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Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa

Review: Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa   (88.5/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra
December 15, 2020

Admiral Rodney Rums are produced by St. Lucia Distillers which is situated in the valley of Roseau on the island of St Lucia. Their Admiral Rodney Rums are named for Admiral George B. Rodney who is remembered as the Admiral who broke the French line at the Battle of the Saints. Each of the Rums in the Admiral Rodney line-up pays homage to the naval battle remembering the courage of British fleet which “broke the line” and defeated the French.

According to the Admiral Rodney website:

HMS Princessa was originally a Spanish vessel captured by the British in 1780 at the battle of Cape St. Vincent. Captained by Charles Knatchbull, this 70 gun ship was one of the first ships to engage the French in the Battle of the Saints. Fighting valiantly, the Princessa engaged the enemy throughout the battle and inspired us to create this rum which embodies power and integrity.

Admiral Rodney Rums are produced on a twin column Coffey still commissioned in 1985. Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa contains as part of its blend, Coffey still rum from the lower sections of the still which results in a robust and complex flavor profile. The spirits within the Princessa blend were aged in bourbon and port casks for 5 to 9 years before being blended and brought to bottling strength (40 % abv.).

In The Bottle 4/5

To the left is the bottle presentation of the Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa Rum. The rectangular bottle is a good economical choice as the shape is efficient for packaging in the cases for shipping. The label is very nice with a strong colour scheme, and I like the wood topped cork seal. I would like to see a heavier base on the bottle for more stability, and the wide pouring lip makes it awkward to pour small amounts into my glen cairn.

In The Glass  8.5/10

Colour; Deep Copper turning to Bronze

Legs: Small droplets form at the crest releasing skinny legs

Nose: Oak, leather and raisin, baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon), brown sugar and cane syrup begin to reveal after a few moments, and oak spice continues to build. The smells become deeper and richer as the spirit breathes.

In The Mouth 54/60

The entry brings brown sugar mingling with vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg reminding me of cinnamon rolls. Oak spice and tobacco add structure and depth as soes a light woody flavour that is wrapped within. I taste canned fruit (apricots) and raisins as well as dry leathery flavours which seem to balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar.

In The Throat  13/15

The rum is light to medium bodied. As a result the finish is somewhat shortened but it is nice. Dry leathery flavours of oak and spice linger as do impressions of vanilla, raisin and light brown sugar.

The Afterburn 9/10

The Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa seems to be better than the sum of its parts. I found myself returning to the rum, sometimes sipping it straight and sometimes mixing Old Fashioned Cocktails. I think that some will be put off by the leathery flavours, but I also think that over time those persons will change their mind if they give the rum a second chance.

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


Suggested Recipe

SAM_0872Rum Old Fashioned

2 oz Admiral Rodney HMS Princessa
1 tsp Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
2 dashes Fees Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
3 large Ice Cubes
1 twist of Orange Peel

Add the first three ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


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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