The limited edition single cask rum series from Mike Streeter’s Down Island Spirits company includes this ten year aged Jamaican HD 2012 expression, a classic pot still distillate made from fermented molasses at the legendary Hampden Estate distillery in Trelawny.
One of the lightest rums produced at the facility, the OWH marque (named for Outram W. Hussey) is considered a common clean style with ester levels in the range of 40-80 grams per hectoliter, far below the pungent venerable DOK marque at more than 1500.
Down Island Spirits Jamaican HD 2012
This Spirits Jamaican HD 2012 rum rested in toasted American oak in Jamaica for three years before transfer to Liverpool for an additional seven years.
It was bottled in Florida at the cask strength of 60% ABV.
Jamaican HD 2012 Rum Tasting Notes
Aromas of ripe fruit and cigar box lead to leather with hints of cacao, vanilla and caramel. On the palate, big warm bread pudding, ripe banana, treacle and baking spices precede toasted oak and a lingering musk. The finish is long, warm and dry, with echoes of fruit and bitter wood tannins lasting quite a while.
A visit to the distillery is an opportunity to go back in time, with legacy methods in place that deliver the endearing signature hogo style of yesteryear. The cedar fermentation tanks are alive with slow fermentation, emitting rich aromas of ripe fruit. The nearby muck pits contain past wash, rich in bacteria and acids that will enliven the next batch run through the legacy pot stills.
Unlike Appleton and Clarendon, there is no column still here; all the rum at Hampden Estate is made in batches, the old fashioned way.
Only 238 bottles of this Jamaican HD 2012 rum were produced, so rum enthusiasts will want to keep an eye open for it, most likely at retailers known for their fine collections; and also directly from the Down Island Spirts web site. The 750ml package, bottled at a hefty 60% ABV, sells for $95.
With Stade’s Rum Barbados Bond No. 8, West Indies Rum Distillery goes back in time to rekindle a brand name that evokes the early days of rum production on the island of Barbados.
The Man Behind The Brand Name
German Engineer George Stade forever changed the method of producing rum on the island when he installed the first modern column still in 1893.
The company quickly grew to be the largest producer in Barbados and is today recognized as the most important export business on the island.
The Debut of Stade’s Rums
Two rums were issued in 2022 under this new brand, the Beach Vat No. 1 clear rum and this aged rum — Stade’s Rum Barbados Bond No. 8, a blend of aged column distillate and high ester rum made on the old refurbished Gregg’s Farm Copper Pot Still after a weeks-long fermentation.
It’s an interesting and artful blend of various marques from one to eight years old that varies from the modern styles often associated with the island of Barbados. This expression truly is a reflection of times gone by and a fitting tribute to George Stade — the man that set the modern standards for rum production on the island.
Awards and Recognition
The new Stade’s Rums have been gaining international recognition almost immediately. The 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded Stade’s rum with double gold certification.
Aromas of toasted oak with raisins and stone fruit leads to a bit of cigar box and leather over a suggestion of caramel. On the palate, the toasted oak is complimented by a bouquet of dark fruit compote, baking spices and a hint of raw cacao. The taste profile finishes with echoes of toasted oak and tropical fruit.
This rum delivers fabulous flavor for rum cocktails that demand a robust profile and well balanced elements. On the rocks, it’s a fine casual sipper at a value price, and presents a uniquely satisfying aged rum expression when served neat.
The 750ml bottle of Stade’s Rum Barbados Bond No. 8, at 43%, is available widely for about $25.
The legendary Pusser’s rum brand presents a new expression in the U.S. market — Select Aged 151 Overproof Rum, aged in used Bourbon barrels. This rich and robust blend of rums from Guyana is bottled at full cask strength — 75.5% ABV.
Aged a minimum of three years and chill filtered, the Select Aged 151 formula closely reflects the Admiralty’s regulations for official navy issue rum rations prior to 1970.
Pusser’s Select Aged 151 Overproof Rum debuts in the U.S. market
The rum faithfully evokes the spirit of camaraderie of bygone days when wooden ships sailed the seven seas in the heyday of the British Empire. At full strength, it brings both robust flavor and bold strength to cocktails, an indispensable component for many a tropical libation.
Aromas of treacle and stone fruit compote are complimented by notes of dark cane syrup, marzipan, butter, black banana, spices and tobacco. On the palate, a small sip reveals the classic richness of an old wooden pot still from Demerara region, boldly delivering brown butter, intense dark fruit, tanned leather, earthiness and raisin over old oak. The finish is devine with long echoes of warm treacle and wood.
In addition to a fine component in cocktails, Pusser’s Select Aged 151 Overproof makes a first-rate dark rum floater on tall cocktails, providing an appealing dark crown that signifies an intrepidly authentic navy strength accent.
The Pusser’s Rum Legacy
Re-creating the legendary naval blend of rich dark rums for the modern era was a distinct challenge for the founders of Pusser’s Rum, and we find their blends succeed at expressing critical aspects of rum’s storied history.
The Pusser’s name represents a mutated slang pronunciation of the world purser — the officer onboard principally responsible for handling money and valuable cargo onboard, including the issue of the daily rum ration.
Pusser’s Rum Limited is a British Virgin Island Company with administrative offices in Charleston, South Carolina. Its products are imported into the United States by Shaw-Ross International Importers.
Pusser’s Select Aged 151 Overproof Rum, in the 750ml bottle sells for about $39.
The venerable Miami Rum Renaissance Festival returns to the historic Coral Gables Woman’s Club for their twelfth annual rum tasting event, featuring a wide assortment of rums from around the globe. General admission on Sunday, November 14 is from 2 to 6pm. VIP patrons and members of the spirits trade enjoy early admission at 12:30pm.
Once again, hundreds of rum connoisseurs, collectors, judges and enthusiastic rum lovers will mingle with producers, master distillers, importers, distributors, retailers and members of the spirits trade in Coral Gables.
So Many Rum Brands
Rum producers from across the USA, throughout the Caribbean and around the world will present more than 150 products, including newly released expressions just coming to market.
South Florida is the number one rum market in the world, featuring hundreds of retailers well stocked with a wide variety of rums. Tasting events such as this offer consumers an unprecedented opportunity to sample, savor and discern the qualities of these sugar cane spirits.
“We’re excited that Miami Rum Fest is celebrating its twelfth anniversary of bringing the world of rum to South Florida,” said rum fest host Robert Burr. “We’ve been visiting rum producers to gather an incredible collection of fine rums to sample for this grand tasting event. It’s an opportunity for rum enthusiasts to enjoy their favorites and discover some delightful new expressions, gain a greater appreciation and share the enthusiasm of these fine spirits with friends.”
Rum Reputations Are Made Here
Miami Rum Renaissance Festival has always been a place where rum reputations are made, new products are released and the love of old favorites is rekindled.
Admission to the festival includes a branded tasting glass and unlimited rum samples. At the VIP Tasting Bar, a selection of rare, collectable, limited edition rums will be available to sample for a small fee, which benefits a local non-profit organization.
Discount Tickets Are Still Available
Advance general admission tickets are on sale through Thursday, November 11 for $39. VIP tickets are $49 online. After the deadline, the price of tickets increases to $49 and $59 at the door.
In the southwest region of Panama, northwest of the town of David, the Hacienda Carta Vieja is surrounded by miles of sugar cane fields which thrive in the rich soil near the Pacific Ocean. Here we find the distillery that produces the legacy Carta Vieja rum, and their newest expression — 8 Años Double Cask.
After traditional fermentation, Carta Vieja distillates are refined in a modern five-column still made of copper and stainless steel. The distinction that makes this rum unique is the double maturation in American Oak and French Oak barrels in two locations.
Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask from Panama is aged in both American and French Oak.
This 8 Años Double Cask spirit is aged for seven years in the warm and humid Solera 1915 aging warehouse near sea level using only American ex-Bourbon White Oak barrels. The final stage of maturation takes place in French Limousin Oak barrels for one year in the temperate mile-high Solera House of Rum in Boquete at 1668 meters above sea level.
The result is a spirit that exhibits far more complexity and nuance than other expressions in the product line. Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask spirit transcends the traditional flavor and aroma profiles, setting a new standard for intricacy and balance.
Aromas of caramel and coffee lead to vanilla, treacle, pecan wood, raisin and earthy peat.
On the palate, a dry entry suggests dark stone fruit with touch of cinnamon toast mid-palate before toasted oak, vanilla, marzipan and baking spices. The many layers of complexity are tempered by a smooth and pleasant mouth feel. The finish is long and well balanced — notes of smoky vanilla, pecan and prune wine contrast and balance a bitter wood tannin in the late finish.
This double cask rum makes a fine sipper neat in a proper tasting glass, or with a single good cube of ice. It excels in a high quality cocktail such as the Rum Old Fashioned, complimented by aromatic bitters and a touch of sweetness.
Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask aged rum is bottled at 40% ABV. The 750ml bottle costs about $28.
A single batch pure cane rhum aged in the tropical climate of Martinique, Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve is bottled at 51.3% ABV. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this vintage 2015 expression is the maturation in first-fill Bourbon barrels, rather than the traditional loose grain French Limousin Oak.
More than 1,000 acres of sugarcane plantations surround the distillery, located in the North East section of the island, facilitating the rapid transport from cane field to cane crush.
Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve is a single batch pure cane overproof rhum aged in first-fill Bourbon barrels.
A traditional fast fermentation (less than 72 hours) in open vats precedes a traditional single pass distillation at low ABV using legacy creole columns.
All of the rhum from this single batch of Cellar Reserve was matured in America Oak — once used Bourbon Barrels — to impart a unique profile not found in other Rhum Agricole spirits.
This Cellar Reserve expression is produced under the strict standards of the Martinique AOC geographical indication, adhering under French law to the appellation d’origine contrôlée regulations.
Initial aromas of toasted oak notes mingled with mellow vanilla are followed by baking spices and butter before a whiff of figs and prunes, a hint of bread pudding, oaked Chardonnay and orange blossom.
On the palate, a mellow entry of toasted oak and vanilla expands mid-palette with big warm tones of buttered toast, dark fruit compote, cassia bark, almond and cacao. The finish continues with fading notes of toasted oak, praline, tobacco leaf and citrus rind.
Produced under the direction of Master of Rum Marc Sassier, this unique 2015 vintage rhum manages to faithfully adhere to the traditions of the region and the distillery, while presenting a delightfully bold and impressive accent from the white oak Bourbon barrels, which sets it apart from other Rhum Agricole expressions.
Legacy of Saint James
Rhum Saint James is an AOC certified brand from Martinique — the oldest brand on the island and the third oldest rum brand in the world.
Les Plantations Rhum Saint James visitors center and museum
The facility in the coastal region of Saint Marie holds the most important stock of old rhums in the Agricole world with more than 15,000 casks.
Barrel Warehouse at Rhum Saint James
It’s also the most popular distillery in Martinique with more than 120,000 visitors annually.
The Cane Plantation Train at Rhum Saint James Distillery
The Rhum Saint James brand is owned by La Martiniquaise, one of the world’s largest international spirit companies. The entire production facility is energy-independent, designed and operated in the most efficient manner to minimize the impact on the environment through every step of the process.
historic water wheel cane crush
Imported by 375 Park Avenue Spirits in Kentucky (a division of the Sazerac Company), this single batch aged Rhum Agricole expression is limited to 3,835 bottles. Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve at 51.3% ABV, carries a suggested retail price of $50 in the USA for the 750ml bottle.
From the central regions of Panama — via Hollywood, California — here is a limited edition aged rum worthy of its title: Selvarey Owner’s Reserve.
The name Selva Rey is based on the Spanish translation of Jungle King. This fine aged owner’s reserve edition was conceived and developed by international super-star performer Bruno Mars, in collaboration with legendary master distiller and blender “Don Pancho” Fernandez — a king of rum in his own right.
Selvarey Owner’s Reserve aged rum was created by famed master blender “Don Pancho” Fernandez in Panama under the direction of international super-star Bruno Mars.
It’s obvious this product is meant to impress rum aficionados and collectors, as well as anyone who appreciates luxury spirts, with a decidedly sophisticated approach and elegant presentation.
The distillery at Las Cabras makes a point of sustainable practices, using the disposed crushed cane to operate their steam boiler, driving a centrifugue that generates about seven megawatts, so the distillery runs on its own clean energy. Waste from the distillation process is used to fertilize the cane fields. They sow, cultivate and harvest their own sugar cane, controlling all aspects of the process.
Selvarey Owner’s Reserve is created by Don Pancho in Panama using his antique copper column stills. After aging in used American Oak Bourbon and Whiskey casks — using wood management techniques developed over decades in Cuba — the most outstanding marques for this owner’s reserve are masterfully selected and blended for near-perfect balance.
The resulting fine rum is bottled in limited edition for this special owner’s reserve release in a stunning package designed by Bruno Mars, featuring a tall statuesque elegant bottle enclosed in an artful box that faithfully reflects the unique nature and quality of the product.
Initial aromas of rich toasted oak, smokey honey, dark fruit and cocoa nibs are followed by suggestions of creamy vanilla and bread pudding. On the palate, a smooth entry of rich caramel, raisin and prune leads to treacle, hazelnut and vanilla custard with baking spices and toffee, before hints of old oak tannins and a bitter cacao note adds balance. The very long luxurious finish echoes the notes of charred oak, caramel, vanilla bean and cocoa.
Bruno Mars proudly presents his Selvarey Owner’s Reserve aged rum from Panama
Selvarey Owner’s Reserve is an exquisite example of the best of Panama’s rum, available in limited supply at select retailers in the USA as well as several online sources. It’s best enjoyed neat or with just a single cube of clear ice in a generous tumbler or proper tasting glass.
The 750ml bottle of SelvaRey Owner’s Reserve, bottled at 40% abv, sells for about $150.
Designed as an homage to the exotic Fijian Islands, Plantation Isle Of Fiji aged rum presents a beautiful and alluring package featuring exotic flora and fauna of the region. The rum is made using traditional techniques and local sugar cane, then double aged in tropical and continental climates.
Fijian sugar cane is grown in rich volcanic soils by 22,000 local farmers, sun ripened to perfection before being cut by hand and transported to the cane crush. A vital economic crop, sugar cane and related industries are responsible for 9% of the country’s annual GDP.
Chairman’s Trophy Winner in the annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge tasting competition
Plantation Isle Of Fiji is sourced from the Rum Company of Fiji under the direction of Master Distiller Liam Costello on the island of Viti Levu. The rum begins with a rather long and warm molasses fermentation of four to five days. It’s then distilled in both modern column stills for floral, light, fruity character, and traditional pot stills offering heavier flavors and richer aromatics.
These rums are aged for two to three years in Bourbon casks in the tropical climate before a second maturation in French oak casks in the Southwest region of France. The resulting aged blend brilliantly assimilates the traditional Fijian style with the fine finishes reminiscent of the Cognac regions.
Awards and Accolades
Plantation Isle Of Fiji was the Chairman’s Trophy Winner in the annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge tasting competition held in Hawthorne, New York. With a score of 98 points, Isle Of Fiji was awarded the “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation.”
Aromas of jackfruit and banana, molasses and yeasty bread precede hints of soft green apple, vanilla bean, tart berries and toasted oak. On the palate, a sweet entry of creamy vanilla custard and honey quickly leads to ripe exotic fruit and spices. The mixed fruit compote and spicy notes linger in the medium long finish.
This rum represents a good value, excelling as an exotic component in tropical cocktails and punch recipes — similar to a fruity, funky high ester Jamaican rum.
The 750ml bottle of Plantation Isle Of Fiji aged rum, bottled at 40% abv, sells for about $25.
This classic, full bodied and flavorful Barbancourt Five Star aged rhum, made from fresh sugar cane juice, sets the standard for fine rhums from Haiti. Distillate is produced during the cane harvest season in a two column still at a high proof, then aged in Bourbon Barrels and French Limousin oak vats at least eight years before being bottled at 86 proof.
The well-honed process renders cane juice into a complex and flavorful distillate that ages quite well. After eight years in oak, the rhum develops a generous medium-bodied, magnificent well-balanced palate.
Rhum Barbancourt Five Star 8 year old rhum from Haiti
In 1862, Dupré Barbancourt, a native of Charente (Cognac) in France, developed a recipe for rhum using the French double distillation pot still method normally reserved for the very finest cognacs. Barbancourt rhums are produced by Société du Rhum Barbancourt in Haiti. CEO Delphine Gardère is the fifth generation of the family to lead the company.
Aromas of toasted oak, vanilla and tannins lead to butter cookie and vegetal cane. On the palate, a dry entry of rich complexity includes vanilla, dark caramel and grassy cane before pepper and baking spices. The finish lingers with notes of dried fruits, old oak and echoes of citrus.
Sips and Cocktails
Barbancourt Five Star aged rhum can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks with a slice of orange or lime. It also brings rich and luxurious flavor to fine cocktails that call for a high quality rhum component.
In addition to this eight year old rhum, the company is well known for their Estate Reserve 15 year old rhum, their Three Star four year old rhum, their white rhum and the tropical spiced Pango (pineapple and mango) rhum.
The Barbancourt Legend
The Barbancourt Five Star label contains an iconic image — the small figure of a woman dressed in a light blue dress holding a staff before a shining blue star. Believed by some to represent a goddess of the cane fields, in fact, she is likely a depiction of Dupré Barbancourt’s first wife, Nathalie Gardere who’s family continued the tradition and made the distillery what it is today.
Barbancourt rhums are imported and marketed in the U.S. by Crillon Importers of Paramus, New Jersey.
A boutique craft distillery in Sandy, Oregon is producing a small batch fresh cane rum of note for rum enthusiasts and collectors — Just Rum Maple Wood Rested aged rum.
Fresh Costa Rican cane juice is fermented with a legacy strain of yeast from the Caribbean in a lengthy cycle, averaging 14 days. With a simple electric-fired kettle distillation, they begin collecting the heart of the batch at 174 degrees which produces distillate at 145 proof. When the proof falls to 82, the distillation is complete.
This process delivers a distillate reminiscent of traditional estate rums of the early colonial era. The true essence of cane is not lost in this rum base with amusingly complex aromas and a robust flavor profile that is surprisingly smooth for a high proof American rum.
Just Rum Maple Wood Rested fresh cane rum from Oregon
No Flavorings Added
Just Rum Maple Wood Rested is not maple flavored, but rather rested with toasted maple wood to instill the essence and distinct influence of its interaction over time.
Matured at 61%, the resulting unfiltered, unsweetened rum is proofed down to 51% for bottling. This expression presents delightful toasted wood elements, a hint of natural sweetness, and a unique flavor profile not found in other American rums.
Aromas of caramel and cigar box over grassy cane, apple cider and a funky fruit note precede a hint of white wine. On the palate, a dry opening with fresh yeast bread leads to toasted wood and grassy cane before suggestions of maple sugar candy, mixed fruit pastry, apple fritter and cedar plank, ending with a long finish of delightful wood notes.
Fresh Cane Rum
This Oregon craft rum stands alone with this combination of fresh cane juice, a robust yeast fermentation, simple distillation and maple wood influence, created by an American distiller with a penchant for authenticity and bygone traditional estate methods.
One of master blender Trudiann Branker’s first projects at Mount Gay was the release of the limited edition Master Blender Collection Pot Still Rum, with only 4,920 bottles. This expression was well received among rum enthusiasts almost immediately and earned some notable awards soon after release.
The Mount Gay Legacy
The distillery for Mount Gay has a storied reputation for producing fine rum using a collection of traditional McMillan and Fragasa double retort copper pot stills — along with more efficient column stills installed a century ago.
traditional McMillan and Fragasa double retort copper pot stills
a Pure Pot Still rum from Mount Gay, aged ten years in whiskey oak barrels
These distillates are artfully combined with expertise to balance their respective best qualities. The vast majority of Mount Gay rums are blends of these two types of stills, matured in oak barrels in the aging warehouses at the distillery.
Two unique aspects of the their legacy production techniques are the indigenous yeasts of Barbados and the supply of fresh artesian water from a deep well on the property.
A Unique Pot Still Product
This boutique Master Blender Collection pot still-only product was distilled in 2009 and aged for ten years before a second maturation of six months in ex-whiskey casks, emphasizing the rich and more rustic flavor profiles of these traditional copper pots in comparison to the tall column stills.
Mount Gay master blender Trudiann Branker’s first release is the Pot Still Rum
This is not the first time Mount Gay has released a pure pot still rum, — and hopefully it won’t be the last. But, it’s the first time they claim an age statement on the label of a pure pot still rum, and its the first signature release by master blender Trudiann Branker.
The Mount Gay distillery has a large stock of aged pot still rums to use in their blends. Eclipse, Black Barrel, XO and the elite 1703 expression have seen increases in the percentage of these well aged pot still components as they inch these expressions forward in the plan for premiumization.
Initial aromas of bold dried fruit, chocolate and musty oak dominate before herbal and floral notes, palm blossoms, damp earth and snuffed candle. On the palate, a very dry entry heats up fast, lead by charred oak, bitter vanillin and burnt sugar before a long lasting bitter cacao note in the finish.
This rum is reminiscent of the rustic and hearty rums from the old Caroni distillery in Trinidad.
Mount Gay’s limited edition Pot Still Rum from master blender Trudiann Branker was aged for ten years in American Whiskey casks before bottling at a robust 48% abv. The 750ml bottle sells for about $150, available mainly on the island of Barbados and a few select markets.
Located in the historic Ybor City neighborhood, a visit to Tampa Bay Rum Company is a delight, both for the rustic, festive atmosphere and to taste some fine rum samples. Your first stop is the appropriately decorated Buccaneer Bar, where proprietor Sam Meyers and master distiller Brad Bunn welcome visitors to their charming craft distillery.
entrance to the tasting room
tasting the rums in the Buccaneer Bar
The Rum Distillery Tour
The tour continues behind the scenes, with a walk through the barreling area into an immaculate production space where we find large fermenting tanks and their big copper pot still with rectifying columns.
barrels of rum resting
the copper pot still
Tampa Bay Rum Company uses top-grade molasses from Okeelanta Sugar Mills in South Florida for their seven day fermentation. Brad specifies different types of yeast for each fermentation at different temperatures to achieve the proper variations. The reserve rum is distilled at a lower proof for a slightly heavier bodied distillate.
Award Winning Rum
Brad has earned a reputation as a masterful rum maker. His premium Gasparilla Reserve — aged exclusively in 57 liter Maple Syrup Rye Whiskey Barrels — won Best In Class Craft Rum in the 2020 American Distillers Institute competition.
The 80 proof spiced rum ($29.99) made with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, clove and allspice is delicious. The rums that sell best in the tasting room are Coconut, followed by Scurvy Lime ($29.99) which really captures the essence of the local Florida citrus crop. The 80 proof white rum ($27.99) is a delightful expression which shows off Brad’s rum-making skills. A newer edition is a Butterscotch ($29.99), based on the spiced rum base with the addition of two types of butterscotch extract to emulate the taste profile of butterscotch candy.
The award-winning Gasparilla Reserve aged rum ($39.95) bottled at 92% is available only at the distillery.
Visit Tampa Bay Rum Company
Drop in to the distillery and tasting room for tours ($12 includes Gaspar’s insignia glass) and rum tastings from 2 to 6pm, Wednesday through Saturday, or Sunday from noon to 4pm at 2102 East 4th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605. No reservations are required.
Consumers can purchase Tampa Bay Rum Company’s Gaspar Rums direct from the distillery or at select ABC Liquors, Total wine and other liquors stores in the Tampa Bay area. They also have online distribution through B21.
Don Q’s Signature Release Single Barrel 2009 was hand selected by the master distiller from a selection of the Serrallés family’s private rum stocks, then laid to rest in charred American oak casks before bottling in 2019.
This limited edition light bodied aged rum is an expertly crafted noble spirit — a fine example of the Puerto Rican style.
It was designed following the trend of Don Q’s Signature Release Single Barrel Collection — after the 2005 and 2007 editions — as a light rum, distilled in a multi-column alembic still and then aged at 150 proof for a decade in single-use white oak barrels, previously used for Bourbon whiskey.
The medium amber color suggests a long resting period in oak. Aromas of fruit and spice with smokey oak dominate, before honey butter and vanilla over fruit cake and compote, with just a hint of molasses. On the palate, a bold entry of toasted oak leads to a creamy mouthfeel with butter cookie, accented by vanillin and Crème brûlée, before hints of bitter cocoa and charred oak linger in the medium long finish.
Enjoying Single Barrel 2009
For upscale cocktails like a Rum Old Fashioned, this light bodied, well-aged spirit is a great choice, or enjoy sipping it slowly on the rocks in a generous tumbler.
This 750ml bottle of Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2009, bottled at 40% abv, sells for about $49.
A visit to Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery in Pittsburgh is an opportunity to experience the production of award-winning American rums. Master Distiller Tim Russell presents a successful philosophy and confident approach to his production techniques, delivering an array of fine rums with consistency.
a selection of Maggie’s Farm Rums at the tasting bar with copper pot stills in the background
Located just off the Allegheny River in the Strip District, the rum distillery features a large inviting open cocktail bar space with clear view of the two alembic copper pot stills, fermentation tanks and racks of aging barrels.
two alembic style copper pot stills produce the distillate for Maggie’s Farm Rums
Maggie’s Farm Rum Awards
At least a hundred awards are displayed on Maggie’s Farm Rum bottles, a testament to the positive feedback from professionals, rum judges and tasting events around the world. Numerous Best-In-Show, Double Gold and Best-In-Class awards — including eight from the International Rum Experts and the Rum Jury at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival — speak to the quality of the product from this young American rum company.
Maggie’s Farm Rums have earned many awards from prestigious tasting competitions
The first commercial craft rum operation in Pennsylvania since the era of prohibition began as a modest venture — without significant investment or bank loans — to create authentic, unadulterated spirits using the best available ingredients, including Caribbean-derived yeasts and Louisiana Turbinado raw cane products. Long fermentation times — up to three weeks — help deliver high esters and big flavor before careful, rustic distillation techniques serve to retain much of the spirit of cane.
The result is a delightful distillate that serves as the base for the white rums, the barrel aged dark rums and all the natural flavored rums in the lineup. It’s clear from the dry profile that modifiers, sweeteners and extraneous ingredients are not in the recipe for Maggie’s Farm Rums.
the fresh clear distillate from the pot still is the base for Maggie’s Farm Rums
The White Rum is a delight, offering soft notes of cane and vanilla, with a hint of butter in the finish. It’s a fine base for all of our favorite rum cocktails and makes a nice sipper with a couple of ice cubes.
Single Barrel Rum
In the Single Barrel Rum, we experience the distillate after the mellowing influence of two years in oak casks, picking up more pronounced notes of vanilla, caramel and toasted oak. This small batch aged rum is a sterling example of the craft distiller’s art form, well balanced and complex for a rum of its age.
Queen’s Share Overproof Reserve Series
Perhaps the most notable of the expressions in the Maggie’s Farm Rum lineup is the Queen’s Share Overproof Reserve series. The name refers to the technique of re-distilling the tails — the most flavorful and pungent portions of the distillate to come off the still late in the process — to refine and extract the very best of these components for special barrelings in used rye, Bourbon and sherry casks. The results are intensely rich, higher proof sipping rums that deliver a magnificent intensity, complexity and depth of flavor.
50/50 Dark Rum
An example of creative experimentation exists with the 50/50 Dark Rum, combining their own pot still aged spirits in equal measures with a well-aged molasses based, column-distilled rum from the Caribbean. The 50/50 blend is aged for an additional six to nine months to marry the flavors, resulting a a delightfully complex and well-balanced expression that manages to remain unpretentious and satisfying while offering good value.
Taking experimentation to the next level, Tim Russell has developed Maggie’s Farm Spiced Rum, an exceptional expression that wows the rum judges and consumers with its unique blend of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly grated orange zest.
Another variation on the 50/50 concept is the Pineapple Rum, derived by macerating fresh pineapple in dark rum, blended with a vapor distillation of their white rum through pineapple barks to capture the natural oils. These two components are combined to capture the full essence of the fruit in a rich rum base. It’s a complicated technique that delivers an exceptional product.
Old Fashioned Cocktail
A creative riff on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, Maggie’s Farm Old Fashioned starts with rum aged in rye whiskey barrels with additional oak cubes to accentuate the wood notes. A balanced addition of Louisiana turbinado sugar and aromatic bitters creates the base flavor profile for the MFOF bottled cocktail, ready to be poured over ice in a tumbler, accented with a wedge of orange peel.
Likewise, rum cocktail enthusiasts know that Falernum is an enticing and mysterious ingredient that makes classic cocktails like Corn and Oil, Three Dots and A Dash, and the Velvet Fog perennial favorites. Maggie’s Farm Falernum is created in small batches using fresh ginger, grated lime zest, toasted whole cloves and toasted allspice berries, added to the white rum. An exceptional ingredient made to the quality standards that defines Maggie’s Farm products.
Sourcing fresh roasted, fair-trade coffee beans locally, Maggie’s Farm Coffee Liqueur uses the cold-brew technique accented with house-made vanilla extract and a touch of dark brown sugar to achieve a perfect balance.
Hidden Harbor Special White Rum
A recent addition to the fine expressions is a purpose-derived blend for Hidden Harbor tiki bar located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill. The concept was to create a multi-layered white rum to serve as the base for a perfect Daiquiri cocktail, combining Maggie’s Farm white rum, Queen’s Share rum and carefully sourced distillates from Jamaica, Guyana, Martinique, Barbados and Trinidad. The result is distinctly flavorful and aromatic, with a molasses funk and a smooth grassiness that accentuates the true spirit of cane.
Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery Tours
Master Distiller Tim Russell presents an overview of production techniques for Maggie’s Farm Rums
For American Rum enthusiasts, a visit to Allegheny Distilling in Pittsburgh is a high-priority to experience the source of Maggie’s Farm Rums.
One hour distillery tours on Saturdays are $20, featuring an overview of the fermentation, distillation and aging processes before a tasting of rums and liqueurs at the bar. Guests receive a custom-branded Maggie’s Farm Rum tasting glass as a souvenir. RSVP online.
The Cocktail Bar is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 10pm, on Friday and Saturday from noon to 1pm, and on Sunday from noon to 6pm.
Allegheny Distillers, home of Maggie’s Farm Rum, is located at 3212A Smallman Street in Pittsburgh, PA 15201. Call 412-709-6480. https://www.maggiesfarmrum.com/
Spanning the globe in search of authentic expressions of rum, Alexandre Gabriel’s Plantation Rum brand celebrates the diversity of rum and brings a unique perspective to the marketing of sugar cane spirits.
Plantation’s myriad rum offerings celebrate the incredible range and richness of rum in both culture and taste, from points of origin to fermentation, distillation and barreling techniques.
Having spent countless days in the Caribbean in search of the best rums, Alexandre Gabriel’s dedication to understanding rum’s diversity is without equal. This decades-long obsession has effectively provided the enthusiastic consumer and rum collector with a global rum education on a silver platter.
Plantation Rum will present a seminar entitled “Exploring the Diversity of Rum,” at Miami Rum Festival on Friday, May 17 at 7pm. This seminar, lead by Rocky Yeh, will guide participants on a journey across rum’s broad landscape to explore that magnificent multiplicity of variety within the rum category.
The Miami Rum Festival takes place at the historic Coral Gables Woman’s Club on Friday, May 17 from 4 to 8pm, and on Saturday, May 18th from 4 to 10pm. VIP admission begins at 2pm each day.
The festival features rum producers from near and far exhibiting their products, along with seminars and master classes, cocktail demonstrations and a blind tasting competition by international judges.
The Plantation Rum brand will be highlighting some of their most outstanding expressions with tasting samples that explore the diversity of rum across many regions, including Xaymaca from Jamaica; Fiji Grand Terroir 2009; Jamaica Grand Terroir 2005; Barbados Grand Terroir 2005; Old Fashioned Traditional Dark Overproof; Original Dark Double Aged; 20th Anniversary XO from Barbados, 3 Stars White from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad; Barbados Five Years; and Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple rum.
The Diversity of Rum seminar takes the participants on a journey across rum’s broad landscape to explore that magnificent variety within the rum category.
Rums to be sampled at Miami Rum Fest include: Abuelo Centuria Reserva de la Familia; Abuelo XV Napoleon Cognac Cask Finish; Abuelo XV Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish; Abuelo XV Tawny Port Cask Finish; Admiral Rodney Extra Old; Appleton 21, Antelope Island Red; Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez 10; Barbancourt 15; Barceló Imperial; Barnacles 12 YO; Barnacles 8 YO; Bones Aged Butterscotch; Bones Aged Cinnamon; Bones Aged Dark; Bones Aged Spiced; Bones White; Botran 1893 Solera; Brugal 1888; Bumbu XO; Cachaca Paratiana Labareda; Cachaca Paratiana Ouro ; Cachaca Paratiana Prata; Cartavio XO; Cashcane Black Smoke 45%; Cashcane Saloon Cask; Copalli Barrel Rested; Copalli White; Cruzan Single Barrel; Diplomatico Mantuano; Diplomatico Planas; Diplomatico Exclusiva; Diplomatico Vintage; Don Pancho Origenes 18; DonQ Gran Añejo; Doorly’s XO; Dos Maderas 5+5; El Dorado 15 YO; El Dorado 21 YO; Facundo Exquisito, Flor de Caña 25; Foursquare Dominus; Foursquare Premise; Foursquare Zinfindel; Foursquare 2005 (12 year); Gordian Knot; Gubba Gold; Gubba Silver; Hamilton St. Lucia 10; Hamilton Jamaica Gold Pot Still; Hamilton Demerara 86; Hidden Harbor White; Islamorada Dark; Islamorada Reserve Single Barrel; Islamorada Select; Islamorada Spiced; Jan Stephenson Mango; Jan Stephenson Passion Fruit; Jan Stephenson Pineapple; Kavana Gold; Kavana Java; Kavana Silver; Lemon Hart 1804 Original; Lemon Hart Blackpool Spiced; Maggie’s Farm Dark; Maggie’s Farm Pineapple; Maggie’s Farm Queen Share; Maggie’s Farm Spiced; Maison La Mauny Acaia 50; Maison La Mauny Honey 35; Maison La Mauny Spiced 40; Maison La Mauny VSOP 40; Maison La Mauny XO 40; Matusalem Gran Reserva Solera 15; Medellín 12; Mezan Guyana; Monymusk Classic Gold; Monymusk Special Gold; Monymusk Special Reserve; Mount Gay 1703; Naked In Jamaica; Nativo Aged Special Reserve 15 YO; Nativo Overproof; Nativo Aged Special Reserve 20 YO; Neptune; Nine Leaves Almost Spring Cabernet Sauvignon Cask; Nine Leaves Angel’s Half American Oak Cask; Nine Leaves Angel’s Half French Oak Cask; Pampero Aniversario; Penny Blue XO; Plantation 3 Stars; Plantation 5 YO; Plantation Barbados 2005; Plantation Fiji 2009; Plantation Jamaica 2005; Plantation OFTD; Plantation Original Dark; Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy; Plantation Xaymaca; Plantation XO; Prichard’s Cranberry; Prichard’s Crystal; Prichard’s Fine; Prichard’s Key Lime; Prichard’s Peach Mango; Prichard’s Spiced; Puerto Angel Anejo; Puerto Angel Blanco; Real McCoy 10 year old Virgin Oak; Real McCoy 12 Lost Lake Edition; Richland Single Estate Old Georgia aged rum; Ron Centenario 18; RumJava Cacao’Mon; RumJava Caffe Con Horchata; RumJava Cinnamon’Bay; RumJava Expresso Rum Cream; RumJava Mahtini’Mon; RumJava Signature; Saint James Imperial Blanc; Saint James Rhum Paille; Saint James Rhum Vieux; Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera; Sebago Lake Coffee; Sebago Lake Original; Tanduay Cappuccino; Tanduay Coconut; Tanduay Double Barrel; Tanduay Gold; Tanduay Silver; Three Roll Estate Amber Rhum Agricole; Three Roll Estate Brazilian Style; Three Roll Estate Dark; Three Roll Estate White; Three Roll Estate White Rhum Agricole; TierraMonte Essential 8; Trois Rivieres Blanco Agricole 50; Trois Rivieres Cuvee de I’Ocean 42; Trois Rivieres Rhum Ambre Agricole 40; Trois Rivieres VO-Cuvee du Moulin,; Trois Rivieres VSOP Reserve Special; Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve; Zacapa XO; Zafra 30; Ziami Overproof; Ziami Platinum; Ziami Ruby Rush.