Brand: Star Union

Origin: Star Union, Peru, Illinois, United States

Still: unknown

Age: NAS

Finish: ex-Bourbon*

ABV: 57%

Star Union Spirits appears to be a one-stop shop for almost any kind of distilled spirit imaginable. The Peru, Illinois-based distillery offers brandies, vodka, agave spirits, a coffee liqueur, and even an absinthe.

Today, we're taking a look at one of their rum offerings: Star Union Navy Strength. Not much information is available on this expression, save for what is on the label: it is rum produced from Louisiana first-boil sugarcane molasses, aged for an undisclosed amount of time, and then bottled at 57% ABV with the addition of caramelized molasses.

This inclusion of molasses after distillation is an odd choice to me, but per the label, gives the rum its "signature color and deep, rich flavor". While I support additive-free spirits, I did want to try this rum that was produced in my home state, and can at least appreciate the front-label disclosure of the addition.


Dark orange-brown, medium viscosity


Carmelized brown sugar, molasses, chocolate pudding, black licorice


Molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, Playdoh, flamed orange peel, black cherry, cola spices


Medium-long, sweet, balanced; molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, hint of hazelnut

Rating: 6/10


Star Union is onto something with their Navy Strength Dark Rum: there are some good bones here, and I've certainly had worse rums. It's a little unfortunate that this overproof rum can't be assessed without the added caramelized molasses, but the end result is enjoyable regardless.

Perhaps predictably, the molasses and brown sugar notes are dominant in throughout the experience. The nose offers additional notes of chocolate pudding and black licorice, while vanilla, Playdoh, and cola spices join on the palate. The finish is similarly seasoned with a hint of hazelnut as the flavors fade.

This is a solid pour, and one that could easily be used as a substitute for rums like Hamilton 86 or Pusser's Blue Label. It's great to see another American distillery putting out rum that is enjoyable like Star Union is.

Further Reading

*When the type cask used for aging is not specified, we make an educated guess that it is an ex-Bourbon cask as most aged rums utilize this barrel type.