Robs Rum Guide

your guide to the world's finest rums

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news from the world of rum

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum

Presenting an iconic flavor profile of legendary Jamaican pot stills, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum invokes local history and ancestral culture of the island – the Arawak’s land of wood and water.

The classic double-thumper pot stills of Jamaica, in concert with traditional long fermentation cycles, can produce high ester rums — with aromas and flavors of black banana and flambéed pineapple — often described as funky.

In particular, aged rums from the venerable John Dore pot still at Long Pond and the Vendôme pot still at Clarendon are among the most desirable and — until recently — the least available on the market.

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry blended aged rum

Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry pot still blended rum from Jamaica

Lighter ester rums are blended with a dose of heavier rums from extended fermentations. The persistence of bold flavors remains notable in Xaymaca’s wide range blend, without being overpowering or intense.

Xaymaca Special Dry delivers just that — a well balanced blend of aged distillates from these legacy pot stills.

After resting in Bourbon barrels in Jamaica, the rum is rested for a second maturation of one year in Cognac barrels in Southwest France.

Xaymaca Special Dry took home a gold award at it’s first RumXP international tasting competition at Rum Renaissance Festival.

Xaymaca Special Dry Tasting Notes

Initial aromas of ripe banana, vanilla and smokey oak lead to hints of pineapple, brandy and fine herbs. On the palate, mixed ripe fruit and orange water precede the baked banana notes at mid-palate, with sour dough bread pudding, baking spices and almond butter fading into the medium warm finish.

Xaymaca Mission Statement

Alexandre Gabriel, founder of Maison Ferrand, said: “With Xaymaca Special Dry, I wanted to dive into the iconic culture that is unique to Jamaican rum. I wanted to work with these complex flavours of overripe exotic fruits with an almost animal intensity.”

“We can still find certain white rums with this famous ‘rum funk.’ I think, however, that this great terroir expresses itself perfectly in an aged rum. That is why we launched Xaymaca Special Dry – a tribute to this ancestral culture of rum.”

Xaymaca brings genuine classic Jamaican flavor profiles to tropical cocktails. Unlike some special editions, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry rum is widely available and quite accessible in price.

At 43% abv, the 750ml bottle of Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum sells for about $25.

https://www.plantationrum.com/


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Cashcane Saloon Cask blended aged rum

Bottled at 55% abv, Cashcane Saloon Cask aged rum is a blend of molasses-based spirits from Barbados, Trinidad and Panama, aged for six to eight years.

Each of the components lends a unique character to the blend, and the slightly elevated proof presents a bold expression reminiscent of cask strength American Bourbon. A small sip delivers big flavor.

Cashcane Saloon Cask Tasting Notes

Cashcane Saloon Cask blended aged rumMild aromas of butter cookie and vanilla lead to toasted oak and some spices. On the palate, pencil shavings and vanilla, toasted oak and some subtle sweetness precede a slightly bitter cocoa that balances well. Ripe butter and cedar linger in the finish.

In a tumbler with good ice, Cashcane Saloon Cask is a fine sipper. In classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan, it plays through well with potent, well balanced rum flavor that compliments the other ingredients.

Cashcane Saloon Cask blended aged rum in the 750ml bottle sells for about $49.

 


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Sugar Sand Distillery near Lake Placid

Hidden in the midst of a cane field, on a road that’s far from any highway, an open-air boutique distillery is attracting the attention of rum enthusiasts with their classic plantation method of turning sugar cane into rum. Sugar Sand Distillery crushes their own cane, ferments the fresh juice daily and uses their wood-encased copper pot still to make small batches of rum — the same way it was done centuries ago.

Sugar Sand Distillery - Lake Placid, FL

Sugar Sand Distillery features an open-air copper pot still hidden in the midst of a tall cane field.

The result is a simple and delicious cane spirit.

Some of the rum is maturing in small oak barrels to be bottled as golden aged rum.

Rum’s Natural Environment

Way out on Henscratch Road, near the town of Lake Placid, Florida, we found Don Davies and Jessica Giffin (the Distillery Queen) busy hosting folks in their tasting room and overseeing the craft distillation equipment they use to make fresh rum.

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In the background, tall green sugar cane stalks are swaying in the gentle breeze of a former citrus grove, cleverly fed by a hydroponic system that delivers water and nutrients directly to the base of each plant. It’s a modern and efficient method for raising cane (pun intended) in the sandy soil of south central Florida, a by-product of Don’s decades of experience in the fertilizer industry.

Sugar Sand Distillery Philosophy

“We didn’t know what we didn’t know when we started,” Don tells us. “Apparently no one else does it this way in Florida. We want to grow our own cane, rather than use molasses. We have a special device that peels the cane before crushing for a cleaner juice. And, we want to make each small batch by hand so we can control the process. It’s about quality, not quantity at Sugar Sand Distillery.”

There’s plenty of enthusiasm in the tasting room, as visitors savor the rum made only 20 feet away in a still that looks like something borrowed from a Willy Wonka movie. It tastes like cane, with a bit of smoky flavor from the heavily charred oak barrels. The sense of discovering something new and unique is a delight to those that make the journey.

Sugar Sand Distillery Rum - Lake Placid, FL

Sugar Sand Rum from Lake Placid, Florida is a limited edition authentic boutique craft spirit.

Distribution is a challenge, but they’re making steady progress throughout Florida. Sugar Sand Distillery also sells a moonshine and a vodka product made from cane. Almost everyone buys a bottle or three when they visit the distillery and that makes a big difference to the bottom line for this emerging production facility.

Visiting Florida Rum Distilleries

It’s great to see small Florida distilleries like Sugar Sand popping up all over the sunshine state. It’s a movement that benefits consumers by having more and better choices for unique styles of rum to enjoy.

Visit Sugar Sand Distillery for free tastings on Saturdays between 11am and 6pm. The address is 264 Henscratch Road near Lake Placid, FL 33852. Call 863-449-0470. https://www.facebook.com/sugarsanddistillery/


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Koloa announces Kauai Reserve Rum from Hawaii

Known for their award-winning line of artisan rums, Kōloa recently announced a new limited edition expression: Kauai Reserve Three-Year Aged Hawaiian Rum.

Artfully crafted in single-batches at its Kalaheo distillery, Kauai Reserve is aged for a minimum of three years in select American white oak barrels and contains no added sugar, color or other ingredients. Only twelve barrels were bottled in this first limited edition release.

“We are thrilled to be launching our newest rum at the dawn of the new year,” said Koloa Rum Company President and CEO Bob Gunter. “Kauai Reserve is remarkably smooth with rich, complex flavors that linger long after the last sip.”

Limited Edition

Each of Kauai Reserve’s 12-barrel batches yields approximately 3,500 bottles that are carefully filled, inspected and numbered to meet the exacting standards for quality and taste that Koloa Rum Company is renown. Continue reading

10th Annual Rum Renaissance Festival Announced

The hosts of the popular Rum Renaissance Festival in South Florida have recently announced details of their tenth annual event, to be held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center on the weekend of June 9-10, 2018.

Rum Renaissance Festival - a celebration of cane spirits in the new world

Celebrating ten years, the Rum Renaissance Festival is poised to be bigger and better than ever with a new location on the water in Ft. Lauderdale.

The move from Miami-Dade County to Broward County offers a more convenient centralized location for residents of the eighth-most populated metropolitan area in the nation, currently surpassing six million people.

South Florida is the number one rum market in the world. It’s also the gateway to the Caribbean, Central and South American regions, where more than 90% of the rum available in the United States is produced.

The host hotel is the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina, located right on the water next to the convention center, with discounted room rates starting at $119 a night. Reserve online now to assure your reservation.

“South Florida is the number one rum market in the world.”

Continue reading

Skotlander Rum aging in WWII bunker

An award-winning boutique brand produced in Denmark, Skotlander Rum will age some of its distillate in bunkers built during World War II.

Skotlander Rum - Cask Aged RumBut why? Isn’t the best location for aging rum the tropics? Anders Skotlander, owner of Skotlander Rum explains: “The cold climate in Denmark offers us something different. Previously we have tried aging rum at sea on an old schooner — the movement of the sea and the difference between summer and winter gave us a really interesting rum. Now let’s try the complete opposite — this rum is being kept still and the temperature in the bunker is 10˚c night and day, all year round. I think we’ll spend much longer ripening the rum, maybe twice as long as the tropics, but in turn, the taste may be much more refined.”

This limited edition Skotlander Rum begins with a slow four-week fermentation in the cold Nordic climate to develop complex flavor components. The distillation in pot stills ensures the majority of these flavor compounds remain. Continue reading

Neptune Three Year Aged Gold Barbados Rum coming to USA

Serial entrepreneur Richard Davies had a dream of creating a fine quality rum based on the legend of Neptune, Roman God of the Sea. He achieved success with Neptune Three Year Aged Gold Barbados Rum.

Having been involved in owning bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Cirencester — a market town northwest of London — for many years,  Richard was looking for an alternative to rums he was serving from large brands that had strayed from their origins. Continue reading

Big 5 Gold Rum evokes wistful era

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.

Modeled in the light bodied Cuban style of aged rums, Big 5 Gold Rum is a fine example of a modern spirit finished by craft distillers in artisan copper pot stills. Continue reading

Mount Gay 1703 Master Select aged rum from Barbados

From one of the oldest rum producers in the world comes one of the finest rare aged rums ever bottled, Mount Gay 1703 Master Select.

Derived from double copper pot and single column still distillates, this spirit is a blend of 10 to 30 year old aged rums. 1703 Master Select is a  deliciously complex and concentrated nectar reflecting the life-long mastery of blender Allen Smith. Continue reading

Miami Rum Fest returns April 22-23, 2017

The annual celebration of cane spirits and global gathering of rum experts in South Florida — Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo — returns to the DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Center for the weekend of April 22-23, 2017 from 1 to 6pm. Continue reading

New Yolo Rum Clear expression launches in Miami

You Only Live Once – so when it’s time to celebrate life, enjoy the best rum with friends. That’s the message behind the big launch of Yolo Rum Clear at the Miami Rum Festival, April 22-23.

Introducing Yolo Rum Clear

Joining Yolo Rum Gold and Yolo Rum Silver, the new Yolo Rum Clear expression is a boutique-quality rum that isn’t priced like it. Continue reading

Diplomatico adds Mantuano aged rum to Tradition Range

Mantuano Ron Extra Añejo rum’s name translates as “local nobleman” and is inspired by Don Juancho Nieto Meléndez, the 19th century character that inspirits the legend of Diplomático rums.

The Spirit of Diplomático

Mantuano Ron Extra Añejo rum

A rich dark medium-dry blend of aged rums from a traditional pot still, a unique batch kettle still and a modern column still, Mantuano is aged up to eight years and blended to perfection with great balance.

Don Juancho used his position of influence to benefit the development of his local region and to pursue his passion for travel and the discovery of new spirits, mainly rums. His significant impact on the rum industry and the appreciation of fine spirits in Venezuela is legendary.

This new expression in Diplomatico’s Tradition Range combines DUSA’s signature column, batch kettle and pot still distillates created from molasses and sugar cane honey.

Mantuano Tasting Notes

Aged up to eight years in white oak casks that previously held Bourbon and malt whiskey, Mantuano is precisely blended using 40% heavy pot still rum and 60% light and semi-heavy rums from the column and batch kettle stills for a fine balance.

Aromas of dried dark fruit, oak and a delicate spiciness are revealed. On the palate, a complex entry of dried fruits, wood and vanilla is well balanced, leading to a warm, semi-dry finish.

With a taste profile ideal for mixing in luxury cocktails, Mantuano’s rich body and delightful complexity will also appeal to those that prefer to drink it neat.

Mantuano is bottled at 40% abv and priced at $24.

Rum Arôme 28 from Panama

Among the most exclusive and expensive rums on the market, the new Rum Arôme 28 year old presents a luxury aged rum experience for serious rum collectors and connoisseurs.

Rum Arôme 28 is produced by a life-long master of rum in Panama and packaged for the luxury market. This rare rum expression is limited to 500 bottles worldwide.

Rum Arôme from Panama

The rare limited edition Rum Arôme is a luxury rum aged 28 years in Panama

The rum is distilled in a vintage copper column still and aged in used whiskey barrels for 28 years before a careful blending brings all the elements into a near perfect balance.

Tasting Notes

Aromas include brown sugar, charred whiskey wood, honey, baking spice, ripe butter and leather, with a hint of black pepper. A very smooth sweet entry builds big warmth at mid-palate before drying out with lingering vanilla and big wood over dried fruit, offering hints of cinnamon, cocoa and allspice. Notes of white raisins and butter linger in the long finish.

Availability

Rum Arôme 28 is available at select retailers or online from Passion Spirits or Sunset Corners.


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Stolen Overproof Rum launching in key U.S. markets

Known for their clever approach to marketing, Stolen Spirits announces the release of their Stolen Overproof Rum across the United States in key markets.

Discovering Stolen Overproof Rum

Stolen discovered this rum at a historic, family-run distillery in Jamaica that’s over 250 years old.

Stolen Overproof Rum

Stolen Spirits’ Overproof rum from Jamaica is produced in a traditional pot still from a legacy distillery.

In their time-honored Jamaican style, the mash ferments for seven days in a selection of 50 different cedar vats, developing a bold, rich and complex flavor profile. Traditional copper pots are used to distill the rum in a rustic manner, before a six year maturation in used whiskey barrels.

Stolen Overproof Rum is bottled at 123 proof (61.5% abv) and presented in half-size 375ml bottles with a suggested list price of about $20.

Tasting Notes

Stolen Overproof Rum offers aromas of bold charred oak and pepper over ripe banana, leading to funky juicy fruit. On the palate, a bold entry of butter, vanilla and oak develops a bouquet of fruit in the dry mid-palate with hints of tart citrus, soft pear, black banana and a touch of treacle in the long finish.

A Handcrafted Rum

“We consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate to have discovered this remarkable product. It’s rare to find a handcrafted rum of this proof and quality that’s been aged for six years,” said Samira Seiller, Global Managing Director of Stolen Spirits.

Stolen Overproof Rum is a limited release, with only 60,000 of the half-size 375ml bottles available.

About Stolen Spirits

Other notable releases from Stolen Spirits include the Stolen Smoked rum.

The brand began in 2010 when two rum fanatics gave up the corporate grind to pursue their passion in Auckland, New Zealand.  Stolen Spirits products are currently available in Australia, New Zealand, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Tennessee, with more states coming online soon.


To stay informed of the latest rum news from Robert Burr, subscribe to Robs Rum News email list.

Oak And Cane rum launches in Florida

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.

The Oak And Cane Project

Oak And Cane rum from Fort Lauderdale, Florida rests in orange peels

Oak And Cane rum is a distilled specialty spirit from Fort Lauderdale, Florida rested in orange peels.

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.

Tasting Notes

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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