Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope

Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope. This is the third release of Dead Reckoning Rum” from Australian Rum Enthusiast and Importer Justin Boseley who heads up La Rumbla Imports over in his native Australia.

Not content with bringing the likes of Mezan, Mhoba, Privateer and Sampan to Australian shores, Justin has also set up his own rum brand in the shape of Dead Reckoning Rum.

At present their rums are really only available in Australia. In fact I’m not entirely sure even if you are in Australia, if you will find much of the first two Dead Reckoning Rum releases. Both were limited editions. The releases up to now at least are “single batch” rather than continuous ongoing expressions.

With this release their is arguably scope to produce a more continuous product but as it stands this HMS Antelope is also a Limited Edition. As you can see from the photo there are 705 bottles in this release. My bottle is number 403

Which tells you its not a Single Cask Rum – it’s actually a blend of rums. More specifically its aimed at being a Navy Blend of Rums. It’s very much paying homage to Justin’s Grandpa Sidney Bosley, who was born in Kent, England and took part in World War 2. He was onboard the HMS Antelope as a sailor. For more information on the HMS Antelope take a look on Wikipedia.

So that’s the reason for the name but what about the juice in the bottle? Well it’s a blend of rums from ex-British colonies. So the usual suspects are to be found.

So we have rum from Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados. There is a slight curveball, though not an entirely unexpected one – in that we have some rum from Queensland, Australia in the blend. It has been documented that Australian rum was historically used in some rum supplied to the Royal British Navy but it is not the first Port of Call many people would think of.

I don’t know the exact ratios of the blend, Dead Reckoning have not went all Black Tot on us and given us every tiny detail of the blend. So we have in the blend as follows

4 Year Old Pot Still rum from Australia. The distillery isn’t disclosed by Dead Reckoning but I will take and educated guess and say its Beenleigh Distillery.

3-5 Year Old Column Still rum from Angostura, Trinidad.

3 Year Old Pot Still Rum from Worthy Park, Jamaica.

2 to 5 Year Old Pot/Column Still Rum from Diamond Distillery, Guyana.

and finally

2-5 Year Old Pot/Column Still Rum from Foursquare, Barbados.

So taking all things into consideration we are looking at a rum with an average age of around 3-4 years depending on the ratios etc. We aren’t talking a really long aged rum blend.

Price wise and Australia is possibly even more expensive for spirits than the UK this retails at around the $150 Australian Dollars mark. Which is a shade under £/€80 for those in the UK and Europe. It has been bottled at 55% ABV, which also plays a part in the price. Like the UK tax varies dependant on certain ABV thresholds. I’m not going to claim to be an expert on alcohol prices/taxation in Australia. If you wish to make some kind of comparison to get a feel for the price Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof rum is $99 from La Rumbla Imports. If we say Pusser’s is £35 in the UK then Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope is around £52.50. (Not that we would EVER get it over here at that price!)

I do know from personal experience it was pretty expensive to drink when I was over there over 10 years ago. Not so much in the bars but certainly in terms of picking up something to drink in the hotel room – you weren’t saving much at all. That said I didn’t have a car when I was over there so never really ventured into a Supermarket. My options were mostly limited to the “onsite” bottle shops attached to most bars in Sydney and Cairns. So this might also have played a part in the prices I encountered. Anyway I digress…..

Back to the review. Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope comes in a rounded stubby Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope Rum Review by the fat rum piratestyle bottle. The seal on the lid has some wax over it. Whenever I get wax on my lid (ooooooh Matron!) I expect a cork stopper. Apart from when I buy miniatures from Master of Malt. So I was a little surprised to find (after looking for a “string pull”) that their was no cork just a black plastic screw cap. The bottle has a nice heavy base and the package is nicely put together.

That said its good quality its not a metal screw cap and the “threading” is on the glass bottle. So its very secure and should keep your rum nice and fresh. I rarely have a problem with this myself as it never usually lasts long enough to get tainted etc.

As far as the label goes the front label gives us all the relevant information on the make up of the rum and the label goes right around the bottle giving more background about HMS Antelope and Sidney Bosely.

I’ve written nearly 900 words already! So I best get on with the tasting and nosing before this turns into War and Peace.

In the glass Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope is a golden brown. The rear label also points out that it is has not been sweetened or coloured and it is (I always hear Ralfy’s voice when I read this) non-chill filtered.

I think the sweetening of rum continues to be a big talking point in the rum world. I know Justin like myself is pretty much against it. Now whilst some people get their knickers in a twist over colouring – I tend not to get as upset about that. Chill Filtration – the process does sound like it would take way some of the flavour of the rum so it’s re-assuring to see that has not been carried out as well.

The nose delivers a lovely fruity sweetness – Apricots/Peaches, nice fruity raisins and some coconut milk. I’m also getting a milky chocolate Worthy Park like note coming through. There’s some Pineapple juice and a nice hit of Jamaican “funk”.

There is also a good weight of spice with some ginger and a touch of nutmeg. I’m getting some nice oak notes but they are quite light and almost fruity rather than very woody.

At 55% ABV the nose is surprisingly approachable, even as the first drink of the day. It has a oily/mucky kind of vibe to it as well. I’m not quite sure which of the rums give it this but I often find this with younger Demerara. There’s a kind of young Versailles Still “menace” going on in this blend. There is something a little “sharp” about the rum which I rather like. I don’t like my rum like sugary water…….

More time in the glass seems to make the nose sweeter. I’m now getting an almost candied Strawberry note and a big dollop of Cornish Vanilla Ice Cream.

As you can see from the notes – there is a lot going on with this nose and I have to say I’m more than enjoying just nosing this for now.

Needs must though and I must get this review completed. So I guess I best take one for the team and give this Navy Blend a sip or two.

A sip of Dead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope is certainly not a disappointment. It delivers a lot of complexity. It’s quite dry – the Demerara rum is not the dominant player in this Navy Rum.

There is an initial sweetness on the sip – touch of icing sugar. However, this quickly moves into a richer, slightly savoury in some ways delivery. I’m getting more of the spices and definitely more oak. It’s quite “peppery” and the ABV does show itself more than on the nose. It’s hairs on the chest kind of rum. You could imagine sailors drinking something quite similar to this.

The mid palate evolves and some of the sweetness returns – dark chocolate, milky slighty bitter tea, some stewed fruits, maybe a touch of marmalade and orange zest?

I think the Pot Still Rum from Beenleigh delivers quite a lot of the “oomph” in this blend. It has an almost whisky like kick which gives it a touch of something a bit more malty which seems to meld nicely with the funkier Jamaican Pineapple and Mango notes (?). It reminds me a little of The Duchess Beenleigh release I reviewed last year.

The Angostura and Foursquare elements of this rum are probably supplying the more subtle notes and some of the fruitier elements. Adding a little sweetness to the blend.

Finish wise it has a surprisingly good length to it. The ABV obviously helps with this but you aren’t just left with a boozy blast. It has an almost medicinal and slightly tannic finish with lots of cocoa and some cough medicine like notes. The Jamaican and possibly the Beenleigh rum return in the shape of some funky notes of Pineapple, mango and some guava.

It’s a really interesting rum in that time taken between sips – really seems to make a difference to the profile. If you take a couple of quick sips the overaDead Reckoning Rum HMS Antelope Rum Review by the fat rum piratell profile remains quite fruity. More time in between and your palate seems to pick up more of the complexities.

I think from the notes (and the size of this review) that it is pretty obvious that I have enjoyed this rum – a lot. In a blind tasting I would have put this as being at least twice its average age. It drinks very much like something aged for at least 8 years.

Hats of to Justin on the blend as this is a pretty awesome assembly of what is essentially not really “old” or well aged rum. It works well though. Rum from quality producers – even at a relatively young age will beat those 25 Year Solera Additive ridden concoctions all day long for me.

Excellent. Highly recommended – if you do come across a bottle buy one!





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