Sunset Very Strong Rum

Sunset VSR Bottle

Product of:  St. Vincent
Aged:  NA
Price: $6
Alcohol: 84.5% ABV
Sugar: 0 g/L
Context: Overproof Rum
RG Rating:  8.5

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth (at least in the slightest of sips. Otherwise, consisting of almost pure ethyl alcohol, Sunset VSR will taste harsh, burning and kills your living cells.)

Crystal clear in color, Sunset Very Strong Rum exhibits primarily sweet aromas; the perfumey ethyl alcohol smell obscures all but a few hints of vanilla, coconut and slight vegetal cane scents.  Initial taste is warm like sweet butter, with secondary flavors of citrus/meyer lemon, coconut, and mild vanilla.  The medium body is reminiscent of white chocolate, leading nicely to a dry, short, buttery finish.

Sunset VSR Label

Anecdotes 
Sunset claims its Very Strong Rum is the most popular rum in St. Vincent. It  is also one of the strongest commercially available rums in the world.  No doubt its popularity has as as much to do with it’s potency as its clear distillation in a modern two column still.  At 84.5% ABV (169 proof), it is nearly double strength, and at US$6 a bottle, it packs real punch for the dollar.  It is the overproof mixer of choice in the Caribbean, found as far north as the Virgin Islands and south to Grenada.  Wherever they drink it, locals prefer Sunset VSR mixed with coke, and sometimes with coconut water or fruit juice for a hearty rum punch.

Wallilabou street party

My sailing crew and I most recently polished off a bottle at the local rum shack just a short walk from the Wallilabou anchorage on St. Vincent, where the set of Port Royal in the motion picture “Pirates of the Caribbean” was erected and mostly still stands.  At $12, the bottle was double the price I would pay in a local market, but the cups and as many cokes as we needed were free, so we hung out and drank with the locals, including their dogs, chickens and the local donkey!  What a wonderful experience.

Opinion 
The bottom line:  at 84.5% ABV, Sunset Very Strong Rum is meant for mixing, and then, it’s as much a personality amplifier as it is a spirit.  As such, VSR Rum delivers smooth taste with highly flammable proportions of alcohol, and is without peer in the overproof rum category.

Reviewed:  October, 2009 in Wallilabou, St. Vincent (where much of the “Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl” movie set is still intact.)

© Dave Russell 2017