Saturday, December 29, 2012

Makers Tastes --- Drum Circle Distilling

Just reading these Makers tastes I have begun to really learn much about rum. Join us on this trip south.

From the great state of Florida we welcome Drum Circle Distilling. Their rum has the "oh so warm and sweet," name of; Siesta Key Rum...
Let's look at their variety. Sparing no time:
Siesta Key Spiced Rum

Florida rum with real spices and honey

Siesta Key Spiced Rum is hand-crafted in small batches in Sarasota, Florida at our small, artisan distillery. We make our spiced rum by infusing our award winning rums with real spices and then adding honey for a bit of sweetness. We do not use any artificial flavors or sweeteners and you can taste the difference. Siesta Key Spiced rum is unlike any mass market spiced rums. But don't rely on our opinion, SK Spiced rum took home the first place, Best in Class medal at the biggest rum competition/festival in the world, the RumXP International Tasting Competition. SK Spiced was also named one of the best artisan products in the United States by Cooking Light magazine for 2012.

Next we look into the bottles and see:
Siesta Key Silver Rum

A taste of paradise in every sip…

Our silver rum is made with molasses from Florida-grown sugar cane, triple-filtered water, and a secret set of yeasts. We have a unique distillation and filtration process that results in a pure, flavorful and incredibly smooth rum that you are sure to enjoy straight or mixed.
We are also pleased to highlight that Siesta Key Silver Rum took the Best in Class Gold medal at the largest rum festival/competition in the western hemisphere, the RumXP International Tasting Competition, beating out several large well known brands in a blind taste test. Earlier batches also won a Silver Medal at the 2010 International Rum Festival, a Silver Medal at the highly competitive New York International Spirits Competition and a Silver Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

An old saying is – if you have silver – you'll want gold and Drum Circle Distilling does not disappoint.

Siesta Key Gold Rum

High-Quality, Smooth and Flavorful

Siesta Key Gold Rum is hand-crafted in small batches in Sarasota, Florida at our small, artisan distillery. We make our rums from start to finish, using local 100% Florida grown sugar cane, triple-filtered water, and distillation in a true copper pot still.
Our Gold Rum is aged in charred American oak barrels to bring out it's wonderful color and vanilla notes. The result is a high-quality, smooth and flavorful rum that can be enjoyed
sipped neat or over ice, or used as the base for your favorite rum cocktails.
So, we've made it as far south as Florida to find fine crafted rum.... Where to next?
Remember, if you run out.... lick the glass!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crawling out from under the Flu...

While I always enjoy the Holidays and the big family Christmas gatherings, my participation this year was severely cut back. I missed my In-laws gathering sharing foods, drinks and stories. I missed Breakfast on Christmas Eve at my Daughter-In-Law's .... Absent for Christmas Morning breakfast at my Brother-In-Law's. I could not let everyone down for Christmas at Gramma's & Grandpa's, because that's me! So Gramma did about 97% of the work and we made it through. Still, though the road back is tough.
Happy to report along with other great gifts we add a new Rum to our shelves.
Cedar Ridge Distillery's Dark Rum was added. My taste is still nearly null so it will be some time before we taste and post. Hopefully, tomorrow we start adding some more Makers Tastings -- so stay tuned

Until then -- I remain, Rick The Rum Runner (RTRR)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Heading into the Holidays

Things are going to be a bit sporadic over the next few days. Family parties and dinners to do all make the season. I need to get back into research and stock up on New found distillers out there. If you have any ideas - or comments -- please email them to me or comment below. Starting ideas for a Rum Drink and Rum food recipe section are still there on the drawing board. It's going to be an exciting 2013... !

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Next Maker's Tasting.... DogFish Head.

It seems this is a first for my blog (most likely not my last). Dogfish Head is not just a distillery. It is also a brewery. That is not all that uncommon, but, it's also a restaurant. It sounds like a pretty interesting place. So much so I think I'll let their website explain it: “Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is where Dogfish Head all began back in 1995. We have the state's only legal distillery where we make lots of hand-crafted spirits, upstairs in our Rehoboth Beach Brewpub, and a small experimental brewery, so we always have something interesting on tap or in the fermenters for you to try! No matter what the occasion, we know you'll enjoy yourself at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, so come stop by for a visit!
This east coast representative sounds like a visit that goes well beyond a tour. Let's look at the rums they offer.

1. Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum is a double-distilled, amber rum aged on American oak and Wildflower Honey. Dark and smooth, this rum has a subtle woody character from the oak aging and a touch of sweetness from the honey. 80 proof.
Recommended to Scotch and Bourbon drinkers. Typically served on the rocks or neat, this flavorful beverage makes a perfect after dinner digestive.

I like the way they present their spirits. The reference to Scotch and Bourbon drinkers is a great starting point. It gives enough of a hint to steer you there.

2. Dogfish Head White-Light Rum is a traditional unspiced rum. This rum is triple distilled and incorporates the same pot-still methods as our other rums. The character of the high-quality molasses we use shines through in this rum. This rum is 80 proof.
The White-Light Rum is available only in at the source, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in downtown Rehoboth Beach, DE. This rum is not distributed.

While I did not need much of a temptation – What a great reason to visit!!!

3. Dogfish Head Wit Spiced Rhum is a triple-distilled rum aged on Curacao orange peel and coriander. This is a refreshing citrus rum that starts with a note of spiciness and ends with a citrus character. 80 proof as well.
Mixed drink, soda or Dogfish cocktail

In Summary

So, a name few of you will forget leads us to three rums that sound well worth a trip. East coat Rum Fans – Please stop by and let the Old Rum Runner know what's going on.... Check their website, Facebook and we will stick a pin in our map to stop by and visit ASAP...

Till Next time – I still am – Rick, The Rum Runner (RTRR)...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Additions - New Distillers

From time to time I try to encourage readers of Sippin, My Way Through to check the Page listing of Rum Distillers in the USA - List. One easy way is to tell you; I've added more! We are up to 25 States... Which brings me to ask... Hey Distillers!! comment on these posts or email me --- I want to include you!!!!!
So here are the newest additions to Rum Distillers in the USA - List:

From Georgia, we welcome Richland Rum. They are the first Georgia distiller we have.
Another first, from Michigan, Big CedarDistilling Welcome!
North Carolina now also has its first rum distiller, Muddy River Distillery
Tuthilltown Spirits joins distillers from New York on our database
South Carolina is represented by its first distillery on or dbase – Firefly Distillery LLC
That wraps up the additions this time. Happy sipping and please let THEM know you found out on Rick, The Rum Runner – Sippin My Way Through!!

RickTRR - Lick your glass clean!

Don't forget to like us at American Made Rum too!

Follow us here as well, to get updates as they happen! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A new flavor from a past tasted Rum

So last night, I was enjoying a Taildragger Rum (Tailwinds Distillery) in my sweetened Iced Tea. After stirring a nice jigger of it in, I tasted it. Oh -- Suddenly a very obvious tastes that I did not experience before. The definite flavor of cinnamon!  So I am adding that to my Taste Card..... Any new flavors in your rum??

Muddy River Distillery --- The Video

Just made contact with these fine people. Rob Delaney has the passion for distillation.. Take a look and comment please!

The Makers - The Distiller | Charlotte, NC Videography from landonJAMES on Vimeo.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Makers Tasting – Chapter Two

Desert Diamond Distillery

Today we look at the intriguing selections of rum offered by Desert Diamond Distillery, located in Arizona. As I looked at picks made for blogging I was attracted by the first offering, Gold Miner Agave Rum. They have quite a selection of rums – so without further delay:

Desert Diamond Distillery

Gold Miner Agave Rum – Mmmmmm! Our customer favorite at the tasting bar! We take our award winning dark rum and add hints of delicate specialty flavors including Agave, and we arrive at a delicious one of a kind after dinner sipping rum. Whether you drink our Agave Rum on ice or at room temperature, this hand crafted smooth-as-silk flavor is sure to tantalize your taste buds. You can mix this rum too, but be warned, after one sip you will probably not want to mix it with anything. 2011 SIP Award Silver Medal Winner.

Yes this sounds like something I need to taste....

Gold Miner Dark Rum – Our Dark Rum won a bronze medal from the Ministry of Rum in 2010, and a Platinum Medal in the 2011 SIP Awards. We start with a base of our Signature White Rum and age it with white American and French oak. The secret to the enticing flavors of our Dark Rum is in the simplicity.....the subtle flavors inherent in our Dark Rum that distinguishes it from all other rums out there! This is a full bodied taste with just the right notes of aging from the oak. Distinguished and grown up, this Dark Rum is a winner!

So this is the base of Gold Miner Agave Rum – correct? I am often surprised when a Distiller decides to make it better.... Such is the way of American Made Rums!

Gold Miner Rum – Our Signature Gold Miner White Rum is a real surprise when you first taste it. It has a very full bouquet of vanillas that finishes just a bit sweet and definitely smooth.....It is great for mixing your favorite drink, cooking with it and even making desserts. Most of all you will find that our Gold Miner Rum is one drink you can enjoy when just sitting back and having a relaxing drink on the rocks. This Rum garnered a Bronze Medal in the 2011 SIP Awards.

So for you folks in Arizona and it environs – DDD sounds like a maker whose rums demand a taste!

Gold Miner Barrel Reserve Rum – Bottled in February of 2012, out of D3's very first Barrel, this incredibly unique one-of-a-kind taste garnered a GOLD medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in March. The aroma is sweet and spicy. The taste is smooth and well developed, with hints of spice and licorice and a background of oak aged vanillas. It finishes smooth, yet firm with a full bodied taste that rum drinkers look for. Each bottle is labeled with the Barrel number (1) and the bottle number on the back label. A true connoisseur's drink, and limited edition.

Limited – sure – but hopefully some for me??

Triple D's Gold Miner Rums sound good. Makes my mouth water and my curiosity is aroused. Anyone out there had any of these rums? Please drop us a line and tell me about or email or comment below...
Rick TRR...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Makers Tasting - Chapter One

Rum Tasting Today

I have begun to make sure I visit many of the Distillers we have on our Rum Distillers List and find, read and savor their description of their Rum's flavors and drinkability. Since this is a newer blog and no one has been sending me their personal taste experiences (stern look at → You, yes, YOU) to post and discuss, I felt that the makers should get their shot at tempting us. So I randomly began going to the pages of some of the Distillers and will post their descriptions...

Today? – Railean Distillers

From the proud state of Texas is Railean Distillers. They boast 4 rums available. They do not sell it online, but, they write that distributors can get it to your liquors store(s) if you ask for: “RAILEAN Handcrafted American Spirits. In most cases the establishment will be more than happy to bring the product in for you especially when they find out RAILEAN is the only Rum Certified Made in USA which distinguishes it among all other rum on the market.
If they do not carry the RAILEAN please have them contact us and we will work with them to identify the distributor representing RAILEAN.”
I have a couple of contacts in Texas that may help me get my hands on it and being in Chicagoland – we have distributors who can get it – so I hope to be stocking this in The Rum Runner's Bar soon.

For now, let's let Railean speak to us....


RAILEAN White Rum is distilled multiple times to produce a pure, smooth spirit. It is crisp, clean, refreshing and absolutely perfect for making tropical drinks such as Mojitos, Rum Punch, and Daiquiris.

It possesses an exceptionally dry taste and immediately comes alive on the palate with subtle notes of vanilla, sugar cookie, citrus and spice. The finish is smooth, clean and flavorful.

Just from that. I am looking forward to a glass-to-tongue introduction.


RAILEAN Spiced Rum is aged in small, new, double-charred, American oak barrels with a proprietary blend of spices and natural flavors. It is aged to perfection making it smooth, yet flavorful and perfect when mixed with cola.
The nose is sweet and spicy with vanilla bean, toffee, honey and nutmeg. The palate is of good body with notes of molasses and spice, and a hint of butterscotch. The finish is medium with spice and sweetness.

Rum runner confession time. Never been a huge fan of “spiced” rums. Now I think and have been told it's because I have not tried the right ones. I am making an early New Year's Resolution. Get over Spicedrumaphobia. So Look out peeps...


RAILEAN Reserve XO Rum is aged in small, new, double-charred, American oak barrels. It is aged to perfection making it smooth, yet flavorful and perfect for a premium Cuba Libre.
The Reserve XO has fabulous aromas of brown sugar, spice and oak. It is soft and well-rounded, and as it opens up; it reveals an array of chocolate, caramel and toasted walnut notes. The finish is smooth, warm and relaxing.

This sounds like the result of following The Rum Runner's Creed “If you treat the rum well, it shall return the favor.” Sign me up.


RAILEAN Small Cask Single Barrel Rum has at least twice the age of the Reserve XO. It is aged in small, new, double-charred, American oak barrels, just like the Reserve XO. However, we hand select each barrel and then filter and bottle one barrel at a time. The Small Cask is rich and sophisticated with notes of oak, leather, and mocha. The first sip reveals toasted sugar notes, with hints of caramel and dark chocolate. The finish is long and full bodied with a delicious earthy and woodsy quality.

This rum is perfect for sipping on the rocks, or with just a splash of water or cola.

Again, the Creed. So – high on my two-edged list: Get to taste any/all of Railean's Rums and – Get to San Leon Texas and visit – taste and talk Railean Rum...

See you next time with another taste!


Rum News -- To you....

This just in...

From time to time I will be posting news in the Rum World. As the industry grows new products and ideas spring up.
This from Rum Runner Press Inc. (Not affiliated with Rick The Rum Runner in any way)

Starting December 2012, US-based rum specialists will be adding Cuban style rum to their growing portfolio of bulk rums, available to distributors and brand owners


Monday, December 10, 2012

The story of American Rum

After reading (and while continuing to read) the fascinating history of Rum in the US, I have compiled a short but hopefully non-sleep inducing history of rum as it pertains to the United States, more than a century before it was the United States.
My advice -- Pour a nice portion of rum - perhaps neat, over a rock even mixed and settle in for a read...

A Brief History of Rum

Seems that a “Brief History of Rum” can be done but rum it self has along, long history. The beginnings of rum may go back in time further than we realize. The Malay people made a drink called “brum” that may be one of the earliest references to a rum-like drink. Not sure if it was a distilled or brewed drink. In the 1500's the explorer Marco Polo mentions in his journals of a sugar-wine. Surely rum in some form had been around for a long, long time. Its history in the Americas follows quite quickly after colonization.

Life Before Flavor

Eating back then was not the epicurean delight we now know. Spices like cinnamon, caraway, mustard sesame, and even black pepper were unknown. However, many of the early spice trades were for spices used in ointments and burial procedures by the Egypt ions and others, not for food. So when so many of these now familiar spices hit the cooking pot – their value exploded. Sugar was the new “spice” that gained value. So much so that at one time it stood in the “worth its weight in gold” standard we hear of. It had turned to be a money maker. Whole countries wanted the sweet spice. Colonies in The New World arose in the Caribbean and the land now the Unites States to, not only, grow and process sugar (Sugar crystallization had been available since around 500BC) but to ship it world-wide. With the abundance of sugar cane growing in the ideal conditions of the southern (one day to be) states and the Carib, the processing, crystallization, packaging and shipping soon ate up all available man-power. Slavery grew from the local residents being impressed into labor to trade with Africa for human labor. A dark time in history though one that helped the foundling country that would be come USA begin an ascent into financial power. 

The growth of a new drink

While the sugar industry grew, the waste products did as well. Slaves and other workers found that using the “Black Strap Molasses” which was nearly worthless for further sugar production, they could brew and distill an alcoholic beverage. This new product too began to become popular. It was not a refined wine, but a workingman’s distilled drink. Sailors: private, military and privateer, all adopted it. Picking it up in ports gained to load and unload the sugar cargoes. We all know that English sailors had a rum ration and who can't recall singing “Yo Ho-Ho and a bottle of rum,” without feeling all pirate-like? 

Rum lands on what would become US soil

In 1664 the first rum distillery was opened in New York, on Staten Island. Another opened in Massachusetts just 3 years later. The New England style rum was a lighter, more refined drink than was  obtained from the islands to the south. It's popularity grew. So large, in-fact, that The British government began taxing it in the colonies. As always, there is some government somewhere that wants its share.

The Patriotic drink

In 1764, the Sugar Act was another of a long list of taxes laid upon the back of the American Colonists. The rum made by the New England Distillers used more sugar than the all molasses southern recipe. Sugar taxes grew as popularity grew. While the dark days of rum production include the expansion of slavery, it can be said that it played a part in The American Revolution as well.

The near-death of American rum 

Over the years, most of North American continental distilleries shut down. The Volstead Act pretty much brought it to near complete stoppage. However, rum, like moonshine whiskey still, was made in the back lots and forests of the US. Once the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th, spirits of all kinds began to return in the United States.

Rebirth, rediscovery

Today with changing laws and licensing, Rum as a Craft Industry has grown. There have been local makers both legal and illegal since the first colonies. But now, as Distillers have rediscovered the deep flavors and richness of small batch distillation, Rum is beginning to be re-discovered and appreciated. Now, don't get me wrong. There are fine rums all over this planet. And the good ones are constantly being revealed and apprized. In the US though, we are directed more toward our own history with this spirit. We have a history, we have made major contributions in the art of rum-making. Now, many wonderful rums are available to discerning drinkers everywhere. Rick, the Rum Runner and American Made Rum is about helping spread the word.

Just an important looking "minor heading" to keep you reading

Explore – Discover – Enjoy!!! Drink American Made Rum and taste the difference!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Railean Rum -- Video

A nice little video introducing Railean Rum. Made in Texas and appreciated everywhere .. A great way to start the weekend!
Our way of saying:

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Journeyman Distillery Video Tour

Found this great Video touring the distillation process at Journeyman's Distillery in Three Oaks Michigan.

I like these mini tours as the weather begins to change around here it makes it a bit tougher to get out and visit. Also, those of you who like to drink it but would love to know how its made, it shows you the basic process... Enjoy

So Many Ideas

Seems like my head is full.... No not sinusitis, just ideas. 

I linked a few videos (the second being a whole 26 seconds.... Gotta get me eyeglasses looked at; I swear there was 1:26 ) and that got a bunch of views -- That is wonderful. I know the hand crafted rums are still an expanding market -- but I know there are enough rum drinkers out there who are looking for something new. Well, I am too.
I want to see Rick The Rum Runner grow. I know I have a good reading audience and the likes over on American Made Rum is heartening, but, I need to get out further. So, I ask a favor. As you read this or just after you're done, please invite a friend, share me with one (two would be fabulous) people who you know might enjoy this journal of discovery. Also, let me know what you think -- Comment. "I love it" is appreciated but what I really look for is "I like it; BUT..." It's those buts I look for. What do we need to do to make it better -- more interesting to you? 
Here is what I have on tap -- a more available Rum Recipe section - which will be two parts of one page. Drink recipes using rum. Since the rum we speak of is not the ordinary, I want these drinks to be beyond the ordinary as well. Also -- simple one for just that time when you want to sit & sip, Not complicated, just warming and good. The second will be a section where rum is used in food recipes. I am just beginning to explore this and have to say I as am intrigued as anyone!
So there you have it -- I give you an assignment. Recommend/share Rick The Rum Runner with at least one other person. Two, Go to American Made Rum and like us there. Finally -- leave a comment here as to which direction you'd like to see us go..
Until then, I remain
Rick TRR

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Tailwinds Distillery -- Video

Found this -- I'd say a historic Video for everyone at Tailwinds Distillery -- The first batch of Taildragger Rum...

Always love to see that #1

LOL I thought I saw 1:26 --- Oh well; Still the #1 Batch!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Some Great Video for You - Montanya Distillers

Found a great video on You Tube.... This is a peek into Montanya Distillers in Colorado (yes in our directory!). Any distillers out there who have video -- please let me know and I'll share with all here.

Hope you liked it as much as I did....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

News of the Day!

Changes and new stuff...


 So, we got some things done.... well, not done, but started. We now have updated our Rum Distilleries in the USA, page and we now have 21 States of the USA represented! Each has at least ONE rum distillery in it. So, check out your State and make sure you find the one(s) near you. Additionally - If you do not find your favorite distillery -- PLEASE, please email me... We can fix that... We want to fix that. If you are a fan of any one (or more) Distillery -- drop me a line and make sure it is represented!
For all you Still Masters, please make sure we are linked correctly and feel free to comment, email or message me through FB (our page there is American Made Rum). If you are checking us out and can not find YOUR Distillery -- please send us a link and I will personally take care of that! I am amassing a Data Base containing the Distilleries and it grows nearly daily. I will try to update, as necessary, with new additions.


Erin Phelan a friend from Book Crossing as well as Facebook had mentioned cooking with rum. Since finding these great small batched, crafted rums, it is only natural to add those flavors to recipes! So, to fill the hole (Nature and Rick, The Rum Runner abhor a vacuum) I added a link to recipes using rum, in our Rum Related Sites page. BUT.... That's a pretty big but.... I will gladly accept (and actually am begging for) any dish you love to make using rum as an ingredient. Sure we all love drinking rum and even mixing it with other things -- but adding it to food sounds so good! So rather than just a link to some anonymous recipe page, I would love to have personal tried and proven favorites!


Finally, since I am only one, and situated nearly in the middle of the US, I am excited in traveling to and visiting as many Rum Distilleries as I can. However, all kind of restraints are preventing that. So I need to depend on YOU to visit, taste and report to us the experience of fine, American Made Rum as you do. In the mean time, I will try to get to places and/or have rums shipped to me so I can taste as many of these great brews as I can. If you find a rum in the liquor store and love it -- Please write to me and tell us all about it. You don't have to visit the Distillery, just taste the rums you love and let us know what to expect. This blog is about it all. The making of, the tasting of and the discussion of American Made Rums...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving -- Rum Runner Style

I have no fancy dance but I do wish everyone who reads Rick The Rum Runner, the very best Thanksgiving. The year ahead looks adventurous for us. Please sign up for Email updates, or subscribe to the feeds to stay up to date. If you click around you'll certainly notice some changes, some already done - others in progress.
Erin Phelen a friend on the Facebook side at American Made Rum asked if I cooked with rum. Had to admit, no. I LOVE to cook and I LOVE rum. So look for drink recipes and food recipes as we continue to grow. And thank you Erin for a GREAT idea!
So have some turkey, sip some great American Rum and be thankful for everyone, everything and every day.....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lots of Sawdust and Junk....


To quote David Bowie. So much for a musical interlude, back to work. I have come to a few conclusions over the weekend, thought I'd let everyone in on them.

First; Gotta update the Distillers list. I have finally decided on a format. So you will see changes all week. I will build it in stages, but it will build!

Next, yes, the rating numbers will disappear. The rating of rums will be by description and discussion. An actual numerical ranking is unnecessary.

So... I hope to update here as we go but feel free to visit and stay up to date...


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Value of Numbers

Confessional is Open

So, I am enjoying this blog immensely. However, I have to hope more people subscribe to it (please feel free to register your email to get the latest updates and posts here). Regardless though, I think the long run will see real growth. In the mean time I see evolution being paramount. One thing is "Ratings". I have done only 2 taste tests of great US made Rums. At the end of each I attach a number. Well, last night I lay in darkness about "The Number." A rating from 1-10 or from -100 to +100, what value does it have? It's my number of how I think a certain rums tastes. But let's look at the rating as I have it set up now. What does 1 to 10 mean? Sewer water to The Perfect Rum? OK, I may be qualified in the sewer water department, but, The Perfect Rum (TPR)? How the hell would I know? Sure I have been drinking rum over 40 years (I have no comment on any pre-age 21 experimentation in ANY alcoholic beverage) but really have not started to really investigate new, different and/or craft rums since 1996. Would I know TPR if I drank it? Again, who makes it TPR? So I have been thinking of eliminating the numbered rating. But what I want is reaction. Please PLEASE take a moment to comment. I'll take experts, distillers, fans even innocent bystanders. I just want some reaction.

The Problem, for Me

If 1 is Bad and 10 is Perfect, let us look at the rating. First, who would make, taste and market a Bad Rum? So if 1 is not godawful what IS 1? Good enough to drink but not as good as........... what? Another brand? Geezuz! So who picks the Bad #1 rum?? I want no part of it.
If 10 is Perfect, let's see how that racks up. Perfect by whose rules? Yeah, every drinker is looking for a different taste. So there is no Perfect Rum, but there could be TPR for you. You have a discriminating taste, looking for a rum with certain flavors, sweetness etc... Perhaps you are just looking for THE BEST to make a Mojito.
My feeling. I will honestly rate each rum by taste, aroma, appearance, etc. I'll tell you what I taste, smell, see; but, to give it a number? It would only rate it from me, by me, for me. That sounds quite selfish. I want to have a conversation about rum. I want to help people make a decision on a rum that sounds attractive to THEM. So my move would be to eliminate the 1-10 rating and post my opinion as..... well, my opinion! Also, I want to post YOUR opinion so that readers can see more than one point of view. That is why comments are needed, followers encouraged.  Join in.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Taildragger Rum White – Tasting

The 170 Proof Taste.

So we all remember where we left off last episode. Toby Beall had just offered me a sample from The Louisville Lush. Right around 170 proof (Taildragger, if I remember correctly is 80-85 proof range) was the call. Okay, I inhaled and found the aroma a mix of fruit and floral. Really different than most rums I had recently tasted, American or not. I took just enough to wet my lips and licked off the film. Wow, no bite – smooth and at 170 proof that surprised me. Sweet? Not as much as I had recently had nor expected – sure there was the rum flavor, that natural sweet but more a molasses strength than a sugar sweet. I did discover that sucking air through it to find back flavors took a bit extra – that's when the fragrance got really intense! But with moderation I found a stronger molasses flavor. For me I discovered the intensity was the biggest point of focus. But, I chalked that up to proof.

So, next stop the tasting bar sampling the bottled product. I slid into a stool, and Toby poured a nice sample into their snifter style glass, emblazoned with the Tailwinds logo.


Swirl, swirl and a deep sniff. Yes, the fruit and floral was there. There was a bit of candy, call it butterscotch but very much in background. I did detect the molasses sweet more in the bottled rum than in the nearly double proof sample.

Straight Shot

Bit of an alcohol tingle at the lips. The fruitiness is pronounced. I can not pull one out of the fragrance, but a melange of fruit background. Holding it in my mouth the molasses come out – it is robust, but understated. The swallow is smooth and in take a breath for a sweet finish. The glass walls show thick legs

On The Rocks

Cold seems to sweeten the flavor. Overall, it holds together just like a straight shot. Now drawing in air makes the blackstrap molasses sing. Nice – I added no lemon nor lime – but if someone added a few ounces of Taildragger with ice and lime.... Summer in my mind!


Have to say the delicate flavor are broken up if you add too much. My recommendation is if you want water – go over ice, let it melt in. The more robust fruits and molasses is still there, a lot of the bouquet is lost.

My Diet-Coke Mix

Pleasant, Taildragger does not get sugary sweet, nor does it get a caramel flavor as much as many others. The back flavors, the blackstrap, the fruitiness become more pronounced. It made the drink different from any rum mix with D-Coke I 've had. And, I like it!

My Score??

Based AGAINST just one USA made Rum and my background of Universal spirits I am already splitting hairs. I have a 1-10 rating and like this one just a bit more than the last. As I have said – I am looking for other raters and we need multiple tasters to sidle up to the bar and give me their opinion. So after beating around the bush --- Taildragger Rum White gets an 8....

Until next taste..... Get your daily ration – that's an order.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Distiller Visit – Tailwinds Distilling Co.

Aviation is what this rum crafter is all about. When I visited Tailwinds Distilling on November 14, aviation was evident. Toby Beall has aviation in his blood. His father, flying b52's, his brother and himself having careers in the commercial air industry, they surround their distilled spirits in the names and emotions of man's most freeing activity; flight. The Front Store has large maps, hints and signs of flight are abound. Even a black, painted plane on the tasting bar, emblazoned with Tailwind's logo.
The company, set in a modern industrial park building (parking lot is still crushed stone.) is going through good growing pains after its birth over the last year or more. Taildragger Rum White has hit the craft rum market with a splash. Managing to get enough rum sent to the The Ministry of Rum's Annual Rum Tasting event in Chicago Tailwinds garnered themselves a silver medal. The team had hoped for some recognition – but to take silver the first time was not only rewarding, it had to be a bit frightening too. They felt they had truly entered the arena of fine rums. But, what is that arena?

Toby was open with me. He is proud of his distillery and everyone who has helped build it to its present state. He explained to me that a second, larger distillation tower was in the immediate plans. The current able to handle 100 gallons was being used to near capacity already not just with Taildragger, but also Midnight Caye Blue Agave Tequila. He spoke of how rum had become over time to be just another drink. For so long the majority of most rums drunk were from large companies that made a very good, but predictable spirit. This was not Tailwind's goal. So, fighting the reputation of “a good mixer” and “great with,” brands, the craft rum distillers wanted a rum with personality. Judging from Toby's personality Taildragger was never meant to be “with” anything – even when mixed, it would always be The Main Ingredient. We shared stories on how we, as rum sippers, had gotten to that “ah Ha!” moment in rum drinking. For me a 1996 sample of CSR, for him, a tie to air planes again with a Caribbean vacation as a setting, the taste of rums he had never heard of and relished as much – even more when the “mixers” ran out. As a pilot and on a layover in Kona, Hawaii, Toby's mind clicked.. With support from his wife and family – Tailwinds became reality. With that in mind Tailwinds wanted to stand out. Even with a growing craft rum industry, they were going to make sure they were known.

“It's funny,” Beall told me, “We all know each other, the other distillers. We know each other, many of us are friends.” He explained that discrimination palettes and plethora of rum varieties meant everyone was finding a market. Face it, in days not that long ago, how many people just had only one or two rums? You know a white, perhaps a spiced, a few even went to the dark. Now, with so many enjoying rum for its robust flavors and fragrances as well as it's ability to reignite some long lost mixed drinks, many bars now have a “collection” of fine rums. Now a new clientele willing to seek it, buy it and drink it! He was kind to say people like me and to a far greater effect, Edward Hamilton (Ministry of Rum) were getting the news out and all the distillers were excited that they had people who shared their passion – able to preach the varieties and specialties of crafted rum. In our case an American Made Rum.

Getting Taildragger to be just right meant better ingredients. They went with high grade molasses, worked with companies to develop the perfect yeasts to render the flavor of their rum to its very finest degree. A lot of work – plenty of testing, trying and re-trying. Tasting one batch then another until finally they had Their Rum. Even the still and distillation tower has a personality, They dubbed it The Louisville Lush.

So, now I stand in their distilling empire. Toby has invited me to see a batch start up and it was in the “touchy” phase and he needed to adjust, test, evaluate. A thin stream of white rum flowed from The Lush. The room where distillation was done had a familiar, great aroma. Rum. Toby made the adjustments needed. Took hold of a snifter style glass and poured a bit of clear, new, white rum into it. He passed it to me. “Taste,” he said. “That's running about 170 proof right now.” I stuck my nose into the glass, inhaled. Surprisingly, not a strong perfume, but, a clean smell with a touch of sweetness. It touched my lips and I licked the first film. Well the tasting of it is really the story of the next part.... Part II Tailgragger Rum White's taste test..... See you next time


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Big Day -- Fun Day

Updates and More

So a normal morning here at Rum Runner central. If you look at the page list you can see we have taste cards. OK we only have one tasting under our belts but the card exists. Check it out just to see what it looks like and find out how you can help. I want you to join in the fun.

The "More"

I needed to check around the web some more, always looking for new distillers or contacts in the Rum Industry. Well, I find The Ministry of Rum. A great forum full of fabulous information, connections, commentary as well as loads of run lovers. Needless to say I submitted my application to join. MoR is about all great rums so my little niche fits in and is unique. I'll be spreading the word about this blog and our Facebook page, American Made Rum.

So I explore more and find another, wonderful sounding Distiller of Fine Spirits, Tailwinds Distilling Company. the very best part is it is with in minutes of my place! Better yet soon after I emailed Tailwinds - got a great response. They "Liked" American Made Rum and checked out the blog as well as inviting me out to their Distillery to talk rum.... It is on the list!

Later I am adding more Distillers into my database (Yes the Rum Distillers in the US will be getting updated tomorrow, I hope) and come across Woodstone Creek in Ohio. I email greetings and a question. Try as I might I can't find a name for their Rum. Well, Linda O. answers; "Still in the barrel. We don't name 'em until they are born.." Gotta say love distillers with passion! Anyone near Cincinnati -- Check out Woodstone.

That's it for now --- Pour a sweet one....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Prichard's Crystal Rum - Tasting

Let's Start

First of all let me introduce my bottle of Prichard's Crystal Rum. The bottle is as clear as the rum. A nice rounded look. I like this shape -- it has the look of age, like a cache of bottles from the 1700's was found. The top, sealed by a faux black wax and while it is a synthetic cork, it still has that satisfying "thunk" when you open it. In addition a silver ribbon seal is glued across the top. Very nice presentation.

Let's drink!

 Straight up

Aroma: From the bottle you get vanilla - immediately. From the glass vanilla with a hint of caramel. 

Taste: Front - Very smooth up front. Just a hint of tang at the tongue-tip. I taste a bit of butter scotch as well. There's a sweetness, not molasses as much as cane sugar. Just a hint of alcohol.

In mouth - Let it roll a bit.. sweetness stays - intensifies along the sides. The swallow has a burst of tingle then cool sweet. I'd say under the tongue is sweetest. For some reason -- just a hint of floral soon after swallow.

After taste: In the glass Crystal Rum has a thickness. As clear as water, and it legs on the glass, long, thick streaks. Look at the picture and you can see them.... Sweetness!


Less Than 1 oz water with 2 oz Crystal
Water gives you a sweet, very, very smooth drink. This tastes best with just a splash of water -- less is better!

Added ice: I recommend Crystal cold, especially if the molasses flavor is what you are looking for. The aroma is muted, but the flavor comes through -- sweetness under control. Definitely molasses. 


Over Rocks: The cold has a soothing effect. Smoother than rum alone. I might even say Crystal would taste good if kept chilled! Seems like the aroma is as muted as with water -- but I seem to detect more flavor. I find the sharpness at swallow much nicer. Colder seems to mean sweeter as well. Just a bit.

Mixed Drink:

I tend to keep it simple and low calorie. Yeah I know it's a sin but I will have a Crystal Rum and Diet Coke. For me this is an important taste as so often I end up drinking an R &D-C at gatherings. As with other premium rums -- The Diet Coke actually tastes sweeter, and any artificial sweetness is replaced in this case with a definite caramel mouth flavor.



This is my taste writing -- I will file a card (starting a page called Taste Cards) later as I distill my comments here into a rating on the card....
Let's be fair - this is my first attempt at a serious tasting. I think I had picked a superior product but I am sure there are many, many more. Prichard's Crystal Rum though would be a very nice addition to your shelves. Guests who appreciate this fine spirit will ask for more. Visit their Web Site and please feel free to like their Facebook Page.
Finally, whenever you do explore some of the fine craft rum distillers, please let them know you read about it at my blog:  Rick The Rum Runner.  If you'd provide a line -- I'll tip a glass of Rum in your name

We are a Facebook page!!

Rick, The Rum Runner is now a page on Facebook. Please, LIKE us there. Coming up later? We taste Prichard's Rum. We have the Crystal label.....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

First Rum For Tasting...

Trip to the Liquor Store

Managed to stop at the liquor store near my house, Binny's. Noted for their HUGE inventory and willingness to carry even small - craft made beers and spirits, I was anxiously looking forward to my visit. Walk through the door --- head for the Rum aisle. We are talking about 40 feet long and four tiers high. Somewhat disappointed with the selection. over 1/2 are easily the main suppliers. The rest is the less known groups. Some real high end but imported rums, a few handcrafted but imported rums that looked and sounded quality but were not US made either. The only one I recognized with my VERY limited knowledge was Prichard's. Now that brand has four rums -- but only the Chrystal was offered. I though reasonably priced -- so I purchased it. I will discuss my tasting in another post. I stopped at the Service Desk to ask about other brands that I knew -- no distribution for the few I mentioned except one. That would be gotten for me by request.
So what does this trip tell me? First I have to shop with a complete list of brands, for two reasons. One to make sure I spot brands that I already know are US made, speeding up the process and number Two, to ask about availability at the service desks. I really don't mind special ordering something just for me -- Heck Rum Snob sounds better than Rummy! So that is a valuable thing. Another thing I came up with (after discussions with friends and family Friday evening) -- I need to tap some people I know who live in other states that might be able to find and buy harder brands for me to get here in Chicago, and ship them to me privately! Yes thaet opens up availability to some smaller distillers that have no out of state distribution. The education continues.
So more to come -- very soon

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Education For This Blogger

Working in the Background

As usual, when you want to do something right, it takes time. Well, blogging is no different. I am working on a list of US Rum Distillers. I want this to be a page that is always available and can bu up dated. That is one of the new things I "think" I have learned how to do. Building that list is going along well, but I will delay posting it until I have a larger representation of Distillers. Also, I have started a design of a tasting card for rum. I plan to bring that to the blog as it begins to look something like a finished product.


Rum Lovers - Please Join In 

I want to include your ideas as well so please, if you are reading this -- Please make this blog a favorite, or click on the button that says "Follow The Rum Runner" or subscribe by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page and you will see Subscribe to: Posts (Atom). This final choice will email each new post to you and you can stay informed and hopefully a bit entertained. So, I can tell this blog gets lots of views, but I need you to follow, join, subscribe..... If you like rum or are just wondering what makes this fine spirit so appealing that I decided to blog about it --- Read and follow!!!


Coming Up

I have more Distilleries to talk about and coming very soon -- We go Rum Shopping! Till then, All that is needed to drink a good rum is a 4 ounce glass and a pure heart.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Getting some great response to my Blog!

Slowly Coming Together

I have been slowly building a database of American made rums. My education continues. One thing I have started doing is visiting the Distilleries I discover and pay a visit (and "like") to their Facebook page and or websites. I am emailing and/or posting introducing this little endeavor and have gotten some very nice replies. The two I want to mention here are listed below. One I hope to visit in the next few weeks that other.... well some day. But, living in/near Chicago helps tremendously. We have some HUGE spirit distributors here and I have easy access to their retail outlets. That means most (maybe all) of the delicious sounding rums spread across the 5fifty states may be readily available! I have even included the rums of my search on my Christmas gift list, so I'll have friends and family sharing in the journey. As time goes by -- you'll be seeing things grow here -- if you want to join in -- please comment, send email if you'd like and please subscribe to the blog so I can see my audience grow too! For now -- let's look at two American Rum Distillers:

Journeyman Distillery

Located in the great little town of 3-Oaks Michigan, Journeyman Distillery creates a selection of craft made spirits. Our focus is Rum -- but I an sure many of you will be interested in some of the other choices as well. Expect to see me on their blog as I try to learn more and this one is just over a hour from my house so we may be visiting soon! They have a great library of rum mixed drinks and their Product Information leads me to want to sip some neat, soon.

My email was answered by Tiffany and she made it clear that a visit there would be interesting, education and fun... I can live with that!


Those of you near -- or planing to visit Texas, might want to stop by. Tours are available by appointment and you can call directly 713-545-272 or email to set one up. As far as it's location I will quote their website as it is the most picturesque description - with a generous touch of humor, I have read. Makes me want to pack the car and GO.

"The RAILEAN Eagle Point Distillery is the first and the only distillery located in the Houston/Galveston vacinity.

It is actually tucked away along the shores of Galveston Bay in a little coastal town called San Leon. The area was once a stronghold for the swashbuckling pirate Jean Lafitte, today San Leon is a "small drinking community with a large fishing problem". The area is also home to a thriving population of wild parrots called Monk Parakeets, or Quakers which, naturally became the mascot of RAILEAN."

Like most distilleries Railean offers other spirits as well...

That's about it for this entry -- please read -- please comment and subscribe to the blog if you want to know more about American made Rum!!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hello -- Welcome!

The direction of Rick, The Rum Runner (RTRR) is simple; to enjoy craft/small batch rums made in the USA. No prejudice against large and or foreign made rums, just that they have a pretty good following already for their quality product. My aim is to uncover and present to you, the little guys. This is sort of "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, " but for rum, not food [Although the two often mix very nicely].

How this is gonna work

Just getting started I have to say there are a few goals.
First, I plan, over the next few days and weeks, to develop a database of these small rum distillers. I will list them by state. How to present it here will be done with a master list that I will update, and a blog post listing the state or states for that day. I hope to get a link to a list you, the rum drinker/reader, can access and get the low down on your state or perhaps one you plan to visit.

Second, I want to develop a standard Taste Card. Something that will score a rum based on attributes. I have my ideas -- but am open to yours. So if you have an idea for an attribute (say: color, aroma etc) and what scale to use (Sweet to dry - or sour or hot) I am open. Eventually I plan to have a card that you can print or fill in and get to me so we can build a real Merit Review Board.

Finally, I'd love stories from you (submit to my email) telling me of places listed here or new ones that you've found. That's it -- get your rum-face on and let's have some fun!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Journey, Part 2

So.... My all consuming love affair for a rum no longer made somehow, over they years has lead me to this. A search for rums where hardly anyone ever looks. Surprisingly the place is nearby and it has a long long history of rum. Where is this land of history soaked rumology? Why right here in the USA!

Now don't get me wrong the mass made rums we have available are fine products. Their Premium and Specialty offerings are great as well. What I wanted to know was – What about rum made right here in the states?

Once I had accepted that CSR was not coming back; well not the original for I have heard murmurings of a “new” CSR – but have not heard much else, I felt comforted in seeking out the regulars. Realizing my waistline could not stand a steady diet of Rum & Coke (one of my favorites) – I even switched to Diet Coke. Still the very best rum is rum drunk neat. OK maybe a rock or two – but rum straight.

I found that I liked darker rums (not liking the spiced rums too much though – but open to the possibilities), especially with Coke as the heightened caramel flavors were just a tremendous mix. I like Bicardi, liked Meyers, pretty much liked most. Then, I retired.

My family is wonderful. They like to have a party for just about anything, but, they respect requests. I asked that no big thing be made of my retirement. That was obeyed. However, everyone dropped cards and gifts on me without a party. One gift, among a group of great gifts, was a bottle of clear Tommy Bahama Rum. Very good. This was a different taste as well. Now I was learning that rums had a spectrum of tastes that, to me, were as broad as wine! I mentioned how much I liked the clear and that I loved the darker for mixing, especially with Coke. Voila! A bottle of Tommy Dark! It was as good as I could imagine. Still though I was in the crowd with the crowd.

One of the things about being retired is the ability to explore more. On one of our trips to Traverse City Michigan, I read about a distillery that make whiskey, vodka and RUM! Needless to say I was intrigued. Alas we did not seek it our more actively, but that is a sin I shall not re-commit! For now I must do more research to find it.

So that's it – that's how it started. I found that rum was being made here. Here being the USA. To be frank I have only found one, that is Certified 100% USA made (meaning that not only is the spirit distilled here in the US – every ingredient is also USA grown or produced. We'll get to that one very soon – So stay tuned.

So fellow Rummies (wear the title proudly!) stay tuned. Drop me a line, comment, send me your ideas. One thing in the making will be a Rick The Rum Runner taste card & ranking. Remember not often is alcohol encouraged – but rum was required!