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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Significance of "Navy Rum"?
Significance of "Navy Rum"?
Alex
Member

Joined: Jun 17, 2009
Posts: 4
From: Sweden
Posted: 2009-06-28 3:27 pm   Permalink

Like (apparently) a lot of people, I've been having some trouble finding Demerara rum. Now I've found a way to get hold of two brands: Old Vatted Demerara and Wood's Old Navy Rum, which has "Finest Demerara Cane" written on the label. So now I'm wondering, is Wood's a proper Demerara rum (in the sense that Demerara rums are often spoken of in this forum, as a must-have ingredient), or does it being a "Navy Rum" render it something completely different? I've seen other rums marketed as Navy Rum, but I've never really found out what that means.

More to the point, if I used Wood's in a drink that called for Demerara rum, would you say I was making the drink "proper", or bastardizing it?

EDIT: Had some formatting errors from cutting-and-pasting. Even part of the title seemed to disappear. Sorry about that.

[ This Message was edited by: Alex 2009-06-28 15:38 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Alex 2009-06-28 15:38 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Alex 2009-06-28 15:39 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Alex 2009-06-28 15:40 ]


 
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rev_thumper
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 368
From: Koala Kabana, New England
Posted: 2009-06-28 7:30 pm   Permalink


Woods isn't just good it is an OUTSTANDING Demerara rum. And a proper one since it is made in British Guyana. I wish I was in the UK more often since we cannot seem to find it in North America.

Now, you do have to consider the octane (114 proof) when using it but that's a small price to pay.


 
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Alex
Member

Joined: Jun 17, 2009
Posts: 4
From: Sweden
Posted: 2009-06-29 03:19 am   Permalink

Thanks for the reassurance!

The one definition I've found of Navy Rum so far is this one from CocktailDB:

Quote:
Generic for a type of London dock rum; Jamaican rum aged either on sailing ships or in warehouses along the banks of the Thames River in London, England. Several brands, notably Lamb's Navy Rum. Often bottled with a relatively high proof.



So the aging process is of lesser importance, then? It's the Demerara cane that's the clincher?

As for the higher proof, part of the reason I'm interested in Wood's is that I probably won't be able to get hold of any overproof Demerara anytime soon, and at least 114 proof is halfway from 80 proof to overproof. So I can float that on top of my Zombies (perhaps using half again as much as the recipe calls for) and hopefully not be too far off the mark.


 
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MrBaliHai
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Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 804
Posted: 2009-06-29 06:33 am   Permalink

In order to be labeled a "Navy Rum", I believe it must be distilled in accordance with guidelines set down by the British Navy, and produced in a former colony.
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2009-06-29 06:59 am   Permalink

Rum for the Royal Navy was typically sourced from either Guyana, Jamaica, or was a blend of both. 114 or thereabouts was the traditional strength. It was shipped to London to be blended and bottled for consistency.

So Navy Rum can be Jamaican Rum, Demerara Rum from Guyana, or a blend of both. However, only rum made in Guyana can be called Demerara rum. So OVD and Wood's are proper Demerara rums- There is only one company that makes Demerara rum in Guyana (Demerara Distillers Limited [DDL]), and they sell their product to every other private label- including Wood's, XM, OVD, and (until recently) Lemon Hart. Most of DDLs resources are being geared now to their own label, El Dorado.


 
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hiwattowner
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 06, 2008
Posts: 23
From: Near Boston, MA
Posted: 2009-06-29 07:06 am   Permalink

You can definitely use the Woods Navy Rum. I have a bottle of the Woods and the low and high octane Lemon Hart. I tend to use the Woods in Navy Grog's and a few other drinks where I want to kick up the drink a bit above the Lemon Hart low proof.

Taste wise, the Woods has a bit more of a burn to it - even when compared to the Lemon Hart 151. The Lemon Hart is a bit smoother (somewhat more refined) in taste. That being said, they're in the same ballpark. You could use the Woods in the Beachbum's zombie recipes and be close. It wouldn't taste exactly the same as using the Lemon Hart, but I'd do it.

I'm looking forward to passing through Heathrow again to pick up some more Woods.


 
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rev_thumper
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 368
From: Koala Kabana, New England
Posted: 2009-06-29 6:05 pm   Permalink

After Black Tot Day in 1970 there is really no true claim to the phrase Navy Rum (not that is was really regulated before then) so many, many people claim it. Pusser's has the stamp of approval from Admiralty, Lamb's stakes their claim, Sea Wynde claims to have cracked the code and to be producing a true copy of the original rum by blending Jamaican and Guyanese rums. The only real navy rum is the stuff in the Queen's private stock of Imperial Rum.

I decided the best way to rank the navy rums was to ask some old sea hands and I had a chance to do that at the HMS Belfast in London which is staffed by retired members of the Royal Navy (and has a fine exhibit on grog and the rum ration). I started out by noting that the gift shop sells Lamb's but to a man they said that Wood's was their rum of choice.


 
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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 804
Posted: 2009-07-04 09:41 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-06-29 18:05, rev_thumper wrote:
Sea Wynde claims to have cracked the code and to be producing a true copy of the original rum by blending Jamaican and Guyanese rums.


I did a side-by-side taste test with Sea Wynde and Pusser's the other night. There was no contest, the Pusser's was vastly superior...smooth and full of complex notes. The Sea Wynde was incredibly harsh, and burned all the way down. It was like a mouthful of fire, couldn't taste a damn thing except the alcohol burn.

I think Sea Wynde needs to work on that code some more...
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mick9
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 23, 2008
Posts: 27
Posted: 2009-07-20 12:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-06-28 19:30, rev_thumper wrote:

Woods isn't just good it is an OUTSTANDING Demerara rum. And a proper one since it is made in British Guyana. I wish I was in the UK more often since we cannot seem to find it in North America.

Now, you do have to consider the octane (114 proof) when using it but that's a small price to pay.



Yes we have it here in British Columbia (Canada)


 
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rev_thumper
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 368
From: Koala Kabana, New England
Posted: 2009-07-20 7:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:
Yes we have it here in British Columbia (Canada)



Please ask your countrymen in Ontario and Quebec to follow suit!



 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2009-07-21 07:54 am   Permalink

We were in Tortola and visited the original Pusser's a while back. The rum was produced there for the British navy until the 1970's.
It is still made there according to the Pusser label.


Does anyone know if they brought Demerrara molasses to Tortola to distill or rum for blending? In the Pusser's blend , does anyone know the types of rum they use and has it changed?
We also visited a small distillery Sebastian's. they produce a very dark rum that is OK at times. The Sebastian's bottle pictured here has a photocopied label that is scotch taped to the bottle.

Another time the label was commercial and the rum tasted a little different. Anyone know any info about Sebastian's?

Here aare the Sea Wynde and Lemon Hart labels.









 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2009-07-21 12:01 pm   Permalink

Pusser's used to buy rum from DDL, but they no longer do. There is no Guyana rum in there. There may be molasses from Guyana that was turned into rum in another country and used in the Pusser's blend, but that's another story- Guyana is a net exporter of molasses and many countries use Guyana molasses. Pusser's is vague today about where the rum comes from- yes it has definitely changed. There were also some ownership changes, but now it is back in the hands of the founder.

Sebastian's! Haven't seen that since 2001. Did you actually see a distillery? I thought they just bought rum and spiced it themselves. When I bought a bottle, it was all photocopied labels and different bottles fished out of the trash that they used. Great little joint.


 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2009-07-24 07:19 am   Permalink

Well, they claimed they had a distillery. Never actually saw it though, just their tasting room.


We did go to Pusser's store in Road Town. A museum of the history of navy rum.













 
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