Pusser’s 50th Anniversary Rum

What is it? Pusser’s is a brand of rum synonymous with the British Royal Navy and they play heavily on the navy theme and certainly produce what most people would call a “Navy” style rum – all very interesting given that the company was formed in the late 70’s and the Navy rum ration was stopped in 1970……but there you go. Pusser’s claim to follow the recipe for British Navy rum and historically this has contained a mixture of rums mainly from Guyana and Trinidad. Over the years the blend has changed somewhat with more recent versions of their Gunpowder Proof sourcing entirely from Guyana – I understand there used to be Caroni in the blend and for obvious reasons (they’re closed and the rum costs a shit ton of money) they don’t use it anymore. This rum, however, is a different story; what we have here is a rum released by Pusser’s to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Black Tot Day – ceasing of the rum ration – which was 31st July 1970. For this rum Pusser’s claim to have made a blend to the exact specifications of the Admiralty at the time the rum ration was stopped and does state that it is a blend of rums from Guyana AND Trinidad (is it going to have any Caroni in here? Probably not). The blend consists of 5 stills, 3 from Guyana (Port Mourant, Versailles and probably the Enmore still given it’s ability to produce a very heavy modified Navy component) and 2 from Trinidad. The rum is then aged for an unspecified time, which after some time researching looks to be around 7 or 8 years, which I would assume to be tropically.

This is a limited edition rum released in 2020 and consists of 5000 bottles with mine being bottle number 1776.

We don’t know if this is chill-filtered (I hope not), it is coloured and bottled at 54.5% abv.

Sugar? Yes, there is around 10g/l in here. Now the jury is out on whether this was done by Pusser’s or not as their website states they do not add sugar, but there is definitely some in here. As the blend relies heavily on rum from DDL (Demerara Distillers Limited) this could be the kicker; they are widely known to pre-colour and pre-sugar their rums in the cask before it’s sold on. They also coat some casks inside with molasses prior to cask fill, so it’s entirely possible that Pusser’s are being truthful and did not add anything – it may have been done at source by the distillers.

Nose: Yep, Pusser’s. At first glance it’s your usual Pusser’s nose, but quite quickly it becomes evident that it’s something more; it’s all grown up and very serious. Black boot polish, liquorice, aniseed balls, Bournville dark chocolate, nutmeg, flamed orange rind, wet leaves, mushrooms and a touch of brine. There’s walnut cake, banana bread, rich molasses and black coffee in here too and a lovely distant note of old diesel engines firing up. There’s a slight touch of spent matches at the end, but it doesn’t spoil anything.

Palate: Thick, rich and coating. Exactly what I was expecting, although it is a little sweet and a touch too much viscosity which is more than I’d hoped given the low sugar reading….hmmmm….treacle toffee, molasses, Java coffee but with milk this time, dark chocolate, prunes, tobacco smoke, caramalised banana on burnt toast with maple syrup. Those soft chew black liquorice sweets, salted plums, soaked porcini mushrooms, brine, rosemary and sage jelly. Things get a little bitter as it tails off, it’s touching on too much bitterness but just about manages to stay on the right side of ok.

Finish: Medium, not the best bit. Still molasses, but bitter, treacle, fig, dark chocolate, yeasty Marmite or Bovril, strong breakfast tea, aniseed, some salted banana and liquorice – less than the palate but it’s still there, more of a root here than a sweet.

Thoughts? Really good. The finish lets things down a little but on the whole it’s a very good rum. It’s almost a mix of the old 15 year old and the Gunpowder Proof, it feels like Pusser’s come of age. If this were a permanent bottle in the line-up I’d have one on my shelf at all times, it’s really what Pusser’s should be and a must for anyone who is into their Navy style rums – it is exactly what you’d expect a Navy rum to be like. The problem is that this will never be a permanent member of the range as it’d simply make both the 15 year old and the Gunpower Proof obsolete! I’d like to see this with zero added sugar and hopefully that’d sort out the lackadaisical finish.

This was £50, which I think is spot on for what you get.

8 responses to “Pusser’s 50th Anniversary Rum

  1. I ordered and received bottle which says limited edition but no number. Is this an error or likely to be fake? Have managed to source one with number one.

    Advice please

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    • Hi Eileen, it is a limited release rum and I’d expect them to have a bottle number on the front. It may well be a simple printing error, if you got it from a reputable shop. Personally I’d stick to your new bottle as something like this would make me suspicious!

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      • Thanks for this. I alerted amazon where purchased and they sent second one which arrived yesterday – still no number!!! On their site label clearly has number. Will contact them and return stating need to remove if not numbered. Found stockist with numbered ones and got one coming.

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      • Glad you’ve got it sorted. The bottles are limited and should have the number printed on it from the packaging plant, I would find it hard to believe that only Amazon have a batch of bottles without bottle numbers – it’s not the kind of mistake that a massive brand such as Pusser’s would make, to release a “limited run” with such high profile and forget to put a load of bottle numbers on. There are only 5000 bottles of this around, which seems like small fry to such a large company like Amazon, I’m not say that the ones you have hard are fakes but these are the types of errors that would show in such a situation and it’s simply not worth your health drinking something that you are not 100% sure of the provenance of.

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    • If you still have the bottle DO NOT return it. It is not fake!! I have one as well, and after reading this contacted Pussers direct. Their International Brand Manager rang me this morning (impressive customer service)
      This was a mistake, after the first 5000 bottles were decanted and labelled they realised they still had @ 15 cases left over. They contacted their label supplier to get more labels done, unfortunately they sent the trial/mock up label that did not have any number. Of the 15 cases 9 were recalled…. so only 6 are out there and therefore will in time be very rare!

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      • Thats really interesting, thanks for the information. Pusser’s really should have issued a statement about this themselves though, theres quite a bit of fake booze out there, especially with limited bottlings, and if there is ever any doubt about a bottle that’s been bought it shouldn’t be drunk – its not worth the risk. Luckily in this case it seems to have been a simple mistake, and I hope that the lady in question still has the bottles; Amazon don’t take back consumable goods. In the past I’ve had some issues with spirits and have been told to keep the bottle to do with as I please.

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    • Hi Peggy, I’m not sure where this was exported to, if at all. It was limited to a small number of bottles and I know that some European online shops were (or are) selling them for international delivery but as you know Canada is very funny about importing and selling of spirits! So I’m afraid I can’t say with any confidence that Canada has seen bottles of this, sorry.

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