Aged 15 Year Rum
The superb rum in this bottle has not only been distilled in wood, but aged in wood for an additional 15 years! It is the world’s only super-aged rum, or for that matter that is still distilled in wood using the old, inefficient, handcrafted way in opposition to the modern method that employs semi-automatic metal column distillation. Why does PUSSER’S do this? And what’s the difference to what you drink? Here it is.
For 330 years from about 1655 until July 31st, 1970, Great Britain’s Royal Navy issued a daily rum ration to the sailors on board its ships. The daily ration was known as the ‘tot’, and its issue and the ritual that went with it was one of the longest and unbroken traditions in the history of the sea.
The rum used was a special rum called Navy or Admiralty Rum, or PUSSER’S, PUSSER’S being a corruption of the word purser, after the officer in, charge of the ship’s supplies. PUSSER’S NAVY RUM today is the identical rum that was issued in the Royal Navy right up until the time of the custom’s termination on July 31st, 1970. PUSSER’S is known for both its colourful history and its rich flavour. It was never sold or available to the public until 1979. If a connoisseur obtained a tot or two, he valued it for a very special occasion because there was nothing else like it. What made it different?
Navy or Admiralty Rum is not just a name for dark rum. It was the name given to the Royal Navy’s rum that evolved into a blend of several rums of which the major constituents were distilled in wooden pot-stills in lieu of the normal metal ones. The distillation of rum in wood imparts a truly unique flavour that can only be described as “full and rich”, making other rums bland by comparison. In today’s spirits world, PUSSER’S is still distilled in the same Admiralty stills of yesteryear that were in use long before the days of Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
While miniscule amounts of wooden pot-stilled rum from small, non-production wooden pot-stills are to be found, there are only two production-capacity wooden pot-stills remaining in the world, both dedicated to producing the original Navy Rum PUSSER’S.
While the rich flavour of PUSSER’S RUM is natural, many major rum brands add flavouring agents and sugar to increase their smoothness and body. One or two may even add miniscule amounts of what is claimed to be wooden pot-stilled rum to imply wooden distillation. However, the amount added is so small as to have little or no effect on flavour. By contrast, PUSSER’S is all natural. It needs no additives.
Without wooden distillation, what’s in a PUSSER’S bottle wouldn’t be a Navy Rum; it wouldn’t taste the same, and it wouldn’t be PUSSER’S. You can think of PUSSER’S as being the rum equivalent to a single malt whisky. It’s the closest you can get; it’s the most flavourful rum there is.
The PUSSER’S Aged 15 Year is exceptional and equivalent to the finest cognac or brandy in every way. Most all rums today are distilled in modern continuous stills which are very efficient, stripping out about 98.5% of the alcohol from the wash. To the contrary, the wooden still operates at about 67%, which greatly increases cost. To this, one must add the loss that occurs during the aging process. At the end of 15 years of aging in wood, only about 7% of the original rum remains in the barrel. The balance will have evaporated into the air. Thus it took the equivalent of many bottles of ordinary rum to make this one bottle of 15 Year Old PUSSER’S! The balance will have evaporated into the air. Thus it took the equivalent of about 16 bottles of rum to produce this single bottle of PUSSER’S Aged 15 Years!
This rum is truly for sipping, as you would a fine cognac. It is best enjoyed slightly chilled at about 13°C to 16°C or 55°F to 60°F.