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K&L Staff Recommendations
With a nod to Charles Dickens, the folks at Ferrand teamed up with renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich to create a serious pineapple rum that focuses completely on flavor, rather than sweetness. Made by infusing the flesh of pineapples in the standard Plantation Dark Rum. Then, seeking more aromatics, Ferrand distilled the pineapple rind with the classic white rum, then blended the two and matured them for an extra period in barrel. The result is something completely unexpected and absolutely delicious. Not at all sweet, goopy, or in the vein of M... Read More »
*Best Premium Gold Rum - 2011 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition* From the distillery: "A complex blend of Copper pot still rums aged for 12 long years, has a characterful nose, showing fruit cake, rum'n'raisin ice cream, cocoa, dried ginger, cinnamon and clove. Develops baked bananas with fudge sauce and chewy toffee notes alongside vanilla oak and a deeper note of syrupy gingerbread, with hints of orange zest. The palate evokes chocolate sauce and the sweet toffee, fudge and tropical fruit flavours from the nose. Flakes of Terry's Dark Chocolate Orang... Read More »
If you want a rum with pure tropical spirit, this may be it. The One Barrel rum, from the country of Belize, smells like a tropical breeze with its aromas of passion fruit, hibiscus and papaya. On the palate it is smooth and round, with just a hint of molasses flavor lingering in the background. Perfect for mixing. In June 2008 the editors at Men's Journal gave it a nod, saying: "The uncommon rum worth seeking out is Travellers 1 Barrel ($22). Made at a small distillery in Belize, it boasts a memorable flavor that's slightly sweet, slightly nutty, with s... Read More »
This is first-class Guatemalan rum is made from virgin sugar cane honey--the first press of the sugar cane that's boiled down to thicken--rather than molasses, which is a byproduct of the sugar-making process. This results in a finer, sweeter, smoother rum. Aged in the solera method, like Sherry, the Zacapa Centenario is very dark--mahogany with coppery tints--and has a clove, cocoa, cinnamon and orange peel-scented nose. The palate is sweet and smooth, with cocoa, orange and honey flavors and a sensuous, viscous texture. It finishes long and smooth. It ... Read More »
El Dorado Rum is made by Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, South America and is perhaps the single greatest rum producer on the planet. Having operated since the 1600s, and supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years, the Diamond Estate Distillery still churns out a variety of spirits today. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries and still in operation, produce a number of amazing flavors along with more than seven additional stills that create more traditional ones. The deliciously supple 12-year- old uses ... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A top pick for tiki and tropical drinks, this practically begs for lime juice. Scented with warm honey notes, the palate shows lots of brown sugar and spice, plus an enticingly untamed, funky finish (the fabled 'hogo'). Since it’s 'Navy Strength,' you might not want to sip it straight up—the producer wisely recommends exploring the profile first in a daiquiri—though it’s smooth and interesting enough if you want to try." (8/2014) K&L Notes: The original Jamaica rum is back. It's been 80 years and true Jamaica pot still rum has lived only in the imagination of cocktai... Read More »
El Dorado Rum is made by Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, South America and is perhaps the single greatest rum producer on the planet. Having operated since the 1600s, and supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years, the Diamond Estate Distillery still churns out a variety of spirits today. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries and still in operation and produce a number of amazing flavors along with more than seven additional stills that create more traditional ones. The El Dorado 3 year uses light to med... Read More »
Those in search of "smooth" when it comes to rum will want to check out this special single-cask bottling of Faultline from Nicaragua; especially because the richness and roundness of the spirit is entirely natural and not due to additives like caramel or sugar. This 100-proof beauty comes from the distillery in Nicaragua widely considered to be the finest Spanish-style distillery outside of Cuba. In fact, many have speculated that this distillery is responsible for much of the expansion of Cuba’s rum exports due to the stark similarities in style and un... Read More »
From the same guys that first marketed the Ron Zacapa, this excellent Panamanian rum is one of the best valuees in rum. A 2010 RumXP Gold medal winner and distilled by the master of rum himself, Don Poncho, Zafra is a true 21 year old and not made using a solera system. With rich toffee, exotic fruit, and spice, the Zafra 21 year has everything you're looking for in a sipping rum. It's attractively packaged and priced to move. All rum lovers deserve to treat themselves to a bottle of this great new rum!
Inventory: San Francisco
El Dorado Rum is made by Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, South America and is perhaps the single greatest rum producer on the planet. Having operated since the 1600s, and supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years, the Diamond Estate Distillery still churns out a variety of spirits today. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries and still in operation and produce a number of amazing flavors along with more than seven additional stills that create more traditional ones. The 15 year old draws its core flavor ... Read More »
*Gold Medal - 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition* Gosling Brothers Ltd. imported its first barrels of Caribbean rum into Bermuda in 1860. Numerous different blends were tried until one was formulated and deemed ideal. The result was a well-aged, extremely dark rum, which the firm dubbed "Old-Rum". For over 50 years the rum was sold only by draught, with local patrons bring in their own bottles to be filled. The rum continued to be sold exclusively out of the barrel until the First World War, when the company began filling champagne bottles re... Read More »
This spectacular single-blended rum is an example of everything that the rum industry should be doing but isn't. Foursquare is among the world's finest rum distilleries and home to one of the industry's great rum purists, Richard Seale--great great grandson of the founder Reginald Leon Seale. Richard is an important voice in rum today and, as master blender for R.L. Seale, he seems poised to be the savior that the rum category so desperately needs. He knows that rum will never attain its full potential while most of the producers rely on sugar and carame... Read More »
96-100 points Wine Enthusiast: "The first couple of whiffs pick up toasty notes of caramel, almond butter, cotton candy and very old oak; with aeration, more profound aromas develop including saddle leather, vanilla, Sherry and dark caramel. Palate entry is perfectly balanced and sweet; by midpalate the flavor profile is honeyed, slightly cocoa-like, buttery to the feel and utterly decadent. Finishes long, layered, creamy and dark chocolate bittersweet." (7/2003) K&L Notes: Master of rums and the flagship of the house, Santa Teresa 1796 results from a careful blend of Santa Teresa’s finest aged spi... Read More »
Fans of the Lemonhart 151 should look here! Made at DDL distillery in Guyana, the Hamilton brings all the same power and panache for a great price. This is an indispensable rum for tiki drinks.
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "The aroma offers succulent dried fruit and nut surface notes plus deeper scents of oak, black raisins, cinnamon, prunes, vanilla bean and honey. Palate entry is stately and semisweet; by midpalate, lip-smacking flavors of nougat, almond butter, molasses and Sherry abound. Finishes as elegantly and fully as it started." (5/2004) K&L Notes: A superior, award winning full-bodied 12-year old rum offers a rich amber color and a distinctively smooth taste loaded with flavors of butter, toffee and baked apple. It is a pleasure to sip hand-warmed in a brandy glass, neat or o... Read More »
Ed Hamilton, who helped us secure the barrel of St. Lucia for our Faultline rum, now has his own series of rums from different Caribbean islands. This Jamaican Black Pot Still edition is fabulous for mixing and comes in at a rock-bottom price of $24.99. Tough to beat that for your Dark & Stormy needs. Now just grab some ginger beer and get going.
From ArteNOM tequila mastermind Jake Lustig comes a new rum project that celebrates the Panama-Pacific relationship between San Francisco and the South American country. From Panama's famed growing region of La Provincia de Herrera comes a delicious sipping rum distilled from estate-grown sugar cane molasses that is then barrel-aged in 220 liter ex-Bourbon casks. Aged for twenty-three years and imported directly to CA by Haas Brothers in San Francisco, it's an incredible new step into another exciting genre for Jake. The 23 year is a smooth and silky rev... Read More »
El Dorado Rum is made by Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, South America, and is perhaps the single greatest rum producer on the planet. In operation since the 1600s, they've supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, produce a number of amazing flavors. In addition, they have more than seven modern stills creating layers of flavor. The 8-year-old rum is the most ubiquitous of the line-up around Guyana, offering the best combination of maturity and value in one bottl... Read More »
Rhum Barbancourt is a superior premium dark rum distilled twice in copper pot stills. It is then barrel aged in white oak barrels. Unlike other island rums, Barbancourt is made directly from sugar cane juice, pressed from hand-cut locally grown cane. Aged 8 years. A full bodied premium "Reserve Speciale" dark rum with a velvety quality. Will enhance any rum drink.
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A muted aroma of brown sugar and milk chocolate with traces of peanut and black pepper. The elegant yet assertive palate entry is firm, peppery, moderately sweet, and cane-like; at midpalate the texture turns silky, semisweet and cocoa-like to the taste, and eminently elegant and sophisticated in style. Finishes sweet, honeyed, medium-bodied, svelte and utterly yummy." (8/2005)
This is one of the best deals in rum--period! A select group of barrels is chosen for the Clement Agricole Barrel Select and whoever is doing the selection is doing a great job. The richness is off the charts, but while its supple and round in the mouth, the flavors are never overly sweet. The hint of agricole earthiness comes in at the end, reinforcing the special agricole flavor from Martinique. This is a great segway into the agricole category and a must-have for any serious rum fan.
98 points Wine Enthusiast: "The opening aroma is marvelously beany and grassy; later, sweetish flavors of dark caramel, chimney soot, and dark, old honey make scrumptious inhaling. The palate entry is honeyed, warm, and cocoa-like; at midpalate the grassy, weedy, cane-like taste balances the honeyed sweetness. Concludes cocoa-like, intense yet smooth, and memorably sweet. Best Buy." (12/2005)
El Dorado Rum is made by Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, South America and is perhaps the single greatest rum producer on the planet. Having operated since the 1600s, and supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years, the Diamond Estate Distillery still churns out a variety of spirits today. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries and still in operation and produce a number of amazing flavors along with more than seven additional stills that create more traditional ones. The complex and ethereal 21 year uses ... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Made with a blend of rums aged seven years, this silky spirit has an amber color and warm toffee aroma. On the palate, this rum is relatively dry, with clove and cinnamon spice and a lingering vanilla note. Good alcohol balance, just enough for structure." (12/2011) K&L Notes: The Ron Abuelo rums are made from 100% estate-grown and harvested sugar cane from their property in Panama. The 7 year old is one of the best deals for rum we've ever seen. Soft, supple, and with subtle sweetness, flavors of molasses and burnt sugar coat the palate without ever turning cloying.... Read More »
It's not often I'm on the lookout for a new Cachaça, but my good friend Val brought me this absolutely delicious, strikingly labeled liter bottle of pure bargain-priced booze. Velho Barreiro Cachaca is only $15.99 and is briefly aged in Brazilian wood (I think oak?). It's full of real rum character and should make killer drinks for those looking for a new mixer. And the price...my God! (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)
The exceptional rums from R.L. Seale & Co. Ltd are distilled at the Foursquare Rum Distillery in St Philip Barbados. This unique distillery is one of four on the island and produces some of the Caribbean's finest rums. The Master Blender/distiller over there is Richard Seale and while Mr. Seale seems to be quite a staunch purist when it comes to the addition of flavor additives and finishing sugars that are ubiquitous throughout the rum industry, he does believe that rum is a world class product that deserves to be aged in world class casks. The idea to ... Read More »
Haiti's finest rum! The Barbancourt family used to keep this spectacular rum for themselves, but fortunately for us and for other rum connoisseurs they began releasing small quantities in the 1960s. Aged for 15 years, this sipping rum enchants with a a full, rich palate brimming with pear and citrus flavors, warming spices and a little peppery kick.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits 2013* Named for a wooden schooner famed for smuggling rum during Prohibition, this amber rum has a relatively light feel for a spirit aged a full 12 years. Flavors and aromas run to hazelnut, cookie dough, brown sugar and vanilla, pepped up with dark chocolate and espresso. Presented in a rotund “onion” bottle modeled after an 18th-century design." (8/2013) K&L Notes: When we tasted the Kirk & Sweeney I figured it was just 12 year old Brugal in a different bottle. Whether it is or not, I'm unsure, but I can tell you that it's soft, sweet, rich, and i... Read More »
Bryan Davis returns from hibernation to bring us another fantastic rum with his patented accelerated aging reactor, specially designed by Bryan to add the same richness and complexity of flavor that wood does without any of the coloring, sweeteners, caramels - or wood for that matter! If you're a rum fan, you can't say you've had it all until you've had one of Bryan's rums. It brings all the richness, mouthfeel, texture, and funky rum character for a very reasonable price. The next big thing is here and its happening right now!
Special Order Only! Special order items are not in stock and are dependent upon quantity available from distribution. All special orders are final and non-refundable. Will take 3-7 days to receive this product before it can be shipped.
Just as its growing region in France defines Champagne, rhum agricole is made exclusively on the islands of the French West Indies. Batiste Rhum Agricole Blanc is made in small batches with the freshly pressed juice of sugar cane that they grow themselves on Marie-Gallante, a tiny coral island known for its cane. Made from sustainably grown, hand-cut sugar cane, with minimal processing so as to be less harmful to the earth and your body, it’s no wonder Batiste Rhum Agricole Blanc is the best-tasting rhum you'll ever drink. The producer's commitment to th... Read More »
Distilled and bottled on the island paradise of Mauritius. The locally grown cane matures on volcanic soils, which impart a unique quality to the juice and this rum . Spicy and smooth, lightly aged and filtered for a great depth of flavor without the heavy burnt sugar flavors. Great for mixing and sipping alike.
The Darkest of the dark from a great distillery on St. Croix. Cruzan Black Strap Rum features robust licorice and molasses flavors that add an exotic element to your tropical favorites. Its most popular pairings include flavors such as lemon, lime, ginger and pineapple. PERFECT in a "Dark & Stormy". This dark rum can be enjoyed as a finishing element, or floated on tropical Tiki cocktails. It's also great for adding color to drinks with its deep black hue. Get creative! Accolades: 2015 LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SPIRITS COMPETITION Best of Rum Category... Read More »
This exeptional Jamaican Rum captures the powerful Jamaican style without being out of control funky or in your face. There's absolutely no additives of any kind, which has become very rare in the rum world. No Caramel, no sugar, no flavoring - the only thing added before bottling is water. We rarely get unsweetened rum, but Mezan is proving that great rum doesn't need to be adultered to be great and it also doesn't need to be expensive. This is real rum in the raw!
Skipper is distilled in Guyana at the Diamond Distillery, the same distillery as the El Dorado range. It is a blend of seven Demerara rums from Guyana that have been aged for at least three years, and is is slightly denser and a lot darker than a similarly aged Caribbean golden rum. Try with cola and aromatic bitters for a delicious take on a Cuba libre!
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "The first nosings find aromas of synthetic cotton; later sniffings pick up vegetal scents of peas and asparagus with a background note of wax floor polish. The palate entry is spirity and lightly toffee-like; the midpalate features accurate tastes of cane, honey, and vanilla bean. Ends on an off-dry note with smooth, biscuity, and grassy flavors." (12/2005) K&L Notes: It had been a while since I'd tasted this fabulous potion. Truly one of the most incredible agricoles available. Fresh and fragrant, this is one of the cleaner Vieux Agricoles on the market. Only a slig... Read More »
The fresh smooth aroma of this Agricole is accented by tropical florals, the body is rich in citrus and pear notes followed by citrus and fresh sugar cane juice in the finish. Coeur de Canne is the heart of the sugar cane juice, and the spirit is distilled in a copper, single-column still, then rested and bottled at the distillery. Enjoy La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc in a ti' punch or rhum agricole cocktails.
Inventory: San Francisco
Bringing back the flavor to white rum, Banks is composed of various rums and crafted to bring out the earthy and pure cane flavors one might expect from an agricole rum, albeit not as intense. Aged rum from Trinidad, light rum from Guyana, light rum from Barbados, heavy pot still rum from Jamaica, and Batavia Arrack from Java (sugarcane and fermented Javanese rice) are all blended into one harmonious spirits and the color is then filtered out. Cocktail fans rejoice as this is one of the most flavorful and well-balanced white rums available.
96-100 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose offers scents of white pepper, citrus, and saddle leather; old oak, sautéed almonds, candied walnuts, old library, and distant oloroso Sherry. The palate entry is rich, nutty and oaky; the midpalate bursts with woody, sherried, honeyed, vanilla extract flavors. Finishes opulent, honeyed, and elegant. Fantastic." (12/2005) K&L Notes: Neisson Rhum Agricole Réserve Spéciale is characterized by a rich aroma of dark fruit and roasted nuts leading to a hearty body of fruit, nuts, smoky oak, and vanilla followed by hints of spice in the warm, lingering finish. The ... Read More »
98 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose offers scents of oaky vanilla, rum cake, holiday fruitcake, black pepper, cigar tobacco and nutmeg. The palate entry is sweet and moderately oily; the midpalate boasts flavors of butter cream, dark chocolate, cream sherry, cola, citrus, and honey. Ends on an opulent sweet caramel-like note. Dark, oak-aged rum at its finest. (PP)" (6/2006) K&L Notes: The largest of the French West Indies islands, Martinique is home to eight rhum agricole distilleries. The La Favorite distillery, built in 1843, employs two copper, single-column stills and produces about 500,00... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
From ArteNOM tequila mastermind Jake Lustig comes a new rum project that celebrates the Panama-Pacific relationship between San Francisco and the South American country. From Panama's famed growing region of La Provincia de Herrera comes a delicious sipping rum distilled from estate-grown sugar cane molasses that is then barrel-aged in 220 liter ex-Bourbon casks. Aged for nine years and imported directly to CA by Haas Brothers in San Francisco, it's an incredible new step into another exciting genre for Jake. Fans of Zafra and El Dorado 8 year will be ex... Read More »
The Rum Society is one of the most ambitious new products on the market today. The result of years of development and a desire to offer authentic pot stilled rums in their true form, without the additional of caramel coloring, sugar syrups or other adulterants. The idea is to offer true pot stilled rums from authentic historical distilleries which are not on the market today. The products are much closer to what our fledgling nation would have been consuming for a significant portion of its history, but after prohibition the full flavored nature of pot s... Read More »
Gustoso Aguardiente is made from 100% cane sugar from fields in the eastern hills of of Urapan, Michoacan. It is a smooth, richly-flavored, medium-bodied dark golden rum with depth and woody complexity. Not as sweet as many Caribbean rums, Gustoso rum is a must for serious rum aficionados and rum mixologist seeking a Mexican twist to tradition. AROMA: Complex and creamy aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, caramelized banana and hazelnut. TASTE: Dry, yet lush palate entry with abundant flavors of toffee, baked apple, and vanilla bean.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits 2013* Rich and succulent caramel and orange lead into dry flavors of chocolate, espresso and clove. This supersoft aged rum is flavorful and well balanced, and excellent for sipping. (KN)" (8/2013) K&L Notes: This rum from Martinique is distilled from fresh sugar cane juice and aged 4-5 years at the distillery in used whisky and bourbon barrels. Golden brown, with spice, coffee and fig aromas, with vanilla, spice and candied citrus flavors. Very balanced, with a creamy, buttery finish. This is a velvety rum you'll want to sip.
Antigua Distillery is the force behind this delightful, traditionally-styled rum that should please cocktail fans and serious rum aficionados alike. Not quite as powerful or funky as the Smith & Cross Jamaican, and not as sweet or caramelized as the Guyanese El Dorado rums, the English Harbour is aged in American oak for five years and shows a bit of the earthy molasses flavor before transitioning into notes of mellow caramel and citrus. Great for Mai Tais, but great on the rocks as well. A true middleground rum option.
Not to be confused with Lebanese Arak (an anise-flavored spirit similar to Ouzo) or Sri Lankan Arak (a distilled palm wine made from coconut milk), Batavia Arrack is a Javanese/Dutch distilled spirit made from sugarcane and fermented red rice. Prized for its ability to highlight spices, citrus and chocolate, the spirit, which was traded by the Dutch East India Company, was especially popular in the heyday of the "Punch"--between the late 17th and 19th centuries. It is a quintessential ingredient in many of the Punch recipes included in famed New York bar... Read More »
The very special Avua Cachaca is from one of Brasil's highest quality cachaca producers. There are essentially two types of Cachaca, industrial and artisanal. This is truly the artisanal style, hand crafted from field to bottle. Because of the small scale and seasonal nature of production, each batch will be a unique expression of the soil, sun, and stills. This is not the stinky harsh Cachaca that some many people are used to. Instead, this is clean and bright with incredibly precise aromas of fresh tropical fruits and lush floral tones. A brilliant exa... Read More »
Avuá is a small batch, single-sourced cachaça lovingly crafted by one of Brazil’s few female distillers. She uses a family recipe honed to perfection over three generations. The lush, crisp spirit, which offers up subtle botanical notes, is perfect for the art of mixology or simply shaking up a classic caipirinha. What sets Avuá apart from other cachacas is that it originates from cane that has been single-sourced from a farm in the rolling hills near Rio de Janeiro before ending up in an ancient alembic still in along thin valley between hills in Carmo,... Read More »