What are the “Czech” Austrian Empire Navy rums like?

These popular rums come from the Albert Michler distillery (currently located in Bristol). Its origin is in Silesia. The original company was founded in Buchsdorf (Buková), near the Czech-Polish boarder in the Jeseník district in 1863, as an Austrian-Empire distillery at that time. Those days, it distributed rum to the emperor and his navy. It was the first distillery in central Europe to import Jamaican rum. Aside from Jamaica, they work with rums from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

On rum production

The rums age in French white oak bourbon barrels. Albert Michler Jamaican Dark is a 100 % Jamaican pot-still. Albert Michler White and Overproof are part Jamaican pot-still, part rums from Trinidadian distillation columns. The Austrian Empire Navy Rum line rums are all distilled in distillation columns. All of them contain less than 18 grams of sugar per liter, with the exception of Reserva 1863, which contains a little more sugar than that. The rums are “flavoured” only by aging in various barrels. The Double range is not coloured, the others contain caramel colouring.

Master Blender Paul Caris is responsible for the taste. He studied chemistry and biology and started working in the wine and spirits business right after his studies. He spent a long time as a Master Blender with Plantation, creating one of the best rums of this brand. Now he works as an external Master Blender for several companies.

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Reserva and Austrian Empire Navy Rum Solera 18

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Reserva 1863 [Pure Pleasure edition]

This 40% blend of 5 to 12year-old rums from Barbados (Foursquare distillery) is finished for 6 months in American and French white oak sherry casks. This rum won a silver medal on rumfest in Berlin, 2016.

Smell, taste, finish

According to the official sources, this mahogany rum smells of molasses, honey, caramel, cocoa and nuts. On the palate, it offers vanilla, cocoa and a hint of sherry. Vanilla remains strong in the finish.

My verdict: Nice, on the sweet side, a bit harsher and stronger and not so smooth. It is often compared to Diplomatico reserva and I agree.

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Solera 18 [Pure Pleasure edition]

AENR Solera has a differend origin than Solera, it comes from the Dominican Republic, the Oliver & Oliver distillery, where it was Solera-aged for up to 18 years (average of 12). This rum also won a medal in 2016, gold this time. It has 40 %  of alcohol.

Smell, taste, finish

The official sources claim this dark-caramel-coloured rum has intense woody aroma and taste of flowers, herbs, chocolate, caramel and wood again.

My verdict: This is much smoother and more rounded than Reserva, generally lighter, with herbal and honey notes. The 18-year solera shows.

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Cognac and Austrian Empire Navy Rum Oloroso

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Cognac cask [Double Cask edition]

And now we get to the more interesting bottles. Limited edition of 5000 bottles and 46.5 %. This gorgeously bronze-coloured blend of Dominican rums from Oliver & Oliver was solera-aged for up to 21 years (average of 16) and finished for 12-16 months in cognac casks. 

Smell, taste, finish

Light cognac aroma leads to notes of chocolate, herbs and tropical fruits on the palate, returning to cognac and woody notes.

My verdict: Very aromatic rum with a quite an unexpected taste. Even though it remains sweet, you can taste the strong wood notes with relatively long finish.

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Oloroso Cask [Double Cask edition]

Again, limited edition of 5000 bottles and 49.5 %. This golden-coloured blend of Dominican rums from Oliver & Oliver was solera-aged for up to 21 years (average of 16) and then finished for 12-16 months in oloroso sherry casks.

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Oloroso

Smell, taste, finish

Subtle sherry aroma leads to chocolate, herbs and tropical fruits on the palate and then returns to sherry and wood notes. 

My verdict: I was hooked from the very start. The Oloroso sherry give this rum charm and sweetness and also smoothness you’ll love. Like I do. Chocolate aroma and sherry taste to die for.

The Double Cask edition has a light (golden) lid on the case
Austrian Empire Navy Rum Maximus and Austrian Empire Navy Rum Anniversary

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Maximus [Super Premium edition] 

This mahogany-coloured 40% rum from the Guinean Darsa distillery aged in American white oak barrels for 21 years. 

Smell, taste, finish

The smell of vanilla with a hint of nuts and maple syrup will lead the way to the sweet taste of nuts, caramel and wood notes. 

My verdict: I like the individual editions clearly show that we are going up a level. This is also the case with Austrian Empire Navy, the top edition of the highest quality. The woody aroma, the slight bite and the very long finish confirm the quality of this rum. 

Austrian Empire Navy Rum Anniversary [Super Premium edition] 

This bright golden 40% rum from the Barbadian Foursquare distillery aged in American white oak barrels for 25 years. 3-12 months in different barrels (the distillate was divided into five parts, which are aged for varied amounts of time partly in fruit-spirit barrels, partly in barrels that used to hold Sauternes wines.) It was created to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Smell, taste, finish

Aroma of fruits, vanilla, coconut, chocolate and flowers leads to the sweet fruity taste with pronounced tones of mango. 

My verdict: The best rum on offer for me. Imagine the Oloroso one times 10 and you get this. In smoothness, in taste, in richness. I will certainly be most happy to finish the bottle.

The Super Premium edition case has dark lid
Compare colours of rums, from left to right as in the article, Reserva > Anniversary

Awards

You may have noticed several awards from the Berlin 2016 rumfest. This was not the last award for these rums. This year, the company received Special mention in the Packaging Design / Outstanding Communications Design in German Design Awards 2019 for Austrian Empire Navy Rum Reserva 1863. In the past:

Madrid Rum Festival 2018

  • Two golds for Austrian Empire Navy Rum Reserva 1863
  • Gold for Austrian Empire Navy Rum Solera 18
  • Gold for Albert Michler Jamaican Dark
  • Gold for Albert Michler Overproof White

SIP Award 2019

  • Gold for Austrian Empire Navy Rum: Reserva 1863
  • Silver for Austrian Empire Navy Overproof Rum.

Conclusion

If the Austrian Empire Navy rums aim at being a quality competition for Diplomatico (especially Reservas) and their bottles, I think they are quite successful. These rums are good, interesting, with beautiful bottles and cases and I will always happily come back to them. If you wish to enjoy them or just compare your taste preferences to mine, click here:


Pavel Ungr

I am rum fan from Czech republic, founder rum magazine RumRock. I taste rums, test bars & degustations and rum rum events write about it. I also write in czech. Check also my Instagram

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