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K&L Staff Recommendations
Wine Enthusiast: "The bouquet offers integrated scents of roasted chestnut, dried tobacco leaf, maple, orange zest, brown sugar, cinnamon and egg cream. The palate entry is curiously medicinal; the midpalate improves as the taste includes bittersweet flavors of old oak, wood resin, molasses and tree sap. Concludes intensely sap- and maple-like." (5/2007) K&L Notes: *Best Premium Gold Rum - 2011 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition*
Wine & Spirits: "A classic Dickensian dissembler, Reverend Stiggins is a Pickwick Papers character who sermonized about temperance while indulging in constant sips of pineapple rum. His name graces this new rum, a project that Maison Ferrand took on, sparked by a suggestion from spirits writer David Wondrich (the two have collaborated in recent years on a Curaçao). Using a base of Plantation Original Dark Rum that’s been macerated with Queen Victoria pineapple flesh and a portion of white rum that’s been distilled with the rinds, they’ve created a barrel-aged rum that’s ...Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "*Year's Best Spirits 2016* Some of the world’s best rums are being made by a man who cut his teeth on Cognac, Alexandre Gabriel, owner of Maison Ferrand. Not long after reviving that brandy house, Gabriel turned his attention to rum, creating Plantation and endowing it with a Cognac distiller’s sense of balance, elegance and variety. OFTD (Old-Fashioned Traditional Dark), created with input from rum specialists including cocktail historian David Wondrich and tiki expert Martin Cate, is a blockbuster. Earlier Plantation dark rums had relied exclusively on ...Read More »
We don't expect this batch of 17 year old "Caribbean" rum to last very long, partly because it's so delicious and partly because of its origins. We can't say where it's from exactly, just that it's from somewhere in the CUribBeAN region. This incredibly complex and fragrant rum combines many of the ester-driven flavors we love about rum from Jamaica and St. Lucia with the richness and elegance of the Spanish style. The flavor profile is drier and more old school in character. There's a big dusty mineral note framed by tropical pineapple, overripe banana ... Read More »
98 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* 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." (6/2006) K&L Notes: Master of rums and the flagship of the house, Santa Teresa 1796 results from a careful blend of Santa Teresa’s fine... 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, are 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 me... 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 »
Rhum Clement is one of Martinique's oldest and most respected distilleries. The Habitations Clement was founded in 1887, but didn't begin producing rhum in earnest until the French Alcohol shortages during World War I. The Agricole style of rum arose from several factors namely the creation by Napoleon of the sugar beet industry, which decimated sugar prices. This left sugar growers in French Territories with any extreme excess of raw sugar and very little incentive to process it. The easiest way to recoup the investment was to fresh press the cane and d... Read More »
Bryan Davis from Lost Spirits is back again; this time with a new navy-style rum at 61%. Distilled on his brand new copper still from Grade A molasses, then aged in new American oak treated with sherry, the spirit offers a classic rum profile with that trademark hint of funkiness that we've come to depend on from Mr. Davis and of course utilizes his special aging techniques. It's familiar and likeable, yet unique and out-of-the-ordinary. It's everything we've seen from Bryan in the past, but improved upon and cleaner than ever. Imagine the Smith & Cross ... 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, it 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, are still in operation and produce a number of amazing flavors. The 15 year old draws its core flavor from the use of the distillery's historic wooden pot stills -- the Port Mourant... 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, it supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years, and the Diamond Estate Distillery still churns out a variety of spirits today. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, are still in operation and produce a number of amazing flavors. The deliciously supple 12-year- old uses medium-bodied rums from the Savalle still (a very unique column still th... 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 »
A classic made from raw demerara sugar in Guyana, this bottling is historically relevant because Lemon Hart was the original supplier of rum to the British Royal Navy. It packs a hefty punch, but mix it up in an authentic punch and you'll be happy you did. Currently sold out everywhere, tiki bars like Smuggler's Cove in SF are buying dozens of cases to use as the foundation for their drinks. After this batch it may not be seen again for some time.
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 »
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 »
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.
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)
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.
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 »
98 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The bouquet sparkles with notes of bark, oak, brown sugar, bacon fat, sautéed banana and maple. The palate entry is creamy, toffee-like and silky; the midpalate offers flavors of pastry, chocolate fudge, nougat, chestnut and honey. Finishes harmoniously with the sweet flavor gracefully melded to the texture. A perfect oak-aged molasses rum." (6/2007) K&L Notes: 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 & Cro... Read More »
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 »
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!
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.
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 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 »
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!
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Seductive nose is juicy, with ripe, fruity aromas of baked apple, baked pear, nutmeg, vanilla bean, cardamom and dried orange peel. Flavor is firm, bittersweet, focused and more maple-like than sugary. Ends moderately oily and keenly bittersweet. In that league of aged rums that begin to resemble brandies." (6/2006) K&L Notes: Gold Medal Winner 2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition. Silver Medal International Review of Spirits Award. Also **Highly Recommended** by the Beverage Testing Institute: "Rich copper brown color. Rich aromas of chocolate pudding and browni... 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, it 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. The complex and ethereal 21 year uses heavy-bodied rums from the EHP Coffey still (a wooden column built in the 1800s)... Read More »
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.
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 »
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.
Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum is merely the top-selling high strength rum in the world. In its native Jamaica, however, this crystal-clear rum is legendary. In the country known for its rum, it is the rum of choice. In fact, it currently accounts for more than 90% of all rum sold in Jamaica. 63% ABV
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.
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 »
Worthy Park is a centuries-old Jamaican rum distillery that ceased operations in 1960 before a new generation rebuilt the facility in 2005 and resumed distillation. Almost all of the rum made at Worthy Park is sold and consumed on the island, but a small amount trickles out from independent bottlers in the UK and Europe, which is where we tracked down our 10-year-old cask. This Worthy Park 10 year old rum is a beautifully balanced, fully sippable expression of classic Jamaican rum flavor, steeped with tropical fruit and richness from the oak cask, but ba... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This bartender-owned brand has created a light, nearly neutral rum perfect for mixing into Papa Dobles and other cocktails. Though barrel--aged for three years and blended with older rums, the appearance is nearly clear, with just a faint golden tinge. Relatively neutral on the nose and palate, this rum almost reads like vodka, with pleasant marshmallow, ginger and lime zest notes on the clean finish. (KN)" (8/2013) K&L Notes: From the newly formed 86 Company, which makes spirits specifically for bartenders, Cana Brava Rum is a re-creation of an old style of rum, and... 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)
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.
Selvarey Cacao is the creation of legendary master blender Don Francisco "Pancho" Fernandez, former Cuban Minister of Rum and thirty-five year veteran of Havana Club. He hand selects a rich five year old light rum from Panama which is infused of the finest locally sourced chocolate. Sort of dangerous, but also delicious.
Inventory: Special Order
Monymusk is the name of the Jamaican sugar factory near Clarendon distillery where a rum of the same name is produced. While there is such a brand as Monymusk Plantation rum, we don't ever see that label in the U.S. Almost all of Clarendon distillery's rum is sold off to one main contract: Diageo, which uses the Jamaican rum for its European release of Captain Morgan and for part of its Myer's rum formula. That means we almost never get to taste pure, unadulterated, pot-distilled Monymusk in America, despite the growing desire for more aromatic, flavorfu... Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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!
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City