Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday -- End of March Catch-up

Alcohol seems to bring out the strangeness in many people -- Governments even more so. Over the years I have begun to appreciate the hoops Distillers have to go to gain permission to make, make distribute and sell their spirits. Recently we have talked about new rums coming on line and that a few of the Distillers were including me in early tastes just to get the word out there or for the fact that they trust me (watch out!). That said and not naming anyone I will rant a bit about alcohol regulations.
It seems in many states the people who distill alcohol can't sell it, or they can't sell it where they make it -- some places let them give it away (tasting) some regulate how much (some not so much). Other places allow shipping to other states - others only allow some states - some states don't allow shipping to other states at all, if you are a Distiller... Whew. Shipping alcohol from one state to another is a whole complicated thing. Some states won't allow you to ship booze.... But I have heard euphemisms for the liquor of choice - like Processed Molasses samples, or Aged Sugar Solution... I bet we all can come up with some. One state that wont allow a Distiller to ship their product unless they are a Wholesaler, ignores the fact that a person working there can "buy" a bottle, and ship it to a friend as a gift. I think the government just tries to make us get smarter, certainly smarter than them - Not a big job...

Let's see what else we can find out!

Posted on American Made Rum -- we find:

In case you missed us at The Dee Armstrong Show , here is the clip. Begins at 21:25 minuted, all the way to the end 

Always nice to hear from Richland. I have to get back down there and tour the expansion!

Good morning Sarasota!
 As a Midwesterner -- Dieing for days like this!!
So I am "Jumping Shipwreck" appropriate for a Pirate-loving rum maker!
 My Tropical Drink name?   Dirty Island Escape..... Sounds yummy!!!

Til Next week - I profess to be yours only - as :

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday -- Follow up and News!

I may not publish as often as 2013 - but the idea was to have some good content and make sure I get Friday's blog - so You can plan your weekend. In that vein -- let's look at what's up ---


Last weeks Mid-Best Tasting really blew the top off the readership here -- Glad so many people came and read. The numbers have not really backed off so that's a sign I got your interest. That said, please check out the comments after that article, as it gives us even more insight to Mid-Best. Mr. Al Griffin writes about his experiences here. A great blog there, Al!

Looking around -- Let me update you on the Rum World. 
I found out about a new book about Alcohol Consumption. They tout the project as "We've written a book that's all about the intriguing world of booze. Drink from the cup of knowledge.... A comprehensive resource on the history, mechanics, influences, and economics of alcohol. An unbiased look at alcohol consumption, relevant to everyone." I find their way of financing it creative! LINK

Grand Traverse Distillery in Grand Traverse MI has announced a downtown Traverse City location. This place is one of my wife's and my favorite destinations and having been BIG fans of GTD for a long time (Love their Vodkas as well) we are excited for a number of reasons, but the biggest is that they will be coming out with their RUM soon!!! -- I have some promises of getting a taste -- but no bottle yet (sigh). They spread the news here:
"Todays is a historic day for us as we have just signed a lease for 215 E. Front Street in downtown Traverse City, Michigan for our latest Grand Traverse Distillery Tasting Room. With this spot we now have 5 tasting rooms in Michigan and we have plans for more in the coming years.
"We also just finished our renovations out at the main distillery tasting room with the final piece [new carpet] being laid yesterday so if you are in the area stop by and see the new look and have a cocktail!"
VERY nice to read that news!

From American Made Rum:
Balcones Distillery  
Thank you Whisky Magazine! Balcones Brimstone Resurrection is World's Best American Whisky at 2014 World Whisky Awards!
Bottling batch 5 of the amber rum on Sunday. It's all grown up.

Recently came across a rum I hadn't seen before - Number 0, pretty tasty indeed! Anyone else tried it yet? (my rating is lonely)
Framing the first wall of the tasting room! ‪#‎drinkjersey‬ ‪#‎craftdistillerlife‬

 Striped Pig Distillery 
 added 100 photos from March 4 to the album Melany Mullins surprise 40th Birthday Party at Striped Pig — at Striped Pig Distillery.
Great Stuff -- Hope to meet many of you soon -- I am :

Monday, March 10, 2014

We Taste - Mid-Best's Rums

Red Rum

The time has come. I have been looking forward to this for the last couple of days.... Today we taste the Two Rums of Mid-Best Distilling.

We are not going to beat around the bush here let's pour some Rum!

Mid-Best's White Rum:
Aroma - Once I had it into a proper tasting glass ( I use just a straight sided – double shot glass) – I discerned a stronger aroma than what I did just bottle sniffing. Molasses leaps out – You get a bit of alcohol carrying a sweet after whiff – It actually has a taste.

Sip – Smooth, but it has a almost no alcohol “bite” to it but a sweet taste. Still, a tart feel follows in the mouth, that slowly turns molasses. Some might say a bit of a medicinal taste is present – for me – no. It's more complex but that tartness and the alcohol do start a flavor that could be termed medicinal. It fades fast and as I type this a full minute or so has passed since my last sip and there is a nice after-taste in my mouth. Clean, yet sweet, without over doing it. It tends, in my book, toward a sipping Rum, but many might just use it as a GREAT mixer. Since t is favor ridden it will add to a mixed drink in both flavor and, of course, alcohol.
I added a splash of water. It tended to play down the aromas and soften the taste. That “medicine” flavor was greatly reduced leading me to clearly recommend this a s very good mixing Rum. The complex sweetness stood up and really a nice mouth feel. A lump of ice – and having the rum cooler even fired up the flavor more. Clean, nice, memorable.

In the glass, the rum shows strong legs so there is a lot in your hand. It is totally clear and clean in appearance.

Mid-Best - Holly's Red Rum
For me this is the main event. Aged in Cherry-wood – this delightfully red colored rum has a lot going for it.
Aroma - This one blew my socks off when I bottle sniffed it. That is not a fair test though so we poured some. Wow, the cherry is on top in the aroma list. Its smell is so different and very pleasant. It does bring out a butterscotch vapor and led me immediately to...

Sip – Oh my, how different IS that? Very often oak aged Rums begin to imitate whiskeys. Not a bad thing but whiskey does whiskey best. Many aged rums however has a great balance of the charred Oaks and used barrels to make a drink uniquely Rum. Red Rum is definitely one of these. I'm not going to kid you, you will react when you taste this. My reaction was to close my eyes and let the liquid wash through and sit in my mouth. The Cherry-wood lends a slight woody flavor with that cherry taste that you get when you cook using cherry wood chips, and get the smoked flavor into your food. Mid-Best gets that sweetness into their rum! The flavor is mellow, milder yet the overall taste is bolder (is that possible?) What I mean is it does not grab you it develops in your mouth. It takes time. I was so slow in finally getting around to swallowing it! Even after I did there were more flavors. A very likable after taste, you really taste cherry at that point – less wood.
Water in and I tried more (what a tough job I have...). The flavors mellowed completely and I went with a new pour over ice... Yes – This is a sipping Rum – A nice glass – a good hard rock of ice, or chilled stone as we see so often and you have a treat. I think ice would be better because the introduction of a bit of water really makes this step up. Silk smooth, bold but not harsh flavor and wonderful after taste. Yeah sit back, sip, roll it around and reluctantly swallow, each of those actions will be rewarded!

In your glass - The red color, different from so many amber liquors may get you noticed. The legs are more discreet but the flavor here is rampant! The glass at the beginning of the article is Red Rum 

Okay, over all – my impressions?
Mid-Best's White Rum? Good – Great mixer – For sipping I recommend a splash, and ice. Some may feel straight a bit harsh – but the overall flavor and after taste is excellent. As a mixer – This is a rum that will add to your recipe – so it get a strong YES in that category.

Mid Best's – Red Rum? Very good – the color red is different making anticipation of it great. The taste does not disappoint. This is a great sipping, fine drinking with ice kind of Rum. The smoothness is beyond most Rums I have ever tasted. The after taste is light, pleasurable and long lasting. It has a sweetness that is profound but not cloying – just enough to let you think of Cotton-candy, butterscotch and molasses but not fill you mouth with it. No problems here I say a big BIG yes on this one!

My full rating (including a number rating) will be in It may take some time to appear as the rum reviewed will have to be entered into the huge data base. Rick The Rum Runner recommends every serious Rum Drinker use as well, it unites us and gives voice to the growing chorus of serious Rum drinkers and enthusiasts world-wide.

I am – as always 

Friday, March 07, 2014

Sampling Weekend - Preview, Mid-Best

If you follow my blog (thank you BTW) you know I have had the pleasure recently in discovering some new Rums coming onto the market. One of these, Mid-Best Distillery, is a known Whiskey and Moonshine Distiller, but, they are looking seriously at the Rum drinker. They have two rums marketed. One a clear - the other what they call a Red Rum. More on that later.
They are growing, they have a website that is still being constructed and a busy Facebook page. They are near me (a 6 hour drive) and they sound serious. Well, Mike Anderson contacted me and asked if I would lend my taste of their rums in pursuit of "the Rum" they wanted. I find that Distillers are like this; Distilling is NOT a job, it is a passion and a search for "the taste".  To be included is an honor for me and a real bonus for you, the faithful reader. 
The two bottles they sent are NOT the ones they sell, they were sent special, just for me... Am I spoiled? - Yes, yes I am. So I took a picture and put aside my favorite tasting glass, readying myself for an honest taste and written report - not just to you but to Mike and the whole gang at Mid-Best.

Let's look at the two Spirits and talk about expectations, what I know and what I am am about to find out.

This is the White Rum. You can see - they are looking first for the Right product - not a name, a rum. I cracked the seal and sniffed and can tell you this: Aroma? Yes a definite, sweet smell. I detect molasses and some sugar. Just a whiff of cotton candy and a faint butterscotch. I confess - got a bit of watering of the mouth... I resisted the taste, for suspense and the fact that I want to set up perhaps a short video and give the tasting the proper time it does, and should demand. I have to say, however. The aroma is very tempting. 

While we are sniffing, let's talk white rums in general. I most mas marketed rums, the white, or clear or crystal ones are meant mostly for mixing. Now, craft made rums in general, tend to be MUCH more flavorful and tend toward the sipping rums we enjoy. That said, there are sipping mass markets and mixing crafts out there. Just an observation from me and a few fellow sippers.

From the smell - I am looking for a full bodied taste, sip-able for sure.

Okay, now it is time for Holly's Redrum, Rum. Now, if you are thinking --- Marketing - Cute bit just marketing... It gos beyond that. Redrum (Murder?) and Red Rum ... Oh wait -- aged in Cherry wood! RED RUM! I had to whiff this one!

As you know, I started this whole thing as a devoted white rum drinker who liked only the sweetest amber rums. Well after converting to Craft Rums, I fell in love with aged rums, completely. When I inhaled this rum the lightness struck me. Often the wood is equal or even primary in the aromas of aged rums. Not so, Holly's. The butterscotch is now more prevent. It still has a molasses background, but yes.. a cherry-wood aroma is there. The wood is sweet in its self, and really lends a complexity to the aroma. Can NOT wait to pour this and sink my substantial nose into it.
Since I have cooked using cherry-wood -- the idea use of it in the aging is fascinating! In cooking the wood taste is subtle, and does add a bit of sweetness. I will anticipate some of that in the Rum.

So..... Let's talk tasting!! Well - I am going to make you wait until Monday (March 10). I will post it at 7AM Central Time, so you can begin to drool over your morning toast. I will try to find out more about where, when and how we can buy these when they do hit the market -- but for now - you'll have to go there to try it or stop by my house... Hurry - it won't last long I bet!

Until then --  I AM