Pusser’s Red Label British Navy Rum (42%, 2010, British Virgin Islands)

For those of you who have read the previous post about Lamb’s Navy Rum, will know about the daily ration of Rum that was issued to its sailors by the British Navy. The person that was doing the issuing was the Purser a.k.a. the Pusser.

In 1979, Charles Tobias bought the rights and the blending information from the Navy, and founded Pusser’s Ltd. on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The first bottle of Pusser’s saw the light of day just one year later. Pusser’s British Navy Rum is still the same blend of five West Indian Rums, a majority of which is pot-still distilled Rum. As far as I know this Red Label has been replaced by a similar looking Blue Label version also 42% ABV. Some markets have a Blue Label bottled at 40% ABV.

Pusser's Rum Red LabelColor: Copper orange.

Nose: Sweet Demerara, but above all Jamaican high ester Rum. Right on top, fresh orange juice with oils from the skins. It instantaneously reminds me of the Pusser’s 15yo I know pretty well. I love that one, so this nose is making me smile already. Give it some time to breath and the influence of the Jamaican Rum’s in the blend wear off a bit to give way for toffee and milk chocolate and the occasional whiff of cow-droppings (in a good way). Underneath there is also some dryness and some funky wood to balance things out. Black tea, paper, pencil shavings and some sugared or over ripe tropical fruits.

Taste: Yeah that’s more like it. This starts out with a thin version of Demerara Rum. That quickly turns into a more sugar-water note, with the Demerara shoved into the back seat. Wood and a fruity acidity. Raspberry and white chocolate. Every aroma passes by in quick succession and after the rather short finish, you just want your next sip of this. Quick, quick!

Where the Lamb’s was disappointing and gloomy, this Pusser’s makes the sun shine and leaves you wanting more, not only more Pusser’s but also a bite to eat. Appetizing. This is a light Pusser’s that can be used as a mixer. It’s affordable and why should you get a less interesting Rum to mix with when it costs exactly the same? For the time being, if I needed a Rum for a Coke, this would be it, especially when at this price it’s also a worthy sipping Rum. It’s also quite nice as an aperitif Rum, whereas the Pusser’s 15yo is a thicker and heavier Rum (at twice the price of this Red Label), which is a true after dinner Rum, a digestif. I will forget about Lamb’s, and will get Pusser’s instead.

Points: 83

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