Black Tot, a Caribbean rum symphony


For three centuries, the daily “tot” has been a staple in British maritime life.

Royal Navy sailors were given a daily “tot” or ration of rum – a practice that lasted until July 31, 1970 – a day that lives in infamy as “Black Tot Day”.

However, some of this last Royal Navy rum survived, eventually ending up in bottles as the Black Tot Last Consignment, bottled from antique stone vials containing the last stocks of Royal Navy rum.

Of course, there are only a limited number of old stone vials – and the company behind Black Tot has decided to continue with a new, reproducible blend, which honors the history of Royal Navy blending.

It’s called Black Tot Finest Caribbean Rum, and it’s, well, wonderful.

The 46.2 degree blend is blended by the company’s Oliver Chilton, who has expertly paired rums from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica.

So what’s in it?

Black Tot says that 35% of the rum is 5 year old Barbadian pot and column rum; 40 percent rum is a blend of three to five-year-old tub and column Guyanese rum, as well as 20 percent unaged tub and column Guyanese rum.

And finally, there’s Jamaican juice too, with 5 percent being jarred Jamaican rum still three years old.

So what is it really?

Black Tot FCR has an aroma of orange peel, oak, dried mango and fennel.

The flavor profile is marked by marzipan, citrus zest, baking powder, banana, black pepper, almond, vanilla, cardamom and caramel.

For rum lovers, it is a delight to analyze rum, identifying rums from each country, each section of a cane orchestra.

There are the loud, punchy, and funky bananas of Jamaican rum; the copper, woody, robust personality of Guyanese juice; and then there’s the string section – the clean vanilla and almond made from Bajan rum.

Chilton is a wonderful conductor, skillfully transforming these varied instruments into what is a masterful symphony of rum.

In other words, it is a triumph, and a worthy successor to those old stone flasks.

Rum Journal Review: 95 points

– CJ

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