31 July 2021


HMS Belfast


Concession: £27

Black Tot X IWM

Naval ratings drawing a rum issue aboard the Royal Navy battleship HMS King George V.

Black Tot X IWM

For over two centuries, the Royal Navy issued daily rum rations to fortify the spirits of their crew. With advances in naval technology and the cultural ebb of time, this much-loved tradition was brought to an end on 31 July 1970, a day forever known as Black Tot Day.

On the 31 July 2021, fifty-one years later, join us onboard HMS Belfast for a very special event in partnership with Black Tot Rum.

Tickets include: 

  • Talk and discussion about the history of rum and the Royal Navy
  • Rum tasting with 5 samplers provided by Black Tot Rum
  • One free rum Cocktail
  • Entry to HMS Belfast for one hour before the event

Sample Tropical Flavours

Rum being poured into a glass in front of a globe

Sample Tropical Flavours

Black Tot Rum's Head Blender Oliver Chilton will take guests through a sampling session of the Royal Navy blend, with 5 samplers of a historically inspired rum evolved for the enthusiasts of today.

Oliver will be joined by IWM curator Rob Rumble, who will explain the history and significance of the rum tot and its association with Britain’s most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship, HMS Belfast.

Explore the Rum Room

HMS Belfast with Tower Bridge behind

Explore the Rum Room

Following a fascinating discussion, guests can enter HMS Belfast’s own rum provision room where the crew would have ‘up spirits’, a highlight of their day. Then head to the refurbished Boat Deck for incredible views of central London and experience either a ‘Black & Stormy’ or ‘Black Tot Old Fashioned’ cocktail, mixed and supervised by Oliver himself.

Enjoy a multi-layered rum, full of the unique flavour profiles of Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica.


Your hosts

  • Rob Rumble

    Rob Rumble is the Lead Curator for HMS Belfast at Imperial War Museums. His specialisms include Second World War and Cold War naval history, as well as irregular warfare, spies & intelligence and RAF photography. His recent projects include the reinterpretation of HMS Belfast in 2021, as well as the ten-year Masterplan for the ship.

  • Oliver Chilton

    Oliver Chilton has worked in the spirits industry for most of his life. After abandoning a life as a barista for the bright lights of the whisky shop opposite, he hasn't looked back. With the creation of Elixir Distillers as a separate arm of Whisky Exchange HQ, Oliver took on the role of Head Blender and now selects, blends and bottles whisky and rum for both Elixir Distillers and The Whisky Exchange, focusing on the Black Tot, Port Askaig, Elements of Islay and Single Malts of Scotland ranges.

Important information:

  • All guests must be 18 or over, please bring a valid form of ID with you on the day. 
  • Tickets include access to the ship’s visitor areas from 5pm until the start of the event.
  • Tickets include x5 10cl tasting samples and one free cocktail.

  • Black Tot Rum logo

    Black Tot Rum

  • Sailors and Rum IWM A 746
    © IWM A 746

    Sailors on board HMS Defiance receiving their rum issue.


HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast
The Queen's Walk

  • London Bridge
  • Tower Hill