Tasting Notes for Black Tot Finest Caribbean Rum
Nose: The copper-coloured liquid is immediately inviting, with tropical breezes of pineapple, melon and a feast of Caribbean sweets. Thick scents of banana fritters, plantain tarts, overripe mango and crème brûlée are lifted by fresh honeysuckle blossom and eucalyptus.
Taste: Rounded and rich, with butter toffee, banana cream, and caramel to start. Gentle cinnamon and allspice build with more fruit – baked apples, pineapple cubes, and dried mango – joined by coffee, dark chocolate, and black pepper.
Finish: Chocolatey coffee fades, leaving roasted bananas and a tingle of anise.
Black Tot is a modern take on an old style of rum, inspired by more than three centuries of naval tradition. Bringing together the core components of British Naval rum, Black Tot is fresh and fruity spirit that blows the cobwebs off the stylebook. Rather than the rich and dark style of the past, Black Tot layers elegant and fruity Barbados rum with rich and full-bodied Guyanan and funky Jamaican to create a rum that marries tropical fruit tones with a rich undercurrent of chocolate and coffee.
The daily tot was a naval tradition that ran for centuries. It was a daily ration of rum given to the sailors aboard a ship. There are two acceptable start dates for the tradition: the day when the first tot was given out, or the day when the tot became a daily ration. In 1655 the British battled the Spanish for the island of Jamaica, and after winning the battle, Admiral William Penn rewarded his men with a measure of rum. It was not until 1731 that rum was issued as a ration – half a pint of overproof rum was given to each crew member (no wonder nobody knew what to do with the drunken sailor – they couldn’t pick him out!)
Over the years the rum ration was halved, diluted and debated. 1740 saw Admiral Edward Vernon decimate the rum ration, halving it and watering it down. The 20th century brought an end to the daily tot. Machinery had become too advanced and the stakes were higher... we couldn’t have sailors knocking back a measure of rum, then handling all of this modern weaponry. The 31 July 1970 saw funerals held on what became known as Black Tot Day.
Launched in 2019, Black Tot rum seeks to revive this old navy rum blend for the modern palate. The head honchos of Elixir Distillers spent two years crafting the Black Tot Finest Caribbean rum – it’s no surprise it took so long to get right considering the multitude of considerations. Whilst Jamaican rum hadn’t been a main feature of the British naval blend, it was brought into the Black Tot to provide a vibrance. Guyanese rum is also featured in honour of its integral role in the traditional recipe, whilst the bright tropical fruits of Barbadian rum were impossible to ignore.
Producer Elixer Distillers Style A blend of rums from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica. Age No age statement Volume 70CL ABV 46.2%