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/
Gubba Silver artisanal American rum is made with natural coconut to produce a lightly flavored, smooth, clear spirit.
This rum is produced, blended and bottled in small batches at a craft distillery in Denver, Colorado. The process begins with organic evaporated cane fermented in stainless steel.
The fermented wash is double distilled, first in a classic Alembic copper pot before a second distillation in a copper column hybrid with 20 plates.
After distillation, the base rum is blended with an infusion of natural coconut in high proof rum, then diluted with Colorado Rocky Mountain snow melt water to bottling proof.
The result is a subtle coconut flavored spirit that goes down easy.
Gubba Silver Tasting Notes
Subtle aromas of coconut water precede a bit of ethanol, butter cookie and river rock. On the palate, soft coconut creme and a mild sweetness reveals a slight viscosity at mid-palate, which seems to enhance the tropical notes into the finish.
Gubba Silver Rum was designed to be enjoyed on the rocks, but also provides a wonderful tropical base for cocktails. The brand likes to describe this lightly flavored rum as being “wicked smooth,” a descriptor that’s entirely fitting.
The 750ml bottle of Gubba Silver Rum, at 35% abv, sells for about $22.
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.
From the world’s largest rum producer, Tanduay Silver Asian Rum presents an outstanding premium cane spirit with a hint of straw color from time spent maturing in oak barrels.
Since 1854, Tanduay has been striving to perfect their methods for producing consistent, quality cane spirits for markets around the world.
Award-Winning Tanduay Silver Asian Rum
Crafted from premium heritage sugarcane varietals, the volcanic soil and tropical climate of the Philippines offer ideal conditions for growing cane and aging rum.
This well balanced blend of rums have been aged up to five years before most of the color has been filtered out.
Tanduay Silver Asian Rum Tasting Notes
Aromas of cane and subtle peppermint are accented by a creamy butter note before a neutral mineral quality leading to a very subtle whiff of coconut husk. On the palate, a honeyed soft coconut opening leads to buttery wood, with a nice long warm, dry peppery finish.
Tanduay Silver Asian Rum makes a smooth and crisp base for premium cocktails, an upscale alternative to other affordable clear rums.
With all eyes on the beautiful seaside city of Rio de Janeiro as Brazil hosts the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, it’s a fitting time to focus on the exotic style of sugar cane spirits from Yaguara Cachaça.
With the U.S. launch of their flagship organic blended expression now underway, the Yaguara Cachaça team is proud to showcase the Spirit of Brazil in time for summer sipping.
Yaguara Blended Cachaça from Brazil is distilled from organic sugar cane in traditional alambique copper stills and blended for perfect balance.
Even with its long history of more than five centuries, cachaça (ka-SHAH-sa) is a contemporary spirit. It’s synonymous with Brazil’s fashionable lifestyle and national cocktail. This summer’s hottest drink is the caipirinha.
Yaguara Blended Cachaça
Distilled from fresh sugar cane juice in traditional alambique copper stills, Yaguara uses a sustainable process and a century-old family recipe. Each batch is supervised and certified by Yaguara’s master blender, Erwin Weimann, one of Brazil’s leading experts in the field of Cachaça.
“We have a rich flora in Brazil and cachaça’s production can only gain from all the possibilities of being aged in woods that no other country has,” explains Weimann. “We’re very happy to share this Brazilian biodiversity with the world.”
Yaguara Cachaça recently received a double gold medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Additionally, Yaguara received a score of 92 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, the highest ever awarded for a white cachaça.
A stunning bottle design by leading U.K.-based glass artist Brian Clarke reflects the quality of the product, bottled at 41.5 percent (83 proof). The cost of a 750ml bottle is $32.
Yaguara Blended Cachaça is distributed by Union Beer/Blueprint Spirits in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Florida. It’s available online from Astor Wines.
Yaguara Cachaça Cocktails
The Spirit of Brazil lends itself to delightful and refreshing cocktails. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Jag & Ginger
1.5 oz Yaguara Blended Cachaça 1.5 oz Ginger Ale Method: Build over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish: Lime wedge
1.5 oz Yaguara Blended Cachaça 5 oz Coconut Water 1 barspoon honey Method: Combine honey with coconut water in a highball glass and stir to melt. Add ice and Yaguara Cachaça. Garnish: Mint sprig.
The most popular rum sold in Jamaica is… J.Wray Jamaica Rum. The same company also produces the award-winning Appleton Estate rums well known in the United States.
J.Wray Jamaica Rum has released their new gold rum and silver rum in the USA, according to brand owner Campari.
The oldest continuously operating rum producer in Jamaica, J. Wray & Nephew Ltd., is giving two of its classic rums a Jamaican-inspired makeover and a new name with the introduction of J.Wray Jamaica Rum Gold and Silver.
Introducing J.Wray Jamaica Rum
Replacing Appleton Special Jamaica Rum and Appleton White, these new expressions deliver a distinctive new look. The name change more accurately reflects the rum producer’s 250-year historic roots.
“J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. has a special place in spirits lore with a legacy of more than two centuries crafting high-quality rums,” said Christine Moll, Category Director-Rum, at Campari America. “J.Wray’s new Jamaica Rums offer enticing and authentic spirits to enjoy in flavorful cocktails. The lively packaging firmly ties the rums to the brand’s storied history and ensures they visually stand out on the shelf.”
A medium-bodied golden rum, J.Wray Jamaica Rum Gold is the perfect blend of fuller-flavored and lighter rums. This dazzling, warm golden rum is smooth and fruity with a rich body, long finish and hints of exotic spices. A gold medal recipient at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, J.Wray Gold is already being recommended by the world’s top bartenders and spirits writers.
Smooth and light-bodied, J.Wray Jamaica Rum Silver is a white rum that’s aged and filtered slowly through special charcoal filters. Clean and crisp, the brilliantly clear rum is light and fruity with pear and apple notes. This critically-acclaimed rum was recently awarded 91 points in the 2016 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
J.Wray Jamaica Rums will first be available in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Washington DC, Maryland, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico and West Virginia.
The Brazilian Institute of Cachaça and its spirit producers of Brazil are planning a Miami invasion. The DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center is the focus of this invasion scheduled for April 15-17 to celebrate the national cane spirit of Brazil: Cachaça.
The Brazilian Institute of Cachaça (IBRAC) and Brazilian spirit producers are coming to Miami Rum Renaissance Festival April 15-18 to share their enthusiasm for the authentic spirit of Brazil.
Don’t call it rum. It’s not made from molasses. Cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sah) is fermented and distilled fresh cane juice. Compared to rums made from molasses, it’s a bit sassy and wild, built for fun and easily accessible to those that appreciate the true spirit of cane.
While most rums are distilled from 85 to 95% pure alcohol, Cachaça is typically distilled to only 38 to 48%, leaving behind more of the natural flavors of cane in the distillate. The United States officially recognizes the category of Cachaça as a product unique to Brazil.
Although there are no precise records as to the actual site where Cachaça was first distilled, historians and researchers believe it was distilled at a sugar mill located on the coast of Brazil sometime between 1516 and 1532.
Carlos Lima is the Executive Director of the Brazilian Institute of Cachaça (IBRAC). “With more than a thousand producers in Brasil now garnering attention — many of which are small, regional artisan operations — the world is discovering Cachaça as a fascinating spirit unique to Brasil. We’re coming to Miami to share our enthusiasm, our passion and our skill in producing the very best cane spirits.”
Among the brands and expressions participating are Destom 1000 Montes Amendoim, Dona Beja Sarau Reserva Especial, Germana Desde 1912, Meia Lua Azul, Middas, Novo Fogo Barrel Aged, Sebastiana Double Barrel, Velho Barreiro Diamond, Weber Haus Premium Black and Werneck Ouro.
The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo is a global gathering of rum professionals and consumers held for three days in mid-April at the DoubleTree Airport Convention Center. Tickets are available online in advance.
In addition to exhibiting products to consumers and the trade, Mr. Carlos Lima will be presenting a seminar entitled: “Cachaça: Brasil In A Bottle” at 3pm Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17.
The Daiquiri is among the simplest of drinks: Rum, Lime, and Sugar — shaken, not stirred. Among the most interesting variations on the simple theme of lime and rum, the Hemingway Daiquiri has endured as one of the most beloved.
Constantino Ribalaigua was the Cuban Champion of the Daiquiri. He refined and perfected many versions at La Floridita in Havana. In fact, the 1939 edition of his La Florida Cocktail Book included no less than five variations of the classic hand-shaken drink, not to mention the hand blended variations he made popular.
The world famous Hemingway Daiquiri was developed by Constantino Ribalaigua at his legendary bar, La Floridita in Havana, Cuba.
Elsewhere in Havana, in 1937, increasingly besieged and beleaguered by tourists at the ever popular Sloppy Joe’s, Ernest Hemingway stumbled a few blocks into Constantino’s bar and immediately fell in love with the intimate atmosphere of “La Cuna del Daiquiri” (the Cradle of the Daiquiri). La Floridita became his second home. You can still find a bronze statue of Hemingway sitting in his favorite spot.
Hemingway naturally preferred his drinks dry, and Constantino’s Daiquiri Number Three fit the bill perfectly. Over time, as this tart libation became the writer’s perennial favorite, it simply became known as Hemingway’s Daiquiri.
The Hemingway Daiquiri
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1.5 ounces of dry white rum (Caña Brava preferred)
method: combine ingredients with shaved ice and shake vigorously for at least one minute, until the can becomes extremely cold. Strain into cocktail glass.
Meant To Be Dry
The Hemingway Daiquiri is meant to be very dry on the palate — if that’s not to your liking, you could add up to a quarter ounce of simple syrup, to taste.
The less sugar in the drink the more that you can consume. There’s written accounts of Hemingway and a friend consuming 17 doubles each, in one marathon bad weather session.
A note on the Luxardo Maraschino: this dry liqueur is made from the sour fruit and the crushed pits of Marasca cherries. The red liquid in a jar of cocktail cherries is not to be used as a substitute.
Choosing The Right Rum
Now, lets talk rum. Constantino would have most likely used Bacardi Superior, made in Cuba. Choose a dry rum that reflects the old Carta Blanca style. My preference is Caña Brava from the 86 Company.
For the popular Papa Doble variation, double all the ingredients, add an equal amount of ice, and frappe. Serve in a large chilled goblet with a straw. Sliced lime wheel and brandied cherry garnish optional, but totally awesome.
Here’s to less sugar in the glass for less pain in the ass. May you find your own “Islands In The Stream.”
Steve Gubb is a passionate rum enthusiast with a penchant for making delicious flavored rums the old fashioned way. His Gubba flavored rums are created in small batches by hand using organic ingredients.
Gubba Gold rum carries the smooth creamy flavor of natural vanilla and his Gubba Silver rum is infused with natural coconut for a decidedly tropical profile.
Both of these unfiltered rums are produced at a craft distillery in Colorado, made with pure cane and the finest natural flavors available.
The result is delicious, unpretentious artisanal rums, finished with a touch of sweetness that makes them both quite smooth on the palate. Gubba rums can be enjoyed on the rocks, but also create a wonderful tropical base for cocktails.
Gubba silver and gold small batch rums are made in a craft distillery in Colorado, using natural organic vanilla and coconut flavors.
“Into The Wild” cocktail Recipe by Igor Zukowiec, Alchemiq NYC makes 1 serving
2 oz. Gubba Gold Rum 4 ml (2 full droppers) Wild Hibiscus Rose + Hibiscus Flower Extract .75 oz. lime juice .5 oz. simple syrup (2:1) 1 bar spoon of rice vinegar
Shake all ingredients with ice and serve.
“Wild Bunch Punch” Recipe by Anthony DeSerio makes eight 6 oz servings
12 oz. Gubba Silver Rum 10 oz. Blue-Tee syrup* 4 oz. pineapple juice 4 oz. lime juice 16 oz. Raspberry Lambic (beer) 1 8.8 oz. (11-flower) jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers for punch bowl ice block, and to garnish glasses
*Blue-Tee Syrup: In a heat-safe container add 5oz. sugar and top with 5oz. hot water. Add 4 Blue-Tee bags (Heart-Tee Butterfly Pea Flower Tea from Wild Hibiscus Flower Co.) – strings removed so as not to tangle while stirring. Stir water, sugar, and tea while still hot to melt sugar and steep tea. Let cool to room temp. Remove tea bags and cover.
Punch bowl ice block: Fill 1/4 of the punch bowl with water and place it in the freezer. As it gets the film of thin ice on top, drop in 6 Wild Hibiscus Flowers randomly then let the block freeze.
Remove from freezer. Take the ice out of the bowl and put aside. Add Gubba Silver Rum, Blue-Tee syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice to the punch bowl. Stir and place the Wild Hibiscus ice back in. Serve in a punch cup with an edible Wild Hibiscus Flower inside and top with the Lambic.
Created at one of the oldest distilleries in the Caribbean, Blue Chair Bay White Rum makes a delightful base for classic and new aged cocktails. Developed by Kenny Chesney and marketed by his Fishbowl Spirits company, the rum has found an eager audience among the “No Shoes Nation” crowd.
Blue Chair Bay’s acclaimed white rum from Barbados is a perfect base for a sultry late summer cocktail, such as the Indian Summer.
This crystal clear spirit offers aromas of light golden sugar and tropical fruits, followed by subtle spice and beach-aged hints of vanilla, rum cake and gentle oak. It’s a classic clean light Barbados rum with hints of golden sugar, tropical and dried fruits, mild spice, gentle vanilla and bread pudding, with a pleasant, refreshing and delicate finish.
The inaugural Discovery Series of rums will soon debut at Florida’s St. Augustine Distillery. On Thursday, September 3rd, the public will be invited to purchase the first bottles of St. Augustine Rum from the distillery’s gift shop, located on Riberia Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.
A limited series of St. Augustine Rum craft expressions will be released on the following schedule: Series 1 in September, Series 2 in October, Series 3 in November and Series 4 in December. The St. Augustine Distillery’s flagship rum (or final recipe) is slated for a January 2016 release.
The historic St. Augustine distillery will debut their new pot still rum with a series of limited edition expressions. The rums will also be featured at their Ice Plant Bar and Restaurant.
Each of these limited editions has been fermented and distilled on-site by Director of Production Brendan Wheatley from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.
“We want our customers to have the unique chance to experience each of these different St. Augustine Rum recipes as we refine our flagship rum,” said co-founder and CEO Philip McDaniel. “This opportunity is very unique and only available at a craft distillery like ours.”
The production facilities are located in the restored historic Ice Plant, featuring a gift shop, restaurant and bar. Large numbers of tourists flock to the facility daily for a presentation in the small theater, followed by tours of the distillery and tasting sessions every half hour. The tour ends with a visit to the gift shop.
The Ice Plant bar and restaurant are also extremely popular, offering a first-class cocktail program developed by Zach Lynch, a talented mixologist and master bartender. The restaurant menu features farm-to-table cuisine with grass-fed beef and burgers, local seafood and vegetarian options among the daily specials.
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.
Muddy River Distillery became the first legal rum distillery in North Carolina in February, 2012 and only seven months later, began selling their first product: Carolina Silver Rum.
Muddy River Distillery of Belmont, North Carolina offer a fine white Carolina Rum, as well as an aged premium rum named Queen Charlotte’s Reserve.
Combining premium grade molasses and sugar, along with a special strain of yeast, master distiller Robbie Delaney prefers a slow, small batch fermentation for up to two weeks before moving the mash to their custom built hybrid reflux column stills, Freedom and Democracy.
Co-founder Caroline Delaney oversees the business and has the final say on tasting the finished product.
Muddy River Carolina Silver Rum offers aromas of green banana and a whiff of white pepper before rich caramel, hard candy, marshmallow, taffy and a bit of almond. On the palate a very soft entry of gentle cane leads to very clean and subtle ripe banana, warming in the mid palate to reveal peppery notes on top of vegetal fresh cane, before a warm, lingering finish.
The Muddy River Distillery recently released an aged rum. Queen Charlotte’s Reserve brings aromas of aromatic cedar and white oak, dried fruit, creamy butter and earthy wood, cane syrup, apricot, dates and white raisin. On the palate a smooth entry is dominated by big oak drying out with ripe butter and shortbread cookie. A surprisingly well balanced rum that’s a pleasure to sip.
Another recent release is a coconut flavored rum.
Muddy River Distillery now has the capacity to deliver 300 bottles a day and distribution is growing quickly with online sales in most U.S. states.
This artisanal American hand crafted product represents the new rum revolution — a return to the days when small batch American rums made by mom and pop entrepreneurs were among the very best in the world.
Blue Water Beverage Brands recently launched their first two products at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo — Blue Water Ultra Premium white rum and Blue Water Caribbean Gold Premium Spiced Rum.
Blue Water Rum has recently released a premium white rum and an aged gold spiced rum, made in the Dominican Republic, which won a 2015 Gold RumXP Award.
The new brand, based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, expects to deliver a full line of white, spiced, aged, flavored and specialty rums in the near future.
Behind this private label brand is boutique rum manufacturer Oliver & Oliver International of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Originally from Cuba, Omar Vicente Ramirez is the Maestro Ronero who supervises the development of Blue Water’s rums. Blue Water chose Omar for his decades of experience and worldly knowledge of rum.
Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum is a white 40% ABV distilled using a column still, then rested in a stainless steel vat leaving its color as pure as the blue waters of the Caribbean.
On the nose we find light alcohol with accents of sweet marshmallow and creamy vanilla over mineral water with vague cinnamon and aguardiente notes. On the palate, a very smooth entry builds up warmth in mid-palate, offering slightly sweet creamy vanilla marshmallow before building some warmth with echoes of fresh cane in the finish.
Blue Water Caribbean Gold Rum is a multi award-winning spiced rum of 35% ABV. This rum gets its color from aging in American Oak barrels for three years before being delicately infused with fruits and spices. It makes great cocktail and also plays well as a sipper on the rocks.
On the nose, we find zesty orange slice candy with baking spice leading to a hint of egg custard over sweet vanilla, with a suggestion of orange blossom water and double-bubble gum. A whiff of cinnamon is detected. On the palate, a medium sweet entry with bright orange and vanilla over baking spices dries out mid-palate, leading to an astringent note of anise which balances the sweet component.
The signature cocktail they have created with the spiced rum is “96 degrees,” named after the 96 Degrees In The Shade song from world famous recording reggae artists Third World.
2 oz Blue Water Caribbean Gold Spiced Rum
1 oz Old Jamaica Ginger Beer
several slices of fresh cucumber
method: Shake the rum with the cucumber slices and ice. Strain in a highball glass with fresh ice, top with ginger beer. Garnish with cucumber.
Blue Water rums are presently available for purchase in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies and Anguilla, British West Indies. Blue Water is expanding these brands into neighboring islands, including the exclusive and influential St. Barth’s, French West Indies and St. Kitts and Nevis. Blue Water intends to continue expanding these brands throughout the Caribbean Region and, ultimately, export them into the United States as early as 2016.