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Review: Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum


AN Spiced RumThe budget alternative to Captain Morgan (to which it is 2nd in spiced rum market share), Admiral Nelson’s Rum is also named after a real person. In this case it’s a good guy instead of a pirate, the famous British Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Until 2011, Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum was produced by Luxco, a smaller company that owns a few random spirits brands. It was then sold to Heaven Hill, or pals in Kentucky, which has its eye on number one. Refreshed packaging has just been introduced — although the eyepatch-wearing, grog-swilling, beard-sporting, tight-pants-donning Nelson still smiles out at you front and center.

How does Nelson’s measure up against Morgan? Not badly, actually. On the nose, light cinnamon and gingerbread notes, backed with vanilla. Not at all boozy, the body is pleasant, quite sweet, and not overly spiced. Gentle and easy, it’s a spiced rum for those who like just a little kick of apple pie in their cola, yet is easy enough to sip straight, not the normal M.O. for a spiced rum. Don’t come looking for complexity — the finish is short, straight, and simple — but few shoppers in the $10 to $12 range have ever made such a request, anyway.

70 proof.

B / $11 (though more typically bought in the 1.75 liter bottle) / admiralnelsonsrum.com

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. Boston June 19, 2013

    Sad to hear that Admiral Nelson sells better than Sailor Jerry.

  2. Todd July 6, 2014

    I really enjoyed this rum, because as you say, it’s “not at all boozy” at 70 proof. I like that I can drink it straight and not be put off by the burn. Conversely, the lack of complexity makes it nothing more than a spiked coffee syrup.

    I recommend it to anyone who wants something a bit more docile that won’t overpower recipes, e.g. eggnog, hot cocoa.

  3. Evan August 21, 2014

    Admiral Nelson’s is a tasty rum for mixing, though not quite as tasty as Sailor Jerry.
    The one thing it’s got going for it is it’s ability to produce vivid nightmares after just a few drinks.
    I’m not talking about just being chased by H.R. Giger inspired aliens through a burning spacecraft, but this rum unlocks your deepest fears and presents them to you in a vivid technicolor of terror.

    1. CHris June 30, 2017

      Not always a nightmare but yeah I’ve noticed it can cause weird dreams

  4. Rick Stevens April 30, 2016

    I just tried Admiral Nelson’s and found the review above to be right on the money. It’s a good rum, especially for the price. I’ll buy it again.

  5. OCCD October 24, 2017

    I usually select Admiral Nelson. Sometimes Lady Bligh or Calypso. Once you mix them (I like Mountain Dew with lime) the rules go out the window. Good rum is good rum and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

    1. melvis December 23, 2017

      Righty on matie

  6. Nancy Newark July 3, 2018

    The Admiral is number 1 in my book if you don’t like sweet drinks or mixers. He’s the best on the rocks or with a tish of water.


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