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Black Tot

The historic Rum of the Royal Navy
Address Jamaica
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The history of Black Tot Rum is closely connected to the British colonisation of the Caribbean. In the early 1600s, English fleets sailed across the Atlantic to the Americas. During the long voyages in the hot climate of the tropics, wine could not be stored and likewise the water in the barrels rotted. The only beverages that held up well were distillates or wines that were fortified with spirits. The cultivation of sugar cane, introduced into the Caribbean area by the early Spanish colonisers, provided cane juice or molasses for the production of Rum, which soon became very popular among the sailors, privateers and pirates of the Caribbean Sea, and was known as Killer-Devil as a result of its rough and powerful character.

After the 1655 victory over the Spanish for control of Jamaica, the sailors of the English fleet were rewarded with rum, and from that moment on, the habit of drinking rum spread rapidly among the crews. In 1731, the Royal Navy decided to distribute a daily ration of rum to sailors, which was then known informally as a 'tot of rum'. This was done by purchasing barrels of spirits on the various Caribbean islands and mixing the different rums together before distributing half a pint to crew members. In 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon decided to reserve the pure Rum ration for officers only and instead distributed a Rum diluted with 4 parts water to seamen, which was distributed at midday and at the end of the day. The drink was named Grog, after the Admiral's nickname, Old Grog, which originated from his habit of wearing a Grogham coat. The distribution of rum to British sailors was not abolished until 31 July 1970, which became known in history as Black Tot Day.

The idea of producing a Black Tot Finest Caribbean Rum, which was inspired by this ancient tradition, originated from this custom. The recipe for the spirit that was distributed to sailors has been recreated, whilst trying to remain faithful to the original, although adapting it to contemporary tastes. Traditionally, the base is Guyanese rum, to which Barbados rum is added to give the sweet tropical fruit notes, while a Jamaican distillate provides richness and complexity. It took several years to develop the final blend, during which 26 different combinations were tried. Today, Black Tot Rum is the finest expression of the Caribbean's distilling culture and offers prestigious bottles that are full of charm and history.

The rums of Black Tot

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