There’s no secret that I am impartial to a tipple or two, and this week I was lucky enough to have attended an intimate rum masterclass with the representative of Wood’s Old Navy Rum. My better half wanted to come along with me so we toddled on into The Rum House in Nottingham on a Tuesday evening after work for an evening of alcoholic education.
Wood’s Old Navy Rum have re-branded, and we were some of the first to see it! They have changed the name slightly from Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum because of the confusion it caused about the proof percentage of the rum. The 100 meant it was 100% it was Old Navy Rum, but it made some people think it was 100% proof, which would make the ABV 50% rather than the 57% it is in reality.
These days the minimum percentage a rum needs to be is 37.5%. At 57% ABV, Wood’s Old Navy Rum sits at the minimum percentage traditionally rum had to be on navy ships. I never knew that this was because if the barrels accidentally leaked into the gunpowder, the gunpowder would still ignite. Wood’s Old Navy Rum is made from sugar cane grown along the banks of the Demerara river and distilled in Guyana, South America. It is the only rum in the world that is still distilled in traditional wooden pot stills – a method that has been unchanged for over 150 years.
I’m a big fan of the new bottle design. It feels a lot more modern than the old design which hadn’t been updated since the 1990s (and looks like this if you are wondering) The new bottle and label looks a lot more chic and would look a lot less dated on any back bar.
The Wood’s Old Navy Rum rep Stephen was absolutely fantastic. Lovely and chatty, getting us water and a rum cocktail as we sat down. He was clearly very passionate about the product and really knows what it’s all about. He took us through the history of rum and how Wood’s fits into it. We had a little true or false quiz with the objective that the last person standing would win a bottle of Wood’s. Instead we all went out on the same question so we had to come up with a new plan to award the prize.
We tasted the rum on it’s own, which left me very pleasantly surprised at the strong, yet deep, smooth and warm taste. The complexity of the flavour was shown when we tasted the rum after different things such as water, bread and chocolate – for me the drink being smoother and more caramel flavoured with a small bit of water, whereas the chocolate really brought out the coffee tones.
Stephen made us several very different cocktails using Wood’s rum, showing us how complex yet versatile the flavour is. We decided that the competition to win a bottle of Wood’s to take home would be to make our own cocktails, so off behind the bar we popped to have a go. Some of you may remember I worked in bars for years, so it was very odd being back behind one after so long. I think it’s a bit more fun when you’re trying to win a bottle of rum than when you are working to be fair! Luckily for me, Ali made the best cocktail according to The Rum House barman who so kindly offered his tasting services!
The Rum House also very kindly provided us with beautifully presented food after the event. We ordered a selection of dishes for us all to dip into and try, and there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like. From barbecue chicken wings and halloumi fritters to sauteed scotch bonnet prawns and curried goat there is a wide range available on the menu. Everything we tried was extremely flavoursome with a lovely Caribbean twist. The only thing I have to say is don’t be put off the prawns because they are sauteed in scotch bonnet – they aren’t as hot as you might expect!
I just want to say a huge thank you to Stephen from Wood’s Old Navy Rum, and The Rum House staff for hosting such a lovely event – we will be back in the future for sure!