Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum

Wray & Nephew Bottle-OK-USE

Product of:  Jamaica
Aged:  NA
Price: $20 USA, under $10 on Jamaica
Alcohol:
 63% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:
Overproof Rum
RG Rating:  8.5

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth, considering the %ABV.  Color:  Wray & Nephew Overproof rum is as clear as ever.  There’s a trace of earthy sugarcane aroma left in this spirit, the alcohol is surprisingly sweet and not at all harsh, allowing you to sense the heady pot still genesis.  As for the initial taste: Warning!  This rum is intended for mixing.  All others; sip at your own risk, and then only slowly, slowly, slowly.  Of course it warms your tongue.  Wray & Nephew reminds you of the lesson you forgot from Chem 101, namely:  Alcohol + small amounts of water = Heat.  But we’re adults now.  There’s more to the story, and more to this spirit.  Namely, a buttery smoothness and an earthy vegetal flavor that wakes up and settles down any mixed drink.  With a body mass about 89% the density of water, you’d expect Wray’s overproof to feel thin, but it actually has a creamy texture.  And the finish?  Let’s hope so.  It’s more dry than sweet.  What did you expect?

Anecdotes 
With over 90% of the local market, Wray & Nephew is the bread and butter of Appleton’s business, and a staple of life on Jamaica.  It’s the rum the island’s other producers are trying to steal share from.  

Show Me The Wray Poster

And Wray is up to the fight - witness the advertising campaign “Show Me the Wray”.  Rumshops walls are painted to match, and posters adorn the interior, making one choice fall easily to mind.  

Wray & Nephew Rumshop 2

Wray & Nephew Overproof’s packaging is inexpensive and recognizable - the right properties for the local market.  The conventional tall clear bottle is adorned with a simple label in the national colors, Yellow-Green-Black, that proudly claims:  “I am Jamaica”.  The built-in pour limiter is perhaps a concession to the export market and is for once a welcome apparatus.  It protects me from my overzealous wrist while tipping the bottle. 

'TingWray's - photo by Nick Feris

Opinion 
Wray & Nephew Overproof is a big ol’ white Jamaican rum at a value price.  It’s a staple of Jamaican daily life and culture.  Whether mixed with cola ginger beer, ‘Ting, topping a fruity rum punch or applied cutaneously to sterilize and treat minor lesions, this rum is honest of purpose.  If you can’t figure out how to use it, you’re doing it wrong. 

Reviewed: January 2012 at various local bars while touring Jamaica.

© Dave Russell 2017