Monday, July 28, 2014

Looking at a New Week

Got a great comment on my last post from Joel Bierling:
"Joel Bierling7/26/2014 9:09 PM
Visiting Michigan? Visit us in Sparta, MI. http://bierbarrel.com/products/devilsmessage.html
We'd be happy to show you around."



Well, Joel we are going to try and take you up on that invite. Based on your asking (thank you!) and after looking through your website. They seem like a great place that offers a variety of Spirits... From their site this description of Devil's Message Rum:

"British privateers gave a ration of rum to their sailors, often watered down with citrus juice (to prevent scurvy), as no-doubt fresh water was scarce when at sea. Though popular culture has associated the terms "demon rum" and "rum runner" with piracy, these terms are in fact a result of the American Prohibition of the 1920s.
Today there are a variety of rums based on the type of sugar cane product used in the fermentation process. Various grades of molasses can be used, resulting in a stronger or more rustic flavor. Panela, unrefined whole cane sugar, and processed cane sugar can also be used. Rum may be aged or unaged and is sometimes spiced. Our rum, made from unrefined dehydrated sugar cane juice, will absolutely quench your thirst. It has a distinctly sugar cane flavor without an overly assertive molasses tone."

OK you got me at Privateers...

The planning stages of the Michigan trip are coming together... Hm I could use a drink -- let's look at a recipe from Bier Barrel Distillery:
Mojito

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces light rum

10 mint leaves

1 teaspoons white sugar

1/2 lime

Club soda

Procedure

Place mint leaves, sugar, and lime in a shaker and muddle to release the flavors. Add crushed ice and rum and shake until combined. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with soda. 


Sounds YUM -- Till Next time:
 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Check In

Well, it's your friendly neighborhood Rum Runner here. Gearing up for a trip to the North-woods next week.I tend to to be there early in August every year, and this year is no different. So we will discuss what I plan to see and visit, rum-wise, here. First though a bit of an announcement. 












Tailwinds distillery and their line of great spirits (some great rums there) have now expanded their market into Wisconsin! Great to see this - I hope they continue and make Agave and Rum drinkers happy  across the US and one day --- Beyond?










So while we are in Michigan, we plan to stop in and see the folks at Northern Latitudes Distillery on the Leelanau peninsula. We love their Manitou Passage Rum. However they are not a one-trick pony here. I can HIGHLY recommend their Apollo Horseradish Vodka (makes the Bloody Mary - Merry). Another favorite is their Limoncello di Leelanau. According to Mark Moseler (Proprietor and Distiller) told me they peel at least 400 lemons each Friday just to keep up stock! Once you taste it you may just tell him, "You may need more lemons" because this stuff is great and the market is expanding.

Another stop, Grand Traverse Distillery. When we last left off there was a hope (I'd like to say Promise) from the Distiller that they'd be releasing a Rum....... Soon, hopefully in time for my visit. Well, I have not kept up with them -- so this will be a great way to find out... Their website says it is currently aging ... let's see if I can sneak a taste!

Catch you later and will be sending out blurbs from the field soon!!!




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rum -- 5 under $25.00 - My Choices


Today we are going to talk price, and Craft American Made Rums. Many people who I introduce to the oh so wonderful tastes of so many of the great rums made often say "I can't afford to drink rum like that.... Too expensive." Nay I say (OK -- I don't say nay, usually my response contains the words starting with a B and an S), I can list some great rums under $25.00. Some so inexpensive you may be able to try 2 for just over a combined cost of $25.00.
So, when DrinkWire.com asked that we list our top five, under $25.00 Rums, I liked that idea right-away! So when Anna Archibald asked me to give it a shot as one of the Rum Experts on DrinkWire.com I was up for the challenge. 
Let's look at the five. I am not rating these five from 1-5 or any other Good to Best just the five I enjoy and fit the $25 limit.

First -- Sergeant Classick Rum -- White -- This was included in our First (hopefully) annual Spirits Taste 2013 (ST2013). The White is a very palatable white rum. The flavors are sweet, many detect an essence of pineapple. As is the case with many White Rums, it has a tiny bite in front but a mellow pleasant taste. VERY blend-able and very popular at "The Taste". I recommend this as a deal under the price limits.






The second offering -- Northern Latitudes' - Manitou Passage 

This was a discovery just last Summer and was also in the Spirits Taste 2013. As a white - this also tends toward being a mixer, but the taste is quite bold and very distinctive. I have had reactions of peppermint, Peppercorn. I find the taste more towards the Peppercorn side with an after taste that sweetens as it lingers. This is not a white Rum for the timid. Very warming. That said -- this is a nice sipper as well.







Number Three --  Ugly Dog Distillery - Ugly Dog Rum
This was a huge hit as the universal mixer. Gonna make a Cuba Libre? This is your Rum - Sharp, intense and will remind you of a moonshine whiskey. However, combined with mixers -- Yes - a taste made to join with colas, fruit juices -- top notch Mixer in my opinion.










Brings us to #4 --  Striped Pig  
This was the first rum tasted at ST2013. I think it was a great rum to start with. Robust, with aromas of vanilla (and a hint in the taste as well) along with mint and sweetness. This rum has a long, long after taste that was almost universally liked and I too liked the linger. As a White Rum you'd think: Just a mixer. Not so -- this is a full bodied sipper. I recommend a splash of water - perhaps a rock or to (a refrigerated bottle is recommended) and time to enjoy.





Finally - and not least at all -- Muddy River Distilling - Carolina Rum 
A great Rum under the limit and the Distillery is growing and expanding. The Rum itself has a very full flavor. Many people comment it tastes like "Old Fashioned Rum". This a truely a multi-purpose rum. Blend it - chill it sip it -- its all good. Sweet aroma - hints of Licerice & Butterscotch. Smooth and warming like a rum should be.




So, there you go. Reasonably priced (based on 2013 prices) - very, very good rums. However, these are not always readily available. You have to WANT them. Some are not available outside their states of origin. Some don't sell online, or not at this time. So I made sure I added links to each one so you can visit the sites and as I have found - discover a way to get your hands on a fine hand crafted rum. Believe me it is worth the effort! Additionally - Visit our blog site and go to the State-by-State list. Find the rum you are looking for and talk to the Distiller. It is a rewarding experience!
There is a whole world of delicious rums that fit into our Made In America niche. There are Fabulous rums running upwards of $40 a bottle, and well worth it to my taste. There are mid range and this list - under $25 that has some great quality spirits.

OK -- After all this writing about them... I think I will have a mini-taste right now 
Tile Next Time I remain:

Friday, July 11, 2014

From 2013 - In Search of Michigan Rum -- Mission Table and Grand Traverse Distillery

As we travel on our vacation - we will hopefully be gathering new information from some of the great places we visited - and maybe meet some new ones. Read this blast from the past and check out other past blogs for even more information! #RTRR

Mission Table - Civilized Spirits


I love driving the peninsulas of Grand Traverse Bay and now we are in search of rum! This stop (one of two this blog) is at Mission Table. To call it just a Distillery is wrong; it is a Restaurant, Inn, Brewery and Distillery.
The place is set in the Mission Peninsula of Grand Traverse Bay. The sight-lines, scenery and surrounding are very eye-appealing. We found a place to park (seemed to be a roomy lot as lunch was being served and the outdoor seating was quite filled) and were directed to the door leading to the tasting room. The room is set in the Restaurant building and the people are very nice. I sauntered up and got a tasting of their rum. I saw only the white rum - finding out later that they had a spiced as well... Sorry, my fault (great excuse to go back!). It was a bit crowded and beyond a few questions, we really did not get to chat too much. As I always say - missed opportunities lake that just make it more fun to return.
The Old Mission Premium Rum was quite good. The nose was familiar and had the molasses edge. The taste had a decided buzz at the tongue but a good mixing rum for all your cocktail needs. It is a shame I missed the Spiced. I plan to contact them soon and see if I can get a sample post-haste... I'll keep you all informed!
My complete rum Tasting is listed on RumRatings.com as usual. Please go there to see my review of Old Mission Rum as well as my taste reviews of every rum I taste on that site. In fact please join me as a member and post your own tastes and comments!


Grand Traverse Distilling 

The last stop on this leg of our Michigan journey was pretty much predestined. Both my wife and I have been fans of Grand Traverse Distillery for some time. They have amazing Vodkas and their whiskeys are premium not just in name. For us the Cherry Vodka is a sinful dessert drink -- even a great topping for vanilla ice cream... When you open the bottle the entire room is filled with the rich bouquet of cherries.. Yes..!

BUT

This is not a Vodka blog and Grand Traverse Distillery has had on their website - for some time - this disclaimer RUM. Right, unless their Rum is named Coming Soon, still no rum for us.... Sigh. Even stopped by the Traverse City Distillery to double check, but alas... The rum is gone, er, has never been there. I will be staying in contact though encouraging them to jump in, the drinking is fun!


So --- we have a few more distilleries to visit in Michigan -- please come back soon and read all about it --- Feel free to subscribe by email -- so you don't miss a single blog.

I am Rick the Rum Runner

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Another from 2013 -- Way North in Michigan - Northern Latitudes

 We had a great time and finding new distilleries is always fun --- While you are reading this - We could be there as well!! RTRR

Many of you know the base of Distillers who are starting, or adding, Rum to their product line is growing. Very often rum is just one (or two-three) product in an offering of what could be 20 - 30 other spirits. That's good, that means the distiller has vision, knows that a varied customer base is a good thing and, that his base will change as their palettes grow to include more, different and exciting changes. Still, one has to begin. Such is the case of this Distiller. He has a fine list of product an talent and dedication to the Distillation and is willing to share those things and a great personality too.... 
It brings us too:
Northern Latitudes Distillery
We found the distillery easily via GPS. I think we got there about 35 seconds after they opened and were immediately greeted by Mark Moseler. In the rum trade -- He 'da man. Mark is the Master Distiller and he and his wife, Mandy, own Northern Latitudes. 
The place is a cozy tasting room and full service bar using the entire list of their own products. Make sure you explore their link and drool. I know I do. They had just started up in 2012, around October. I remember being in the Traverse City area last year in early August and seeing a listing for them, but it would have been too early.The wait was worth it.
I like the idea of having a bar as well as simple tasting room. It allows you to explore some of the tempting mixes that not only a Manitou Passage Rum but many of their other fabulous spirits offered. Take for instance Horse Radish Flavored Vodka...... HUH? Yeah, but Mark, sparkle in his eye, says, "Bloody Mary." Suddenly, a sample of vodka is mixed with their Blood Mary mix, I sip and ....... Oh yeah. I am not even a big fan of Bloody Marys and wow. That is how this place will surprise you!

So, on to the rum. Manitou Passage Rum is a white, proud of its Blackstrap Molasses raw materials and with a real nice sip. The nose is sweet, molasses, very light vanilla and I catch just plain sugar. Nice. But, as a white, this is waiting to be mixed. This would be great with Coke (I tried it with Coke Zero) but please don't let me stop you. I likes the caramel outburst white the cola. This rum is at home in any mixed drink - what ever it may be. As usual, a full taste/rating is written at RumRating.com, it may be a few days before it gets posted as this product is new so the webmaster has to add it after I send the information to him. But please feel free to look at all my ratings and join in too!
Starting out early that day, we had other stops and Mark, Mandy and everyone at Northern Latitudes Distillery were so much fun and so passionate about their Spirits that this is a definite Rick the Rum Runner recommendation. If you plan to be in the Lelanau Peninsula of Michigan -- do not pass up the opportunity to stop, visit and try their products.I know we will!
As usual, Rick the Rum Runner reminds you that you must be legal drinking age and if driving; make sure you have a designated driver. Until next time I am happy to remain --



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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

From 2013 - Northern Michigan Update.

Last Year we had a great time in and around the great State of Michigan. We spent time way up north -- This is some Distillers we found and stopped off to visit.. RTRR

Now that I will be in one place for a few days I can do a proper update. Let's breifly talk about the Distillers we have been to...

New Holland Brewer & Distillers
A very nice production facility. Jill was very helpful and ful of great info. Believe me it will be a full upcome blog entry! 
We did not stop at their store and/or pub. If it reflects their operations we viewed it would be fun, nice and delicious. I'll talk their rums when we do the full blog. Three rums and three distinct flavors.

Northern Latitudes Distillery
Mark and crew just opened in October, and what they have now, even beyond their great white rum is phenomenal. This is a distillery based in quality... It is in everything they do. More on their written blog here when we come back home... Don't miss any of these features, we struck it pretty rich and we have at least two more Distillers to visit/taste.

Great Lakes Distillery
We discovered this one about 3 years ago and were attracted by their vodkas. The cherry vodka is just fabulous. Well their wesite keeps telling us that they will have a rum "soon." So far no such luck. If made they way they have done their whiskey's and vodkas... Excellent!

Mission Table Tasting Rooms
This one was a bit confusing but far from anything bad. They were a bit crowded, we found them without any pre-contact so I really could not get a lot of information. I have some notes and info gathered -- watch for their feature at a later date as well.

So -- your assignment is to visit these sites both online and in person. Please tell them you found then via Rick The Rum Runner!?! I love to hear my name and these hard working distillers like to hear that there is a blog out here ---- Just for them

Rum all around!!!



Monday, July 07, 2014

July -- 2013 - A few favorites from last year!

Rum Related Stuff 
(A little note ... This Article first appeared on 7/10/13..... I am on a bit of vacation so - I figured I'd let you revisit what we did one year ago... About...)
 

Chattanooga is now Richland Rumland!
Richland Distilling Company Launches Artisan Rum - Chattanooga Based Distributor Appointed To Introduce Handcrafted Ultra-Premium Rum In Eastern Tennessee:

RICHLAND, GA, July 8th 2013 – The Richland Distilling Company is partnering with @[186530668102926:274:Premium Brands, INC.] – the Wine and Spirits Division of @[100437726668871:274:Carter Distributing Company] in Chattanooga, TN, - to introduce and distribute Richland Rum in South-Eastern Tennessee.

    Richland Rum is proudly hand-made in Richland, GA, to rekindle the standards once set by makers of fine Rhum Agricole and Cachaça, while reversing the negative trend in quality expectations among consumers, brought on by mass production and bulk blending practices.

    Sourcing and processing of organic cane syrup, slow fermentation, copper pot distilling in single day batches, aging in American oak barrels and ultimately bottling when reaching maturity, are all handled on-premise, with one objective: to bring out the amazing purity, floral qualities, harmonious aromas and velvet elegancy of aged rum, made from natural sugar cane syrup.

    "Richland Rum is honest and authentic and does not depend on celebrity endorsements or marketing ploys to project an imaginary experience as a substitute for quality” said Erik Vonk, the company’s founder and proprietor. 

     Bob Monroe, General Sales Manager of Carter Distributing Company added: “ Richland Rum is a great addition to our growing spirits portfolio; its premium quality meets the increasing demand for high end, hand crafted, superior products by sophisticated consumers. We are delighted to be taking Richland Rum to the Chattanooga market and we take great pride in our partnership with the Richland Distilling Company”.
Richland Distilling Company Launches Artisan Rum - Chattanooga Based Distributor Appointed To Introduce Handcrafted Ultra-Premium Rum In Eastern Tennessee:

RICHLAND, GA, July 8th 2013 – The Richland Distilling Company is partnering with Premium Brands, INC. – the Wine and Spirits Division of Carter Distributing Company in Chattanooga, TN, - to introduce and distribute Richland Rum in South-Eastern Tennessee.

Richland Rum is proudly hand-made in Richland, GA, to rekindle the standards once set by makers of fine Rhum Agricole and Cachaça, while reversing the negative trend in quality expectations among consumers, brought on by mass production and bulk blending practices.

Sourcing and processing of organic cane syrup, slow fermentation, copper pot distilling in single day batches, aging in American oak barrels and ultimately bottling when reaching maturity, are all handled on-premise, with one objective: to bring out the amazing purity, floral qualities, harmonious aromas and velvet elegancy of aged rum, made from natural sugar cane syrup.

"Richland Rum is honest and authentic and does not depend on celebrity endorsements or marketing ploys to project an imaginary experience as a substitute for quality” said Erik Vonk, the company’s founder and proprietor.

Bob Monroe, General Sales Manager of Carter Distributing Company added: “ Richland Rum is a great addition to our growing spirits portfolio; its premium quality meets the increasing demand for high end, hand crafted, superior products by sophisticated consumers. We are delighted to be taking Richland Rum to the Chattanooga market and we take great pride in our partnership with the Richland Distilling Company”.


_______________

We at Rick The Rum Runner are very happy about this. Great to see this distillery grow and get closer to spreading Richland Rum further!

------*------ 

Hey JAD fans! Want to try some Busted Barrel Rum? It is now available at Fitzgerald's 1928 in Glen Ridge! The first five people who post here proof they ordered a Busted Barrel rum drink will get a free rocks glass! The next 25 who order a Busted Barrel rum drink and can prove it get shot glasses. Get over there and order some! Make sure you ask for it by name!
Hey?? A bit of a drive for us right now -- but to you there in the area --- Go for it and report back!