Friday, November 28, 2014

Let's Taste Gubba Rum!!

It's always a great day here at the bar of Rick The Rum Runner, when a new rum makes it appearance. A few weeks ago, perhaps longer, since I managed to pass on my address to them, Steve Gubb of Gubba Rum contacted me and offered to send samples. I LOVE distillers that do that! Well, after some time - they have made their way here. I have set out my glass and we will sample the two (Silver and Gold) rums and pass on what we find to you.

Gubba Silver Rum
I poured out a nice sample and inspected it. It is indeed crystal clear, the aroma is very
pleasant, I get sweetness right away, an almost cotton-candy waft with definite coconut background. The first taste is sweet, this is modeled after Caribbean Rums and it really captures the sugar cane match. The rum stays sweet in your mouth - this is great for mixing with citrus juice based recipes. It is so nice on the tongue - I recommend it for a cold (over the rocks or from a cold bottle) sipper. Full of flavor, it embodies the rums we remember from the islands. This is not a hugely complex rum - it has a great smoothness and flavor the coconut is never overpowering - it makes the rum complete. Complexity doesn't seem to be the target - flavor, and out and out pleasantness is what comes from this spirit. It is not often that I find a lot of Rums that can be both mixers and sippers -- Gubba Rum Silver - is very satisfying as either!

Gubba Gold Rum
After the silver, figuring that as the base for the Gold Rum, I was anxious to taste. As
many of you know - I started as not that big of a fan of dark rums, until I began tasting the craft Rums of America. I have changed my mind and tend to lean heavily in their direction. That said, the Caribbean sweetness of real Cane Sugar in the Silver, made me excited to try the Gold.
Aroma - immediately a bit more intense. Oh yes, caramel, burnt sugars, perhaps a touch of cask, so a bit of age? They say they add vanilla - and that is there as well but not an affront. Don't think it will rob any flavor and it is subtle and nice both to the nose and taste buds. Still a sweeter style of rum than many, remember is is flavored, - but if you are a fan -- YOU will like this combination!! I immediately tried a Cuba-Libre.. and yes -- that is a wonderful mixer for that!! The Cola/Rum caramel intensity was extremely satisfying and so inviting. What a shade drink that would make in Summer. My guess is -- a slightly sweeter version of a Dark and Stormy would be another instant hint!

The Gold has more complexity with the addition of the vanilla, the caramel flavors and what I sear is a bit of woodiness. I saw no reference to age - but if not - it has a flavor of a bit.

Steve writes in his website:
"I didn’t want to give up on the idea of creating a new, different tasting rum. I was introduced to a distiller in Colorado, who was willing to work with me to hand craft the artisanal, naturally organic products that are now Gubba Gold Rum and Gubba Silver Rum. Gubba Gold contains natural vanilla and Gubba Silver contains natural coconut which are both unfiltered. It’s normal for the infusion of natural ingredients to settle in the bottle.  Simply shake and enjoy!"

He calls it a Rum Liqueur and I'd have to say that is a great title. It is not the raw - straight from the barrel rum. It has some refinement, a few additions that make the straight up and mixed uses a bit more island friendly. This is a definite - Bar addition!  
I just got a BIG Thumbs up from Mrs. Runner. This will be a great High End Rum Liqueur... Till next time!

Monday, November 24, 2014

More New Distillers - Here in the U.S.A.

The input from a promoted post at American MadeRum sparked a flurry of likes and comments. It also yielded --- RUM! Here are two new distillers that we found just by promoting yourselves a bit. The additions are short -- we have just made a discovery -- we will have follow-up as we go and hope to have more individualized and detailed information soon! I the mean time let's take a look!

Channel Islands Distillery
They are out of Ventura, California and I'll let the website tell you a bit more:

"Hand-Crafted Micro Distilled Rum Designed For Taste, smoothness, and quality.
Each of our rum recipes use only the finest local ingredients to create a fine tasting spirit. The smoothness of each sip is unsurpassed. Experience our quality for yourself. The distillery will be in full operation by 2014 so you can taste the smoothness for yourself!"
Sounds like they are growing and moving toward the future..

"LOCALLY owned and operated
Partners Joe and Michael, started the Channel Islands Distillery because they couldn't find a premium rum on the market that suited their taste. They have tasted nearly every rum on the market but none as smooth as their own.
As far as their rums goes:
Grey Ghost Rum (Inspired by the rum running ship that crashed into the Channel Islands in 1926 while being pursued (and fired upon) by the coast guard.) Read the full story on our inspiration page."

I recommend you to click on that link to read all about their inspiration for their rum.


They offer a few other rums and I am looking forward to see if I can get a taste...
You can find out more at their Facebook Page as well.

Oregon Spirit Distillers
If you recall my last New Distillers basedpost, the State of Oregon has a trove of distillers and OSD is one of them. The fact that Jon Rev-dude (his "dude" not mine...) responded -- I will give you a preview of the fine Distillers located in Oregon...
Located in Bend Oregon, Oregon Spirit Distillers offers a whole line of spirits -- the Rum is One-Eyed Jon Spiced rum. Here is a bit about it...
"One-Eyed Jon Spiced Rum
Released November 2013
Hand crafted using traditional methods, fair trade coffee from Bellatazza and the finest Caribbean spices available. Aged to perfection in CW Irwin Bourbon barrels for a smooth satisfying flavor.
Bring out your inner pirate!"

 Now, the Jon Rev-dude who posted on AMR, sure sounded like the distiller... But we will talk more and tell you all about it soon!

As usual I will Get more to you just as soon as I can find out more. If you know of them -- or have had the rums in question - please let us know. Please - use their links - explore and tell them you read about it here!!



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Two Distillers Have Big Announcements!

Let's start off the new week with some exciting news!!
First, the subject of my inquiries, Grand Traverse Distillery, has made the announcement I have been waiting for.... RUM!!
If you recall, we had a visit with them this past Summer and talked with their Distiller, Landis Rabish... We talked about their aged product (which I tasted while still aging) and the upcoming announcement to begin marketing the Silver. Sadly he had none for me to taste that day -- but I assure you as soon as I can I will taste and report!

Special Announcement!

We are pleased to announce the release of our Silver Reserve Rum!

It has been a year in the making and we finally have our first release of our Silver Reserve Rum in our first new bottle. This day is epic for us as we move to high end glass to reflect the quality of our spirits. The days of paper labels will soon be behind us and improved images and shelf appeal are here. This Rum was crafted from 100% Dark Grade A Sugar Cane Molasses and bottled at 90 proof. Perfect neat, on the rocks or featured in your favorite cocktail this rum is sweet, bright and sure to please even the most devoted rum connoisseurs.

Along the same lines -- big news out of Tailwinds Distillery. There have been flashes and tid-bits but this is the official announcement (Via their Newsletter).... This is just part of the news letter - I edited to show the two big items.... You go guys and Ms Tailwind is a retro pin-up nose painting worth the effort! As to the other announcement -- Tailwinds Distilling is on a mission to conquer the US; One state at a time...
Big Changes are in the Winds...


Finishing the year strong.

Snow is back which means Coffee Rum is warming hearts all over.. We have less than 50 bottles left in the distillery. We are continuously humbled by your support. October brought record production numbers for the Tailwinds Crew and we are working very hard to stay caught up.

The Beautiful Lady Above...

Miss Taildragger is the first part of a complete rebrand for Tailwinds Distilling Company and our Spirits. She was created for Tailwinds by Gary Velsco of Fighting Colors.
Gary is one of the most awarded aircraft nose artists in the world. "The Taildragger" logo is a collaboration Gary's orginal painting and the work of Joe Magda at Augusta Label. It even encompasses some of the old logo design by Glen Beason and truly represents our evolution as a company.

Why the change? I loved the old bottles...

We have stood and shouted for years that great rums can come from America too! Rum and aviation have a rich history in America. One lead a revolution.  The other lead an era that defined American icons. We wanted a brand that encompassed our families history in aviation and as we help to forge a revolution for American Made Rums. Nothing against the old labels, but they seemed to suggest a more tropical feel.
We felt the agave should command more of a shelf presence and classy look. When you see it, you know what's inside has to be interesting.  It will also be branded under "Tailwinds 100% Blue Agave Spirit" so you won't have to try to figure out how to pronounce Midnight Caye (key) anymore. We are very excited about the new direction of our brand as we feel it has finally charted its own course and tells our story.
-Toby Beall
Founder and Master Distiller

The new look will hit the shelves right after the new year which means these old bottles will become a rarity soon. We urge you to pick up what you can before they are gone.

They will still have spirits inside with the exception of the Agave Rested which has been barreled after a slightly different distillation technique. There will be a bottling party for that barrel to be announced in December. We will be posting pictures to Facebook over the next few days in an album called "Building Miss Taildragger" showing how she was brought together. Our new labels have been sent off to the Government for approval. Once approved we will show what they are going to look like on the new bottles.
Please let us know what you think of the change.


Tailwinds Distilling joins Windy City Distribution to make history together

October 31st Tailwinds Distilling joined the award winning craft beer distribution powerhouse Windy City Distribution (a Reyes Company) as their inaugural spirit. To commemorate the launch day a kick off party was held at Tailwinds Distillery. Fire It Up Taco Fusion catered the event where we were able to show 35 of WCD's sales reps how our spirits are made. Craig Hiljus (formerly of the Jimmy at the James Hotel) was introduced to head up their spirits program. When we first started talking about joining a craft beer house we were told we were crazy (we get told that a lot) but the buzz has been overwhelming. WCDs success in with craft beer is due to one thing, PASSION. "We will only be taking on distilleries who actually distill their own spirits, have a great story behind them and are passionate about what they do"  Windy City President Bob Collins said as he opened the presentation. With Windy City's attention that they give their accounts we are already seeing an impact on our Illinois sales

Spreading out...


Tailwinds Spirits are now carried in 7 different Crown Liquors stores throughout the state. We had a lot fun with RNDC Indiana at their Holiday showcase. We will be adding many more locations soon. If you would like to see Tailwinds in a bar, restaurant or store near you ask them to order from RNDC of Indiana. 317-636-4880


We have sent a small amount of spirits to Madison, Wisconsin.  Check out Barriques locations. We will be adding more locations in February around the Distill America event. If you would like to see Tailwinds in a bar, restaurant or store near you ask them to order from Frank Liquor. (608) 836-6000


Coming soon...

That's it for this quick visit -- see you next time!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Distillers! & We Pass 275 Posts!

In celebration of my 275th post -- let's look for some new Distillers.... We never know which ones can/will pan out -- but at least we know they are out there.
Semper In Quaerendo, is my Latin motto (Looking Always).. 

That in mind:

Oregon Distillery Trail
Location [State] Oregon
Comment: Usually if a distillery does not have a rum -- we skip them. Just keeping track of the hundreds of USA made Rums is difficult -- it is out of the niche I choose for this blog. That said -- this home page name made me think of an early computer game (Oregon Trail®) but is a treasure trove of many (if not all) the Distillers in Oregon! I quick counted 31.... This will take some exploration to find the Rum Distillers and get that back to you.

Ursa Major Distilling
Location [State] Alaska
Rum Name: Tanna Gold Rum
Comment:This bears a further look... From their Website:
We are a small independent distillery located in the hills of Fairbanks, Alaska above the Tanana River.  Our products are distilled from local barley grown in Delta Junction and certified Alaska Grown.  All of our stills are hand made by the distiller to produce exceptionally smooth and pure spirits.
America's farthest North distillery is now in business! Actually, we may be the farthest North legal distillery in the whole world! Please drop us a line if you know of any distillery at or above Latitude 64.8378° N.
Find us on facebook @ ursamajordistilling and twitter @ursamajordistil."
We will follow up here -- but please -- feel free to visit their site or contact them for more.
PLEASE tell them you heard about it HERE --

Fox River Distilling
Location [State] Illinois
Rum Name: ??
Comment: Limited Info here -- They have a Twitter account. I dropped them an Email -- let's see what happens!

Van Brunt Stillhouse
Location [State] New York
Rum Name: Due North Rum
Comment: Nice Site -- I'll let them speak of their Distillery and Rum:

"Van Brunt Stillhouse takes a time honored traditional approach to distilling.  Sourcing wheat, rye and corn directly from upstate New York farmers.  Making every spirit from scratch in the waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn.  Our family of whiskeys give a nod to classic styles while remaining innovative, creating unique and inviting spirits.

"Due North Rum is carefully created with organic, unprocessed sugar.  While most sugar is grown on plantations and manufactured in industrial processing plants, our sugar was grown by small family farmers and dried in the sun.

"Rum has a long history in New York and America.   The fledgling colonies were cash poor and recognized the economic opportunity in importing the waste product of their sister colonies in the Caribbean and producing a much sought after product on the world market. Van Brunt Stillhouse is bringing rum back to the northeast with Brooklyn’s own rum: Due North Rum.

"Sailors at sea were once afforded a ration of rum every day.   It was their pay.   Usually the Grog was more water than rum, but when they had performed valiantly or had seen
heavy weather or a bruising fight, the captain would dole out a little more fortitude in the ration.  When the ration was pure rum, the sailors would say the ration was "Due North".

"Due North Rum's delicate profile and it's unique aging process gives this rum appeal to whiskey drinkers and rum drinkers alike."

This is a definite follow-up -- more soon to come!

Coppersea Distilling
Location [State] New York
Rum Name: ??
Comment: Looks like a nice Distiller -- No mention of what spirits they actually make -- Most likely me not looking hard enough, but I left mail...

Cooper River Distillers
Location [State] New Jersey
Rum Name: Petty's Island Rum
Comment: Some notes from the Distillers about Cooper River Distillers:

About Cooper River Distillers 

"Cooper River Distillers is the first legal distillery in Camden, NJ since at least Prohibition. We haven’t found any record of a Camden-based distillery even before Prohibition, but if you know of one please let us know!

IMG_20140318_113328We began production of our first product – Petty’s Island Rum – in April of 2014, and plan to continue crafting one-of-a-kind spirits including a variety of rums, bourbons, rye whiskeys, and brandies. All of our spirits are hand-made from scratch in downtown Camden, New Jersey and distributed to bars, restaurants, and liquor stores in South Jersey. Check back here often or sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of what’s new with South Jersey’s finest craft spirits!"

 Here is the skinny on Petty's Island Rum:

Petty’s Island Rum "Named after Petty’s Island, a 300 acre sliver of land wedged between Philadelphia and Camden in the Delaware River. The island may be small in size, but it has a history as exotic and full of intrigue as any Caribbean paradise – pirates, shipwrecks, fortunes lost and found, Petty’s Island has seen them all!
Petty’s Island Rum is distilled by hand from choice molasses in a traditional copper pot still for a bold, rich flavor as unique as Petty’s Island itself.
Petty’s Island Rum is rolling out slowly this summer – please be patient as we get it too you as quickly as we can make it. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out when and where each batch is available..."

Another HOT Follow-up....

Well friends and neighbors -- another fun Friday here as we gear up to find out more. Please do click on each link and explore new rums from new places. While at a site -- help us out by telling them you found out about them here!
I too am interested in your comments about what you know, like or found out about these and ANY Rum distiller you may know of that I have missed... Until next time...