Admiral Rodney Saint Lucia Rum HMS Formidable

Admiral Rodney Saint Lucia Rum HMS Formidable rum review by the fat rum pirateAdmiral Rodney Saint Lucia Rum HMS Formidable. As you may have guessed from the title this new edition to the Admiral Rodney line up is the “top of the range bottling”. There are now three regular editions of Admiral Rodney available – HMS Princessa, HMS Royal Oak (this being the original Admiral Rodney blend) and HMS Formidable.

HMS Princessa is the youngest blend in the series and Formidable the oldest. The line up will also be soon complimented by a “Cask Collection” limited edition rum. Saint Lucia Distillers were recently acquired by the “Groupe Bernard Hayot” who own Rhum J.M and Rhum Clement.

From speaking with representatives of Saint Lucia Distillers GBH found the sheer amount of marques used in some of the SLD rums to be very much at odds with what they have done for many years with Agricole rhums. With that in mind it is perhaps not surprising to see one of SLD’s more “simple” blends, all column get a re-vamp.

HMS Formidable will set you back around £70-75 for a 70cl bottle in the UK. It is bottled at 40% ABV. For your money you get a very attractive decanter style bottle with a rather large wooden topped, cork stopper. The Admiral Rodney logo has been updated to a gold italic typeface which can be a bit difficult to read in certain light.

The rums in this blend are aged between 9 and 12 years. Maturation has occurred exclusively in Saint Lucia. So it’s a fully tropically aged rum. It has been produced on a Coffey Column Still. There are no Pot Still distillates in any of the Admiral Rodney rums to date.

Some may turn their nose up at such things. I was fortunate enough to tr ia y the original Admiral Rodney long before I understood all things Pot and Column – I’ve always been glad I didn’t have such reservations about the rum. The original Admiral Rodney has long been a solid go to rum, when I want something not to challenging or aggressive.

In the glass HMS Formidable is a dark to golden brown with an orange hue.

On the nose you are met with the familiar herbal and pine cone notes of St Lucian Rum. Not quite grassy or salty but kind of in-between.

The nose is quite minty – spearmint and a touch of menthol. Further nosing reveals some toffee and milk chocolate. Following on from this is a good weight of spicy and quite fresh oak. This is a quite vibrant and punchy rum. A touch medicinal.

As sip reveals a well-integrated and nicely balanced array of flavours. An initial hit of peppermint quickly gives way to some ginger and a touch of clove. This is soon overtaken by a oaky and quite spicy mid palate. The 40% ABV on this one allows you to comfortably let it tingle along on your tongue. By doing so you it reveals the chocolate and cocoa notes.Admiral Rodney Saint Lucia Rum HMS Formidable rum review by the fat rum pirate

This is more complex than the HMS Royal Oak. It bridges a gap between that and the “old” 1931 series of rums. It is however, not quite as briny as those releases. In some respects less is more with this rum.

The finish is really good with a hit of nail varnish and a really nice weight of oak spices ginger and some lemon zest. This has a really nice balance all the way through it.

It is certainly more characterful than most column distilled rums could ever hope to be and has been really well put together.

That said it is quite a bit more expensive than the HMS Royal Oak and I wouldn’t say it is streets ahead of it overall. There are plenty of the 1931 rums still available and the new 1931 is due soon as well so these rums might struggle to find a following. Many will be turned off by it being all column and “only” 40% ABV.

We shall see.

Overall this is a really good rum but it neither surprised or disappointed.

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