“It’s just that I’d rather die of drink than of thirst” — James Bond in Ian Fleming’s Thunderball
The guests to Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye villa in Jamaica were welcomed with a singular cocktail called the “Old Man’s Thing.”
The recipe for the mixture, as “Shaken,” the official 007 cocktail book recounts, included a peeled orange and lime; a few bottles of rum and, perhaps most crucially, a lit match.
Fleming drank the cocktail exclusively in Jamaica, at the Goldeneye estate where he created the James Bond character and wrote all of the James Bond novels.
It’s fitting, then, as Bond returns to Jamaica this year, that he should have a rum worthy of a Double-0.
The new release is called 007 Limited Edition Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum, and it’s a special bottling timed for the launch of “No Time to Die.”
Of course, there’s far more to the connection than a fiery cocktail.
Blackwell, which first launched back in 2008, is the brainchild of music mogul Chris Blackwell, perhaps best known as the man who first signed Bob Marley.
Of course, Blackwell is also the owner of Fleming’s aforementioned Jamaican villa, Goldeneye, now a sought-after luxury resort.
And his connection with Fleming and the Bond franchise runs deep.
Blackwell, whose mother, Blanche, was Ian Fleming’s neighbor next to Goldeneye (and said to be a “muse” for the Bond novels).
And Chris himself was a location scout on the first Bond film, Dr. No, and even made a cameo, enjoying lunches with Fleming as a child.
“James Bond has been a big part of my life,” Blackwell says. “It was a pleasure working alongside the No Time To Die production team in Jamaica providing our iconic rum for the set in James Bond’s house, which has made this very special relationship come full circle.”
The film, which begins with a retired Bond at leisure in a Jamaican villa, is the first Bond film to use Jamaica as a filming location since Live and Let Die in 1973, which, among other stops, saw Bond stay inside a cottage at Montego Bay’s Half Moon resort posing for the fictional island of San Monique.
Indeed, Jamaica, as producer Barbara Broccoli said at the film’s production launch event last year, is the “spiritual home” of James Bond.
And that brings us to Blackwell 007.
Blackwell is made by J. Wray & Nephew, Jamaica’s leading rum distillery (a company that Chris Blackwell’s family actually owned), and shaped by Appleton Estate’s master blender, Joy Spence.
So what’s it like?
The aroma has notes of caramel, vanilla, almond and a hint of spice.
The flavor profile is marked by notes of dried apricot, pineapple, mango, black pepper, coffee; and one of the signature notes of Jamaican rum: banana funk.
It’s very smooth, but it’s also filled with personality, a tropical partnership of elegance and boldness, with a wonderful drinkability.
It’s a very fine rum, one that works rather well neat or, if you like, in a cocktail.
Just don’t forget to bring a match.
For more, visit Blackwell Rum.
Rum Journal Rating: 92 Points