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Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum

Review: Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum   80/100
Reviewed by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted March 3, 2020

Compass Distillers is located in Halifax Nova Scotia, where Graham, Josh, and David began their distilling journey with a belief that they could create world-class spirits locally. Their artisan Craft Spirits are not imported, they are not blended with generic ingredients, nor are they pumped out of a factory; Rather, they are made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients.

Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum is crafted with Crosby’s Molasses and Brown Sugar that is fermented and distilled in small batches. The rum distillate is placed in oak barrels & aged on site at the Halifax Citadel. From the barrel to the bottle, this traditional-style rum derives its colour, character & complexity from the aging process.

Note: It a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the naval crew was issued a daily ration of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ration was in general use throughout the British Navy.

Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In The Bottle  4/5

Compass Distillers sell most of their products in the squat cylindrical bottle shown to the left. The bottle follows the bartender’s creed of being easy to store (the stubbly bottle is stable with a round shape that rests easily on any bartender’s shelf); easy to hold (the round cylindrical bottle is not too wide for the average person’s hand); and easy to pour (the glass stopper comes out easily and the long neck helps us avoid spilling).

On the label there is an image which depicts the 78th Highlanders standing in line for their daily ration of rum. (The 78th Highlanders were stationed at the Halifax Citadel between 1869 – 1871.)

I like the bottle and the label although the label although perhaps it could have more ‘pop’ to help it stand out in a crowded retail setting. (I am being a bit niggly, my tasting group liked the label and bottle just fine.)

In the Glass 8/10

When poured in the glass, the rum has a golden straw hue. Rising into the breezes above the glass were light oak spices combined with butterscotch and hints of almond. Orange peel and banana join in as does a light winding impression of grasses and hay. Some baking spices develop as I allow the glass to breathe represented by scents of vanilla, light cinnamon. These have combined with brown sugar and oak giving me an impression of light toffee.

In the Mouth 48/60

The rum is bittersweet with a firm flavour of molasses and treacle leading out. The taste is more similar to what I would expect from a dark rum than an amber rum, and I suspect this is the Crosby Molasses setting it’s imprint on the spirit. As the rum sits, some butterscotch sweetness appears, as well as flavours of vanilla and baking spice. A light almond flavour sits well back.

The impression I have is that Daily Ration Rum is much more of a cocktail spirit than a sipper. And the flavour seems to lend itself towards Brooklynites and Dark and Stormy cocktails more than Rum and Colas. So I mixed a Brooklyinite (see recipe below), and decided that I was on the right track. Then I went a little fancier and mixed a cocktail (Eastern Compass) that combines Topshelf Distiller’s Perth Canadian Whisky with the Daily Ration Rum and decided to share that recipe as well. (It is spectacular!)

In the Throat 12/15

The finish is somewhat short which is indicative of a rum of this age. There is just a touch of youthful heat and then bitter flavours of Crosby Molasses and treacle.

The Afterburn 8/10

Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum was for myself a cocktail spirit. A higher score would have been achieved but for a touch of youthful heat, and the fact that I did not find the spirit suitable for sipping. If you are a cocktail buff, don’t pass on this one. In that realm the spirit holds up well pushing its molasses based flavour through the mixed drink rather than acquiescing.

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


Suggested Servings

The Brooklynite cocktail appears to have arrived on the scene in the 1940s in Brooklyn, New York. It appears in the 1946 edition of the Stork Club Bar Book, and is basically is a daiquiri made with dark rum and honey.


2 oz Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum
1/2 oz Honey syrup (1:1 ratio honey and hot water)
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
dash of Angostura Bitters
twist of lime

Add the four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lime

Enjoy Responsibly!


Here is a cocktail which combines the leathery Perth Canadian Whisky with the bittersweet Daily Ration Rum from Compass Distillers. The result is spectacular.

Eastern Compass

1 1/2 oz Perth Whisky (Topshelf Distillers)
1/2 oz Compass Distillers Daily Ration Rum
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Bols Triple Sec)
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
a few dashes of Fees Cocktail Bitters
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
Lemon Twist

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of Lemon Peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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


You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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


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