Review: Admiral Rodney Rums – Princessa, Royal Oak, and Formidable
Admiral Rodney is a line of St. Lucia-based rums from Spiribam, which is best known as the home of Rhum J.M., Clement, and other island rums. Admiral Rodney hasn’t been readily available in the U.S., but that changed last year when Spiribam brought the brand here in earnest. Three editions were launched in 2019 — each named after one of Admiral Georges Rodney’s naval ships; the rum we reviewed above seems to still be around, but it may be more difficult to find.
So, let’s check out this newly available trio of rums from Rodney! Each is bottled at 80 proof.
Admiral Rodney Princessa – A blend of pot and column distilled rum, aged for 5 to 9 years in ex-bourbon and Port casks. Interesting maple notes on the nose here, but it’s also quite woody and layered with some brooding spices. The Port cask influence becomes more evident on the palate, with a gentle raisin character and some chocolate notes. The wood punch remains heavy here, but it’s beautifully integrated with the brown sugar, dried fruit, and more spice on the finish. It also mixes well, but give the rum a bit of air time if you’re sipping straight. A- / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Admiral Rodney Royal Oak – The “original” Admiral Rodney blend, this is a mix of 7 to 12 year old column distilled rum. This has that almost sweet, candylike nose that is endemic to column-distilled rum, with notes of caramel and tropical fruit. The delicate palate has a bright, citrusy sweetness that’s instantly engaging, with an almost buttery character on the finish. There’s an outstanding balance here that never comes across as overly sweet, while the aftermath offers a light touch of maple. Solid stuff, and quite versatile. A / $80 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Admiral Rodney Formidable – A select cut of column-distilled rum, aged 9 to 12 years in bourbon casks. This is intended to be a bolder rum, and it certainly is, starting with the aggressive, wood forward nose and a funky, slightly raisiny molasses note that emerges in short order. The palate is brooding and thick with flavors that run from dried fruit to baking spice to gingerbread. The finish has some toasty wood, dark chocolate, and more dried berry notes to show, but there’s an austerity here that makes this feel like it could use some propping up to better showcase its charms. Try it in a rum-based Manhattan. A- / $130 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]