Rum Journal: Jamaica’s Blackwell Rum

Chris Blackwell, Jr

Rum and music are woven deeply into the fabric of Jamaican society.

So it’s only natural that one of the country’s newest exports combines a strong tradition from both worlds.

Jamaica’s Blackwell Rum is the brainchild of legendary reggae music producer Chris Blackwell and marketing guru Richard Kirshenbaum; but while Blackwell’s name is synonymous with music, by the looks of it, it could soon forge a similar relationship with rum.

In fact, the Blackwell family tree has a long tradition in rum — at one time owning J Wray & Nephew.

Now, Blackwell’s son, Chris Blackwell, Jr, is leading the charge on the family’s eponymous brand, Blackwell Rum, which launched in Jamaica three years ago and is in the first year of its release in the United States.

Chris Blackwell, Jr

The rum has a strong foundation, being blended by Appleton’s Master Blender Joy Spence. It’s produced at J Wray and Nephew’s Appleton Estate.

“We’ve been focusing on this rum for a while,” Blackwell, Jr tells Rum Journal. We believe in it, we think it tastes good, and we’re trying to get people to try it.”

Rum and music are a natural pair, Blackwell says.

“They’re definitely connected in a way,” he tells Rum Journal. “Music is the key part of any party in Jamaica, and so is rum — so they meet together like that.”

The dark rum, which is barrel aged for one year, has seen a very positive response since its introduction in Jamaica, he says. And the company has simple plans for the United States:

“We want to be in every bar and every store.”

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Blackwell Rum, dubbed “Black Gold,” has a dark amber colour, with an slight aroma of orange peel and tropical fruit. Blackwell says the strongest hint is of burnt coconut, and that flavour surely emerges, along with toasted oak and citrus, all with a very smooth delivery.

We recommend the excellent Blackwell Rum on the rocks.