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Jamaican Overproof Rum Challenge - Wray & Nephew - Rum Fire - Rum Bar - Review

Jamaican Overproof Rum is strong, flavourful and special. I believe it’s so special that it should have it’s own building, street, island or planet.


The average persons response to the words “overproof rum” is usually something like:”Oh god, that’s like drinking gasoline”. You can replace the word “gasoline” with “jet fuel” or even “poison”, if you like. This makes total sense, as drinking 63% unaged spirit is not an easy exercise for the untrained palates and livers out there. Plus, there are some horrible overproof rums around, but that’s for a different article.


Enter the skilled bartender with a passion for rum. I’ve met a few of these wonderfully creative creatures who work tirelessly to make our lives more enjoyable. They use Jamaican overproof rum as a magic potion in cocktails. A little drop here, a little drop there. What a difference it makes in fragrance and taste, without overpowering the palate with alcohol.


I’m lousy at making cocktails. Mainly because I’m not that interested in them and because I’m a lazy drinks maker. I do however love watching bartenders create cocktails. I can watch that for hours. It’s like watching a painter or a sculpturer at work. There is one exception to this though, the daiquiri. I love a well made daiquiri! I even make them myself, although admittedly not very well. Rum, sugar, lime. It’s so simple, but according to many bartenders it’s one of the hardest cocktails to balance correctly. The simplicity is probably why I like it so much, as it can become a very rummy cocktail pretty easily.


In my mind, you can’t have a serious daiquiri conversation without mentioning Jamaican overproof rum at least once. When you do, it’s like opening a door to an endless stream of joy through tasty cocktails. Although endless for me is typically one or two daiquiris before I switch to straight rum or rum and cokes. The latter I drink a lot more of. I’ve been told it’s not a cocktail as it only has two ingredients. Well then, if I want to be sophisticated, I’ll add some lime and all of a sudden it’s a cocktail.


I love experimenting with OP rum in these. Straight up with coke is amazing, which ever of the three you use. But blending is so much fun as well. Appleton 8 with Wray & Nephew and Coke is delicious. Mount Gay XO and Rum Bar OP with Coke is amazing, so is the same blend in a daiquiri. Rum Bar OP and Rum Bar Silver is a wonderful daiquiri combo. Then there is Rum Fire, which seems to make everything taste and feel better.


Before I continue I should perhaps introduce the cast of this article. The most well known of the 3 rum celebrities is Wray & Nephew Overproof. It’s hard to find a place where this isn’t for sale. One can even buy it in Canada. It is of course aligned with Appleton Estate, but actually produced at its sister distillery, New Yarmouth Distillery. Next up is Rum Bar Overproof, produced at Worthy Park Estate. Last and certainly not least, Hampden Estate’s Rum Fire.



Let me stop my rambling, as it is much more interesting to hear from the experts. The people behind these amazing rums. First up, Joy Spence. Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, rum celebrity and all around awesome person.


“Wray & Nephew is known as the Jamaican Hero. It is found in every home in Jamaica and is an integral part of our culture.


It is used in many ways, from preventing the baby from having a cold by rubbing it on the middle of the head, to using with honey and lime to cure the flu, blessing the foundation for new construction,