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I've never quite experienced the explosion of wafty spice that this stuff brings to the palette. I'd serve it in a flight to demonstrate the range of odd possibilities that rum makers explore, but wouldn't turn to this as a daily sipping rum. It's like an exciting girl that you can't stop thinking about, might leave your wife for, is spectacular in bed, but ultimately but you know she's nothing but a fling.
Let's start like this, whoever said they drank this neat is a lying sack of ship. I like bold rums, I am quite the fan of navy rum for this reason. Now this is something else. This is like seeing your good buddy finally get a girlfriend and she is Kate Upton, this is like expecting your first kiss and you get 3rd base. This is like falling out of an airplane without a parachute. Smelling the guy you get a bit of the appleton mixed with pussers type of vibe. Drinking it straight is like nothing else. You get sausage slapped in the mouth with so much flavor your mouth redlines and your brain even goes crazy. Basically you cannot drink this straight. Even in coke this is one bold rum that will take your coke out back, slap it around a few times, make it wear a dress and make it call it daddy. It starts like this, lick an oak cask, now burn your house down and snuff up a bunch of fumes, throw in some appleton/pussers blend and that is what you have. I would rate it 10/10 but it's so overbearing straight I just can't call it perfect. But holy goodness this is one you won't forget. Give it to a friend as a shot and watch their face.
The blast from the nose lets you know quick that isn't anything that is a standard rum. The collection of flavors such as pepper, tobacco, sugar cane and dark chocolate make this rum something to enjoy in excellent cocktails or on its own.
definitely has a lot of single malt Scotch characteristics. malty sweetness, wood, hint of cognac, complex yet smooth (with quite a few drops of water). clean pleasant finish.
this tastes more Scotch than rum IMHO. I like it a lot. But if you are looking for the sweet/fruity rum taste, this may not be it. But I highly recommend to venture to it. For the price it is a safe investment.
Funky, pot-stilly goodness, a real traditional Jamaican treat.
Not in profile such as smoke and iodine but relative in pungency. Im sitting down with the Mezan Jam 2000 another Wedderburn rum. The Mezan is at 40% the S&C 57% so a water back is on the table as well. In side by side comparison the Mezan is a far easier and drinkable sipper. If your brave and not faint of heart the Smith & Cross is part and parcel to what pot still funky ester rum is. Most folks are probably going to view this as a mixing rum. This makes a great Dark and Stormy and I recommend Reeds over Fever. Keep it real.
Like Laphroaig you have to try this at least once in your life neat. For me it's easily one of my favorites for its unabashed pungency.
Not a 10 in the overall scheme of Rum but deserving of a 10 for what it does best and thats the dunder funk.
I can imagine Ahab's crew bolstering their courage with this at the approach of the great, white beast they pursue. Naval strength means if your knees are knocking while readying your harpoon, spilling your rum on the power charge, no worries - hit the cannon with the punk...she'll fire right up.
Not 'smooth'. A chain-mailed fist to the snout. Spice, orange, dark tea, molasses sugar but not burnt, the maximum security lifer whom you just got bunked with (goodbye virginity!), Pusser's on steriods....damn, this is good stuff! Add all the water you need, you can't dilute the stuff. Banana, cedar, tannins, and dried dark fruit bum-rush the palate. Toffee, pepper and a bit of salt - yeah...toffee - on the finish.
The people behind this deserve a standing ovation for daring to resurrect and bottle it, and are magicians for doing it at this price. Rum's riposte to cask strength Islay Scotch. Almost like no other rum you'll encounter.
I drank this "neat" and with coke. It was good and I liked it enough. Uhm it's good but that's about it for me.
At 57% ABV (114 proof) this navy strength rum will kick your ass. I will stomp a mudhole in ya and walk it dry. Definitely not a rum for the uninitiated. Initially upon sipping one gets a taste of sweetness...molasses...a little vanilla...and then the burn hits...a burn which feels like a layer of skin is being eaten away in ones throat leaving a little tingling on the tongue. But that all fades rather quickly enticing one to take another sip. Almost as a double-dog dare. This is he-man's rum. The amber color belies how little aging goes into this rum. I really cannot identify the aroma in the bottle but it's a good aroma. Admittedly this is the first overproof rum I have sampled so I really have no frame of reference but from the flavor I would seriously think it would work well in mixed drinks especially frozen and fruit-based drinks. Quite an interesting rum.
[UPDATE: A day after posting my initial review I tried this rum with Coke Zero. For whatever it's worth I used my normal 3oz of rum mixed with the 16.9oz bottle of Coke Zero knowing full well this was going to have more of a "kick" than the normal 80 proof rums I normally use in Coke Zero. Although it wasn't horrible, it wasn't good either. Ended up tossing it and fixing another rum & Coke Zero with an 80 proof rum. I will try it again someday but with half the amount of the S&C Navy Strength rum and see how that works.]
Unmistakably Jamaican, pre-industrial pot-still firewater. This type of rum drove the Spanish distillers to create overly-filtered, flavorless white rum (e.g. Bacardi) because they were horrified by the assaultive aromas and rotting-goat-carcass aftertaste of Jamaican rums such as Smith & Cross. Now that it's goat-free, why not enjoy some on the rocks?
This is powerful stuff! The nose is an assalut on your senses, bringing in lots of molasses and brown sugar. I like to drink it neat, but I can see that it is especially made to worj in coktails, with its strong smell and taste leaning towards molasses and being low on oak. Not a well rounded drink, but strong and kicking!
A very spicy, rough overproof rum. Great for cocktails!
Nose: fun and funky, distictive enough to shine through in a variety of cocktails
Taste: hints at complexity when neat and burn less severe than most over proof drinks , but a little water or melting ice opens up a brilliant funky molasses slightly orangey flavour with a long finish.
It's up there with my favourite Mezcals and Island Malts and whisk(e)y drinking friends all seem to love it in cocktails.
It's not easy to drink (not for beginners). Dense with a high esters number, heavy proof. Jamaican rum is a very particular and fantastic rum category.
Having trouble finding it in New York City right now. Little water opens it up. One of my favorite rums.
This is another one of my favorites as I enjoy the overproof rums. This has a strong pot still taste. Not too sweet, not too stiff. I personally enjoy it with mixed drinks and especially with ginger beer. This is one of my favorites rums right now.
Open it up with a drop or two of water-outstanding!
This is a serious challenging aromatic put-hair-on-your-chest (even if you're a woman) pot-stilled rum, with about 4-5 times the ester content of most rums.
If you find Pusser's or Appleton 12 year just too bland for you, give this one a try.
Pot stilled brilliance, real rum bottled at 57% so needs watering in the glass and a rest before drinking but is a taste explosion. A beautiful thing on it's own or with a full bodied cigar. Not for sugary liqueur rum lovers. A real rum gem.
The perfect gold rum for all manner of cocktail requiring overproof rom.
Awesome Jamaican rum. Amazing complexity and really the definition of Jamaican "funk". Some spice and plenty of octane :) Try it neat for the full experience.
Please, show me something better. And NOT something with added sugar.
I'm going to buy like 4 bottles of this next time I see it.
This rum has a lot going on and definitely is Jamaican. Have it neat and if you want a twist try some Mole Xocolatyl bitters with it - very nice way to end an evening
It's great at what it is meant for and that's in Tiki drinks. Straight? No.
Smith and Cross Navy Strength rum review and cocktail suggestions by A Mountain of Crushed Ice