Jefferson’s 1785 Extra Fine Dark Rum

Jefferson's 1785 Dark Rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Jefferson family have a long and rich history in the rum world.  They were one of the first families to import sugar (and subsequently rum) to UK shores.  The family is preserved in history at the Rum Story attraction in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

I will spare you the history lesson and instead direct you to their website. I will instead focus on the rum under review rather than too much of the families history.

I’ve yet to visit the Rum Story exhibit but a friend of mine did and he brought back a bottle of Jefferson’s rum for me to try and review on the site.

Jefferson’s was previously stocked online by a couple of sellers but I have been able to find a bottle over the past couple of years.  It seems nowadays the only place you can get a bottle of this rum is from the Rum Story website.  The rum retails at £24.95 (plus £7.95 post and packing).  Jefferson’s is bottled at 40% ABV.  It comes in a standard bar bottle, you get a label over the screw cap and the labelling whilst slightly dated gives some information regarding the Jefferson family.

The rum is a blend of two pot and column distilled blends (a blend of a blend) from Guyana and Jamaica.  The average age of the rums in the overall blend when it is bottled is 8 years.

Jeffersons 1785 Dark Rum review by the fat rum pirate

When poured the rum is a dark brown colour and is a little dull, no shimmers or flashes of red.  The nose immediately hits you big hits off dark brown sugar and overripe black bananas rise up alongside some strong heavy alcohol notes.  Jamaican funk is very much present.  A little honey and nuts mix with more spicy notes of cinnamon and a strong treacly note.

As a Jamaican rum I would say it is in the middle ground.  It’s not quite as refined as Appleton but it isn’t as dunder and ester heavy as Hampden or Smith & Cross.  It doesn’t seem as refined as Appleton 8 and has a lot more rough edges.  The Guyanese part of the blend is largely lost flavour wise in the mix and not really offering all that much, such is the upfront flavour of the Jamaican part.  It is probably mellowing out the overall profile though.

As a sipper it is still a liitle bit to rough,  It’s very flavourful but its still a little bit to harsh to really enjoy without an ice cube to take some of the edge off (which kind of misses the point of sipping, as it takes some of the flavour away!).  It’s okay but the balance isn’t quite right.

As a mixer is where Jefferson’s 1785 really comes alive.  The Pot Still elements Jeffersons 1785 Dark Rum review by the fat rum pirateof the Jamaican rum really work beautifully with cola.  Producing a very “rummy” rum and cola.  What was quite harsh when sipped suddenly becomes very smooth.  The strong flavours really compliment the cola giving a rich treacly drink.  It’s very much a “hairs on your chest” kind of rum much like Pusser’s.  There is a slight bitterness to the finish which I’m not massively keen on but other than that this gives you a very good rum and cola.  Again the Demerara blend in the rum doesn’t really stand out this is very much a Jamaican rum and coke.  It’s reasonably funky but is more molasses driven than most Jamaicans.  Rich and almost liquorice like – its not quite as intense on the molasses as Myers’s but its not a hundred miles away from that profile.  It packs a little more tropical fruit and funk.

At only £25 a bottle I really wish this was more widely available.  This could easily become my mixing rum of choice.

I read a recent review from Rum Nerd on this rum whilst I was researching the heritage of this rum.  He also was surprised at how good this unheralded rum is.  His review is here.  It’s funny as we have both recently reviewed “blister packs” of Rhum Negrita as well!

This reminds me of a few different rums but I think the one I find it most similar to is The Duppy Share.  This is not quite as well balanced or as refined but its a good few pounds cheaper.

This is a very decent unheralded rum.  If you do get the chance please give it a try.

4 stars




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