Gunroom Navy Spirits as a line up comprises a Navy Gin, a London Dry Gin and this, a Navy Rum. As a product line they are owned by (Lars) Renbjer and (Martin) Magnusson AB over in Sweden and I’ll cut to the chase…..you’ll need to purchase this particular bottle from Europe as it is not on general sale here. In fact it’ll be hitting the states before we get a look in. Fortunately there are several online French retailers that carry Gunroom Navy Rum…..but purchase it you should.
Gunroom Navy Rum – 65% abv
This Rum, as clearly stated on the label is a blend of Rums from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana and is issued at 65% abv…..the label states Gunpowder Proof but to my understanding that is 57.15% abv….but then again Pussers Gunpowder Proof is issued at 54.5% abv…..anyhow…I exchanged a few emails with Lars Renbjer a while back and essentially the desire of Lars and Martin was to create an older style Navy Rum inspired by and harking back to the earlier style of Navy Rums of 1800-1820, prior to them becoming standardised by the Admiralty. The Rum is a blend of aged Rums from both pot and column distillation and this gives a lot of character to what should just be a huge powerhouse.
The blend comprises the following components:
- A blend of 2 to 5-year-old tropically aged Rums from Barbados
- A blend of 2 to 5-year-old tropically aged Rums from Trinidad
- A young Demerara Rum from Guyana
- A large percentage of 3-year-old tropically aged light pot still Rum from Jamaica
- The last element accounting for about 1% of the product is a ‘top dresser’ of an undisclosed Rum that Lars believes gives a lot of character to the final blend
These components are then blended at their original proof in Europe and allowed to marry prior to bottling…..no reduction in abv takes place and therefore the 65% is reflective of the %abv of the constituent parts.
In the glass: The Rum displays itself as a brilliant straw gold, almost like apple juice. I used my NEAT glass for taking the majority of my notes but either way, the first thing that hits you is a really heavy hit of alcohol vapours given the abv of this blend. The NEAT glass does a really good job of dissipating those vapours and allowing everything else to come through. Straight away the initial notes are very Jamaican. Pot still is apparent along with overripe bananas and a light but definitely present astringent nail polish. Oak is apparent but not dominant on the nose and that leads into a calm, warming toffee/vanilla note. I’d also say that there seems to be something decidedly Cuban about the nose as there is a little bit of a light oaky leather present (top dresser maybe?). It does seem to display its youth in the nose and there is a raw Guyanan quality to it.
In the mouth: It is a bit of a beast initially. There is an oiliness to it but a lighter body to the Rum than I anticipated. The peppery alcohol kicks like a mule and the Rum initially feels entirely Guyanan as the pungent oak and lightly bittersweet treacle starts to dominate. A fruitiness is present but it carries itself as a dark spiced fruitcake full of raisins and stewed plums rather than a light fruitiness which I would’ve expected given the Barbados component. It all feels very youthful and there is a lot fighting for your attention….its like a puppy dog, constantly pawing at your legs for you to notice it. Further sips reveal the light cooked banana fruitiness of the Jamaican component but the drying oak ushers that out-of-the-way and walks off into the sunset as the Rum slowly, very slowly, fades with a final hint of that tobacco and a whiff of smoke.
When using the right glass to allow the vapours to dissipate or using a good few drops of water, this Rum really opens up and displays a lot of character. This opens up the fruitiness slightly and allows a more mellow experience to be had. It certainly makes it more approachable but a less is more approach to the water is better as I found that it got quite heated initially before it calmed down.
Whilst it is a massively drinkable Rum that is enjoyable neat and with a little water, where I believe it really shines though is as a component of a Mai Tai. I love playing about with the Rums in a Mai Tai and this Rum really has enough going on to provide a hugely entertaining experience. Its interesting enough to really add character to one of my favourite drinks with its differing components whilst still being powerful enough to provide the backbone to hang the other flavours onto. It’s a winner with me.
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