Pusser’s marketing relies heavily on the Navy Rum story. They claim to be following the last Admiralty recipe for the Daily Tot that used to be issued to the British Sailors until it was discontinued (you could call it a Health and Safety issue) on the 31st of July 1970. While I’m not qualified enough to question these claims, it is known that Pusser’s Gunpowder changed its blend over time ending up being sourced entirely from Guyana due to logistical reasons.
Pusser’s 50th Anniversary, as the name suggests, has been released to celebrate 50 years since the Black Tot Day. There is a limited number of 5000 bottles that are being released in a few batches rather than all at once, with the first batch released at the end of last year. This is apparently the original Pusser’s Gunpowder recipe that was blended at WIRD in Barbados although it doesn’t contain any Barbadian rum. It’s a combination of distillates from 5 different stills from Trinidad and Guyana with a pretty heavy amount of juice coming from the Port Mourant Double Wooden Pot Still – known for producing a distillate with a distinctively liquorice note in the flavour profile. I’ve been told this has been aged around 4 years longer than the Gunpowder, making it “around 7 years old” and it doesn’t contain any additives although certain hydrometer tests challenge that. Bottled at 54.5% ABV in a black matte bottle – let’s splice the mainbrace now.
On the nose this is rich and dark. Dark chocolate and freshly brewed coffee complimented by the liquorice notes from the PM component. Nutmeg, pencil shavings, Guinness, allspice, walnuts, burnt orange peel and breakfast tea with milk. Roast mango, raspberries and banana bread covered in maple. Very inviting!
On the palate it’s exactly what I was expecting. Dark and rich notes complimented by spices and fruits. Dark cacao, coffee, plenty of liquorice again, marmalade and raspberry jam. Prunes steeped in molasses and Guinness… yes, I know how it sounds. There’s a little bit of smoke peaking at times. Caramelised bananas, tobacco, cloves, hints of coconut cream, some lemon zest and a pinch of salt. It really coats your mouth in a very pleasant way. The finish is long with hints of anise, smoke and raspberries.
This is very enjoyable and surprisingly complex. It’s amazing what the lack of sweeteners (presumably) and more time in a barrel can do to a really good blend and with a price point of only £50 I’d say this is up there with the ECS releases from Foursquare although definitely a different flavour profile. If you enjoy Navy Rums or simply a nice dose of Port Mourant in your glass then this is for you.
Pusser’s 50th Anniversary score*:
Value for money: 15/15
*see the About section for the Scoring system.