Review: J. Gow Culverin

J. Gow is one Scottish rum brand that’s on my radar, especially when it comes to new releases. The rum is named after an infamous Orkney pirate called John Gow. While most rum brands that use pirate lore as their marketing point are usually not worth checking out, J. Gow is the exception and, honestly, their use of the theme is also more classy.

The newest addition to their core, continuous range is an unaged rum, which might be a bit backwards, but Collin van Schayk, the owner of the brand, focused on putting out aged bottlings first – a strategy that I think it was the right call in the long run. I have reviewed both the J. Gow Revenge and Fading Light previously here, just saying.

The name Culverin comes from a cannon with the same name that was used on the seas in the 16th century and could fire up to 8kg round shot to distances over 1km. Their website suggests that this rum also “has a long range and packs a punch” – I’ll have to check that myself.

J. Gow Culverin is molasses based, fermented over 5 days and pot still distilled up to 85% ABV – the label states the marque for this is TC. Bottled at 50% ABV and pure of any adulterants.

On the nose it almost feels aged. Baked biscuits, light honey, butterscotch and printer ink. Black pepper, lemon zest, iron and whipped cream. It does have an aroma I’m familiar with from most UK unaged rums but generally more intense. A touch of cloves and vanilla too along with some wall paint.

On the palate it has a nice, oily mouthfeel. Biscuits, vanilla, angelica root and lemon zest. Black pepper, toffee and cacao nibs. It has a metallic taste to it with a hint of allspice as well. Green apples, single cream and agave syrup. The finish is medium to long with lemon zest and biscuits.

Yep, certainly a good quality Scottish unaged rum, definitely wasn’t expecting less – but I would lie if I say I didn’t have bigger expectations. It is full bodied and complex even without wood influence, for sure, but the finish was cut just a little bit short for me. That’s just what happens when my expectations are high, but I guess I’m just used to their fantastic aged offerings.

Don’t let my little criticism put you off, this is a great Scottish unaged rum that clocks an impressive 50% ABV and it only costs £35, available to buy from their website – and you definitely should!

J. Gow Culverin score:
Flavour/taste: 52/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 81/100


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