Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July! -- Perfect for American Made Rum!

The summer season IS upon us. Here in the Midwest we seem to share time sweltering and being rained upon. In either case what is more refreshing than a nice cool Rum Punch??

Tailwinds has a fun time being filmed... Visit their Website for more!

Seems as though the tough grind of filming is extremely dry and thirst producing... I know Toby and the gang will get through it all!

Why is it guys have such pleasant faces when they are talking Rum? Dumb Question. . . .

Things are abuzz here at #RTRR as we prepare for some time in Michigan. I will be with family and we will be spending some time just lollygagging on the beach. I will pepper the week with a couple of cool re-blogs and will try to send an update or two from the field. As always -- don't expect too many pictures until we come back as sending them on spotty phone coverage is a task...


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Heading into July -- So Much Rum News!

6/26/14 -- From The Rum Cave
This is more or less an informational blog. Today we have lots of information. Read on fellow Rum Enthusiasts, read on.


First great news leaking From Tailwinds Distillery - Right here in the Chicagoland area.

Here is the scoop:
From a Facebook post this morning from Toby:
"So yeah this is happening.. It's going to be an exciting week. Come find us around Plainfield on Saturday with the production crew in tow;)"

So, a few weeks or more ago Toby lets me know there are some great changed coming for Tailwinds. Now, finally they are all beginning to unfold. This is great not just for everyone there at TW and there is a great group of people there, but also for the Craft Rum business. I am amazed by the camaraderie displayed between Distillers, Brewers etc... They want EVERYONE to succeed. So I find this a great thing for all in the business -- even #RTRR...

So here is more:

The secret is out....the Blaum Bros. are moving into the reality TV world. Come join us at Gobbies Sports Pub and Eatery on Friday night for a Blaum Bros. product release party! We will have a production crew in from New York filming us on the Gobbies patio for a new reality show about the Bros. and our good friends at Tailwinds Distilling Company. Come out and support us and try some new products! We will supply food and spirit samples. Filming starts at 8pm so get there early!

And this quote from Toby Beall posted this morning: "Today is going to be a very long yet exciting day for us. Film crews arrive at 10 am to start shooting. This is the start of one of many things that will be happening to Tailwinds after years hard work...."

All this is neatly explained in the TailWinds Newsletter (Visit their site to subscribe!) copy. below:





Thank all of you for your continued support as Tailwinds is now turning 2 years old!!!

We have a lot of really exciting news in the coming weeks of summer. First thing first, we would like to thank all of you for the support and the continued growth of our little distillery, we could not have done it without all of you! Now down to business.

We would like to officially announce the addition of Greg Mauloff as Tailwinds VP of Sales. Greg's 30+ years of experience in the Chicago spirits industry brings a new skill and dynamic to the Tailwinds team.

We are also going to be apart of the Binny's Beverage Depot: Regional Distillers Sampling on July 12th! We will be sampling from 1pm - 4pm along side our friends from Blaum Bros. Distilling.
Where: 12307 S. Route 59 Plainfield, IL 60585

So it like some great things happening and it makes me glad to see it... Let's look back into the recent past and report.

After a HUGE week of response to our blog about Roulaison Distilling coming (not) soon (enough) in New Orleans, Andrew Lohfeld was nice enough to take time and pass on some more good stuff --- 
"....  in case you would like to include it for your readers or on your site, we can answer anyone's questions on our twitter or through email, and our website is (though it's just a blank slate until we get a designer on it)  Oh! And I forgot to mention, in case you were wondering, Roulaison was the French-Creole word for the sugar cane harvest down in Louisiana, which historically was a time when work was easy to come by and the celebrations were plentiful."
The big unanswered question was - What is the last name of Patrick (Andrews') business partner...? Well it is Hernandez so now we know pretty much all we need, for now... So Patrick, Andrew -- Keep going! #RTRR readers, remember to click on the links above to find out more about a very interesting new Rum soon to hit!

Time for me to think about travel. I will be posting live here as we head toward the Independence Day weekend and you will be treated to some re-blogs and stop buy to get updates on the road too, in the week after the 4th..

Until Next Time---- 

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 20 2014 -- Summer Rum Plans Revealed

Summer is here (OK – OK – Close enough!!) So this Friday evening I will discuss our plans for the Summer – to get you to more rum!

In early July – We will be spending some time in Michigan. Primarily the Holland area. I hope to sniff out some new rum – stop by known ones (Holland Brewery and Distillery – Be on the lookout!) and in general do a report (I may even try some rum drinks and get back to you on those as I am always trying to expand my rum drink palette as well. In parts of August we will be in the Traverse City environs and scouting out old friends and new up there as well....

Since I will be on the road, away from home (Alright burglars – There are people at my house 24/7 practically) from time-to-time you will see some Blogs from the past. Many of them featuring the very places I may be re-discovering this time. When I come back we will be updating you on the old friends and hopefully introducing you on the new...


Speaking of new, I mentioned a new Rum coming on the market from, Roulaison Distilling. I have made contact with Andrew Lohfeld who is as enthusiastic as any distiller I have talked to and still focused on his goal... Product and getting that product to the market.
It seems Andrew has a real love affair with at least two things, Rum and New Orleans. For either I can assign no blame. In fact I NEED to head back to NOLA and of course there are a few great Rums in that areas as well. Roulaison is planned to have another great rum as well.
In an email, Mr Lohfeld comments; “There's so much a rum can be that a whiskey can't ….” I can not argue with that as well. Not wanting a battle between Rum and Whiskey, they are, to me, completely separate spirits. My feeling is direct, but I am biased and I feel even with the various complexities in aging and flavors that Whiskey is a great jumping off point to get into Rum. I have said to more than one person who says “You should try XXX Whiskey/Bourbon etc it's so much more than just a rum.” “Really?” I say in answer, “You realize that whiskey, essentially is moonshine in a barrel?” Rum is a different class. Its white, un-aged version, literally the “moonshine” of rum, is more complex than its corn/grain-cousins. So Andrew's excitement in, “....the opportunity for innovation and creativity that's completely untapped in the category.” Sounds like music to my ears, zydeco music to be precise...

The whole idea seems to have been born into Andrews work in a Bourbon Distillery, full time learning the whole distillation process. Enter his long-time friend, Patrick.

“Patrick has been working in private equity in NYC, but had been looking for an excuse to move back home to the New Orleans area. Rum came into play after I fell in love with the opportunity for innovation and creativity that's completely untapped in the category. There's so much a rum can be that a whiskey can't; plus compared to their whiskey counterparts, there are so few craft distilleries just making rum and I wanted to help change that. After that revelation, I decided to approach Patrick, who I had know from college, to ask for advice in picking a city to start in. Next thing we knew, we were on a plane to NOLA to check out the town and Patrick and I partnered up to set the rum world on fire. (metaphorically speaking, we don't have any plans to make a navy strength rum as of yet...)
“....Secondly, we're are still in the very early stages of existence. (as you might have been able to tell from our pictureless-egg status on twitter) We're only mid-fundraising, so you've got at least 9 months before we have any official product to send as samples. In the mean time though, we're shoring up our bottle and label designs, looking for our production location, finalizing our relationship with our cane supplier, and picking out equipment.
“In terms of actual product, we're going to be producing a full-flavored, double alembic pot distilled, completely un-chill filtered and un-charcoal filtered, un-aged white rum, followed by an aged rum once she's ready. Both produced using locally sourced molasses and with all of the fermenting, distilling and aging done in house. Something a little less modern, more historic, and all around different, utilizing the most vibrant sugar cane industry in the country that just happens to be right at our doorstep.”

Andrew left the door open for more Q&A and I plan to take him up on that as time goes by. In the meantime, I would be honored to be included in any taste-testing as you develop your brand. Please include us in your “build” we'd love to share pictures, stories etc and hope to “raid” your website, Twitter etc for information as you move forward. New Orleans is a great place for Rum and Great Rums fit in there so well... Best to you Patrick, Andrew and all of Roulaison Distilling... From:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17 - 2014 - So many rums....

After looking at Owney's last time I have to say we seem to have a REAL new rum coming on the market.

Roulaison Distilling   @roulaison  

They have (according to their Tradmark information) set up shop in New Orleans. They seem to be moving ahead - I just rent email and tweeted at their site to provide us with some info. I will get that to you as soon ai Can can get it as well. We wish them luck -- and ask only one thing -- GET SOME RUM TO ME TO TASTE!!!.... thank you.

We also have, for your approval, Lost Spirits hailing from California (and on our directory as well)... They are a vari-spirited Distiller, Rum is one of their offerings. Using their website to quote from I offer:


Sounds good, actually sounds great! I am liking the rums aged in used Wine casks, as teh subtle flavors are just meant to be. 
The names and types of Rums are:
Navy Rum 55
Now before you Poo Poo these as watered down light-weight rums let me tell you... Navy Rum 68 is 68% Cask Strength Rum. Their official title is: Jamaican Inspired High Ester Navy Rum. So using my handy-dadny Alcohol by Volume to Proof computer; we find a 116 PROOF rum, aged in a cask and served to we - the adoring rum drinking public. Never met these people - but this could be love...

They also mention the Navy Run 55 which I am taking to be 110 Proof Rum...
Their distribution is California, New York and Chicago (pardon if I missed any) so it could be available quite a few places - at least by order. I will beg for a small sample to get even more information back to you soon...

Next time we talk vacation plans and maybe rum runs!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11 2014 - Looking About

As I go looking for new distilleries, new Rums and revisit others we've met earlier, I stop to think how far we've come. Back in October we marked a year (Spirit Tastes) and in the 7 months or so since we've continued growth and experimented in some taste testing and some great times in our journey of discovery. That in mind - Let's see what we can see from Email and stuff:

Found a great article at Hub Pages,  Rum Made in America.... I am following the Author, Mark Spivak and  passed on to him how much I enjoyed it. Here is a sample of the article:

Domestic Craft Distillers Come of Age

 When we think of rum, the West Indies automatically come to mind. Certainly, some of the world’s best rums hail from the Caribbean: Mount Gay, Barbancourt, Ron Zacapa, Bacardi and 10 Cane, just to name a few.
Increasingly, some of the finest rums are being made in an unlikely place---the U.S.A. A great deal of the credit goes to the craft distilling industry, which has grown explosively over the past decade. More Americans are inclined to purchase an artisanal, hand-crafted product...... (click to read all)

The article mentions a number of Distillers - most, if not all in our directory and some already tasted and rated (RumRatings)

My find of the day is:
Owney's Original New York City Rum
Distilled by The Noble Experiment

We will let them tell us all they know....
Owen “Owney” Madden, Grew up in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City at the turn of the 20th Century. He was a rambunctious young man. By his early 20's the leader of the West Side's Gopher Gang.
By the time Prohibition was enacted, he was experienced in the ways of NYC's underground economy. Despite the treat of heavy consequences, he too full advantage of illicit entrepreneurial opportunities that the change in legislation provided.
Nicknamed “The Killer” for his bad temper, Owney rose to power. He operated some of the illustrious Harlem speakeasies and bootlegged his own hooch. However, most endearing to us, Owney was a Rum Runner. He smuggled Caribbean made rums into the US via the shores of Rockaway Beach, NYC.
Thanks to him, rum began regaining popularity amongst Americans for the first time since the Colonial Era. Our Rum pay Homage to Owney as a figure in an important era in NYC's rich History of imbibing. Cheers!

Here is a Classic Drink recipe right from their web page:

The Smash

  • 2 oz Owney’s
  • 2-3 sprigs of Mint
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 bar spoon of sugar
  • muddle sugar, lemon and mint at bottom of rocks glass, add Owney’s then ice and club soda floater

So next thing I need to do is find out what it takes to get a taste!! We will report back!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Rum Update - Monday June 9 - 2014

Hello all -- This is just a heads up for the week ahead... We will be looking at newly discovered Distillers -- One of I just got word of this morning --




Owney’s Original New York City Rum

A tribute to Owney “Killer” Madden, this rum is distilled from organic, non-GMO, sugar-rich molasses.

Sounds intriguing -- So that is on tap.
We will visit at least one other Distiller this week, we will likely check mail for neat stuff and stop by American Made Rum - on facebook to see wht we can glean from there..

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See you later!

Friday, June 06, 2014

June 6, 2014 - You're in the Desert... You're Thirsty - RUM!

Pretty excited to talk about today's Distiller - But..... Wanted to stop and acknowledge an anniversary today. Seventy years ago the largest navel invasion of a country was initiated. No one believed that the 5000+ ships could be amassed to invade Europe to wrest control from the Axis powers. The Allies not only did it - they worked through the problems to do it. They justified the losses they knew were inevitable, knowing the loss of some would free the many. D-Day, the beginning of the end of WWII.


That calls for a long pull on a great Rum - and we find great Rums by investigating Great Distillers... Lets look at Thumb Butte Distillery, in Prescott Arizona.
They are a maker of Whiskey, Gin and Vodka - Don't even mention their Rum in their intro - but as usual - RTRR is always looking - and we find:

Escalante Dark Rum

Let's hear about this dark Rum from the Distillers themselves:

Our dark, rich, honey-like rum. Distilled from Panela sugar from Latin America and aged in American White Oak.

Having been an avid fan of the journals of Lewis and Clark I believed that we could mine journal of the 1776 Domingues Escalante expedition for great daily details. Lewis and Clark noted what they ate for dinner and what they drank.

Frey Escalante and Frey Dominguez described every arroyo, shrub, outcropping of rock and the trails of animals but did very little documenting of their daily cooking and housekeeping. Imagining that they came up from Mexico and Central Mexico we could assume that they brought a supply of consecrated wine for mass and barrels of rum for medicinal purposes and a little lift at the end of the long day of exploration and proselytizing. I could find no mention of wine or rum.

As you can see from the map on our front and back label we live almost in the middle of the Domingues/Escalante circumnavigation of the American Southwest. Although this not the scale of Magellan, a dram or two of rum in the evenings would have been welcomed.

We have designed our rum using the same Panela sugar available in 1776 in the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico. This sugar has a rich dark smooth flavor that makes great rum. We age our rum in charred oak barrels until it flows like dark honey into your cup or is the base of your favorite cocktail. Lift your cup to Frey Dominguez and Escalante, whose name has survived in the annals of the Department of the Interior’s Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument.

Now, I don't know about you - but I am thirsty!
The place looks great, the people sound friendly and fun -- Planning a trip? -- Thumb Butte Distillery is now On Our List!

Now, Thumb Butte -- How does Rick The Rum Runner get a sample to taste???

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

June 4, 2014 - Ask & You Shall Receive!

I was just asking for new Distillers and BOOM!! Along come a wonderful bunch of them (via Twitter! - @Rick_Rum_Runner), so I will introduce a few that we have checked out over the next few blog-articles.

Miami Club Rum!!!!
This place sounds great and can't wait to try their Rum

From their Website:

Welcome to Miami Club Rum - Miami's Only Rum Distillery

Discover Miami’s own hand-crafted rum;
Miami Club Rum…

  A unique experience combining local craftsmanship, superior Florida ingredients and our distinct aging process - “Infused with Music” - to create a smooth, “Ultimately Mixable” flavor profile that brings people from all over the world together!

Sexy, Fun, Delicious…Miami Club Rum!

Miami Club Rum is the Hometown Spirit of Miami!
Hand-crafted in Miami’s first distillery, Miami Club Rum is made by artisans with a family history of rum production that dates back 5 generations!
Our distillers utilize South Florida sugarcane and other superior local ingredients right here in Miami to create a smooth and ‘Ultimately Mixable’ rum experience.
Sexy, Fun, Delicious… Miami Club Rum! The hometown Spirit of Miami!”

They  seem to be primarily available in the Miami area. This is disappointing -- but at the same time challenging!! If the fine people at MCR are reading this -- I'd LOVE a sample!! If not and I am in the Miami area, I will definitely attempt to visit!

I will keep looking and keep posting -- You can now find Miami Club Rum on our list!!!

Monday, June 02, 2014

Run!!! There's A Barrel Of Rum Headed Your Way!

Hey everyone! I am back. The short hiatus has help me get my wife back on her legs - and I got my head cleared from all those things that clutter ones mind when not sipping a fine rum. Let's get re-introduced with just a gabby catch up from me.

First, Seems there could be some interesting news headed down the road from a local distiller near me. I am all excited at the proposals and will pass them on to you just as soon as I get the OK and concrete details...

Second, I am appealing to any/all who read this article to check around, look at local directories and perhaps just draw on memory and send me any Distillers in YOUR area that make a rum. Heck, even if they don't I can always send them a harassing letter telling them they need to make this fine distilled spirit.

Next, Seems CH Distillery has grown and released some news I feel is noteworthy. Again - this is local to Me and Chicagoland -- But make sure Distillers everywhere that distill Rum let me know and I will pass on information about you.... Any way - CH Distillery - maker of CH Rum and other fine sprits recently released this news:

CH Distillery Newsletter: May/June 2014
CH Amaro Release: TONIGHT! Get ready for Chicago's first local Amaro! We've put our own spin on the bittersweet, herbal Italian liqueur, using specially-distilled CH Rum and our proprietary blend of ingredients, including Gentian Root from Rare Tea Cellar (Chicago), Cocoa Nibs from Ethereal Confections (Woodstock, IL) and Clover Honey from Hawk Hill Bee Farm (Marengo, IL). Local companies and exotic flavors… talk about a bittersweet symphony. Enjoy CH Amaro (40% Alc/Vol) straight as an after-dinner digestivo, try it in CH’s latest cocktails The Bombardier and Bells and Whistles, or pick up a bottle at CH for $35.
Patio Launch Party with Crafthouse Cocktails: Tuesday, June 10th
Save the date for our patio festivities celebrating CH's partnership with Crafthouse Cocktails. Founder/The Aviary beverage director Charles Joly will be pouring samples. Plus, the three little words you've all been waiting for: Limoncello snow cones.

Wade McElroy/Sportsman's Club Guest Bartender Night: Tuesday, June 17th
Next up in our Guest Bartender Series is Wade McElroy from industry favorite Sportsman's Club. He was recently named one of Zagat's '30 Under 30' and has a way with Amaro. But don't just take our word for it; mark your calendars and come see it for yourself.

So some exciting local news here in Chicagoland -- What is happening in your neck of the woods?? 

Remember - Planning a trip?? Consult our all-encompassing list of Distillers in nearly every state and plan your next road trip to a distillery! You will love the hospitality and enjoy the spirit and passion of the Owners/distillers and staff.   There is nothing like doing it in person!!

So get set to mix a nice cool rum-drink and get ready to launch Summer! Remember I am
----   And make sure you - Lick The Glass!