Rum Journal: The Rum of Early America


THERE WAS a time when rum was as American as apple pie.

Before there even was apple pie.

In the colonial period, rum was one of the major industries of America, and the spirit’s popularity continued to soar for years, until Prohibition ground the country’s industry to a halt.

But what did early American rum taste like?

Well, it wasn’t like the smooth, refined spirits you might find today in the Caribbean, a bit closer to the British Navy’s daily tot.

It was a rough, bold, unapologetic — or so scholars maintain.

Now, a new rum from what’s become one of the world’s most creative distilleries: Lost Spirits distillery in California seeks to answer the question.

It’s called Colonial American Inspired Rum, and it’s a small-batch rum, matured using new and used American Oak barrels and, more importantly, toasted, blended and finished in a Napa Valley rd wine cask.

The result is something rather special indeed.

The rum has a rich, dark-red/brown colour, with a fascinating aroma of wood and hickory smoke; the taste is brash: notes of wood, pepper, smoke and a hint of dark berry or even a plum.

The result is a kind of rum archaeology: it’s like traveling back to another time in your glass.

And well worth the trip.


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