A trio of rums from Florida — including Big 5 Gold Rum — seek to echo the spirit of rum’s classic era in Cuba’s high society of the 1940s and 1950s.
A trio of rums from Florida — including Big 5 Gold Rum — seek to echo the spirit of rum’s classic era in Cuba’s high society of the 1940s and 1950s.
America is returning to its roots with a proliferation of local craft distillers creating authentic rums — as evidenced in the new American Rum Portfolio showcase at the 2017 Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo. Is this the New American Rum Revolution?
Festival organizers recognize the rapid growth of American craft spirits. The 2017 Miami Rum Fest scheduled for April 22-23 at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Center will highlight a collection of fine American rums selected by the editors of Robs Rum Guide.
The American Rum Portfolio offers craft spirit producers an opportunity to present their best products at this large gathering of rum enthusiasts, experts and professionals.
Rum connoisseurs and collectors will discover the most complete collection of American rums ever assembled under one roof.
Before the American revolution, more than 8,000 distilleries in the American colonies were producing rum from the plentiful supply of molasses available through trade with Caribbean islands. Most ceased production by the time prohibition decimated the American spirits industry. Now, that downward trend is reversing.
“In the past few years, more national, regional and local rum distillers are gaining well-deserved attention. Many are making their mark as true artisan spirits by winning awards and setting new standards for authentic, hand-made rum,” said Robert A. Burr, publisher of Robs Rum Guide.
“We’re now tracking more than 150 producers of American rum. It’s nothing short of a rum revolution — changing the American rum industry. They’re bringing back the art of craft distilling, presenting American rum in a most favorable light by emphasizing the quality aspects of small production.”
The annual gathering of rum experts and consumers in Miami is the place where rum reputations are made. The RumXP panel of expert rum judges from around the world gathers for their blind tasting competition. Rum producers from far and wide — as well as locals — gather to present their products to an eager audience.
Rum distillers, importers, distributors and retailers come together once a year to collaborate and put their heads together to assess the direction of the rum industry.
Now, American rum producers will take a front row position as the American Rum Portfolio debuts at this global gathering.
Produced in small batches in Riviera Beach, Florida, the new Oak And Cane boutique rum launched in Ft. Lauderdale recently, seeking to deliver a very smooth and delightful expression to the local market.
Fred Greene leads the project. His new rum, bottled at a gentle 35% (70 proof) is classified as a Distilled Specialty Spirit, rested in Florida orange peels and finished in charred American oak.
The brand’s stated goal is to create an American lifestyle product that is smooth on the rocks or can be mixed into timeless classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned, Mojito or even a Mimosa or Sangria.
Delicate aromas of light vanilla and faint citrus are revealed over a hint of aromatic wood. On the palate, this pale spirit initially reveals creamy vanilla and bright orange, leading to a light viscosity and mild texture in the mid-palate. The dry finish is faint and smooth with lingering notes of creamsicle.
Oak & Cane can be purchased for about $47 plus shipping from the Passion Spirits online web site.
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Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits today announced the addition of a new beer barrel rum expression to their portfolio of artisan spirits: Wicked Dolphin Rum Brewer’s Series in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing.
Cape Spirits produces Wicked Dolphin rums at their artisan distillery in Cape Coral, Florida.
This new release is the first in a series that partners Wicked Dolphin Rum with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa. Oak Barrels that once held premium American Bourbon — before aging Wicked Dolphin Rum for two years — were filled by Cigar City with a tropical style stout.
Noted by dark roasted grains, cacao nibs, citrus and dark fruit aromas, Da un Beso a la Bottela stout beer was available only to Cigar City’s El Catador Club.
The barrels were then given back to Wicked Dolphin to be filled once more with their award winning rum, this time absorbing the residual stout notes from the barrel. The result is a delightful osmosis of flavors in this beer barrel rum.
This Wicked Dolphin Brewer’s Rum series with Cigar City is a wonderful aged rum offering a soft nose of cocoa and light bourbon wood over vanilla, with a bit of cocoa butter and a hint of sherry. On the palate, the big bright entry of this 46% ABV spirit is truly unique. Vanilla, butter and wood lead to a dry mid-palate when a subtle warmth delivers an echo of hops into a dry finish dominated by lightly charred wood.
Wicked Dolphin Rum owner JoAnn Elardo is passionate about this new beer barrel rum collaboration. “At Wicked Dolphin, we love experimenting. A lot of our team was brewing beer well before distilling rum, so the new Brewer’s Series is a natural fit for us. We have some great breweries working with us throughout Florida, and we’re going to make some fantastic rum. What better way to start than with our friends at Cigar City Brewing, one of the most accomplished premier breweries in Florida.”
Wicked Dolphin Brewers Series limited edition beer barrel rum expression will be distributed by Republic National Distributing Company to select retail stores throughout Florida. The 750ml bottle, at 92 proof, will retail for $47.99.
From Cape Coral, Florida, the Wicked Dolphin craft distillery today announced the release of a new rum expression: Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve.
This new aged rum was handcrafted from two distinct fermentation styles using both Florida sugarcane and Florida molasses. The rum is batch distilled in a copper pot still before resting in used Bourbon barrels for three years.
“We have worked on Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve since we started making rum in 2012. Our rum is aged for a full three years in Bourbon Barrels which gives us unique deep whiskey notes for one of the best gold rums on the market”, stated Wicked Dolphin Rum Owner, JoAnn Elardo.
The heat and humidity in Florida play a large factor in Wicked Dolphin’s rum making process. The South Florida climate leads to a rapid aging process which allows for a robust flavor profile.
Wicked Dolphin barrels are then blended and finished to create a smooth and sweet buttery start, followed by a deep oaky finish. Wicked Dolphin does not add caramel or sugar to this authentic craft rum.
Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve is available in 750ml bottles at 40% abv (80 Proof) at a retail price of $32.99.
Known for their award-winning line of artisanal rums, Kaua`i, Hawaii based producer Kōloa today announced a new expression. Koloa Kaua’i Coffee Rum — a delightful new extension to their fine line of small batch rums — is the result of a collaboration with Kaua`i Coffee Company.
Combining Kōloa White Rum and pure Hawaiian cane sugar with locally grown, dark-roasted Kauai Coffee results in a rich and robust new flavored rum bottled at 34% abv with bright notes of coffee and cocoa.
Released in time for the 2015 holiday season, the new Koloa Kaua’i Coffee Rum expression is presented with a bold new bottle and label design.
Kōloa rums are well known to rum enthusiasts across the United States. In the Miami Rum Festival’s annual RumXP blind tasting competition, they’ve consistently won awards in the dark and flavored rum categories.
“Kaua`i Coffee Rum is a true Kaua`i-made product that exemplifies the remarkable diversity of agriculture on Kaua`i and the potential for innovation in creating exceptional value-added products,” said Kōloa Rum Company President and CEO Bob Gunter.
Kauai-grown coffees are hand-roasted in small batches to ensure optimal flavor and quality in every cup. The Kauai Coffee Company, LLC, is part of the Italy-based Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group. For more information about Kauai Coffee Company, please visit www.kauaicoffee.com.
“Kaua`i Coffee Company, which operates the largest coffee plantation in the Islands, is at the leading edge of coffee production technology. They produce outstanding coffee grown on the sunny slopes of southern Kaua`i, where we also grow much of our sugar cane. Our collaboration in developing Kaua`i Coffee Rum demonstrates the ongoing engagement within our local diversified agricultural industry. We are proud to have this association with them,” Gunter said.
Kōloa Rum Company produces artisanal, single-batch Hawaiian Rum and ready-to-drink cocktails at its distillery in Kalāheo, Kaua`i and operates Kaua`i’s first and only distilled spirits Tasting Room and Company Store on the grounds of Kilohana Plantation, near Lihue.
The Company’s award-winning portfolio includes its premium Kaua`i White, Gold, Dark, Spice, Coconut and now Coffee Rums in 750ml and 50ml bottles. The firm also produces Kōloa Ready-to-Drink Mai Tai, Rum Punch and Pineapple Passion cocktails. For more information about Kōloa Rum Company, please visit www.koloarum.com.
Steve Gubb is a passionate rum enthusiast with a penchant for making delicious flavored rums the old fashioned way. His Gubba flavored rums are created in small batches by hand using organic ingredients.
Gubba Gold rum carries the smooth creamy flavor of natural vanilla and his Gubba Silver rum is infused with natural coconut for a decidedly tropical profile.
Both of these unfiltered rums are produced at a craft distillery in Colorado, made with pure cane and the finest natural flavors available.
The result is delicious, unpretentious artisanal rums, finished with a touch of sweetness that makes them both quite smooth on the palate. Gubba rums can be enjoyed on the rocks, but also create a wonderful tropical base for cocktails.
For a luscious late summer libation, try these delightful recipes using the Gubba rums and Wild Hibiscus specialties.
“Into The Wild” cocktail
Recipe by Igor Zukowiec, Alchemiq NYC
makes 1 serving
2 oz. Gubba Gold Rum
4 ml (2 full droppers) Wild Hibiscus Rose + Hibiscus Flower Extract
.75 oz. lime juice
.5 oz. simple syrup (2:1)
1 bar spoon of rice vinegar
Shake all ingredients with ice and serve.
“Wild Bunch Punch”
Recipe by Anthony DeSerio
makes eight 6 oz servings
12 oz. Gubba Silver Rum
10 oz. Blue-Tee syrup*
4 oz. pineapple juice
4 oz. lime juice
16 oz. Raspberry Lambic (beer)
1 8.8 oz. (11-flower) jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers for punch bowl ice block, and to garnish glasses
*Blue-Tee Syrup: In a heat-safe container add 5oz. sugar and top with 5oz. hot water. Add 4 Blue-Tee bags (Heart-Tee Butterfly Pea Flower Tea from Wild Hibiscus Flower Co.) – strings removed so as not to tangle while stirring. Stir water, sugar, and tea while still hot to melt sugar and steep tea. Let cool to room temp. Remove tea bags and cover.
Punch bowl ice block: Fill 1/4 of the punch bowl with water and place it in the freezer. As it gets the film of thin ice on top, drop in 6 Wild Hibiscus Flowers randomly then let the block freeze.
Remove from freezer. Take the ice out of the bowl and put aside. Add Gubba Silver Rum, Blue-Tee syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice to the punch bowl. Stir and place the Wild Hibiscus ice back in. Serve in a punch cup with an edible Wild Hibiscus Flower inside and top with the Lambic.
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The inaugural Discovery Series of rums will soon debut at Florida’s St. Augustine Distillery. On Thursday, September 3rd, the public will be invited to purchase the first bottles of St. Augustine Rum from the distillery’s gift shop, located on Riberia Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.
A limited series of St. Augustine Rum craft expressions will be released on the following schedule: Series 1 in September, Series 2 in October, Series 3 in November and Series 4 in December. The St. Augustine Distillery’s flagship rum (or final recipe) is slated for a January 2016 release.
Each of these limited editions has been fermented and distilled on-site by Director of Production Brendan Wheatley from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.
“We want our customers to have the unique chance to experience each of these different St. Augustine Rum recipes as we refine our flagship rum,” said co-founder and CEO Philip McDaniel. “This opportunity is very unique and only available at a craft distillery like ours.”
The production facilities are located in the restored historic Ice Plant, featuring a gift shop, restaurant and bar. Large numbers of tourists flock to the facility daily for a presentation in the small theater, followed by tours of the distillery and tasting sessions every half hour. The tour ends with a visit to the gift shop.
The Ice Plant bar and restaurant are also extremely popular, offering a first-class cocktail program developed by Zach Lynch, a talented mixologist and master bartender. The restaurant menu features farm-to-table cuisine with grass-fed beef and burgers, local seafood and vegetarian options among the daily specials.
The St. Augustine Distillery is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner from 5 to 10pm, and lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. The bar is open from 11:30am to midnight on Sunday and Monday, until 2am the rest of the week. Call 904-825-4962 or visit the web site.
Muddy River Distillery became the first legal rum distillery in North Carolina in February, 2012 and only seven months later, began selling their first product: Carolina Silver Rum.
Combining premium grade molasses and sugar, along with a special strain of yeast, master distiller Robbie Delaney prefers a slow, small batch fermentation for up to two weeks before moving the mash to their custom built hybrid reflux column stills, Freedom and Democracy.
Co-founder Caroline Delaney oversees the business and has the final say on tasting the finished product.
Muddy River Carolina Silver Rum offers aromas of green banana and a whiff of white pepper before rich caramel, hard candy, marshmallow, taffy and a bit of almond. On the palate a very soft entry of gentle cane leads to very clean and subtle ripe banana, warming in the mid palate to reveal peppery notes on top of vegetal fresh cane, before a warm, lingering finish.
The Muddy River Distillery recently released an aged rum. Queen Charlotte’s Reserve brings aromas of aromatic cedar and white oak, dried fruit, creamy butter and earthy wood, cane syrup, apricot, dates and white raisin. On the palate a smooth entry is dominated by big oak drying out with ripe butter and shortbread cookie. A surprisingly well balanced rum that’s a pleasure to sip.
Another recent release is a coconut flavored rum.
Muddy River Distillery now has the capacity to deliver 300 bottles a day and distribution is growing quickly with online sales in most U.S. states.
This artisanal American hand crafted product represents the new rum revolution — a return to the days when small batch American rums made by mom and pop entrepreneurs were among the very best in the world.
Known for their outstanding craft spirits produced in Southwest Florida, Wicked Dolphin today announced they will release a limited edition rum expression benefiting the USS Mohawk Coast Guard Cutter Veterans Memorial Reef and Bionic Warriors program.
The rum will be available July 2, 2015 at Wicked Dolphin Distillery, based in Cape Coral, Florida. Wicked Dolphin will release only 200 signature bottles with the name “Sunken Barrel USS Mohawk CGC Reserve,” a limited edition 750ml bottle priced at $39.99.
USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum began with the sinking of five Wicked Dolphin Rum barrels filled with distilled water, sent 90 feet down to the USS Mohawk Veterans Memorial Reef last week, and then raised 72 hours later.
The ship was sunk to create an artificial reef environment that encourages coral growth, fish populations and a myriad of marine life.
Wicked Dolphin Rum and Lee Reefs have partnered to create the limited edition rum to benefit the Lee Reefs program and Special Operations Bionic Warriors — a foundation that ensures wounded, injured or ill U.S. Special Operations veterans/athletes receive state-of-the art adaptive sports equipment, coaching and access to cutting-edge sports science that will ensure achievement of their athletic goals.
The barrel sinking at the Mohawk reef site comes just three years after the Mohawk was sunk for use as a veteran’s memorial reef. One hundred percent of the profits will be use to benefit both artificial reefs and the ongoing efforts of the Bionic Warriors.
“We’re proud to be able to create this special rum to honor the spirit of our servicemen — past and present,” said Wicked Dolphin Distillery owner, JoAnn Elardo. “The Mohawk Reef is a wonderful setting to bring this product to life.”
The USS Mohawk CGC has become a premier dive destination in Florida. During its short time as a memorial reef it has been visited by numerous whale sharks, hosted an underwater art gallery, and now, on the third anniversary of her sinking, a new signature product emerges as her legacy continues to grow.
Started in 2012, Wicked Dolphin Distillery is located in Cape Coral; just miles from the fertile sugarcane fields of Florida. Wicked Dolphin Rum was born out of an idea to create true Florida rum. Using 100 percent Florida sugar and local ingredients, the rum is handcrafted in small batches using an American copper pot still — the largest in South Florida. The family-run distillery produces award-winning rums available throughout Florida and the Southeastern United States.
Richland Single Estate rum is certainly unique. From growing their own cane in Richland, Georgia, to reducing their fresh cane juice to syrup on the premises, implementing a unique fermentation and distillation process, and finally, aging their distillate in new oak barrels, the Richland Distilling Company produces an authentic, plantation style cane spirit from field to bottle.
Erik Vonk is a passionate and dedicated rum producer that goes to great lengths to control all aspects of his production process. Selecting only the most hearty varieties of cane grown on his property, harvesting with great care and crushing fresh juice, he takes a holistic approach to rum production nearly abandoned in the present day. Reducing his cane juice to a delightfully rich honey-like consistency — a superb example of southern artisanal cane syrup — provides a stable and full flavored base for his careful fermentation.
The pot still offers a gentle, rustic distillation that helps retain much of the cane flavor throughout the process, resulting in a fine, cane-forward distillate. The use of small white oak barrels for maturation lends a bourbon-like quality to the rum as it ages, taking on rich wood notes almost immediately.
Within 18 months, the spirit is turning a warm golden color and developing complex flavors. By 36 months, it’s nearly ready to bottle, close to peaking in its interaction with the oak casks.
On the nose, we find big bourbon oak. Charred and toasted wood dominates with subtle aromas of butter, cherry/apricot dried fruit spice cake, vegetal cane notes and a hint of Chardonnay. On the palate, bold and rich bourbon style notes lead to a building heat before echoes of Irish Whiskey and more wood carry into the mid-palate leading to buttery fruit cake and a fading hint of agricole in the long finish.
Richland Single Estate rum is rich. Bottled at 43%, it’s a bold statement of careful and deliberate production values, pride and craftsmanship. This is hand-made rum.
The 750ml bottle of Richland Single Estate Old Georgia Rum sells for $55.00.
Visit the distillery in Richland, Georgia to meet Eric Vonk and experience this authentic Richland Single Estate rickAmerican spirit first-hand.
333 East Broad Street
Richland, GA 31825-6109
Dawson Officer established his 4 Spirits craft distillery in Adair Village, Oregon in 2010, creating hand-made 4 Spirits Rum in honor of fallen comrades lost in Iraq. Now, his artisanal 4 Spirits Rum expressions are gaining the attention of consumers and rum enthusiasts near and far.
Housed in a former U.S. Air Force building at Adair Village, the distillery also produces Webfoot and SlapTail vodkas for Ducks and Beavers fans.
Officer’s 4 Spirits Silver Rum is the first of three small batch releases in his new signature rum series. Initial aromas of fresh bread and yeast with a suggestion of sourdough leads to ripe banana, then subtle cherry and almond before a complex juicy fruity bouquet. A super soft sweet entry develops into pleasant juicy fruit on the mid palate and a note of banana candy before drying out with hints of pepper, fading into a warm lingering green apple finish. The 4 Spirits Silver Rum at 40% ABV in a 750ml bottle retails for $27.95.
The 4 Spirits Spiced Rum, at 40% ABV, is a delightful expression. Initial aromas of vanilla, banana, nutmeg and baking spices lead to a comforting apple cinnamon pie. On the palate, the sweet but smooth entry suggests wonderful desserts like banana’s foster with whipped cream, fruit cake and apple cinnamon tart. The 4 Spirits Spiced Rum in a 750ml bottle retails for $31.95.
Officer’s 4 Spirits Veterans Scholarship Endowment Fund at OSU (Oregon State University) in Corvallis helps military veterans get an advanced education.
The public is invited to visit 4 Spirits Distillery and sample their 4 Spirits Rum on Saturdays from noon to 5pm at 6040 NE Marcus Harris Avenue in Adair Village, Oregon.
Louisiana Spirits of Lacassine, Louisiana recently debuted their new Bayou Select Limited Edition Barrel Reserve at the Miami Rum Festival to great acclaim, earning a gold award from the Consumer Rum Jury. This new addition to their award-winning offerings is the first aged rum expression bottled under the Bayou brand.
We tasted batch 1501, the first bottling (2015). The golden amber color of Bayou Select limited edition reserve is enticing. With initial aromas of buttery praline, rustic cinnamon and creamy vanilla, the nose leads to crisp apple over bread pudding with nuts, buttery croissant and toasted oak. First on the palate is cinnamon sugar and butter, building warmth in mid-palate as charred wood, maple and dark fruit notes develop before a warm finish with long lingering notes of dark wood.
Bayou Select Rum is another fine expression of these unique Louisiana sugarcane rums born from the rich soils of the mighty Mississippi river delta. Fermented with cane yeast, distilled in American copper pot stills and rested in American oak in the Louisiana heat, this flavorful dark rum is sure to be a favorite among those that appreciate sweet, delicious rums.
Each bottle is signed and numbered by the distiller and blender. The 750ml bottle of Bayou Limited Edition Select Barrel Reserve aged rum retails for $33.99.
This Bayou Select Limited Edition Select Barrel Reserve is handmade in the largest privately-owned rum distillery in the USA, utilizing traditional methods with state-of-the-art technology for all four steps: fermentation, distillation, maturation, and bottling.
Their 18,000 square foot distilling facility in Lacassine, Louisiana features a gallery celebrating the state’s historic role as a sugar cane producer and rum distiller, a 109 year-old restored farmhouse and modern production facilities located on 22 naturally-set acres, complete with ponds, cypress trees and a sugar cane field. The beautiful facility offers distillery tours, rum tasting bar and a first-class gift shop shop experience for those who visit the home of Bayou Rum.
Tim Litel, Skip Cortese and Trey Litel founded Louisiana Spirits in 2011. The Litel brothers are from the Lake Charles area and teamed with Skip Cortese, of Baton Rouge, for the venture. Tim and Skip have worked together for more than a dozen years to build and sell environmental service companies. Tim brings his environmental expertise with specialties in operations, compliance and general management. Skip is a successful entrepreneur with an environmental engineering background and specializes in construction and startup management. Trey brings over 25 years of sales and marketing expertise, with over 10 years in the distilled spirits and beverages industries.
Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits today announced the addition of three new expressions to their portfolio of artisan spirits in the form of Wicked Dolphin RumShine — made with locally-sourced produce and award-winning rum.
In addition to the new Apple Pie, Strawberry and Blueberry RumShine products, the company produces numerous cane spirits at their craft distillery in Cape Coral, Florida.
An homage to the pioneers that built Florida’s sugar industry from the wilds of the Everglades, Wicked Dolphin’s new RumShine flavored expressions are a reflection of a lost era of home-made spirits.
The tropical Everglades was worked by a rough bunch of hard-working laborers, known as Gladesmen. They worked tirelessly in the sweltering heat of the vast swamps infested with venomous snakes, battling savage alligators as big as boats.
These flavored rums won’t be confused with the sweet syrupy style flavored rums offered by other brands. They’re full of natural fruit flavor — and they pack a bit of a punch.
“We take a lot of pride in using as many fresh, Florida ingredients as we can.” says company president Joann Elardo. “Today, we are introducing three flavors: Apple Pie, Strawberry and Blueberry. We’ve been testing these in the market and have seen great response. People are looking for something a little different, and our new RumShine fits that bill.”
Strawberry RumShine features fresh Florida strawberries infused in their award-winning clear rum made from the very best Florida sugar cane, creating a profile of creamy, sun ripened strawberries with cool, sweet, refreshingly complex flavor, finishing with a bit of a kick at 100 proof.
Blueberry RumShine offers fresh Florida blueberries with a similar clear rum base. A nice bright full-bodied berry taste with sweet notes in perfect balance creates a great 100 proof spirit to enjoy on its own or with a mixer.
Apple Pie RumShine, at 70 proof, is reminiscent of having a warm slice of apple pie –- with a fresh clean apple taste that is wonderfully accented by a hand-made bouquet of nutmeg, cinnamon and homemade spices.
Wicked Dolphin rums are distributed by Republic National Distributors and available in most retail and restaurant locations throughout Florida. Visit the distillery located at 131 SW 3rd Street in Cape Coral, Florida for free tours and delicious rum tastings.