Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A New Distiller - For You!

One great source of new distillers that allows you to find out more about a distiller quickly, without hunting them down is social media. Our Twitter account is often followed by Distillers and Brewers world wide. I appreciate the interest but I try to check out Distillers in particular, as there is always a chance for.... RUM. Today, let's look at one such find.

Smokey Quartz So, let's pay them a digital visit.
"They are located on the Est Coast (New Hampshire to be exact) and have evolved like many of the Distillers I have stumbled upon. Here, let them tell you about themselves:
Smoky Quartz Distillery, located on the Southern NH Seacoast, is an artisan ‘grain to glass’ craft distillery that uses locally sourced New England grain to distill truly exceptional spirits. The distillery is named after the official New Hampshire Gem Stone which is the “Smoky Quartz” crystal. Our first spirit, Solid Granite Vodka, is handcrafted in small batches and artfully distilled from corn grown within a 125 miles of the distillery. The name “Solid Granite” derives from its status as a new vodka created from fresh local grains, fermented ourselves, distilled ourselves and bottled ourselves using pure New Hampshire spring water. This is vodka with character! Try it neat, on the rocks or mixed, each style helps you discover it myriad complexities. We are dedicated craftsmen with a drive, passion and conviction to create naturally superior tasting spirits."

So, they followed me (@Rick_Rum_Runner) and I read that they seemed to have only their Vodka. Cool... But as I read their Tweets, I see they have released a Spiced Rum!! Here is the text of a September Tweet:

Visit us in Seabrook, NH and get your limited edition Smoky Quartz Distillery aged rum! This rum was aged in the...

So, while they have at least one rum there currently is NOTHING on their website....
We will pursue with a follow up email and hope to bring you more...

In other news, Fair Game Distillery manages to snag GOLD in this years Asheville Wine and Food Fetival. In the ELIXIR category, they got Bronze with their Peach Tipper. The Suppernong gathered in a Silver. The big one though was their Ferris. This had won Silver earlier this year but won the Gold at this event.
So this is about wine not rum but it shows their dedication, skill and passion in Wine making distillation and brewing. Their Nolasses (Rum using Sorghum) is excellent and they continue to expand into Rum and bring us high quality Spirits.
Congrats! Our Visit Link.

See you next time -- right here - Hope to have some info from Smokey Quartz

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hunting Rum By State

 The interesting thing (actually one of many interesting things) about writing all about American Made Rums, is the locality of brands and how some are strictly local, other spreading country-wide (perhaps even internationally). I try not to differentiate, but when you are travelling or are intending to travel -- come to this blog (we should already be in your favorites bar -- or register and you'll get reminders to come read us) and see what may be out there for you to experience and bring that experience back to us. I would LOVE you to drop me an email and tell me about your tasting experiences at Craft Distillers of American Made Rum. 
However, you can just plan a trip with Rum as a target along the way or at your destination. PLEASE use our guide and let me know if we missed any!!
So Connecticut was pretty much a bust. I am still looking into the solitary Distiller I found, but nothing much to report. That said -- we continue. Today's state?
Being the state right to my east, this one is interesting. I have not "stumbled" upon a Distiller, but I have not searched either. Until Now.
The first inkling of Rum-like activity is found on this article in the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ). Below are highlights of the article and the link will take you to the writing in its entirety.

rop-sorghum-082012-15col.jpg"Talk about irony: Two central Indiana entrepreneurs are making a new spirit from an old crop—supplied largely by an Amish farmer who doesn’t drink alcohol.
The product is Sorgrhum, a distilled liquor made from the syrup of sweet sorghum, a stalk-like grain used as a sweetener before sugar cane became widely available.
It’s the brainchild of Matt Colglazier, marketing director at Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, developed in partnership with Stuart Hobson, founder of Indianapolis-based  Heartland Distillers.
The partners launched Colglazier & Hobson Distilling Co. a year and a half ago. Their challenge: making and marketing a spirit in an industry dominated by major brands. ..."

So there it is Sorghum, once again being used as a cane substitute (I believe to be legal Rum in the US -- you must use cane sugar or cane based products (molasses). This is the third Sorghum based rum I have found. Having tasted it -- I kind of like it. But lets be clear, while good and rum-like, it really isn't rum.

Next we find Cardinal Spirits. They list a Rum... Here is what they say about TIKI Rum:
"We've crafted this rum especially for our ever popular Tiki Tuesdays. Tiki drinks are epic creations, and the masters of tiki needed a light rum
with lots of fruity esters like pineapple and citrus to stand up in such complex cocktails. Using two different sugars and two different yeasts, that’s exactly what we made. It also happens to be delicious in tons of other rum cocktails.
We ferment this rum using a balance of mostly evaporated cane juice mixed with some light molasses. We pitch a mixture of Hefeweissen yeast and a yeast strain that was discovered growing wild on sugarcane. We let it go slow - keeping it cool in the beginning as the Hefeweissen likes it that way. Then we distill to just under 150 proof, leaving a lot of fruity and sugary flavors in the spirit before proofing down to 80 for bottling."

It seems to be a pineapple infused rum. I will write them, see what we can find (and maybe taste) and I will get back to you!!

Those seem to be the only ones I can find. As usual -- the search will continue and I will report back.
When I hear from these Distillers I will report back to you. In the mean time if you should visit -- please let them know I am looking for them and please email me to tell me about the rum!!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Searching for Rum - Connecticut

I slid down the guide here at Rick The Rum Runner and found the first state that had no Distillers was Connecticut. So this is where I begin my search. In that search I found a little bit about the area. So to date, here is what I found.
According to Bottle Society, a web page that tries to list the Distillers in each state, there are 6 Distillers in Connecticut. The very first is one I found and its not in that listing. Here are the ones I found with a bit of background:

Connecticut Valley Distillery.   
They have a rum Smuggler's Rum, so this will be followed up upon and we will see what they have to offer. This wasn't in the Bottle Society listings.... So I continue to search:

Westford Hill Distillers 

Looks very nice, but, no Rum (Vodka & Rye)

Elm City Distillery
No Rum Mentioned.

Onyx Spirits
No Rum (mostly Moonshine)

Maple Lane Spirits
Not Much info

Appstraw Brandies Distillery
Appears to be Brandies only

Buon Cello
Italian Style Cream Liqueurs. (No Rum) 

So there you have it -- One Rum in the State!!! If I am wrong -- please anyone who knows of other Distillers in Connecticut - please let me know EMAIL

Here is a bit of a preview of Smuggler's Rum (Connecticut Valley Distillery)....

Welcome to Connecticut Valley Distillery. We hope you’ll take a brief journey through our
website and learn about the spirits that we make and our small batch production methods.

Our spirits are hand-crafted from start to finish in small batches using only the finest ingredients and hands-on techniques. Our copper pot still began legally producing spirits in Connecticut in the 1990’s.

We take our time, carefully watching over every step of the spirit making process. This allows us to fine-tune a delicious spirit beverage that harkens back to a time well before mass production, a time when quality and flavor were of greatest importance. Our team always puts the quality of our spirits first. We hope that you will agree that it makes a difference in taste and complexity.

At Connecticut Valley Distillery, we are passionate about our product and inspired to bring to you, our friends, a remarkable spirit beverage not experienced in Connecticut for many generations.

Smuggler's Rum
The Molasses Act of 1733 threatened the colonies with economic ruin, taxing the raw products used to make the most popular beverage of the day. The tax was strongly opposed by the New England colonists who turned to smuggling to avoid paying the unfair tax which was designed to eliminate the source of molasses (the raw material needed for rum production) and destroy the New England rum industry. Two hundred years later, the prohibition era similarly gave rise to bands of skillful smugglers who supplied all tiers of New England society with spirits to help them cope with the hardships of lean times. Many plied their trade by the light of the moon, supporting their families with their stealthy pursuits. Just as in colonial times, smuggling effectively cancelled the intended consequences of the law.

Smuggler’s Rum was created to pay homage to those smugglers who kept the rum industry alive. This premium white rum represents the dreams of owner Rich Gummoe who studied distilling with Kris Berglund of Michigan State University and Christian Carl, one of the oldest producers of German distillation systems. Driven to know more about fermentation, Gummoe was one of two students from the United States to be accepted to live and learn from a producer of fine Sake in Japan.

Gummoe’s skillful blending of pure spring waters gives Smuggler’s Rum the crisp notes of New England.

I will search deeper and report back -- I will continue to seek other distillers not listed in guides. Till then. ...