I'm pasting in below the response I got from the lady at the
company that makes the reproduction rum. I've never opened mine or had
a taste of anyone else's from back then so I don't have anything to
compare to their descriptions on their web pages. I replied to her
repsonse with the account of how we came to get it and included your 676
web page. Depending on what I get back from her maybe we should
consider seeing who else from the boat still has their rum or even just
the container (I very rarely ever drink hard liquor now, beer is a rough
as it gets).
What an interesting letter! It appears that you have an original
demijohn produced for the Royal Navy.
Although there is no absolute way to determine if the spirit is still
potable, if the cork is still intact and not wet or otherwise
compromised, it is almost surely still fine.
We had some time getting approval to sell British Royal Navy Imperial
Rum in the United States. As you are probably aware, the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is the government agency which regulates
the sale of alcohol. Since a demijohn (4.54 liters) is a non-standard
size in the US, we first had to prove that it was bottled prior to a
certain date in order to get it "grandfathered" in. The US also
requires that a label be permanently affixed to the container as well as
requiring the "government warning". We therefore designed the metal
labels which were literally wired on to each demijohn by hand.
In the US, the only legal way to sell alcohol is for the supplier to
sell it to a distributor who sells it to a retailer who eventually sells
it to a consumer. Everyone gets their mark up along the way.
This is a long way to answer your question regarding the value of your
demijohn. Obviously, we feel that it is worth approximately $6,000 at
the retail end. In the end, an item is worth as much as someone is
willing to pay for it.
The liquid is 108 proof--very dark, almost black. It's aroma will fill
a room. It is made from pure pot still rums from Jamaica and Guyana.
I hope you enjoy your Royal Navy Rum, a little piece of history in a
I received a very similar letter to yours several months ago. Again
from a US seaman in Gibraltar. What a coincidence.
If you send me your address, I will send you a BRNIR brochure. It will
give you some more details about your demijohn.
Vice President - Marketing