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Lamb’s Navy Rum (151 Proof)

Review: Lamb’s Navy Rum (151 Proof)   78/100
Review by Chip Dykstra
Published May 25, 2022

In Canada, Lamb’s is one of the most popular rum brands. This brand traces its history all the way back to 1849 when Alfred Lamb opened his wine and spirits business in London. His original Navy Rum is reported to have been a blend of 18 separate rums from various parts of the Caribbean. Alfred Lamb’s method of aging his rum in cellars under the Thames River is said to be one of the secrets behind the unexpectedly smooth taste and popularity of his rum.

During World War II, the Alfred Lamb & Son premises on Great Tower Street were unfortunately a casualty of enemy bombs. One of their major competitors, White Keeling Rum Merchants suffered the same fate, and as a result in 1946 both Alfred Lamb & Son and White Keeling Rum Merchants moved to 40 Eastcheap, London where they joined with Dingwall & Norris who were already located there. The triumvirate became the company known as United Rum Merchants.

The Lamb’s brand was licensed for North American production to Corby Distillers in 1952 and since that time Lamb’s rum has been part of the Corby portfolio of spirit brands. (Halewood Artisanal Spirits hold the license to bottle the brand in Europe, Africa and Asia.)

In North America, the main portfolio of Lamb’s Rums includes, Lamb’s Classic White Rum, Lamb’s Spiced Rum, Lamb’s Palm Breeze, and Lamb’s Navy Rum (which is sold both at 80 proof as well as an overproof 151).

This is the review for Lambs Navy Rum (151 Proof) sold at 75.4 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

As stated in my preamble, Lamb’s is one of Canada’s most popular rum brands. One of the reasons for this is the competitive price, and the other reason is the attractive bottle display. Although the labeling has changed over the years, the distinctive hexagonal tall long necked bottle is seen by most as an upgrade over the cylindrical counterparts on the economy shelf at most retail vendors. As you can see, the Lamb’s bottle is attractive.  The bottle holds true to the bartender’s creed being easy to store on the bar shelf, easy to grab and hold, and most importantly easy to pour. The plastic screw cap on the bottle is much preferred over those pressed on metal caps I still see on many other bottles. All in all, the presentation is quite nice considering this is an economy brand.

In the Glass 8.0/10

The rum in the glass is darker than the bottle shot to the left would indicate. It also has a bevy of alcohol and caramel spice rising out of the glass. Enough to almost knock a person right over. This is strong, aggressive and demands my strict attention. Vanilla seems to be the predominant aroma with nutmeg, bits of cinnamon and cloves as well as that licorice like smell of molasses rising up as well.

That’s all I got for nasal descriptors other than enough alcohol spice to set me on my derriere if I get my nose to close to the glass.

In the Mouth 47/60

Burn Baby Burn! Disco Inferno!
Burn Baby Burn! Burn That Mother Down!
Burn Baby Burn! Disco Inferno!
Burn Baby Burn! Burn That Mother Down!

If you remember disco from the mid 70’s, then you know why my mind is racing to the chorus of the 1976 hit song Disco Inferno by the Trammps. Sipping Lamb’s Navy 151 Proof is not for the weak of palate.

The Overproof Navy Rum is intense with the searing heat of 151 proof alcohol and concentrated flavours of molasses and caramel. Charges of spice detonate in the background; flavour impressions of licorice, vanilla, treacle, and baking spice come forward. Even a few ice cubes do not diminish the intensity. This overproof rum is a mixer pure and simple. And even in that capacity it needs to be used with caution. Perhaps as a secondary ingredient in a cocktail (Zombie perhaps) to provide a kick of flavour and heat.

In the Throat 11.5/15

I do not recommend sipping this spirit neat like I just did. It finishes searingly hot, with that heat lingering long after the swaollow.  I found a Rum and Cola mixed with the Lamb’s 151 proof finished with mule kick to my tonsils.

The After Burn 7.5/10

I was done in to a certain extent by Lamb’s Navy 151 Proof Rum. There seems to be a lot of heat and a lot of caramel and vanilla, and maybe a bit of spice but not much else. I wanted more rich rum flavour to come to the fore. Ten years ago when I last tasted the rum, my sentiments were a little more positive. I guess my palate has evolved more than the Overproof Rum.

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

_____________________________________________________________________________

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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