Journeyman – Road’s End “Navy Strength” – 57%

Source: Acquired in a trade. 

Stats: According to their website: Distilled and bottled by Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, MI, this rum was made from blackstrap molasses and aged in the distilleries own former Bourbon barrels for an unspecified amount of time. Supposedly made in the “distinct style reminiscent of pot distilled Jamaican rums,” though they don’t specify their fermentation time or method, or disclose if this is in fact pot distilled. It’s bottled at so-called “Navy Strength,” 57% ABV.

Nose: Rich caramel, brown sugar, banana bread, vanilla, crisp green apple, wet soil, pepper. I’m not really a tea person, nor can I distinguish the many varietals of tea out there, but I get a distinct “generic tea bag” note. Think cheap Lipton, et al. There’s a slight burn. Overall comes across sweet and kind of reminiscent of a Privateer. 

Mouth: Thick, oily mouthfeel. Burnt coffee. Bitterness. This is not very dynamic. I’m just not able to find many distinct notes. It leaves some burn in the back of the throat and lingers for a while. I hardly ever add water to what I sip, but I hoped maybe a couple squirts would open things up. After some time resting, that “generic tea” note overwhelmingly dominated the nose and palate to where I couldn’t detect much else. 

Notation: I drank this over two sessions, adding water on the second one. 

Final Thoughts: I didn’t know anything about this rum (or the company Journeyman, which seems to be more known for their whiskey) until Scott mentioned it in one of his reviews (I believe about Smith and Cross), which is why I requested it. The nose showed a lot of promise and I was really excited at first, but the palate left a lot to be desired. The addition of water brought out an overwhelming tea note and some “wet dog” that made me not want to finish the sample. Sorry, this one is just not for me. 

Rating: 2

My scale:
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle

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