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Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum

Review: Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum  (80 pts/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka) Arctic Wolf
Published on May 13,  2013

A few weeks back, I received a bottle of Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum from the local importer here in Alberta, Diamond Estates. They were hoping I would taste the spirit, and perhaps write a review (if it was my inclination to do so). In doing my research I was not able to glean much information about how the Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum is produced. I understand that it is bottled in the U.S. by the Admiral Nelson Rum Company of Missouri (at 21 % alcohol by volume), and although the brand was previously controlled by Luxco, in 2011 Heaven Hill Distilleries acquired the rights to the entire Admiral Nelson Brand.

ANCocoIn the Bottle 4/5

The Admiral Nelson Coconut Rum bottle looks decent upon my rum shelf. It is a medium tall bottle which features a cartoon style illustration of Admiral Nelson hoisting a tankard of rum while standing on a large broken coconut. Unfortunately, the illustration doesn’t quite work as it is an obvious overly of two different illustrations set on top on one another and as looks slightly unnatural as Admiral Nelson seems about to fall off his coconut at any time. (It would have been nicer to have seen more attention to detail concerning the illustration.)

On the positive side, the closure is a plastic screw cap which is far better than the pressed on metal variety I see on other flavoured rums. I also like that the bottle seems to be colour coded to match the expected flavour inside. When mixing drinks it is pretty easy to just grab the white bottle, when I want a coconut flavour, rather than to have to read each label to find the right bottle.

In the Glass 8/10

The rum is clear and although it is slightly thickened, it does not have the syrupy look which is so common in the flavoured rum category. The nose is lightly sweet with a mild coconut aroma. There also seems to be a touch of vanilla sitting in the background. A light alcohol astringency is rising from the glass which surprises me in such a low proof offering; but this astringency is quite mild and is probably just a reflection of a young rum which makes up the base of the spirit.

In the Mouth 48/60

The flavours of mild coconut and light vanilla push through on the palate with a light cane sweetness providing support. The three flavours work well together, and I appreciate the lighter than usual sweetness (for the category) which helps to keep the spirit from becoming cloying. If not for a vague alcohol roughness that lurks within, I would have scored this much higher. I mixed a couple of cocktails, (see below) and I found that the roughness did not seem to affect the performance of this flavoured rum as a mixer.

In the Throat 12/15

The finish is relatively short. A light aftertaste of coconut and vanilla are left behind, and again it is that light astringency of the flavoured rum which keeps the score somewhat down.

The Afterburn 8/10

Admiral Nelson’s Coconut Rum is a pleasant mixing rum which can also be enjoyed as an after dinner sipper. I appreciate that I was not throttled by sweetness nor any cloying aftertaste, although I would have preferred if the flavoured rum was just a little smoother.

You may read some of my other reviews of  Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipes

A Day at the Beach

SAM_0728 A Day At The Beach

A Day at the Beach

1 oz  Coconut Rum
1/2 oz  Amaretto
3 oz  Orange Juice

1/2 oz  Grenadine

Add the Coconut Rum, Amaretto, and Orange Juice into a metal shaker with Ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Pour into a highball glass over ice
Top with Grenadine
Garnish with a pineapple wedge (optional)


Chocolate Covered Banana

1 1/4 oz  Coconut Rum
1  Banana
1 – 2 tbsp  Chocolate Syrup
1/2  cup Vanilla Ice Cream

Pour rum into blender
Add 1/2 banana, chocolate syrup and ice cream
Blend until smooth
Pour into a tall glass
Garnish with the other half of the banana


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 spirit.  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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