By Kevin Gray
on 6.8.11

Smith and Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum ($29) is what happened when importer Haus Alpenz teamed up with some industry luminaries to create a new rum – one that pays homage to the rums of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While many of today’s rums feature light and sweet flavor profiles, earlier era Jamaican rums were lauded for their complexity and full flavors.

The Smith and Cross Rum is intensely flavorful and aromatic, with lots of molasses and vegetal notes folded into exotic fruits and spice. It’s viable as a sipper, but it really shows its value in cocktails, adding layers of depth to traditional rum drinks like the Daiquiri and the Million (Jamaican rum, lemon juice, sugar and Angostura bitters).

This “navy strength” rum is bottled at 57% alcohol by volume, the proof traditionally required by the British Royal Navy. The potency served dual roles; it provided a consistent proof for trading purposes, and, perhaps more importantly, an onboard spill would not prevent gunpowder from igniting. Drunk or not, sailors still had to fire upon the enemy.

Buy Now: $29