Australian sailors once enjoyed free booze from Britain's navy, Black Tot's new rum honors that tradition

Australian sailors once enjoyed free booze from Britain's navy, Black Tot's new rum honors that tradition
Courtesy of Whisky Galore

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 Master Blender's Reserve will be released for the first time in the United States.

It was the British Navy that gave free alcohol to drunken sailors of yore, so you can get a taste of what they rationed.

As a tribute to 100 years since Australian sailors were given rum rations in the British Royal Navy in 2021, Black Tot Master Blender's Reserve Rum is now available in the US. As a result, a literal liquid history is created from the original rum blend from the Royal Navy.

There's not much left of that tiny bit of old rum, and that's what makes it special. From the early 19th century to 1970, the drink was continuously blended in a solera style system from a combination of rums from different countries that were kept in wooden vats. Sukhinder Singh, founder of Black Tot, had the fortunate opportunity to obtain the last flagons of rum, which was divided out among sailors to keep them happy and mutiny-averse.

This rare rum is present in just .3 percent of the 2021 Black Tot edition, so you may not be able to taste it. Although you won't be able to taste it, you will definitely be able to discern each rum's distinct characteristics on your palate. To pick up new flavors before bottling, Black Tot 50th Anniversary Rum was aged in ex-sherry casks for about a year before bottling. There were also layers of aged rum added, including rums aged 10 to 11, and rums aged 24 years to Trinidad, rums aged 10 to 17 years from Barbados, rums aged 9 to 14 years from Jamaica, and rums aged 14 to 17 years from Guyana. There will be just under 1,000 bottles available in the US, and it is non-chill filtered and does not contain sugar.

As it is currently only available in the UK, Master Blender's Reserve Rum 2022 will not be available in the United States until the end of the year. Aside from the sherry cask-finished 2021 version, this release also contains rums aged 2-30 years from Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad. A small amount of British Royal Navy rum is included as well. You'll have to wait until 2021 if you're stateside.

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