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March 2015
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Blackwell Rum – Black Gold

When i came to the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans this year i went to the Blackwell Rum and Reggae Pool Party which was held by the pool at the roof top of Hotel Monteleone – which to me seems the perfect place for such an event.

I didn`t really know what to expect from this rum…

I knew who Chris Blackwell was, the founder of Island Records which did recordings with the legendary Bob Marley among others. But what i didn´t know was that his grandfather owned J. Wray & Nephew — the equally legendary rum distillery on Jamaica. So there was a solid rum tradition in the family….

Also i had never met Chris Blackwell`s son – Christopher aka Chris Blackwell Jnr – but i did meet him there and we spoke a little bit about this rum and then before i moved on he handed me two bottles…and it´s rum from one of those i´m gonna use now in this post to let you know how i find it –  both neat and mixed in a few cocktails.

I was very curious when i stood there in the line at one of the rum bars with reggae music blasting and a huge happy rum drinking crowd all over the rooftop in the humid New Orleans summer heat.

Can you say life is sweet?

How would this rum taste? it sure looked good…dark brown aged rum made in Jamaica in a somewhat old fashioned style golden labeled dark brown bottle – it should be good…especially if made from the traditions of Wray & Nephew – but it was much better than i expected and that was surely a a very pleasant surprise to me.

I didn`t know what exactly to expect and since i have tasted many of the world´s best rums as well as some of the worst i have set a high standard for what i call a good rum and well…i wasn´t dissappointed at all.

It´s not a light rum – it´s typically Jamaican – colorful, rich and complex.

I had a few different cocktails from the bars and i enjoyed them all, actually i could have stayed there all night if the party had not had an end…

So…back here again with my two precious bottles…i`m gonna try to see if i can describe the flavors of this rum first.

It´s not that easy to try to describe flavors in words and the more complex a rum is the more flavors you`ll find and in stages – plus the flavors changes with and without water and ice.

To start with the nose – it`s sweet…sugarcane, toffee, vanilla, burnt brown sugar…the nose is very round and inviting.

On the palate it´s smooth, rich, dark, sugarcane and toffee, dried tropical fruit, vanilla, some oak but def not woody but rather sweet and a little bit of an “oily” mouthfeel, it´s very pleasant. It`s not light nor is it very heavy.

Ok let`s go with the cocktails! i decided to make a cocktail called the “Golden Eye” with rum and pineapple and then two of my own containing rum, coconut, coffee, pineapple, lime, sugar and chocolate.

Are you drooling yet? well – here we go:

The Golden Eye

2 oz Blackwell Rum

2 oz Pineapple Juice

Lime for garnish

Shake together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lime wedge – well i garnished with a pineapple leaf instead and used ice cubes in the glass.

Coconut Coffee Punch

2 oz Blackwell Rum

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz coconut milk

0.25 oz coffee liqueur

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

Shake together with ice and strain into a goblet filled with ice cubes, top with grated nutmeg and garnish with speared cherries and pineapple leaves.

We Be Jammin

1.5 oz Blackwell Rum

1 oz pineapple juice

1 egg white

2 dash chocolate bitters

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime

Shake hard to emulsify the egg white, or even better dry shake first without ice and then again with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a chocolate rim and cherry.


Here is Blackwell Rum`s website.

And here are a few pics from Blackwell Rum and Reggae Pool Party at the Monteleone in New Orleans:





4 comments to Blackwell Rum – Black Gold

  • JFL

    So I’ve heard Of Coconut Cream, Milk, And Water. But not juice! Care to share some enlightenment?

    Love your blog by the way! One of my favorites.

  • Thanks for that comment JFL! without it i would probably not have seen it, it was a typo, should be coconut milk! But that said…there is such a thing as coconut juice and that is just another name for the coconut water, you can read about it here – http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-coconut-w-140615

  • AdOrAdam

    Hi Tiare!

    Sorry to reply to this lovely review late.

    In the UK dark jamaican rums are a bit hard to come by, Myers being available & Appletons VX being a close sub.

    I quite like Blackwells, its definitely got dark caramel rummy Appleton-esq funk :-)

    If you were to compare it to other jamaican darks (Coruba, Myers, etc) what comes out on top?

  • Well, i think it also depends on what you gonna do with the rum, for example i think for sipping Appleton comes on top followed by Blackwell while i see Coruba as a pure mixing rum, Myers too.

    As for tiki drinks i think Coruba and Appleton comes on top followed by Blackwell and Myers. And as for Appleton, if it was a Mai Tai i`d not use VX but the Extra.

    So it´s hard to say…some rums goes best with specific drinks..and it´s not a rule that more expensive stuff goes best in any given drink, sometimes it´s the contrary.

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