuned in later on YouTube for more information about Saison Rum.

My brief tasting notes – in italics – were gathered catching the last of the summer sun in my back garden before watching the video.

Saison Pale Rum, 40%

Pale straw, lovely fresh pungency, reminiscent of sugar cane rum, grassy. Soft, mellow & mouth coating. Gorgeously warm spiciness on the finish.

Lovely!

Saison Rum, 42%

Golden brown, inviting hint of funk in a rich demerara cake. Sweet, smooth & warming. Dries out on the finish in a lip smacking finalé.

Gorgeous!

Saison Sherry Cask Rum, 42%

Golden brown, soft, sweet juicy fruity wine gums. Mild & mellow. Quite light on the finish with a lovely dry tingling.

Grand.

Saison Reserve Rum, 43.5%

Golden brown, soft sweet funk. Richness & depth. Mellow funky finish. A luxurious rum – well balanced & civil.

Saison Barbados 5yo, 46%

Pale brown, sweet fruit cake. Mild. Combination of sweetness & spice with a tingling finish.

One for the sweet tooth!

Saison Trinidad, 7yo, 48%

Pale brown, mild & sweet. Soft palate. Sugar & spice & all things nice.

Dessert rum!

A very enjoyable tasting indeed!

From a funky start to a dessert finish with extremely well balanced & complex rums inbetween – Saison Rum have a bottle to suit every taste.

Using rum sourced from Barbados, Jamaica & Trinidad, French Cognac House Tessendier have recently branched out into rum blending with this gorgeous Saison Rum range.

The rums are shipped to France in bulk at cask strength for careful blending & further maturation in cognac casks. Presented non chill filtered with no added sugar – the results are full of flavour & joie de vivre that my palate enjoys.

Personally my preference veers towards the younger – more brasher – funkiness of the non age statement offerings.

I found the sweetness of the Sherry Cask & Single Origin bottles a touch too much.

Flavoursome rum c/othewhiskeynut

In a close contest Saison Rum won the day with it’s solid dollop of Jamaican dunder.

Which one would your palate pick?

Hat’s off to Saison Rum!

Santé!

Bottle shots courtesy Vintus & Celtic Whiskey Shop.