Pussers 15 Year Old Rum was relaunched in the UK in late 2018. Not only has the rum packaging been given a smart face-lift with a new bottle and box, but the rum has been given an overhaul and re-blend too.
Pussers Rum is named after the Royal Naval Slang for a purser, a ship’s supply officer. For more than 300 years sailors of the Royal Navy were issued a daily rum ration or “tot”, a highly welcome daily comfort when one was away from home for many months. The Rum Ration was abolished on the 31st July 1970 (“The Black Day”) and the Pusser’s Rum name quietly lay dormant until 1979 when the entrepreneur Charles Tobias sought to resurrect the Pusser’s Rum tradition. Tobias managed to obtain the rights and the blending information from the Admiralty, set up Pussers Rum Ltd on Tortola and, in 1980, began selling Pusser’s Rum to the public for the very first time. Today’s Pusser’s is still produced in exact accordance with the Admiralty’s specifications for rum.
The previous bottling of Pusser’s 15 Year Old Rum was a blend of Guyanese and Trinidadian rums. The new, 2018, bottling is 100% Guyanese Rum. The 15 Year Old has always differed from the Blue Label and the Gunpowder Rums in that it is not only aged for a lot longer in oak barrels (the Blue and Gunpowder are around 3 years old) but it is also made from rum distilled in an old double wooden sided pot stills blended with some column still rums. These old wooden sided stills have been in production since 1732 and were originally located at the Port Mourant distillery and are now owned by Demerara Distillers Limited. Along with the Port Mourant double sided pot still they operate the only other two wooden sided stills in the world – a Versaille wooden pot still and an Enmore wooden Coffey still. The old Grrenheart staves of the historic Port Mourant stills provide flavour compounds that simply cannot be obtained in modern, metal stills.
Pussers 15 Year Old Rum is softer, smoother, mellower and lighter than the Pussers Blue Label and the bigger, stronger Gunpowder Proof. Unlike most rums, Pusser’s uses no flavouring agents. It is 100% natural. Pusser’s is said by connoisseurs to be more like a fine brandy than a rum, with a full, rich flavour and a smoothness which are unsurpassed. Bottled at 40% ABV.
General consensus seems to be that this is a bit of an upgrade compared to the previous bottling. I tried a tiny sip (not enough to make any notes from) and it was very good! Less sweet and fruity than the old version. My own tasting notes to follow in due course. In the meantime, check out The Fat Rum Pirate’s review here.