Pusser's Rum Gunpowder Proof



Pusser's Rum Ltd

Price approx:




Guyana, British Virgin Islands


not specified



british, navy


blended modernist rum
raw material

Raw material:




column and pot stills



3 years in charred oak bourbon barrels

sugar added

Sugar added:

7 g/L

alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:




not specified


Skillfully told narratives stimulate the imagination and appeal to emotions. They intrigue, engage and are memorable. This is how marketers storytelling fulfills the sales tasks.

You can really be seduced by an officially woven story. Feel solidarity with sailors not being sure if proof of the severed drink is appropriate and resorting therefore alternative methods of measuring the alcohol content of rum rations. Feel distrust of the pusser and perhaps even satisfaction when justice is done, and he goes by gimmicks overboard. Finally, fraternize with the weary sailor clutching a cup of robust rum in his rough hands. It turns out, however, that every beautiful moment has an expiry date, so finally has come this doomsday, known as Black Tot Day,  and with it comes also a regret for that lost privilege, for this sacred tradition, which is no longer appropriate to modern times, with all those requirements in advanced military systems, phew.

The Royal Navy guaranteed hegemony on the high seas world and allowed imperial expansion. The Royal Navy is a symbol, a national pride that laid the foundations for the welfare of Great Britain. The bottle of Pusser's Rum is decorated with White Ensign and the British Navy marking, although the producer is a private company. And I am sincerely intrigued, how did it happen?

It seems you have to be Charles Tobias himself: a US Marine Corps fighter pilot serving in Vietnam, shot down in Laos; owner of a technology company from Silicon Valley, a multi-millionaire;  a sailor taking onboard a chimpanzee, a cheetah and a BBC crew. Then pull a few strings and with the support of US Marine Corps Arthur Hanson, just persuade Second Sea Admiral Lord Sir Gordon Tait. Think big, as they say.

It remains to create a brand identity, design a bottle and a label and here you go. The first series was launched in November 1979 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Then it's all downhill. Just donate $2 from each case sold to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and it will surely lead you in front of the Queen, which will solemnly honor you with the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). 👑


Matt Pietrek aka Cocktailwonk has quite interestingly deconstructed the myths surrounding the navy rum category. It's really engaging reading. 🧵

The manufacturer ensures that Pusser's is produced in accordance with the Royal Navy specification. In force on July 31, 1970, which  is an otherwise neat move. As usual the devil is in the details. The fact is that there was no official recipe. The rum was supplied to the navy by an external entity ED&F Man, which purchased components at different times from various distilleries. Therefore, one can only speak of a certain desired flavor profile.

The producer states that navy rum must be made in wooden stills. Only Guyana's Demerara Distillers Limited meets this condition. Pusser's is actually created there. As recommended, the blend navy consisted of 60% Demerara rum, 30% Trinidad rum and the rest of unspecified origin. Currently, everything is distilled in Guyana. The recipe has therefore been transformed. Well, the important thing is that it maintains the proper flavor profile. And is economically justified.

Pusser's Rum Ltd doesn't engage the broker 'ED&F Man'. Distillation, aging, blending and bottling is handled by 'Demerara Distillers Ltd'. Molasses is made with sugarcane from the coastal valleys of Demerara. Blends are distilled in column and pot stills (including Port Mourant Double Wooden Pot Still). Although there is no age statement on the label, the blend consist of rather young rums, which mature for about three years in burnt oak bourbon casks. The measurements show 7g/l of sugar added.

Pungent molasses, treacle, toffee, honey and vanilla with oak, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
— as they tell
Vienna coffee. Dried plums. Burnt caramel.
— as examined by RumExam
Full-bodied with a more enhanced flavour profile.
— as they tell
Chili. Bitter coffee.
— as examined by RumExam
Long finish, smooth and mellow.
— as they tell
Dried apricots, cocoa.
— as examined by RumExam
⁖Reviewed on: December 4th, 2020