Admiral Rodney Officer’s Releases No.1 – Port Cask Finish

Admiral Rodney Officer's Releases No.1 - Port Cask Finish rum review by the fat rum pirateAdmiral Rodney Officer’s Releases No.1 – Port Cask Finish. Admiral Rodney is a rum brand, which is produced by Saint Lucia Distillers. It started off as a single name for one of their rums. Since then the rum has expanded into a range of 3 core rums, and a (dosed) Denmark only release. Now they are beginning a series entitled the Officer’s Releases.

Admiral Rodney or George Brydges Rodney was British Naval Officer who prevented a French invasion of Saint Lucia in 1782 “The Battle of the Saintes”. He has a bay “Rodney Bay” named after him on the island. Which is now recognised as the islands best entertainment and recreation centre.

The Admiral Rodney brand is a bit of an outlier. In terms of the stills available to Saint Lucia Distillers, it often comes as a surprise when people find the brand is a 100% column distillate. Unfortunately, too much macho posturing in Facebook groups and misguided, uninformed rhetoric has led many people to believe Pot Still rum to to be the be all and end all. Let’s make one thing very clear – the type of rum produced on the two column Coffey Still in place at Saint Lucia is far, far different from anything produced at a multi column alcohol plant………

Admiral Rodney Officer’s Releases No.1 – Port Cask Finish is a blend of rums using the 45 plate Coffey Column still which was installed at Saint Lucia Distillers in 1984. All the Admiral Rodney rums are extracted from the bottom plates of the still.

Admiral Rodney Officer’s Releases No.1 – Port Cask Finish was released earlier this year. It is currently available at a number of retailers. I picked up my bottle at The Whisky Exchange for £66.95. The rum has been bottled at 45% ABV. Presentation wise it is in keeping with the revamp of the brand which took place around 3 years ago. The oversized cork stopper continues to be a key presentation point and the decanter style bottle is very “premium” looking. a sturdy cardboard sleeve also ensures you can keep your rum out of direct sunlight and other nasties. The oversize cork stopper also notes the phrase “Break the Line” which was a tactic used by Admiral Rodney to defeat the French back in 1782.Admiral Rodney Officer's Releases No.1 - Port Cask Finish rum review by the fat rum pirate

In terms of the actual rum in the bottle. As mentioned it is from the Coffey Column and the rums were distilled in March 2006. The rums were originally aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 13 years. The rum was then placed in 13 year old Port Casks made from European oak and aged for a further 9 months. This rum was bottled in early 2020. The rum has been entirely tropically aged.

So I think that pretty much covers everything I know about this rum so we’ll move on to the nosing and tasting.

In the glass Admiral Rodney Officer’s Releases No.1 – Port Cask Finish is a very vibrant mahogany colour, with a reddish hue.

On the nose you immediately get the Port Cask. Lots of sweet raisins, sultanas and rich dark plum. It is sweet with a real note of honey, vanilla and a good balance of spicy oak.

It’s not a difficult rum to nose – it’s not challenging or intense. It just has a nice balance to it and a clear direction of what it is trying to achieve.

On the sip it is quite reminiscent of the English Harbour Port Cask Finish, which is in no way a problem. I really enjoyed that rum. The Port Cask does have quite an influence on this rum. So if you don’t like a sweeter unsweetened rum (?) – then you might want to look to something else. On the initial sip you get a lot of soft vibrant fruits. Peach, raisin, sultana a touch of overripe juicy pear.

The mid palate is drier with notes of tobacco and with more oak and bourbon esque notes. There is a touch of liquorice there as well which leads you nicely into the finish.

Finish wise the fruitiness returns with an extra layer of sweetness and a nice hit of sweet red liquorice. The 45% ABV gives the rum a decent length of finish and I think it Admiral Rodney Officer's Releases No.1 - Port Cask Finish rum review by the fat rum pirateworks quite well to give the rum an overall balance. I’m not sure if a higher ABV would necessarily improve this rum.

The finish lingers with notes of toffee, tobacco and some pipe smoke.

Overall the rum shows the quality that can still be obtained from column distilled rum. This is also a good example of a “finished” or “secondary maturation” style of rum. The Port Cask influence is definitely there but there are other facets to this rum other than just sweetness.

All in all an impressive effort and definitely one for the Port Cask lovers to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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