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Pusser's Blue Label (ugh)


Garcia21
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I opened a bottle of Pusser's Royal Navy Rum (Blue Label).

And after a couple times trying it to be fair and even mixing it with coke, I find it to be pretty bad. Is it possible that I got a bad bottle?

I am surprised to find a rum that I am honestly thinking of dumping out. Seems a waste of $20.

If you have tasted this rum please share your opinions with me. I find that it is plenty smooth, but the smell is bad and the aftertaste is like soggy driftwood.

Salud,

Patrick

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It is one of those pungent, smoky, boderline sulphur and rubber style rums--much like Kaniche. It is very unique, and I hated it the first time I tried it. After making my way through a bottle, I found it quite pleasing. It has its own unique time and place in my rum collection.

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The only way I drink Pusser's Blue Label is ice cold as a shot at the Tot Club in Antigua. The Blue Label is nearly 100 proof and was blended to mimic the rum served to Royal Navy sailors. When you consider that this was originally military issue for seamen, you have to accept that this wasn't made to be connoisseuer's quality.

Edited by Ed Hamilton (log)

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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  • 1 year later...

Just to note: the British Navy didn't serve Rum straight (at least, not to lower-grade seamen; petty officers could get it straight, and officers weren't given an official issue, though certainly they could probably purchase or cadge some).

Regulation "Grog" was one part rum with 4, 3, 2, or 1 parts water (depending on the time period), totalling from 1.25 quarts per day (in 1740) to 6 oz per day (where it was when the RN quit the practice in 1970).

Either colonial-era Rum was weaker stuff, or colonial-era sailors were tougher stuff, or the RN was the party school of the 1700's.

Try mixing down your Pusser's with some good water and see if it's better.

I did, and, well, nominally...

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  • 3 months later...

Navy Rum, as we know it, is very different from what was served on board 17 and 18th century naval ships. Pusser's is pretty close to what was being served on board in the early part of the last century but previously the rum wasn't aged as long, nor was it distilled as carefully as what is bottled today.

To put it in perspective, 17th century navies were one step above slavery or prison and in the West Indies the death rate was nearly 50%, not due to the sporadic battles with the French and Spanish, but due to tropical diseases which decimated the white Europeans who lived and worked in the islands. The navy rum was never meant to be a top shelf product but more to keep the men's mind off the immediate task of survival. It's ironic that people will spend hard earned money for what is touted as Navy Rum, but the real irony will be when someone opens a Las Vegas or New York restaurant and charges $50 a plate for Army food rations.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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  • 3 years later...

Gee, how do you really feel? Army rations at $50 a plate? That's funny! Actually, the story behind Pusser's Blue is fascinating. Let's leave the 17th and 18th centuies behind and concern ourselves with the current product.

Actually, the British Navy was near fanatical about its beloved daily tot, loved by seaman and officers alike in the modern British Navy. The modern formula was created in 1810 and is still a secret. It is claimed to be blended from five molasses rums still carefully distilled in the few remaining wooden pot stills in the world. Keep in mind that the congeners, et al, have been carried forward from then in these very special stills. The rums were transported to England, kept in a guarded warehouse and blended in secret until the daily tot finally ended in 1970 (Black Tot Day).

Finally, a Mr. Charles Tobias convinced the British government to allow him to continue the tradition. He promised to keep the secret and make the rum as it was since 1810. He also agreed to make contributions from the sales to the British Seaman fund and is currently its largest contributor. Good on him.

Actually Pusser's Blue is a fine rum and a Gold and Double Gold winner for dark rum in a number of prestigious competitions (eg San Francisco). Those who have fallen for the modern trend of marketing of sweeter, lighter rums may need an adjustment period to taste a real, straight ahead, serious rum like Pussers (which is now bottled at 43%).

Pusser's Blue, like some other pot stilled rums (think Jamaica), is hearty, aromatic, chock full of congeners and esters and must be considered an acquired taste. I believe everyone should have a bottle on board as one of the very few high quality, aged rums that remains unchanged. Accordingly it has both historical relevence, and provides an invaluable reference rum.

I will say that new drinkers of Blue Label should add a very little water as this will bring out some sweetness. Do give it a chance - it's not an easy rum to like, but if you stick with it I suspect you'll change your mind.

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  • 5 years later...

Is Pusser's something I want to be posting about in this thread?

Or, rather, is there anything Pusser's can do for a drink that, say, Smith & Cross or Inner Circle can't do? I can easily get Pusser's but can't easiy access S&C.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Pussers and S&C are rums cut from the same cloth. Smith & Cross is stronger, and maybe has a bit more hogo to it, but Pusser's is not far behind. I'd say Pusser's has the same general character, but doesn't stand out quite as much. Smith & Cross dominates a drink, whereas Pusser's asserts itself.

For the price and wide availability, it's a damn good buy.

ETA: you're in Australia right? Is your Pusser's the 42% version, or the stronger one? Here in the US we only get the 42 :(

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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42, although I've seen a variant sold in a bottle that looks like something you could, in a pinch, use to store any genies you happened to have floating around. Unsure if it's some aged, overproof edition or simply home to a drunk djinn.

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Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Is Pusser's something I want to be posting about in this thread?

Or, rather, is there anything Pusser's can do for a drink that, say, Smith & Cross or Inner Circle can't do? I can easily get Pusser's but can't easiy access S&C.

Pusser's navy strength is a very passable S&C substitute.

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