Admiral Rodney HMS Royal Oak
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Admiral Rodney Rum HMS Royal Oak – My Mixed Emotions

The very pillars of modern Caribbean society are rooted in a brutally repressive colonial ethos. Slavery, genocide, and economic disenfranchisement are its hallmarks. None of this is disputed. None of this is news. All of it is widely and regularly condemned. Even so, the legacy of this ethos lives on. Place names, statues, and even beloved consumer products celebrate some of the worst perpetrators of this darkest chapter in our history. Admiral Rodney Rum from Saint Lucia is one of them.

What’s To Like

Let me begin by first stating that I’m a big fan of Admiral Rodney Rum, i.e.: the stuff in their bottles. HMS Royal Oak, in particular, is fantastic. 

A blend of rums aged seven–12 years, HMS Royal Oak is produced by our friends at St. Lucia Distillers. The rum is named for one of the legendary ships under Admiral Rodney’s command at the famous/infamous Battle of the Saintes. Much like its namesake ship performed in battle, HMS Royal Oak is bold, powerful, and enduring.

Brilliant Sophistication

All of the rums that go into crafting HMS Royal Oak are distilled via Coffey still. For aging, Saint Lucia Distillers employs ex-Bourbon casks exclusively. The combination lends HMS Royal Oak a brilliant sophistication, most notable to me in its complex finish. Warm and long-lasting, the finish leaves you enveloped in a mix of spices and subtle notes of tropical fruits.

The same spices and fruits are evident on the nose and upon initial tasting. Smokey wood, vanilla, and chocolate notes also present themselves. Yeah, this rum bursts with flavor!

Admiral Rodney Rum HMS Royal Oak
Admiral Rodney Rum HMS Royal Oak | Photo by Steve Bennett

The Admiral Rodney branding, though, makes it difficult to enjoy this rum to the fullest.

Admiral Rodney Rum Reservations

After all, Admiral Rodney was not a good guy. Not to Afro-Caribbean people, anyway. He wasn’t a slave trader, but he was staunchly against abolition. In 1788, he protested against an Act to decrease the number of enslaved on slave ships. The Act was intended to add a little humanity to the inhumane journeys. This, however, did not concern Admiral Rodney in the least.

Neither did the basic human rights of the Jewish residents he encountered upon raiding St. Eustatius in 1781. Rodney jailed 101 Jews and forcibly separated 31 Jewish families through deportation. He  looted their wealth and property for his own personal gain. He even dug up the Jewish cemetery in search of additional treasure!

Yeah, you can say it was a different time, it was war, and Rodney wasn’t all bad.

You’d be right, to a degree, of course. Admiral Rodney did promote John Perkins, the Royal Navy’s first black commanding officer. So, there’s that…

I guess you can say that complexity lies at the heart of both the man and the HMS Royal Oak edition of his namesake rum.

At least with the rum, though, that complexity is actually worth celebrating.

 

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .

Related Posts

Chairman's Spiced Tea from St. Lucia | SBPR
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Add Some St. Lucia Spice To Your Summer With Chairman’s Spiced Tea

As with all of my favorite cocktails, Chairman's Spiced Tea employs a modicum of ingredients, is super-easy to make, and is decidedly delicious.
59
Shares
Chairman's Reserve Rum
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Chairman’s Reserve Rum: The #1 Rum For Young St. Lucians

Chairman's Reserve Rum is one of the finest expressions of rum to come from St. Lucia. Plus, "it's what all the young people drink!"
52
Shares
Chairman's Rum Julep
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Chairman’s Rum Julep – Summer Southern (Caribbean) Comfort Cocktail

Made with the #1 rum from the Caribbean's #1 country & western destination, a Chairman's Rum Julep is Caribbean southern comfort perfection.
3
Shares
Chairman's Sweater Weather Warm Rum Cocktail
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Chairman’s Sweater Weather Warm and Spicy Rum Cocktail

'Tis the season for sweaters and rum cocktails that are spicy and warm. Solution: mix up this recipe for a Chairman's Sweater Weather.
2
Shares
Chairman's Reserve Legacy Rum
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Chairman’s Reserve Legacy – Fine Rum Made Better By Rhum

A blend of rums and rhums aged between 5 and 8 years, Chairman's Reserve Legacy is an uncommon triumph of the rum maker's art.
5
Shares
Bounty Rum Premium Gold
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Bounty Rum Premium Gold – The Gilded (and Great) Taste of Saint Lucia

To me, gold rums are like that barely tolerable borderline friend we all have. Bounty Rum Premium Gold from St. Lucia, though, is different.
2
Shares
Fond Doux Cottages
🇱🇨St. Lucia

Fond Doux Cottages Preserve St. Lucia History, Environment in Style

The Fond Doux Cottages at Fond Doux Resort are a model of sustainable tourism, both in terms of St. Lucia's environment and heritage.
2
Shares
Send this to a friend