The booze that James Bond is most associated with is, of course, the Martini (mostly vodka, sometimes gin, and occasionally even a Vesper). But this new 007-themed bottle is full of rum, not one of the aforementioned clear spirits, and there’s a reason for that.
The brand is Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum, which is owned by music legend Chris Blackwell—founder of Island Records and producer of some classic Bob Marley and U2 albums. He launched this rum brand in 2008, and it’s produced at the same distillery where J. Wray & Nephew and Appleton Estate are distilled. In fact, Joy Spence, master blender for those two brands, was in charge of assembling this proprietary blend of column and pot distilled rum that was aged for two to three years in used American oak whiskey barrels. A bit of caramel color is added for consistency, but no sugar is added per Jamaican regulations. Tasting notes detail vanilla and caramel on the palate, followed by toasted marshmallow and a bit of spice on the finish.
So what’s the James Bond connection all about here? Blackwell owns GoldenEye, a resort which opened in 2011 that was the former home of Bond author Ian Fleming. There are bars, villas, and restaurants here, including The Fleming Villa where Fleming supposedly wrote all of his books. Blackwell served as a location scout on the 1962 Bond film Dr. No, the first in the series which happens to take place in Jamaica. “It’s been over 60 years since James Bond made his big screen debut in Dr. No,” said Blackwell in a statement. “He’s been a constant in my life ever since. To celebrate Bond and my old friend Ian Fleming, I’ve created this Collector’s Edition of my rum. This is a rum that celebrates Jamaica, my friendships, and my family’s legacy.”
The Collector’s Edition comes with a 750 ml bottle of Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum, and also includes a black and white photo of a cinema lobby card that was made for Dr. No. There are just 1,000 of these boxes available, each containing a signed note from Blackwell himself. The rum is supposedly made using a special “bespoke” recipe that dates back to the days when Blackwell’s mother’s family owned J. Wray & Nephew and Appleton Estate. That may or may not be entirely accurate, but if you’re a Bond-crazy rum lover, you can pre-order the set for $700 directly from the website. And remember, diamonds may be forever, but once you open a bottle of rum the shelf life is significantly shortened so enjoy it while you can.