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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 »
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 »
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 Orang... 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
90-95 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." (3/2004) K&L Notes: Gold Medal Winner 2009 Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition. Silver Medal International Review of Spirits Award. Highly Reccommended Beverage Tasting Institute: "Rich copper brown color. Rich aromas of chocolate pudding and brownies, roasted alm... Read More »
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 »
*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 8 year old rum is the most ubuitiou... 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: "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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This nut-brown rum is scented with sweet vanilla and baking spices, though it shows a hit of booziness on the nose. Soft feel, bitter chocolate, toffee and tropical fruit notes, with a long caramel finish. A fine choice for sipping, but with its pastry-like profile, consider soaking some into a rum cake." (12/2011) K&L Notes: Centenario Gold, heir to over 100 years of tradition and the most mature member of the Flor de Cana family, is destined to continue the tradition of quality for which Flor de Cana has been recognized again and again. Centenario Gold embodies the... 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 »
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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)
Inventory: San Francisco
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
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
Located in Avenida Santa Elena, Ron Cartavio is a Peruvian rum company with a history that dates back to 1929. It was taken over by the Peruvian government in 1968 due to state land reform and has taken numerous names between that time and now, but after serious modernization in 2013, the rum is now being exported to foreign markets. Cartavio ferments Peruvian sugarcane molasses and distills rum in both copper pots and continuous column stills. The rums are aged in fourteen different warehouses in both American and European white oak, and offer an incred... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The heavily fruity aroma is deceptive. Instead, this unaged, certified organic cachaça is light, tingly and spicy, with cinnamon, ginger and clove notes. Try adding this spirit to a fruity cocktail." (6/2011) K&L Notes: Novo Fogo is the first cachaça with a distinct sense of place. Coming from the Southern jungle town of Morretes, Novo Fogo represents 300 years of cachaça experience from an organic and sustainable distillery. Everything is used and reused never wasted. The quality of the estate grown cane is unparalleled and distillation is of free run, first pres... Read More »
Angostura 1919 is made in Tobago, Trinidad. It possesses a rich, golden-amber hue with excellent clarity. The rum exudes a complex bouquet brimming over with aromas of cocoa, molasses, caramel and vanilla, but the finish is all butterscotch. It is remarkably soft and well rounded as the rum glides over the plate without a hint of harshness or biting edge. Within moments it opens up, revealing a generous and long-lasting array of toasty flavours. The finish is warm and very relaxing. This is the ultimate in smooth and soft sipping.
Inventory: Special Order
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)
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 »
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 »
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 »
Special Order Only! Will take 7-10 buisness days to receive this product before it can be shipped. Angostura 1824 Limited Reserve is a blend of the finest mature rums, hand-picked by the master blender from select casks. These rums are aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 12 years and then skillfully hand-blended and re-casked. Upon the rum's optimum maturity it is hand-drawn, filtered and hand bottled. The rum itself excudes a rich bronze colour with a seamlessly smooth texture and well rounded, medium to full body. The bouque... Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
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 »