Admiral’s Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire

Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire rum review by the fat rum pirateAdmiral’s Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire. Sometime in the late noughties there was a brief craze for Sailor Jerry and Cola here in the UK. It was before I seriously drank rum in any shape of form. I confess I did take part. A little.

Now for some reason the UK version was a sweeter or more vanilla heavy variation on the “recipe” used by Sailor Jerry in the Rest of the World. Now despite the ongoing popularity of Sailor Jerry the producers decided to change the UK recipe in 2010, to that of the the rest of the world and stopped production of the UK recipe.

There was a bit of a grumble about this, as we English like to do. Just grumble not actually do anything about anything constructively. you understand. Heaven help us that we should take any action. No just have a little natter on to Betty next door about it. Or tell Bert what a disgrace it is next time we go down the club. We are not like the French, we don’t bring the entire of Europe to a standstill when we don’t get our own way. No we make memes and grumble on Facebook. Then we go and have a nice cup of tea. Maybe a nice biscuit or some cake. Action? We aren’t savages you know!

Only on this occasion someone did actually do something about it. A former employee of First Drinks (Sailor Jerry’s distributor at the time in the UK) Thomas G Hurst became brand manager for LWC Drinks and he helped launch Admiral Vernon’s Old J Spiced, which rather indiscreetly made it clear it was based as closely as it possibly could be on the old recipe Sailor Jerry. You can read a little more on the story here.

Thomas G Hurst has since went on to produce Spiced Rums under his Rockstar Spirits brand. I’m not adding any links as I don’t want to encourage anymore of this nonsense.

Now Old J is actually a pretty big deal over here in the UK. It is still distributed by LWC Drinks, who note on their website that they are the largest Independent Drinks Wholesaler in the UK. You will find variations of Old J Spiced Rum in a lot of bars up and down the country and in Scotland and Wales. They attend most of the big Rum Festivals and their stands are always very busy.

The rum from their portfolio that I am reviewing today is Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire. Though in fairness it is known pretty much as “Old J Tiki Fire” or just plain “Tiki Fire”. It has become something which is mostly drank as a shot on the party circuit or mixed in cocktails guaranteeing to blow your head off. I have reviewed Old J rum in the past. Though it usually takes a while before I am brave (or stupid) enough to try another.

So what do I actually have in my glass? Well this is just one of the 6 “Old J Signature Brands” in their portfolio. TIki, Gold, Spiced, Cherry, Silver and Dark. Despite the inclusion of a Gold, Silver and Dark rum they are all actually Spiced and/or flavoured rums. All of them seem to have a dose of the “Persian Lime and Smooth Vanilla”Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire rum review by the fat rum pirate

Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire is as the name suggests 151 proof so the ABV is an eye watering 75.5%. So it is strong stuff and as all good 151’s will usually tell you – not to be taken neat. The following is the information on this rum taken directly from the website

“The origins of Old J date back to 1740, when an admiral decided to enforce a reduction in the British Navy’s much-loved rum ration. Old J Tiki Fire redresses this historic reduction by increasing the strength to 151 proof, but keeps the spices, lime and sugar that make Old J what it is.

Tiki Fire is based on the same recipe as the original spiced Old J, but is bottled at an intense 75.5% ABV. Created with cocktail enthusiasts in mind, it is designed to add some heat to your mixology but also makes for a real fire-in-the-throat shot experience. Recognised with a Gold Award at the 2017 Rum Masters, it may taste like the original and smell like the original, but Tiki Fire is a different beast. You’ll know it when you feel it.”

Absolute fucking bollocks from start to finish. Absolutely no information stated at all either on the bottle of the website as to what the rum beneath this concoction actually is. I dare say it must be some pretty young rum likely from Trinidad. But I have no way of verifying this or anything else.

I have absolutely no information on the rum in this bottle. Apologies.

In the UK a bottle of Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire will cost around £35 for a 70cl bottle. The design is heavily stylised and “Tiki-fied”. I would imagine its appearance and ABV will appeal to young drunken idiots all over the country. Especially stupid young boys wanting to show how hard they are……..

So why don’t I allow my sense to be assaulted in the worst possible way for the next 10-15 minutes and likely completely ruin my sense of taste and smell for the next few hours at least.

Poured in the glass the liquid is a nice golden brown colour. In terms of the nose I imagine if Robinsons were ever to release some kind of Toffee and Vanilla squash this is what it would smell like prior to you adding any water for dilution.

It is mind boggling-ly sweet. Not just a little bit sweet. Not young cheap alcohol sweetness. This is like a bottle of Falernum with one shot of rum mixed in. Only it’s a horrible sweet sickly toffee, butterscotch and vanilla ice cream explosion. Then with an extra few hits of some kind of sickly ginger and cinnamon syrup on top.Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire rum review by the fat rum pirate

You really have to nose deeply into this (and it’s fucking painful), to get any kind of sense of the alcohol. I won’t say rum. This ain’t rum. I dare say you could bottle my piss with this much crap chucked into it and you wouldn’t be able to tell.

Sipped at the full ABV it is pretty much up there with Stroh. It is one of the worst spirits I have had the misfortune (or misadventure really) to try. The nose really does make you forget about the high ABV but a quick mouthful of this quickly reminds you it’s 75.5% ABV.

An initial burst of vanilla, ginger and toffee is then followed by your lips turning inside out as the Lime comes from nowhere along with a massive hit of burning, rubbing alcohol. I won’t even call it boozy. It’s like pouring molten lava onto your lips. It burns like nothing else before and the spices and the sweet toffee just heap on the misery to your mouth and throat.

I will not be surprised if my throat closes up completely after being subjected to this repulsive nonsense.

The second (and final) sip is less horrific in a way that having a finger removed is probably less painful than having your eyes cut out. In fact, I bet Ant didn’t even feel this much pain when he got a paintball in the eye on Byker Grove. At this point I’m considering a mouth transplant. I’m fully expecting my brain to ratchet my jaw shut. Or just shut down completely. It cannot be impressed.

This is bad and not just in a stupidly over the top ABV way. The spices or rather flavourings used are just so synthetic and just so cloying and OTT. It’s just utter garbage. Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire rum review by the fat rum pirate

I’m mixing the rest of this with cola. I’m not putting myself through anymore. I’ve got a fair amount of cola in my glass and not that much Old J left (thank the lord).

Even like this it is still far too sweet, far too synthetic and just lacks anything even approaching “rum”. It could be vodka under all this or anything really, it wouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter anyone “enjoying” this has no interest in rum. That much is very clear as you taste none!

It’s a novelty, let’s be fair any bartender worth his salt will know this stuff isn’t good. Well, they should anyway. It’s a bit of an embarrassment to Tiki but sadly no surprise it is so popular here in the UK.

Tiki Dire.




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2 comments on “Admiral’s Old J 151 Overproof Spiced Rum Tiki Fire

  1. I bought this vile thing a couple of years ago after reading some “great” reviews and being into Tiki at that time. Worst rum product I have ever tested. Makes Captain Morgan seem aged and refined and a connoisseurs choice. All I tasted was artificial vanilla extract. Full stop. I recently used to show my son how alcohol burns in a chemistry experiment so I guess it was useful in some way.

  2. The things you go through to keep us informed…….

    I am afraid though that the people drinking this kind of stuff don’t reed or care about reviews and the ones that do stay away from this kind of stuff anyway. But I have no doubt that even this will gather its own die-hard followers. Beyond salvation…

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