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K&L Staff Recommendations
If you want a rum with pure island 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 som... 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 Oran... 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--mahogony 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 »
Bryan Davis from Lost Spirits in Salinas, CA is back again; this time with a new navy-style rum at 68%. 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. 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 meets El Dorado, but made in Californ... 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 15 year old draws its core flavor ... Read More »
From the same guys that first marketed the Ron Zacapa, this excellent Panamanian rum is here at a special introductory price. A 2010 RumXP Gold medal winner, it will most likely make its way up the price ladder as it becomes more popular. 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 bottling!
Inventory: San Francisco
A few years ago I had the pleasure of tasting an odd rum from St. Lucia as part of the Berry Bros & Rudd privately-bottled collection. I was instantly smitten. It was like nothing I had ever tasted before: fruit tea, menthol, root beer, molasses, and earthy pot still goodness all brimming from the bottle in waves. I brought it to a tasting group with friends and they all freaked out too. There was only one problem with that bottle: it was $110. I went on a mission to find a younger, less-expensive version of that rum to share with K&L customers, but, ala... 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 »
Our madcap distiller friend Bryan Davis is back with a new 151 proof Cuban style rum that represents his best work to date. While Lost Spirits started off as a whisky operation, no one can argue that their best releases so far have been the Navy Style and Polynesian rums. They are taking the country by storm and this new Cuban style rum -- lighter and more focused on the sugar cane flavor -- just debuted at this year's Tales of the Cocktail. Despite its incredibly high proof, this rum drinks like a dream. The flavors are seamless and subtle, never funky ... Read More »
Bryan Davis presents us with a second rum from his Lost Spirits distillery -- a Polynesian-inspired rum that brings the funk and rummy goodness without the sweetness or the richness we experienced in his navy strength. Once again, Bryan states that their are no additives involved with the making of the rum, just natural cask color and pure spirit. The palate is much more fiery and, at 66%, the earthiness of the molasses takes center stage. It reminds me of the Mount Gilboa pot still rum, albeit a drier version of it. The possibilities for mixing are endl... Read More »
Hampden is a Jamaican distillery long known for making high-ester pot still rums: the type of spirits that explode with a funky, fruity flurry, sometimes with hints of menthol and tea. Usually these potent and powerful rums are blended with other column still rums to create a balanced and easy drinking style. Rarely can you find single barrel, high proof versions of Hampden not only bottled on their own, but without the use of coloring agents or sweeteners. Yet, that's what we've brought to you with our new Faultline expression: a pure, wonderfully-vibra... 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 8 year old rum is the most ubuitiou... 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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
Enmore was once the home of the famed wooden Coffey still, closed in 1993 before the equipment was moved to DDL's Diamond distillery where it sits today. Before its closure, however, the distillery produced this incredible barrel of rum, aged twenty five years, which we secured from an independent warehouse in Scotland. Distilled in 1989, the spirit has seen significant time in wood, yet maintained a lively and youthful freshness that isn't something one would normally associate with a rum of this age. The color is dark amber, the aromas are rich and bro... Read More »
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best buy. Top 50 Spirits of 2009* Initial aroma is caney, grassy and fruity. Palate entry is crisp, moderately sweet and properly bittersweet in bearing; midpalate displays excellent balance, sweetness level, medium-bodied texture, and even some background cinnamon spiciness. Finishes long, crisp, nicely sweet and caney, and delicious." (7/2009) K&L Notes: Created in 1910, its luminous, golden amber glow and distinct floral and spicy notes have pleased, ever since, the palates of connoisseurs the world over. Its subtle, balanced blend perfectly harmonizes taste and ... Read More »
From the newly formed 86 Company, who makes spirits specifically for bartenders, Cana Brava Rum is a recreation of an old style of rum, and is right now one of a kind on the market. After searching the U.S. for a distillery that could make the perfect mixing rum, Simon Ford (long time Pernod-Ricard brand ambassador and industry guru) and his partners decided to go to the source. They sought out legendary rum producer Don Pancho Fernandez in Panama. Don Pancho was the Cuban minister of rum for decades and is generally credited for creating the internation... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits of 2012* Hailing from Jamaica, this smooth 12-year-old rum features a sticky dark-toffee aroma accented by almond and peach notes. On the palate, look for a nice rounded caramel flavor that flashes lots of clove and cinnamon tones on the finish." (12/2012) K&L Notes: Since 1749, Appleton Estate has been located in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica, where they grow varieties of sugar cane specially suited to their rum-making. With their unique and custom-made copper stills, proprietary yeast culture, and soft water from a limestone spring on the property, A... 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 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 the hea... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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.
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 »
96-100 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." (12/05)
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.
Aged up to 15 years at the Famous distillery in Guatemala. The Botran name is well known through the world. This rum is aged using the Solera system and has a minimum age of 5 years. Distilled like all Guatemalan rum using the sugar cane honey rather than molasses. Instead of removing sugar crystals during processing, the freshly pressed cane juice exclusively from within Guatemala. After being crushed, it is concentrated over heat and filtered until the end result has a similar texture to high quality honey.
The Appleton V/X is the first member of the Appleton Estate family of aged rums. It is a blend of 15 different select aged rums and because of its sophisticated flavour profile, it is great for classic cocktails. Appearance: harvest gold/honey colour with remarkable clarity and brilliance. Nose: Subtle scents of brown sugar, light spice, dried fruits and orange peel. Palate: Rich flavors of toasted honey wheat bread and refined sugar. Finish: Finishes as serenely as it started
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 cloyin... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Ed Hamilton, who helped us secure the barrel of St. Lucia for our Faultline rum, now has his own series of rums from different Carribean 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.
It's not often I'm on the lookout for a new cachaca, 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, Spirits Buyer)
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 »
Uitvlugt continues to operate today as a sugar refinery and molasses production center, but the distillery it once housed was closed in the year 2000; the famous French Savalle column still moved to Diamond distillery where it currently sits. Distilled in 1994, this single cask of remarkable Guyanese rum showcases the magnificence of that four-columned Savalle wonder. The 20 year old spirit is fruity and soft on the entry with lush sugar cane flavor and hints of sweetness that highlight the golden vanilla flavor at the core. A bit of fruit kicks in midwa... Read More »
A very fine spiced rum, beats 99% of the spiced rum on the market and the price is low low low...perfect if you want to step up your quality from the big name spiced rums.
Spanish rum aged in the finest Oloroso casks in the world? Yes, please! From the San Francisco Chronicle: The product is a partnership between Equipo Navazos, which hunts and bottles rare individual casks of Sherry; and Nicolas Palazzi, who, under his PM Spirits label, does much the same with the hard stuff. The short story: Rum aged for five years in the Caribbean was bartered with a Sherry house, which then aged it another decade in a solera-style system of oloroso casks. The result is 1,500 bottles that combine the burnished depth of Sherry, the sweet... 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 »
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
5 out of 5 stars, Paul Pacult's Spirits Journal. Renowned as a reggae music icon, Chris Blackwell's family are merchants who've been trading rum in Jamaica since they arrived on the island in 1625. His grandfather had owned the famous J. Wray & Nephew distillery, known for making some of Jamaica's finest rums. Blackwell continues that tradition, by creating a complex full bodied and full flavored rum, without too much of that funky pot-still intensity that you'd expected from a Jamaican. A blend of light and heavy, this aged rum has plenty of dark toffe... Read More »
Whoa, the esprit is
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.
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 »
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 »
Special order items are not in stock and are dependent upon quantity available from distribution. All special orders are final and non-refundable. Introduced in Santiago de Cuba in 1872, Matusalem Rum was the preferred rum in Cuba for its exquisite taste and smoothness. Matusalem’s reputation spread the world over when Cuba became the destination of choice for celebrities and trendsetters from the 1930s through the 1950s. However, with the rise of the Castro revolution, Matusalem Rum manufacturing was stopped in Cuba and moved to the Dominican Republic, ... Read More »
Inventory: Special Order