Tales of the Tot
SUGAR & SPICE - ARE ALL THINGS NICE?
One of the most common things you’ll hear people say about rum, is that it tastes ‘sweet’. Now this can be down to a couple of reasons - you may have a rum that has no added sugar, but has been blended in a certain way that gives the drinker a ‘perceived’ sweetness when tasting the rum. More likely though, is that sugar has been added to the rum post distillation - this is common practice across a vast number of rum brands. When a little sugar is added, it can taste delicious - when too much sugar is added it can taste sickly sweet. Some people prefer their rum dry, and the addition of any sugar added is too much - you should find your own preferences on what you enjoy drinking. While we don’t believe that either way is right or wrong, the preference of our blenders at Black Tot is to not add sugar, as we prefer a dry palate on our rums.
Unfortunately in the rum world, it is common for a lack of transparency behind whether sugar is added to a particular rum. This lack of transparency often causes mistrust in rum brands, and has led to many personal websites being set up to independently verifying whether or not rum has added sugar.
It should be noted, that in many countries you’re not allowed to list sugar content on the label, and so many brands will choose to put the information instead on their websites. Either way, we are big fans of rum brands that are transparent about their practices, whatever they choose to do.
We don’t add any sugar to our Black Tot Finest Caribbean, however it picks up 0.64g/litre of sugar from the Ex-Bourbon barrels we age it in. This equates to approximately 0.45g sugar per 700ml bottle of Black Tot Finest Caribbean.
SPICES AND FLAVOURINGS
Many people start their rum journeys with spiced rum - almost every bar and restaurant will have a bottle, and it’s often the most reasonably priced rum available. These are often young or unaged column still rums, with the rum itself not being particularly flavourful, relying instead on the addition of colour and flavours/spices. Be especially careful to make sure your favourite spiced rum actually says ‘rum’ on the label - many are too low ABV to meet the requirement. That said, there are many terrific spiced rums that use older rums, a higher ABV, and real spices. If you enjoy spiced or flavoured rum, we recommend finding these producers that only add real ingredients to a full flavoured rum - it’ll taste much better!
Other additives such as glycerin are sometimes added to rum, and should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately these are rarely disclosed on the label.
If in doubt on whether a rum contains any of the above, it’s always worth asking the producer or checking their website - you’ll quickly get a sense of how transparent they are about their processes. We never add any additives to our rum at Black Tot. We also don’t chill-filter our rum, as we like to leave all the natural oils and texture of the rum in your glass for you to enjoy. We have a sincere love for all rums and a passion for transparency - so any questions you have about our rum, please just ask!
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Tales of the Tot
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS
James Lind discovered the effects of citrus fruit on warding off scurvy in 1747, but it wasn’t until almost 50 years later in 1795 that the Navy issued a daily ration of lemon juice to prevent this disease. However, due to prevailing myths surrounding alternative cures, it wouldn’t be until 1928 - and the discovery of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) - that scurvy was fully banished from the fleet.
Long Live the Tot!
Black Tot Day in 1970 ended a relationship between the British Armed Forces and their favourite drink and the sailors of the of the time mourned the loss of their rum. But this loss led to society’s gain...
THE DAY THE RUM DIED
1970 marked the end of the navy rum ration on ‘Black Tot Day'. But eventually, the fate of the last of the liquid crossed our path.