For three centuries, the daily “tot” was a staple of British maritime life.
Sailors in the Royal Navy received a daily “tot” or ration of rum — a practice that lasted until July 31, 1970 — a day that lives in infamy as “Black Tot Day.”
Some of that final Royal Navy rum survived, however, eventually finding its way into bottles as Black Tot Last Consignment, bottled from antique stone flagons containing what were the last stocks of Royal Navy Rum.
Of course, there are only so many old stone flagons around — and the company behind Black Tot decided to continue with a new, replicable blend, one that honored the history of the Royal Navy blend.
It’s called Black Tot Finest Caribbean Rum, and it’s, well, marvelous.
The 46.2-degree blend is blended by the company’s Oliver Chilton, who has expertly joined rums from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica.
So what’s actually in it?
Black Tot says 35 percent of the rum is 5-year-old Barbados pot and column still rum; 40 percent of the rum is a blend of three-to-five-year-old Guyanese pot and column still rum, along with 20 percent unaged Guyana pot and column still rum.
And finally, there’s Jamaican juice, too, with 5 percent comprised of three-year-old Jamaican pot still rum.
So what’s it actually like?
Black Tot FCR has an aroma of orange peel, oak, dried mango and fennel.
The flavor profile is marked by marzipan, citrus zest, baking powder, banana, black pepper, almond, vanilla, cardamom and toffee.
For rum lovers, it’s a delight to parse the rum, identifying the rums of each country, each sections of a sugarcane orchestra.
There’s the loud, percussive, funky bananas of the Jamaican rum; the brassy, woody, robust personality of the Guyanese juice; and then there’s the string section – the clean, composed vanilla and almond of the Bajan rum.
Chilton is a wonderful conductor, deftly turning these varied instruments into what is a masterful rum symphony.
In other words, it’s a triumph, and a worthy successor to those old stone flagons.
Rum Journal Review: 95 Points