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Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum (Guyana)

Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum (Guyana)   76.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 13, 2019

Pusser’s Rum is advertised as the original rum of the British Royal Navy. And it is a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the crew was issued a daily ‘tot’ of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ‘tot’ was in general use throughout the British Navy. As it was the ship’s purser who was responsible for issuing the rum, the tot of rum became known as Pusser’s Rum in a sort of slang derivation of the term ‘Purser’s Rum’. Although the naval tradition of the daily tot had ended, in 1979  Charles Tobias obtained the rights for the British Naval Rum, and formed Pusser’s Ltd. on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

When I recently received rum samples from 1423 World Class Spirits, I noticed that the label on the Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum stated the rum is bottled by Pusser’s Rum LTD. (British Virgin Islands), and that it is a product of Guyana. This is a departure from my previously reviewed Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum which was sent to me two years ago (which was a Product of Barbados). It is also a departure from the product as advertised on the Pusser’s Website which is stated to be a product of of the  Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados.

I suspect that Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum changes its lineage based upon which blending rums are more economical, or perhaps different markets receive different blends, based upon the export market’s presumed preferences.

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof is bottled at 54.5% alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

When I received my my rum samples from 1423 World Class Spirits, I noticed that the label on the Pusser’s Gun Powder Rum stated the rum is bottled by Pusser’s Rum LTD. (British Virgin Islands), and that it is a product of Guyana. This is a departure from my previously reviewed Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum which was sent to me two years ago (which was a Product of Barbados). It is also a departure from the product as advertised on the Pusser’s Website which is stated to be a product of of the  Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados.

I suspect that Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum changes its lineage based upon which blending rums are more economical, or perhaps different markets receive different blends, based upon the export market’s presumed preferences.

By the way, I like the bottle, I like the clear labeling, and I like the nice blue topped synthetic cork closure which seals the bottle.

In The Glass 7.5/10

Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum is a dark rum with a hue in the glass which is past copper, and maybe even beyond bronze. When I tilt the glass and give it a slow twirl, I see fat droplets forming at the crest which fall slowly down the inside of the glass.

The initial nose is full of high proof astringency, and I need to let the glass sit to allow some of that to pass. When I am reset, I notice aromas of dark brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, herbal pot still esters, and very light oak spice. As the glass sits, baking spices begin to evolve, I receive impressions of cinnamon buns, hints of licorice and tar and a hit of molasses.

Although the descriptors give an impression of complexity, there is also a sense of something added. This is common in lightly aged ‘dark rums’ where the flavour and aroma has more to do with molasses and treacle added to the rum than any time spent in an aging barrel.

In the Mouth 46/60

The overproof rum full of raw alcohol heat providing a firm burn through the delivery. It’s hard to get past that heat, but when you do, the rum seems hollow rather than full, indicating as I have suspected, that there may not a lot of maturity in the blend. I taste is molasses and treacle combined with pungent baking spices (nutmeg and clove) and lightly bitter vanillans.

When I added ice the spirit turns bitter and unappealing, indicating to me that mixing cocktails is perhaps the best course of action. There are plenty of recipes for overproof rums. Most of them use a variety of fruit juice to counterbalance the high alcohol heat. For the purpose of this review, I mixed a Zombie. It tasted nice, indicating that if high strength mixed drinks appeal to you, that the Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum would not be a bad choice.

In The Throat: 11/15

Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum is light bodied carrying a significant burn and lots of extra heat through the finish.

The Afterburn  7.5/10

The rum is too young and too brash to be considered a sipper. It has lots of heat, but not enough structure underneath to support the high alcohol content. This means the rum is much more suited to be a mixing rum than it is to be a sipper.

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

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Suggested Serving

The Zombie is a Tiki Cocktail whose main feature is a large quantity of rum with the alcoholic bite disguised or smoothed out by the presence of a variety of fruit juices.  This bar-drink typically has the alcoholic punch of two or three generous cocktails.

(Don the Beachcomber is credited with the origin of the Zombie.)

The Zombie

2 oz Pusser’s Red Label Rum
1/2 oz Apricot Brandy
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup (Dissolve a sugar cube in 1 Tsp hot water then let it cool)
5 Large Ice Cubes
1 oz Pusser’s Gunpowder Rum

Shake the first seven ingredients with the ice cubes in a cocktail shaker
Pour into a tall glass with the ice.
Float the last ounce of overproof rum on top.

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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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