Do you have a grand to drop on a bottle of rum? Didn’t think so.

Black Tot rare reserve rum to debut on Black Tot Day

The last remaining stone flagons of the original rum once served to the British navy have been gathered, re-blended and bottled as Black Tot “Last Consignment” British Royal Naval Rum.

Black Tot "Last Consignment" official British Royal Naval Rum package
Black Tot “Last Consignment” official British Royal Naval Rum package

On July 31, 1970 a 300 year-old Royal Naval tradition ended at precisely six bells in the forenoon watch when the last rum ration was issued aboard ships of the British Royal Navy — a day to be remembered forever as Black Tot Day.

Original Royal Naval records confirm that the rum used for the rum ration was most likely imported from the West Indies in oak casks by E.D. & F. Man & Co. official rum merchants to the Navy since 1784. It was transferred into large oak marrying vats in the historic victualling warehouses of Deptford in East London, Gosport or Devonport from where it was dispatched to British Royal Naval Ships.

With the withdrawal of the rum ration, the British Royal Navy had little use for the remaining rum stocks which were filled into wicker clad stone flagons and transferred to HM bonded warehouses where it lay undisturbed, being only drawn upon rarely for use in state occasions and the royal wedding of Prince Edward.

This new edition of Black Tot contains the last consignment of the original Royal Navy Rum and was bottled from the original Imperial gallon stone flagons into which it had been filled and sealed under HM Customs and excise supervision in December 1970.

In 2010, the observance of the 40th anniversary of Black Tot Day will be marked by the debut of Black Tot Rum as the final reserves of official naval rum are made available to the public for the first time.

The release includes a custom made wooden box, an 80 page book on the history of naval rum written by noted spirits author Dave Broom, a copper cup to measure an official half gill ration and a certificate of authenticity.

In the United States, this package of rare rum will retail for more than $1,000 (£600 in the UK) when it becomes available on Black Tot Day.