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.
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.
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 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.
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.
An award-winning boutique brand produced in Denmark, Skotlander Rum will age some of its distillate in bunkers built during World War II.
But 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
From Panama, the Abuelo XV Finish Collection features a trio of luxurious double barreled aged spirits aimed at the serious rum enthusiast. These limited edition 15 year old expressions are rested in casks of Tawny Port, Oloroso Sherry and Napoleon Cognac respectively.
The Abuelo XV Finish Collection
Each delivers a well aged, complex Central American spirit created from molasses, enhanced with a delightful bouquet of European wines during the second stage of maturity.
The Abuelo Finish Collection features three limited edition aged rums from Panama, finished in Tawny Port, Oloroso Sherry and Napoleon Cognac.
This trans-Atlantic connection serves as an homage to the masters — an international bridge between cultures, a melding of classic flavors and gastronomic legends.
Abuelo Añejo XV Años Tawny Port Cask Finish
Aromas of cocoa and tart berry over ripe dark fruit, butter cookie and mild wood. On the palate, sweet dark fruit leads to bitter chocolate Bon Bon and raspberry with bread pudding, fading into earthy wood and hints of cocoa in the long finish.
Abuelo Añejo XV Años Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish
Aromas of cacao and stone fruit with suggestion of herbaceous cane, vanilla custard and a hint of pear. On the palate, rich dark fruit builds to vanilla custard over musty wood and cola before aromatic eucalyptus and butter croissant precede a hint of cane and molasses in the long finish.
Abuelo Añejo XV Años Napoleon Cognac Cask Finish
Aromas of vanilla and musty bourbon oak lead to sweet fruit and pound cake with hints of green and black peppercorns over bitter wood. On the palate, a sweet caramel entry leads to bold cognac wood in the complex mid-palate, with a balance between sweet fruit and dry vanilla. The finish is wonderfully viscous, fading into echoes of honey, green banana and flowers.
These 750ml bottles of the Abuelo XV Finish Collection, at 40% abv, retail for about $75 in the United States.
The Abuelo brand offers a range of award-winning rums from Panama including the Añejo, 7 Años, 12 Años and the luxury expression Centuria.
From Destilerías Unidas in Venezuela, the Diplomatico brand has revealed Diplomatico 2002 Single Vintage, a new limited edition luxury rum expression.
Distilled in vintage copper pot stills in 2002, the rum was then aged in bourbon and single malt whisky casks for twelve years.
2002 Single Vintage Selection
Diplomatico 2002 Single Vintage is a limited edition aged rum from Venezuela aged in oak for twelve years before a second aging in sherry barrels.
Crafted from a selection of the most exceptional rum reserves in their vast complex of aging warehouses, the components of this Diplomático 2002 Single Vintage are hand-selected for exceptional quality.
After the initial aging process, these select spirits are transferred to Oloroso Spanish Sherry casks for another year to impart an enhanced finish.
After the second aging process, the Maestros Roneros carefully blend the rums in order to obtain the structure, body, personality, flavors and aromas that best express the vintage year.
The result is an artful and delicate balance of rare aged rums, destined for this special limited edition 2002 Single Vintage, created for the most serious rum enthusiasts.
Aromas of vanilla and almond lead to well balanced caramel and dark dried fruit before aromatic oak, cigar box, musk and raisin. On the palate, initial flavors of caramel, vanilla and oak are enhanced by complex dark fruit, spices and hints of tobacco. The finish dries out with very long lasting echoes of oak, raisin and toffee.
This 750ml bottle of Diplomatico 2002 Single Vintage limited edition aged rum, bottled at 43% abv, sells for $119.
The Diplomatico brand includes many fine traditional expressions such as Rum Blanco, Reserva and Exclusiva. Among the prestige products are the single vintages and their ultimate luxury rum, Diplomatico Ambassador.
Novo Fogo Graciosa double aged cachaça, now available in the USA, is a fine example of a 100% USDA certified organic spirit from a zero-waste cachaça distillery. This expression ages for two years in re-purposed American oak, then finishes for 18 months in a barrel made from Brazil Nut (castanheira do Pará) wood.
Graciosa is produced at Agroecológica Marumbi distillery, known for producing small batches (130 liters each) of organic cachaça.
Graciosa double aged cachaça is named after the idyllic road (Estrada da Graciosa) that crosses the Brazilian Rainforest from the mountains to the sea; a reference to the graceful and enchanting land it traverses.
The Agroecológica Marumbi distillery is known for producing small batches (130 liters each) in the town of Morretes, in the southern state of Paranà.
Graciosa Wood Management
Novo Fogo’s dual-wood barreling process for aged cachaça was perfected by master distiller Dr. Agenor Maccari, Jr.
Graciosa Cachaça is aged for two years in re-purposed American oak, then finished for 18 months in a Brazil Nut wood barrel.
With this expression, he carefully evaluates the spirit’s maturation as the rare flavors of Brazilian woods harmonize with the delightful flavors of American oak.
Novo Fogo’s wood management goals spotlight their commitment to environmental propriety, sourcing indigenous wood legally and sustainably. Pairing properly attained Brazilian woods with American oak doesn’t just produce delicious barrel-aged cachaça; it’s the right thing to do for Brazil’s environment.
Aromas of pecan shell, cinnamon bark and floral essences compliment the woody herbal character and cane fragrances. On the palate, aromatic wood and bark lead to bright cinnamon, allspice and clove. At mid-palate, cane and toasted almond are balanced by a hint of anise in the warm finish.
Novo Fogo Graciosa is a special limited edition release for 2016, bottled at 42% abv. The 750ml bottle sells for $34.95.
Cocktail Suggestion: Down But Not Out
2 oz Novo Fogo Graciosa 1 oz Cocchi Americano 0.25 oz Maraschino Method: Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf, slapped to release its aromatic oils.
With a reputation for double aging fine Caribbean rums, the Plantation brand presents the latest expression of this superb blend of five year old rums from Barbados.
After optimal aging in the Caribbean, Plantation’s Barbados 5 Year Old rum is brought to the Ferrand Estate in France where it is further refined for several more months in small Cognac barrels.
Among the most popular expressions of Plantation rum, the Barbados 5 Year Old gets a second barreling in Cognac casks, delivering a fine aged rum at a very good price.
This popular 5 year old Barbados rum presents a medium golden amber color. A smooth and sweet entry leads to rich banana flambé with a hint of vanilla, ripe butter, coconut and dried fruit flavors. Lingering tones of banana fade into a medium dry, slightly spicy finish.
For a relatively young rum, this expression shows unusually rich flavor and complexity, a result of skillful barreling and blending. At about $20 a bottle, Plantation’s Barbados 5 Year Old rum is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks. It also brings great tropical flavors to premium cocktails.
Cognac Ferrand is one of the world’s premier boutique producers of fine spirits and a leading architect of the artisanal, vintage and double aged rum movement. They produce limited-edition vintage rums from numerous Caribbean territories including Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Guadeloupe, Panama and Trinidad.
Cognac Ferrand has offices and production premises at Château de Bonbonnet in Ars, France and its brands are distributed in more than 40 countries. The brands available in the U.S. include the award-winning: Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, Mathilde Liqueurs, Plantation Rum, Landy Cognac, Cerbois Armagnac and Daron Calvados.
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.
Wicked Dolphin Distillery of Cape Coral, Florida has announced the limited edition release of their new USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum, to benefit the 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.
It has been another banner year for Plantation Rums, based in Cognac, France. The company announced today that their products were awarded four Gold and four Best In Category awards from the International Rum Expert Panel judges at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.
Master Blender Alexandre Gabriel announced his Plantation Rum expressions recently won the most RumXP awards at the international tasting competition held at the Miami Rum Festival.
Receiving RumXP Best In Category awards were Plantation Original Dark, Plantation Original Dark Overproof, Plantation Jamaica 2001 and Plantation Pineapple. RumXP Gold awards went to Plantation 3 Stars White, Plantation 20th Anniversary XO, Plantation 5 Year Old Grande Reserve and Plantation Guyana 2005.
Consumer Rum Jury Impressed
The Plantation 20th Anniversary XO aged rum also won a Gold award from the new Consumer Rum Jury in their premiere tasting competition, comprised of 20 well qualified rum enthusiast consumers, collectors and experienced rum travelers, offering the perspective of the active and engaged rum buyer in their evaluations.
Plantation Rums have a unique identity
This unique brand of rums is produced in France, headed by Alexandre Gabriel, Proprietor of Maison Ferrand and Master Blender for Plantation Rum. For the past two decades, Alexandre has been traveling to the Caribbean’s best distilleries to acquire rums that he believes will benefit from further aging in Cognac barrels at his facility in France.
Each rum in the Plantation Rum portfolio is made according to its country’s traditional technique and expresses the rum characteristics and flavor of its country of origin. While the rums are born in the traditional fashion, produced in rum distilleries and aged in barrels in the tropical sun, they undergo a unique aging process not used by any other rum producer in the industry — the rums are plucked from their country of origin at just the right moment and brought to the Ferrand estate in France where they are refined for several more months in small French oak Ferrand barrels. These special Plantation Rums that make up the portfolio are either blends or vintages and come from Barbados, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad.
Some of these special vintage bottles are considered by rum enthusiasts around the world to be highly collectable items.
“It’s such an honor that our rums would be considered among the very best in the world by this esteemed group of RumXP judges,” said Alexandre Gabriel. “The Plantation brand is enjoying steady growth in North America thanks to our team of seasoned professionals, a growing appreciation of our expanding range of unique aged rums and this type of consistent recognition by leading rum experts of the world.”
Don Pancho Fernandez’s brand of Origenes luxury rum from Panama is now being distributed across the Unites States by the artisan spirits division of Terlato Wines.
Don Pancho Origenes rums are produced in Panama by the legendary Cuban master rum blender Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, who is globally recognized as one of the most experienced and respected rum blenders in the world. The brand marks Don Pancho’s first rum under his own name. The contents of each bottle reflect a lifetime of expertise and vision.
After learning the distilling craft from his father, Master Distiller Don Ramon Corrales Fernandez, Don Pancho was instrumental in modernizing Cuba’s rum industry in the 1970s.
The Panamanian Connection
After a global conglomerate acquired Cuba’s national brand, he relocated to Panama, where, in the 1990s, he discovered a neglected distillery in the Herrera region of Panama, which he built, with business partner Carlos Esquivel, into the Las Cabras Distillery.
At Las Cabras Don Pancho produced super-premium rums made with estate-grown, hand-harvested sugar cane in the Cuban tradition for many brands, while he watched and waited as the barrels of rum that he had been aging in Panama since the 1980s started showing some intriguing flavors and aromas. He soon realized that there was an opportunity to produce a blended aged rum under his own name — one that would be his own personal expression of aged rum.
Don Pancho Origenes is Born
Crafted in the classic “Cuban style,” Don Pancho Origenes rums are made with molasses from hand-harvested sugar cane and a proprietary yeast, are distilled in copper column stills and then aged in American Oak bourbon barrels of uniform size. Each barrel is hand selected by Don Pancho from his own private collection spanning decades. Renowned for his exacting standards, Don Pancho true-age-dates his rums by the age of the youngest rum in the blend, meaning the youngest rum in the 8-Year Old is 8 years old, and the same for the 18 and 30 year olds.
The 8-year is aromatic with hints of butterscotch and vanilla. Particularly smooth for its age, this rum makes for a perfect accent to cocktails or can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. The suggested retail price is $40.
The 18-year is characterized by a beautiful, cherry wood color. Filled with delicate aromas of sweet tea, honey, moist dates and figs, this rum is smooth with a rewarding finish. The elegant mouth-feel fades gently to expose dried fruits and notes of bourbon due to many years aging in American oak bourbon barrels. Additionally, the 18-year recently won the Gold Medal at the Berlin Rum Festival, the only rum to earn a perfect 100 out of 100 points by noted rum expert Robert Burr in a blind tasting. The suggested retail price is $90.
The 30-year is the most exclusive and luxurious of the series, with only 2,000 bottles available worldwide and 600 in the United States. This expression has a complex nose with wood, bourbon, orange peel and apricots. Remarkably creamy and full-bodied, its rich flavors of fudge and caramel melt into the fruity nose with a complex, long finish. Best enjoyed on its own, neat. The suggested retail price is $425.
“With Don Pancho Origenes, Don Pancho created the kind of artisan rum that he had always envisioned making. We instantly knew that Terlato’s Artisan Spirits division was the perfect place to build our brand in the marketplace,” said Carlos Esquivel, executive director of Don Pancho Origenes. “After decades of experience producing some of the world’s finest rums, we are excited to work with the Terlato family as we release such a high quality series of rum expressions for the first time under Don Pancho’s name.”
Don Pancho Origenes is imported from Panama by the Artisan Spirits division of Terlato Wines, the leading marketer of luxury wines in the United States, with a 20 percent market share of wines $20 and up in the U.S. The exceptional quality of the Terlato portfolio is underscored by more 90+ scores from leading wine publications than any other wine company.