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.
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.
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/
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.
With a nod to the backwater regions of Southwest Florida, Alligator Bay Distillers is a family-run operation producing a line of boutique rum products from their production facility in Punta Gorda, Florida.
Alex Voss with Robin and Robert Burr at Alligator Bay Distillers
Alex Voss grew up in Naples, a small town south of Fort Myers. In 2012, he moved to Maui, Hawaii where he learned to make rum. He started as an apprentice and worked his way up to distiller at Haleakalā Distillers.
Returning to Naples, Alex brought home his knowledge of cane spirit production, collaborating with family members to launch their own facility in 2015.
While Alex concentrates on rum production, brother Ben Voss leads the marketing efforts and serves as chief mechanic at Alligator Bay Distillers.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon for a look around and a tour of the facility. Alex welcomed us and spoke of his process and philosophy of making rum at Alligator Bay Distillers.
Starting with molasses from Clewiston — the legendary sugar town near Lake Okeechobee — Alex has perfected his fermentation process with an ideal active dry yeast strain that thrives in the warm humid climate of Southwest Florida. The fermentation process takes seven days and produces a rum mash with an alcohol content of 8%.
The distillation process involves double distillation in a traditional copper pot still to 70% abv, retaining much of the molasses and cane flavors in his distillate.
The aging room is completely filled with resting oak barrels. The aroma of rum and wood is enticing — and certainly whets the appetite for the next stop on the tour — the tasting room.
Alligator Bay rums
Indeed, the clear rum retains a true flavor of cane and serves as the base for the spiced rum. The Sun Gold rum is lightly aged and the addition of Black Mangrove honey offers a nice finish. The Saba Treasure offers a subtle hint of fennel.
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.
the hand-hammered copper pot still at NJoy Distillery
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.
NJoy Distillery – Florida Mermaid Rum
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.
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.
Diplomático Distillery Collection rums, labeled “No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum” and “No. 2 Barbet Rum” each contain a unique bottle number, batch number, and the date of the distillation marked on the label, as well as an illustration of the still.
A pair of rums that spotlight the distinctive production process used by the popular Diplomático Rum from Venezuela — the Diplomático Distillery Collection — have been released in the United States.
The distillery in La Miel, Venezuela has a long history of producing fine rums, using traditional copper pot stills, as well as modern column stills. One additional asset that sets them apart from others is their batch kettle still, a hybrid configuration best known for producing whiskies.
The new Diplomático Distillery Collection highlights these distillation systems with two new limited edition expressions: a Single Batch Kettle rum and a Single Barbet Column rum.
This new pair allows consumers to better understand and distinguish the various production methods and unique personalities of the stills used to make many of Diplomático’s fine blended expressions. Continue reading
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
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
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.
The iconic Mount Gay brand of rum from Barbados recently announced a special limited edition aged rum package: Origin Series – The Copper Stills.
From Barbados, the new Mount Gay Origin Series: Volume Two, The Copper Stills Collection features two similarly aged rums created in two different stills.
The Copper Stills: Pot vs. Column
Mount Gay releases their limited edition Origin Series Volume Two: The Copper Stills, featuring a selection of two aged rum expressions from Barbados.
The first was produced in a copper pot still, the traditional method of creating rum that dates back to the brand’s origins in Barbados in 1703. The second expression was created in a modern copper column still, a more efficient method for producing rum from molasses.
Each of the two rums included in this special package exhibits a flavor profile unique to it’s method of distillation. Mount Gay rums achieve their complexity and depth of flavor by combining these types of marques in their popular blends.
The Copper Pot Rum leads with aromas of sweet cane, vanilla and funky fruit. On the palate notes of dark chocolate, toasted coconut and almonds lead to butter and oak in the finish.
The Copper Column Rum offers aromas of butter and banana. On the palate, hints of sweet ripe fruit and delicate floral notes precede toasted oak.
The Origin Series Collections
“We created the Origin Series collections so that we could give rum drinkers the unique opportunity to experience rum by tasting the pure essence of the distinct distillation methods. We want to share a deeper understanding of how each part of the process can change the taste of rum entirely,” said Mount Gay Master Blender Allen Smith. “Copper Pot is a rich, intricate interpretation of signature Mount Gay aromatics, robust in flavor and body. Copper Column is a delicate and mellow expression of our classic profile.”
Like Volume One of the Origin Series – which featured Virgin Cask and Charred Cask varieties – Volume Two is presented in bespoke packaging of two 375ml bottles, along with a detailed booklet that gives an overview of the creation of the two rums.
The Origin Series Copper Stills collection, at 43% abv, will be available beginning October 2016 at premium liquor and spirits stores across the United States for a suggested retail price of $95.
In North Florida, take the A1A Cocktail Trail when you want to enjoy a leisurely drive along the coast. The route combines amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean with stops at popular watering holes that feature tropical cocktails made with fresh Florida citrus and local craft spirits from St. Augustine Distillery.
North Florida’s A1A Cocktail Trail offers a delightful adventure along Florida’s Historic Coastline, discovering tropical cocktails made with fresh Florida citrus and rum from the St. Augustine Distillery.
The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), St. Augustine Distillery and the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) have created a trail of bars and restaurants along Florida’s Historic Coastline that serve up original cocktails made by experienced Florida mixologists.
“We are excited about putting Florida on the ‘map’ as a state that is creating some of the freshest cocktails. We’re combining locally made spirits from Florida agriculture with the world’s finest citrus, highlighting our long history of agriculture and sustainable production practices,” explained Philip McDaniel, co-founder and CEO of St. Augustine Distillery. “Together with the FDOC and VCB, we are proud to promote the Spirit of Florida.”
Amy Carpenter from the Florida Department of Citrus (left) and Kara Pound from the St. Augustine Distillery (right) visit with Matt Stevens (middle), manager of A1A Ale Works in St. Augustine, to unveil the new A1A Cocktail Trail program.
Once your passport is stamped at all eight locations, redeem it for a free collectible A1A Cocktail Trail t-shirt and branded, wooden coaster set.
Passports are also available at the I-95 Welcome Center, the I-75 Welcome Center, the St. Augustine Distillery and Florida’s Historical Coast office in St. Augustine.
Discover Florida’s Historic Coastline
Take your time and enjoy the natural beauty, leisurely pace and delightful venues along Florida’s Historic Coastline.
Florida A1A – the beach road
Florida’s A1A is a north-south Florida State Road that runs mostly along the Atlantic Ocean, with sections from Key West at the southern tip of Florida, to Fernandina Beach, just south of Georgia on Amelia Island.
Saint Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the contiguous United States. Since the late 19th century, St. Augustine’s distinct historical character has made the city a major tourist attraction.
The St. Augustine Distillery is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner from 5 to 10pm, and lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. The bar is open from 11:30am to midnight on Sunday and Monday, until 2am the rest of the week. Call 904-825-4962 or visit the web site.
Their craft rum spirits are produced on-site by master distillers from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.
A signature bottle design is the distinguishing visual factor that first sets Deadhead Rum apart from the competition. Now, the spirit in the bottle is getting well-deserved attention since the Deadhead Rum brand transitioned to a new Mexican distillery for production of its 6 year old aged rum expression.
Iconic Brands’ Deadhead rum is a 6 year old aged rum produced at Bonampak distillery in the southwest region of Mexico.
According to Kim Brandi, founder and CEO of Iconic Brands, sales of Deadhead Rum have nearly doubled in the past three years to almost 20,000 cases.
The 65 year old Destilados Bonampak distillery is headed by a veteran rum producing Cuban family. The tropical climate, coastal breezes and ocean salinity help distinguish the DNA of this spirit. The process starts with sugarcane grown in Tapachula, Chiapas near the Guatemalan border and the Pacific Ocean. The distiller’s master blender earned his reputation with a large Cuban rum brand. The spirit rests in French Oak barrels for six years.
Aromas of vanilla, spice and big wood dominate the cane grass notes. On the palate, a dry bitter wood balances burnt sugar, vanilla wafer, pumpkin pie spice and a hint of citrus peel before notes of dried fruit appear during the long finish.
The iconic bottle is a depiction of a tsantsa, the shrunken head of an enemy. Traditionally used for trophy, ritual and trade purposes by tribes in the northwestern regions of the Amazon rain forest, the item is believed to harness the spirit of that enemy, compelling him to serve the shrinker and preventing the soul from avenging its death.
Iconic Brands seeks to distinguish their offerings with a “No Compromise” philosophy. The unique characteristics of this Mexican rum — and certainly the shrunken head vessel — are true to this goal.
Deadhead 6 Year Old aged rum is bottled at 40% abv. The 750ml bottle sells for $38.99.
See Deadhead 6 in Rob’s Rum Guide extensive list of rums.
On the tropical island of Kauai in Hawaii, Kōloa Rum Company produces artisanal, single-batch rums, including this Kōloa Hawaiian Kauai Coffee flavored rum.
At its distilled spirits tasting room and company store on the grounds of Kilohana Plantation near Lihue, visitors delight in discovering their delicious expressions of cane spirit.
Located nearby, the Kauai Coffee Company operates the largest coffee plantation in the islands. Every day they’re hand-roasting small batches of their distinct coffee beans grown on the sunny slopes of southern Kauai.
Award-winning Koloa coffee rum is a flavored rum made from local sugar cane and coffee grown in Kauai, Hawaii.
The collaboration of these local rum and coffee makers has been declared a great success with the fast-growing popularity of this delicious coffee flavored rum.
On the nose, immediate aromas of mocha and medium roast coffee bean overtake the senses. On the palate, sweet mellow breakfast coffee develops mid-palate. A big note of cacao appears before finishing semi-dry. Lingering tones of authentic mellow-roasted Hawaiian coffee remain in the finish.
Kōloa rums are well known to rum enthusiasts across the United States. In the Miami Rum Festival’s annual RumXP blind tasting competition, they’ve consistently taken home top awards. Kōloa Hawaiian Kauai Coffee flavored rum is no exception. It won the RumXP Best In Class award in 2016.
This delightful coffee rum, bottled at 34% abv, is presented in a package worthy of gift giving for those that appreciate fine rum and good coffee. At 34% abv, the 750ml bottle sells for about $40.