You’re sure to enjoy a visit to NJoy Distillery, the producers of Florida Mermaid Rum.
Just beyond the bustling modern suburbs, remnants of the pioneer era of west central Florida remain hidden in plain sight. Several miles down a sandy dirt road, an old hunting cabin has been transformed into the paradisaical home of NJoy Distillery.
Persistence pays off as you near the entrance to this large ranch property just north of Weeki Wachee’s famed clear springs and mermaid shows, hidden within a massive undeveloped state park.
NJoy Distillery Tour
You’ll be surprised and delighted to discover what Natalie and Kevin Goff have created in this rustic environment. It’s more than a craft distillery, artfully tucked into a barn. It’s a working spirit production facility that begs to be seen and admired by rum enthusiast visitors from near and far.
As you gaze off in the distance of this large farm, beyond the old water wheel, past the horse stables, six acres of tall green sugar cane — featuring seven different varietals — grows in long rows.
A small stream running from the picturesque waterwheel leads to a large pond with a tall fountain. This is old Florida revisited. This is a special place.
Kevin gives us the tour of the works, established in 2012, starting with the crusher, fermentation and distillation sections of the barn. They’re collecting rain water — filtered three times — for the mash and proofing.
This still is a beauty — a classic 300 liter (80 gallon) hand-hammered alembic-style copper pot still from Portugal.
Florida Mermaid Rum
Their popular Florida Mermaid Rum — with a nod to the local Weeki Wachee natural attraction — features their own boutique rum blended with a special Caribbean pot still rum, bottled at 100 proof, without colorings or flavorings.
Only steps away, the blended rum rests in 25 large Wild Buck Whiskey barrels in an outdoor shipping container for 90 days.
The nose begins with bold aromas of black banana, flowers and butter. Next, vanilla and almond emerge over oak with a big funky fruit basket.
On the palate, complex esters offer a delightfully fruity astringent entry that evolves to big warmth in the mid-palate. Wood and brown butter dominate before some baking spice as the finish slowly fades.
Florida Mermaid Rum is the recipient of many awards and accolades from numerous competitions, including Best In Class in the boutique rum category at the 2018 International Rum Expert Panel tasting competition at Rum Renaissance Festival.
Mermaid Rum is now available in many Florida locations, including ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wines & More, distributed by Republic National Distributing. The 750ml bottle retails for $39.95.
NJoy Distillery Products
NJoy is also home to Wild Buck Whiskey, made from 401 black rye grown on the farm, plus Ryes In Shine moonshine.
The farm also hosts 600 bee hives for pollination, as well as a source for delicious honey for sale. A local baker delivers fresh rum cakes every weekend, adding a delightful element to the visit.
The NJoy Distillery is open for free tours and tastings every weekend from 11am to 3pm, with tasty cocktails to imbibe on the shady deck by the pond. Take home a bottle of Florida Mermaid Rum, Wild Buck Whiskey, Ryes In Shine, some local honey and a rum cake.
The address is 7237 Wild Buck Rd, Weeki Wachee, FL 34613. Call 352-592-9622.
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