Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tasting - Essential Spirits Alambic Distillery, Rums!

Another fine Distiller who sent me a two bottle set for sampling at our Spirit Taste 2013, was Essential Spirits. R. David Classick is the Master Distiller and makes rums under the name Sgt Classick. They offer both a Silver and a Gold.
Please take the time to visit their site and read the fascinating story of both the business and the method used to distill. We try to make each mention of names brands etc a link for your convenience. Their products are available online as well, from the site.

An excerpt:
Hawaiian Rum from San Francisco?
Sgt. Classick gold and silver rums are crafted at a small, family owned and operated distillery in the heart of the San Francisco bay area. "San Francisco?" you ask. "How can you call it Hawaiian rum?"
Sgt. Classick uses 100 percent Hawaiian molasses from the island of Kaua'i. We ship it to San Francisco directly from Hawai'i and take it to our distillery in Mountain View, CA. We use Hetch Hetchy water (among the best water anywhere) in our distilling process as we work diligently to craft what spirits experts and customers call one of the the best rums in North America. Don't just take our word, read some of the reviews we have received. (See Awards/Reviews page.)

They have a historical and professional interest in Rum and have a great educational page (fun stuff to read) as well: Here

Let's have a taste. First, The Silver:
The aroma is sweet, I detect a honey-like bouquet that actually lingers after drawing it in. A caramel is there as well (Always a great addition when cola mixing I have found). The first taste is very, very smooth. My tongue gets a complex sweetness all at once. The sugar (no molasses) lingers in the mouth but is not cloying or heavy - very light. The "buzz" as I call it is very minimal when I sipped - not much alcohol buzz on contact, more instant flavor. The flavor expand and you can pick out a hint of marshmallow? The taste settles into a clean, cool mouth with a dab of caramel on my tongue. While this would be a wonderful mixer - do not pass up its stand-alone taste! I am sure we will have some fans at Spirit Taste 2013!

Now for The Gold:
I find the aroma a bit more subdued. It has a caramel and brown sugar richness. I get a smoke hint as I would expect but very delicate. Taste; has to be a smoothest aged rum I have had. There is a fruitiness to it and just a hint of burned sugar (like the edges of Flan). Again I can't believe it is 80 proof for the mouth buzz is minimal and the flavors are so robust. Here is a wonderful sipping Rum. Character, robust oaken flavors mixed with a sugar crust sweetness that is never heavy but heavenly. The taste stays with you and fades nicely. This too will be a favorite of those looking for a rum that speaks to you. 

There you have it - Two rums from Essential Spirits today and two from Montanya Rums last time. I have to say this blogging rum thing has its advantages. Two distillers two
distinct families of rum. Flavors for all -- I rated Montanya's Oro quite high and the Gold Sgt Classick Rum is a great find as well. Sgt Classick Silver and Montanya's Platino are absolutely delightful. As usual - My rating can be found on and as both of these were already entered you can go there directly, read the ratings and compare with other tasters and PLEASE add yours when you taste!

I will be out of town for part of next week so I will post a fun blog for Monday! In the mean time I am ---


  1. Hi Rick,

    Thanks for the write up.

    I felt I should point out though, that as happy and amazed as you were with the smoothness of our gold rum... it is actually not an aged rum! That smoothness is 100% indicative of the amazing still we are using to produce it (and realistically all of the spirits we produce). The color and vanilla/caramel notes imparted on the rum are a result of exposure to wood, but not in the traditional method of barrel aging. Normally, when tasting an aged rum... you get the barrel first, with oak and vanillin dominating the palate and the molasses/rum actually becomes an afterthought. With our gold rum, however, we purposefully meant to preserve the molasses/rum experience first, in a nod to the special flavor characteristics of the 100% Hawaiian molasses, by adding wood to the rum, instead of adding the rum to wood.. we get the flavor and color extraction from the blend of differently toasted oak, but the rum is all there. it hasnt been evaporated off in aging, nor effected by the concentration of remaining flavor components as a result of the aging process. It makes this gold rum truly unique. Sorry for waxing poetic, but we are very passionate about our creation.. and apparently, very proud as well ;) Cheers Dave Jr, Head Distiller, Essential Spirits Alambic Distilleries

    1. Thanks, Dave... I enjoyed the information that I included your note in my 9/20/2013 blog "News & Stuff from around the Rum Barrel". I find the whole process, while seemingly simple, has so many teaks and subtle enhancements that it allows for 200 different rums, each one with a character all its own.