Time to Debung the Barrel!
On January 19, 2013, I visited Tailwinds Distillery, hoping to get a taste of their first batch of aged, amber rum. When I got there I discovered the brothers Toby and Jamie Beall working with a friend getting ready to uncork the very first first cask. Unfortunately for them, their new labels wouldn't be ready until at least Monday. This was putting a serious damper on their bottling party set for that evening. Still there was plenty of work to be done.
The good thing is, it allowed me to sit around and talk with the guys for a short time. Actually, sitting is the wrong action. They were working. I was sitting. Using my best reporter skills, I managed to finagle a taste directly from the barrel. Toby warned me that this would be about 130 proof, but, being as brave as I am, dedicated to The Taste, I persevered. First impression? It was really good! I was impressed. It seems that they had done somewhat of a double barreling on this particular run. It has spent some time in a used wine barrel and it's been some time in a used bourbon barrel. I have to admit, it picked up flavors of both which gave it kind of that woody, oaken taste as well as a sweet, fruity flavor; and still with the spiciness that is Tailwinds' trademark. I asked Toby how the high proof would affect the taste compared to the adjusted bottling proof. He assured me that what I was tasting was most likely muted in comparison to what it would be once they proofed it at about 90 for bottling. I am sure many of you have noticed how the flavors of a rum will open with just a splash of water or a bit of ice melt. Willing to accept his explanation, but at the same time knowing that I wanted to taste his quality rum in its real salable form. I decided to try and reserve a bottle for myself. The guys were willing, but they said I better make it back there sometime during this week just to make sure that they had sold out their distributors. So, it looks like this happy rum drinker will have to make another trip out there this week to make sure he gets a bottle of Tailwinds Amber aged Rum!
So until we can sit down with a bottle of this fine rum and given a taste of our own. I remain as always: