Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Have a great 2015!!

Just a Midnight Surprise for those who check daily!!

Thanks for your support and encouragement -- Lets have a wonderful new year!

We Taste Brinley Shipwrek Rum Rum -- Have a Great New Year!

So this will be our last publication until 2015. I has bee another fun filled year! I hope to see you continue to enjoy this blog and visit American Made Rum on Facebook as well (please remember to click the LIKE button!!)...

As you may recall, if you have been a longtime reader, and to introduce the mission we have here, mu quest for Rum began in the mid 1990's. My wife and I were visiting St Kitts and had there a Planters Punch made with CSR Rum. It was delicious, it was different, so much so I talked to the tour guide and he let me taste it straight... Oh what a revelation!!!
We bought all we could legally and repurchased on another visit a few years later. But that supply was gone soon, as well. I began to inquire and found the Distillery was defunct. There was some inventory available, but the import taxes and fees made it SO expensive! To top that off, I found CSR had the reputation of the "peoples" rum, the common, ordinary rum. That made it better in my mind, but still any I could find was too rich for me. My quest died away. Still Rum was on my favorite list for drinks and as most of us in the United States found, the basic Four, filled the gap. Occasionally a better import was gifted and enjoyed, but really, the
selection was pretty lackluster.
In 2012, I was able to retire early and began to do things I wanted to do, not just had to do. I have been a writer (I do have a novel published back in 2004 - WolfPointe) and have wanted to blog. But coming up with new material on at least a semi-regular basis was tough. I have 2-3 failed attempts out there, but nothing grabbed me.
One day after a family party, I was straightening up the bar. We were out of rum. So I made a mental note to buy some next time we were out shopping or driving near a liquor store.
That night - I was on the computer and still toyed with the whole "blogging" thing..... The... It hit me! Rum, -- Drinking Rum - Tasting Rum -- talking about Rum... I wasn't totally sure but I knew it hit a nerve! So on the day before Halloween, 2012 -- I published my first blog post here -- Click to See/read That started the train moving. If you are bored and looking for a good time waster read this blog and the next few to see how quickly the ideas gelled. Yeah, there were fits & starts but we've been moving forward ever since.
I told all that to you to introduce the last video we have from the Chicago Independent Spirit Expo held here September 30th. Almost two years from our first publication!.... Rather than tell you what you will hear and see -- I'll just let you hear and see it.....

So that's it from here for 2014..... I hope to see your pageviews in the new year. I also hope to meet many of you -- so watch for me to visit your favorite Distiller!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

We look at some great Rums, From Guatamala!

In our grand tour of the 2014 Independent Spirit Distillers Expo here in Chicago, we were more than willing to taste all the rums we could in the time we had. This Rum - Botron - was a very good example of some the fine Rums made around the world.

Richard was very knowledgeable of the rums and shared the spirit of the spirit. I learned a lot and enjoyed our visit! When looking for an import keep them in mind!!

Hope you are having a great Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Holiday Greeting to all my Rum Buddies...

Just wanted to extend a warm greetings to all. The great readers, the wonderful distillers and in general, all the fabulous fans of a great, craft, small batch rum, made right here in the USA! I try to keep sending out information that is useful, timely and fun. I attempt to keep the stream lively and humorous, face it - it's about drinking! I hope you enjoy.
To each of yours from all of mine - Merry Christmas, have a great Holiday season...

I'll be ending the year with two more videos from the 2014 Indie Spirits Expo here in Chicago -- So Christmas Day, when things are a bit settled (I'll set the publish at Noon) -- Look for one and the other should appear New Years Eve (evening publish - say about 5-6 PM).... Pour a great rum over ice, call up this blog and enjoy!

To keep us in theFrom Esquire.
mood -- here is a list of some great Rum drinks for Christmas...

Have a great time

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Time for 2014 is ticking away!

This isn't one of those letters like you get with some Christmas cards, you know, filled with family news, who did what etc. It is more like a wrap up of what we've done and where we hope to go... With more to come! I may be pretty scarce until after Christmas - so check here and catch up on posts you may have missed. We need to add an Oregon distiller that we missed in our 4 part series, so that will be here and we'll look at American Made Rum and see what is happening there. Let's get started.

We did a great job of introducing more Rum Distillers that make their craft rum here in the US. I want to reiterate that I choose this route (featuring Rums made in the USA) hoping to get into the niche of a small group of great, passionate Distillers and be allowed to explore their ideals and relate that to you. Instead (and happily so) I have been overwhelmed by the shear total of Distillers chasing that dream. I have been bad at keeping the guide up to date and hope to correct that over the Holiday Season and allow everyone access to the unbelievable selection of wonderful rum options. After January 1, I plan to do a recap of the year as far as the performance of this blog and our plans for the future... Make sure you are up to date and ready to find out more!

Who Did We Miss!

On American Made Rum I had posted (and promoted) a post about the blog. Low and behold another Rum Distiller posted a picture and greeting from Charleston Oregon. I can't pass by an invite like that, especially when made by the man that the Distillery takes its name -- So for Richard Stillwagon, we look at Stillwagon Distillery!

Welcome to, the home of The Devils Own Rum!

We are located on the Oregon coast in Coos Bay, just above the port town of Charleston.  Come visit!  We are open Wednesday, Thursday, and weekends from 11am to 4pm.  Call to see if we will be in on Friday.  Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Our address is 63848 Seven Devils Road, Charleston OR, 97420.

We are offering many unique and delicious hand crafted spirits.

Our White, Wicked, Gold, Spiced, and Black Spiced rums are now available, soon to be followed by our new, tropical, Pineapple Rum!

They hit the market running and have an all rum line up -- Let's look at all of them


White Rum
Our White Rum has a delicate smooth flavor with a sweet and fruity finish. Not to be
taken lightly at 110 proof.

Spiced Rum
Our Spiced Rum is infused with the flavors of the tropics.  We use real Pineapple,
Coconut, Vanilla, and a host of other spices carefully blended to tantalize your palate.

Wicked Rum
Our Wicked Rum is our overproof at 155.  It is incredibly smooth for a high proof with a sweet fruity finish.

Gold Rum
Our Gold Rum is aged for at least a year in new charred oak barrels made by ISC in
Missouri.  It has a mellow smooth slightly sweet flavor with a hint of vanilla and oak.  Many Bourbon drinkers have been swayed by this rum...

Black Spiced Rum
Our newest product is our Black Spiced Rum!  It has a different combination of spices than
our spiced rum, blended in our gold rum with a splash of molasses to give it a rich bold flavor.

Now that is a delicious sounding line up! Richard Stillwagon and crew go about the process following age old methods to make a superb rum
We produce all of our rum onsite.  We use high quality Blackstrap Molasses and Cane Sugar produced here in the USA.
Our barrels are crafted from American White Oak by Independent Stave Company in Missouri and given a special char that produces our unique flavor.

We bottle, seal, and label every bottle by hand.

So, without tasting the Rum -- I can say -- this needs to be investigated -- Don't forget to add this Spirit House to your itinerary if you are exploring Rum Distilleries on the West Coast.!!   

If I don't make it back here before next week - have a great Christmas and Holiday season!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oregon Distillers -- The Final Chapter

Yeah... we went there
We've had some interesting Distillers introduced over the past 3 posts. If you are on the west coast, Oregon for sure, stop by and visit these places - order online where available and spread the joy with perhaps a gift to a discerning friend or family member (or yourself!) that enjoys a real crafted Spirit. Also, if you travel and find yourself in/near Oregon - take a side trip - as so many of these distillers products are only available at the distillery or in the state. That said -- Lets look at the final group of fine distillers I have information on...

Immortal Spirits & Distilling Company

I find that their Rum, State of Jefferson Rum, is a very interesting blend of 3 year aged rum with unaged white rum.  Without tasting - I have to think they are looking for a deeper complexity. While you don't loose complexity from a white as you age, it can get muted in the process. By blending, often the distiller is looking to bring that crisp unaged flavor back to the forefront to exist as an equal with the mellowed flavors of oak barrel aging. I will endeavor to get a sample and report back - but right now I am just imagining.
I'll let them tell you more as quoted from their website:

State of Jefferson Rum

"Distilled from cane sugar. This is a blend of our aged rum, 3 years aged on charred Oregon Oak barrels, and unaged, new-make rum. Tasting notes of a bourbon like quality in oak profile, with an even sweetness of caramel and vanilla, no spice or pepper. Enjoy
neat, on the rocks, or with a mixer. The oak aging makes for an extraordinary sipping rum!

State of Jefferson Rum is another first release from Immortal Spirits, with the 2014 release marking 3 years of aging on charred Oregon Oak barrels. This release is a blend of aged and new, clear rum. Produced and blended at the distillery in Medford Oregon, double distilled in our pot stills, and bottled in 750 mL clear glass at 92 proof. Hand labeled, wax dipped and numbered. Featuring the map of the state of Jefferson on the front label. 2014 release, 515 bottles made. Available through OLCC retail stores now."

I like the fact that they went with a sugar beer and the blending sounds interesting. Note, as I said earlier, the rum is only available locally. 
Here is more about the distiller, Immortal Spirits:

Immortal Spirits & Distilling Company is located in Medford, Oregon. We are proud to be Southern Oregon’s FIRST single malt whiskey distillery. Specializing in small batch distillations from the hand hammered potstill we forged ourselves, Immortal Spirits is produced in 88 gallon batches. Tours, tastings and dock sales welcome!


Our final stop is a Winery and Distiller. This really expands the day when one chooses to visit. I know from some of my combination trips that the scope and interesting insights, information is just intoxicating on its own, beyond the product. Okay, that said let's look at:

Glaser Estate Winery & Distillery

Since Memorial Day Weekend 2011, Glaser Estate Winery has been producing exceptional, quality wines on the North Umpqua River. We encourage our guests to bring a small picnic to enjoy while tasting our products in a beautiful outdoor setting by the river.
The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, as well as on Monday on holiday weekends. 

We love to participate in the special events in your life. Please call us in advanced if you would like to host a birthday party, anniversary or engagement party, and any other milestone celebration. We can also accommodate small company or corporate events. 

In addition to our selection of wines, Glaser Estate also produced its own liquors and liqueurs on site. We offer a refreshing white rum and smooth vodka, as well as an array of handcrafted liqueurs.

We are currently in the process of creating more spirits to suite our guests’ preferences.

The white Rum mentioned within that introduction is Glaser White Rum. They have an expanding Spirit menu and I hope they expand their selection of Rum -- Still a great white rum is worth a lot in my mind. I'd love to try it and/or hear from those who have..

Our White Rum won the silver medal for the White Rum category in the 2014 World Drink Awards held in London, England, as well as the silver medal for the best distilled product in 2012 by the American Wine Society. Made from Barbados molasses, this spirit has more warmth and character than many long-aged amber rums. It has a slightly sweet, exotic character, reminiscent of vanilla frosting and ripe pears, plus clove and black pepper sparks. This spirit is smooth enough to drink straight or the perfect base for a Mojito or tropical Mai Tai.  


That is our trip to Oregon. In the future - we will try to do this with other states or regions. Stay tuned - we are in the Holiday Season - so don't forget you shopping list when trying to find "That" taste for someone who enjoys a great spirit -  great rum... 

Until Next time - I am:



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Oregon Distillers - Part Three

We've been cruising the West coast - specifically the fine State of Oregon. If you haven't been reading these reports (Shame on you!), might not be a bad time to go to Part One & Part Two. That done -- let's look at another batch of Small Batch Distillers in Oregon!

Four Spirits Distillery

Located in Adair Village in Oregon, 4 Spirits is a small batch specialty Distiller.  I'll let them tell you a bit from their website:

"A long time ago as I was enjoying a glass of my favorite whiskey on the rocks, I pondered what it might be like to create my own unique whiskey and what it would be like to share my creation with other people who enjoy the taste of good liquor. Some liquor has proved to be good but not great, and others were missing a critical element, but I couldn’t quite figure out what. What I did believe was that if I could produce my own liquor, the taste could be perfected by carefully distilling with a finer quality which is so important to developing the ideal taste. Was this a conceivable vision I wondered, and how would I go about developing this idea?
After doing some research I talked it over with family and friends and discussed possibilities of starting my own local distillery. I knew it would be a long road faced with many challenges but a huge opportunity to start up something from the ground floor and to build a local craft distillery that would offer quality spirits to be thoroughly enjoyed."

They currently offer one Rum - and if their comments are to be believed (and no reason not to) -- there will be more!

4 - Spirit Silver Rum
"4 Spirits Silver Rum is the first of three small batch releases in our new signature rum
series. Distilled from the highest grade molasses and sugar cane, this spirit aims to please with its complex, full bodied sweetness and subtle hints of passion fruit.  Enjoy over ice, in a refreshing cocktail or upgrade your average rum and coke!"

Sounds like a good Rum and certainly - I am up for a sample! Let's see if we can get one.

Vivacity Spirits

Located in Corvallis Oregon, Vivacity Fine Spirits seems to be a refined, welcoming presence. Their site sets the mood with their opening:

"Built on the strong tradition of craft beverages, Oregon now is considered to be one of the most active small batch spirits production areas, boasting over 50 liquor distillery licenses, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Although many consider Portland to be the focal point for craft spirits, the Willamette Valley is emerging as an artisinal hot spot; with the entree of Vivacity Spirits and two other distilleries coupled with the quality wineries and breweries located from Salem to Eugene. It’s worth a trip down the Valley to Corvallis."

With the launch of the first Vodka produced by Corvallis-based Vivacity Spirits, Oregon can boast the first woman owned Microdistillery in the Willamette Valley and on good authority - 1 of 5 nation-wide. Not since the days of bobbed hair and bathtub gin have women played a role in the production of distilled spirits. 

Vivacity Spirits is owned and operated by Caitlin Prueitt and her partner and spouse, Chris Neumann. 
Caitlin brings not only her passion for distilling, but extensive knowledge in the fermentation sciences with a degree from OSU and deep experience working in wineries, breweries, and lab settings. Operating a craft, microdistillery, her plans are to provide an expanded flavor experience with new and interesting tastes, crafted with locally sourced products.
Chris is a master craftsman with a background in all things construction and wood crafted. He takes great pride in the detail oriented aspects of his craft, and has always enjoyed fine spirits. 
In founding Vivacity Spirits, Caitlin and Chris joined their skills and passions, past and present, to create a distilled spirit worth showing off and sharing. Consider the combined years of hands on experience and it is easy to see why they will create distilled spirits that others can only dream of creating.

So we have a couple, both skilled and passionate about their spirts -- offering Vodka, Gin, A Coffee Liquer and a Traditional Rum -- Lets get to that:

Vivacity Rum
"Rich in flavor with vanilla, caramel, plus a hint of fruit tones and oak.
True to the name, this smooth and delicious rum uses traditional fermentation and distillation recipes and processes. 
Vivacity Spirits Traditional Rum has been aged for over a year in both bourbon and neutral oak barrels to ensure the smooth flavor that only barrel aging can accomplish. 
Enjoy this neat, warming the glass with your hands to release the intoxication aromas, or on a hot summer day with just an ice cube."

After becoming an aged Rum enthusiast, this one sounds just achingly good. I will have to send a pleading email to them to wrangle a taste.

Finally, in this post, we look at:

Camp 1805 Distillery

Located in Hood River, Oregon, they have a limited collection of information available to the quick look --- But, this place looks like it is well worth exploration if you are in the area or plan to be there.

Here is what they have to say about how they founded the business:


In a nutshell, Roy says to Chris: “Life’s short and too serious. What say you and I make liquor instead?” and, doubling down, Chris replies, “I’m in. But let’s make it happen in a place that knows how to dream, where windsurfing, kiteboarding, skiing, biking, and general mucking about masquerade for purpose." Then, by karmic twist, they learn Hood River is a mere stone’s throw from where Lewis and Clark tragically ran dry of liquor in 1805.
Ergo the name: Camp 1805. Mission: Let no flask go unfilled and let now life go timidly by. Today, with sage counsel from distilling legends, Chris and Roy are turning out bold, pioneering, exceptional spirits in Hood River, Oregon. All in the firm conviction that work never produced anything half as good as serious fun. Bottom’s up.
As far as their Backbone Rum -- They have a great sense of humor:
Journal entry, Jan 13th, Roy: “Whenever we crank up a rum kettle, Waldo starts in with the Arrrgh and pirate talk. Makes you wanna toss him in the vat.”  

Sounds like the kind of people I want to meet...

That about wraps it up for today... Remeber -- If you visit a Rum Distiller - PLEASE mention us - We want to meet - sample and talk about EVERY American Rum Distiller there is!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Oregon Distillers, Part Two

As mentioned before, I was going through a list of Distillers, in general from Oregon. Well, one name was not a Distiller, but a LIST of distillers. The Oregon Distillery Trail yielded a BUNCH of distilleries and I sifted through them to find those who offered a Rum -- to you, the perpetually thirsty....
Last week I released Part One, today we venture into Part Two....

Let's look first at - Indio Spirits.

A little about the company -- then we look at their Rum!

Indio Spirits

"Indio Spirits is a spirits distillery located Portland, Oregon right behind Bridgeport Village. Our products are of superb quality and provide the best possible value to our customers at affordable prices."

If you visit their website (We ALWAYS encourage this and -- please leave them a not saying you found them through Rick The Rum Runner) you will find this and additional information including an interesting timeline of the Distillery and Company....

Indio Spirit Rum

In 1499 the Spaniards brought the Valencia Orange to the Isle of Curacao. In these arid growing conditions, the fruit became small with a hard, bitter rind. Eventually the orange received its own botanical name: “Citrus Aurantium Currassuviensis," meaning “Golden Orange of Curaçao." Locals soon discovered that infusing the Curacao rind in high proof rum made for a delicious aperitif. The Original Rum Curacao was born!

Using the finest tropically sourced pure cane sugar based platinum Rum. Solera style aging techniques. Blended with 2, 4, and 8 year old  rums in new and used American Oak barrels. Sweet/spicy, warm nose; hints of vanilla, toasted sugar, and caramel on the palate.

Finger limes are the essential ingredient of our Red Island Rum. Not just any lime – The lime is grown only in Australia, and it has its own unique taste and texture. We think it's the perfect fit for our rum.


Exotic and Fiery, the sweet spice of our Australian cinnamon bark gives our Spiced Black Rum the kick that separates it apart from the rest.

So their line up is quite impressive and we would love to go through it all -- Rum by rum...


That brings us to: Rogue Distillery (Newport Oregon)
They have a combo Distillery Roadhouse business and carry rum. Here is more about them from their website:

Part of their Pub, Brewery and Distillery Creed says a lot:

"Rogue is a small revolution, which expresses itself through handcrafted Ales, Porters, Stouts, Lagers and Spirits, and this is the way we conduct our business. The spirit of the Rogue brand, even the name, suggests doing things differently, a desire and a willingness to change the status quo. A Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit is crafted to give it unique character, innovative in its makeup and brewing, a process that has not compromised quality. We believe if a Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit cannot be all of these things, it should not be made at all.

"We do what we do to become a meaningful industry leader through the products we create and by building an organization that is successful without being big, bureaucratic, or common. To be a leader doesn’t mean you have to be the biggest. The best leaders lead by example and by doing things the right way, even if it means going against the grain. Rogue will stand up to the big guy trying to bully his way into whatever business or territory he wants. Rogue will be David, only this David doesn’t really care if the stone hits the giant or not. Just the idea of throwing the stone is exciting. We make products for the connoisseur, the entrepreneur, and the revolutionist.
"Over time Rogue has developed principles to guide what it considers to be a revolution in fermentation. The principles start with six statements known as Rogue’s “Fundamental Agreement.”"

Their Rums are:

Hazelnut Spice Rum
Hazelnut Spice Rum is handcrafted using 100% Cane Sugar and fresh toasted Hazelnuts, grown by Kirk Family Filberts - a family-run orchard located adjacent to the Rogue Farm in Oregon's Wigrich Appellation. After distilling, it is ocean-aged in Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey barrels.

Dark Rum
Dark Rum is handcrafted with 100% Cane Sugar in small-batch and aged in used Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey barrels.

That about does it for today -- hope to see you back here for Part Three!!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Let's Talk Letters From Louisiana!

While moseying through my Email, I wa notified of a few comments... Normally they are spammy in nature, so you don't see those (really -- Lawn care tips?? Really?)... I did, however get one that made me want to comment with a post rather than at teh comment itself (i Did both actually)...

Trey Litel12/05/2014 10:58 AM
Hello Rick,
We would like to invite you to visit BAYOU RUM DISTILLERY in Louisiana. We ferment, distill, mature, and bottle our Bayou Rums made from locally grown, harvested, and processed Louisiana sugarcane! Bayou Rum has been recognized with 50 tasting awards this year and we would love to be listed in your esteemed RUM DISTILLERS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA listing. Thanks for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you!

  1. Trey -- We have mentioned Bayou Rum Distillery and are woefully back logged in up dating our directory... I would love to visit and hope to in the future... The best I can hope for is a Sample?? For now anyway... I will try to update the directory ASAP and make sure Bayou Rum Distillery is included!!
As you can read Trey Litel has urged me to do some work (Oh man -- I thought this retired stuff would be easy) and make sure to update my Directory to make it easier for you, the Rum Enthusiast, to find rums in your area or areas you plan to visit...
I have fallen down on the job. I hearby lay an oath to update said directory in the next week or two, hopefully before 2015 makes its entry....

Here is what we have written in the past and highlighted Louisiana Spirits and Bayou Rum -- Please click the links for the FULL story!! I am too lazy to cut and paste -- LOL

Jan 25, 2013
Located along I-10 South Frontage Road at exit 48, the new distillery, which is nearing completion, has also named Republic National Distributing as Bayou Rum's sole distribution partner in Louisiana. The craft distillery is ...
Oct 10, 2014
The biggest thing that has literally POPPED into my life is Bayou Rum. Got a Like at American Made Rum the other day and within a day we had 23 "likes" on that post (It would be nice if all 23 LIKED American Made Rum too.

 I looked at out directory and --- Oh yeah we are WAY behind... So I will work on it - I promise!