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Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum

Review: Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum  76/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 27, 2010

Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum is bottled at 70 proof (35 % alc/vol).  The Rum is bottled in the U.S. by Admiral Nelson Rum Company of Missouri. The bottle I reviewed would have been aged in oak for at least one year as per Canadian Law. I am not sure whether the U.S. product would have been aged the same length of time as I was unable to ascertain any information regarding the blend from its distributor.  The Admiral Nelson Rum website indicates that savory spices are used to create the blend with a hint of sweet vanilla.

In the Bottle  4/5

Everything looks alright with a nice tall bottle with a slightly cartoonish graphic of Lord Nelson  on the front. The graphic is reminiscent in style to the famous Captain Morgan Logo, but with just enough differences to be their own.  The closure is a plastic screw cap which is far better than the pressed on metal variety.  My hope is that  I will find the rum inside the bottle to be at least as good as the presentation.

In the Glass 8/10

When I swirled the rum, I noticed nice long slender legs in my glass. I like long slender legs as they indicates a touch of oiliness in the rum which should lengthen the finish. After I let the glass sit for a while, I took a nice deep wiff and found that the nose of this rum is quite nice. I’m getting a little vanilla, and fragrant rummy caramel which rise  up in a nice mixture.  Tidbits of other spices meander in and out of the breezes,  light accents of cloves, coriander and nutmeg. I detect very little if any oak scent at all.

When the rum is allowed to decant, the vanilla scent deepens, and a moderate alcohol tone begins to unravel into the air as well, this is the vegetal tones of a young rum.

In the Mouth 45/60

The spices in this rum do not reach up and grab me.  Instead it is the vanilla and the caramel I sensed on the nose which seem to dominate the initial flavour sensation.  I have trouble recognizing the other spices which appear to be set back and not as noticeable in the mouth as they were on the nose. I guess they are reminiscent of pumpkin spices, but they do not assert themselves as fully as I would like.

My overall impression is of a rum which is altogether too mild.  The reduction of the alcohol content to 35 % has the effect of diluting the rum with more water, and that dilution seems to be what affects the taste. The rich flavours I expect from a spiced rum are just far too far back for me to find enjoyment. When I add cola to the mix the spices disappear altogether, and I am left with what tastes like Vanilla Coke.   I will admit I am very disappointed.

In the throat  11.5/15

The Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum is slightly oily, and as a result it has a somewhat long finish. Because of the lower (35 %) alcohol content I did not expect nor receive any appreciable burn. However, there was a light harshness and medicinal quality in the finish that put me off.  I also expect more… I guess spiciness would be the right term, from a spiced rum and I just didn’t sense much spice in the finish.

The Afterburn 7.5/10

I guess I found the rum somewhat disappointing. .   A moderately pleasant vanilla and caramel flavour,  with little else thrown in to make things  interesting.  The lower proof of the spirit is  disappointing as it just tastes  thin, and the flavour profile does not seem to add much kick to my cocktails.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


The Admiral Nelson Rum website makes one suggestion for a bar drink which is a Cuba Libre’ style drink they call The Admiral and Cola. The use of lime juice to give the spiced rum some oomph in the cocktail is a good idea and one which I will endorse. I’m just going to kick it up a notch with a little more spiced attitude which I call The Admiral Overboard.

The Admiral Overboard

2 oz Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum
Juice from Half a Lime
a dash of Pumpkin Spices

Pour the Rum and Lime Juice over ice
Lengthen with Cola
Garnish with Pumpkin Spice

Enjoy Responsibly!


*How to Make Pumpkin Spice

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Allspice
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg


Thoroughly mix all ingredients
Store in a sealed glass jar


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


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