Admiral Vernon’s Old J is a product that I stumbled upon out of the blue. Whilst searching for a vanilla rum, this product popped up on-screen. The product is new to the market and is only available currently in a limited number of outlets. It is seemingly growing in popularity as word is spreading and you should see it become more widely available over the coming months.
Anyway, the history is as follows. In 1740 Admiral Edward Vernon enforced a reduction in the strength of the British Navy´s rum ration. When his men complained, Vernon suggested the addition of limes and sugar to make the drink more palletable.Admiral Vernon’s Old J has been created in honour of the man who was known as “Old Grog”.
Tom Hurst, a brand manager for LWC Drinks has kindly supplied the history of Admiral Vernon and of the process of creating the recipe. The product was undertaken in April and one of the key factors in the process was not to create and aged rum, but to create a flavour profile for the rum. Over sixty variants of the recipe were produced and tasted until the product was finalised, with the recipe then reworked and tweaked to work with its key mixer, cola, before the product was let loose.
In the glass: The rum is a golden amber colour and when I swirl the rum in the glass, it displays thin, fast legs. There is no alcohol burn on the nose as it is bottled at 35% ABV. Instantly you are hit with warm sweet vanilla and a massive hit of cinnamon. Lime begins to cut through the sweetness of the vanilla but the dominant aroma is spicy vanilla. It is reminiscent of porridge with syrup….in a good way.
In the mouth: Instant vanilla with an almost honey smooth sweetness. The cinnamon is also prominent in the mouth, not just in the glass, which adds a nice spice to the rum. It almost harks back to the Fireball Jawbreakers that I loved in my younger years, minus the heat. The whole experience is warm, sweet and fresh. With your lips still tingling from the lime, the finish is spicy and sweet but not too long.
I had never previously considered drinking this rum neat, seeing it as more of a mixer, but it really does work. A cube of ice helps to calm the spice and bring out the sweetness. I usually mix about 50ml of this rum with plenty of ice, a good few lime wedges and 75ml of cola and it has never stopped at ‘just the one’.
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