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Pusser's 15 Years Old Navy Rum

Pusser's 15 Years Old
Navy Rum


By Robert Plotkin

Pusser's Navy Rum is one of the oldest and most famous brands of rum in the world. During its time the brand has earned a sailor's chest full of awards and accolades. As the "Original Rum of the Royal Navy," Pusser's is a brand steeped in romance. For over 300 years, it was doled out to officers and crew of every ship in the British Royal Navy. Pusser's was on the ships at Trafalgar, on the ships battling buccaneers and those that defeated the Spanish Armada. It was there at the Battle of the North Atlantic. This storied brand of rum is a part of history.

Pusser's added another chapter to its illustrious career with the release of Pusser's 15 Years Old Navy Rum, a glorious spirit handcrafted in exact accordance to the Admiralty's recipe and standards. The molasses used to make the rum comes from cane grown in the Demerara River Valley, a region renowned for its production of sugar since the 1600s. After the cane has been rendered into molasses, it is taken to distilleries on Trinidad and Guyana where it is transferred to wooden vats and allowed to slowly ferment over 72-hours using naturally occurring airborne yeast.

Distillation takes place in small batches in the last remaining production-capacity wooden pot stills in the world. Distilling in wood imbues the rum with a unique flavor best described as "full and rich." The wooden staves of the stills are impregnated with centuries of esters and congeners—the organic compounds that impart flavor to wine and spirit. No other stills in the world can reproduce these extraordinary flavors.

The rums used to make Pusser's are barrel-aged a minimum of 15 years before being blended and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. The rum has a dark, golden/amber hue, a velvety textured, medium-weight body and a generous bouquet of semisweet molasses, tobacco, dark chocolate and toasted oak with vegetal notes. Its broad palate is brimming with the flavors of dried fruit, raisins, chocolate, anise, nutmeg and caramel. The long, dry finish is luxurious.

While an inspired rum to feature in a Daiquiri or specialty Mojito, ultra-premium Pusser's 15 Years Old is ideally served neat after a fine dinner, or with a cube or two ice.

The famous range also includes Pusser's 3 Years Old Navy Rum, which is matured in oak barrels for not less than 3 years and bottled at 42% alcohol (84 proof). It has a lustrous honey/amber hue, a lush, medium-weight body and a lively set of semisweet sugarcane, molasses and toasted oak aromas. The entry is warm and exceptionally dry. It quickly fills the mouth with fruit, spice and oak-induced flavors before fading into lingering, thoroughly satisfying finish.

The younger Pusser's Naval Rum is also an invaluable addition behind the bar. It is famous as the foundation of the classic Painkiller, a tall drink made with Pusser's, orange and pineapple juice, coconut syrup and freshly grated nutmeg on top.

Both expressions of Pusser's Navy Rum are authentic recreations of the rum served to sailors in the British Royal Navy for centuries. In 1655 the Admiralty began substituting rum for beer as the daily "spirited" ration for its sailors in the West Indies, and by 1731, a pint of rum was being doled out to crews throughout the Royal Navy. The daily rationing of rum was one of its longest standing traditions. The practice remained in effect until July 31, 1970, a date that has become known as "Black Tot Day."

In 1979, an American former Marine named Charles Tobias approached the Royal Navy with a plan to begin marketing Pusser's Rum. At first his proposal was met with profound skepticism by the Admiralty. But Tobias persisted and offered to donate a sizable portion of the proceeds to the Royal Navy Sailor's Fund. The Admiralty Board eventually consented, giving Tobias access to the official Pusser's Rum recipe and granting him permission to incorporate the Royal Ensign on the label.

Rule Britannia!