You can call it cask-finishing or barrel finishing or secondary aging or whatever you like.
But it’s no secret that using the barrels that once held other spirits to give different personalities to rum is an increasingly prominent trend in the rum world.
It’s one that remains best executed in Martinique, where distilleries like Rhum Depaz and Rhum HSE continue to set the global standard for their cask-finished rums.
And while we’ve seen all kinds of finishes, from port to sherry to Highland whisky, there’s one spirit that has not thus far given its personality to any rum: tequila.
But master blender Toby Tyler, the man behind the celebrated Afrohead — and, more recently, the Jamaica by way of Harbour Island Bahamas rum called One Drop, has pushed the envelope again with a new expression finished in Tequila barrels.
It’s called, fittingly, “Cactus & Cane.”
It’s a limited edition One Drop that takes seven-year-old Jamaican rum and sends it for nearly eight months in ex-tequila barrels.
It’s a seriously robust rum, with the proof pushed to 102 and the result is, well, something totally new in the rum world.
So what’s it like?
The rum has a pale golden color, with an aroma dominated by honey, anise and white pepper.
And for even a seasoned rum aficionado, it takes a few moments to understand this tequila-rum dance.
You can taste the One Drop, but this Mexican-Jamaican symphony quickly heats up, the tequila whispering at you as the timpani of this high-proof Jamaican juice hits you right in the face.
Yes, it’s One Drop, but it’s gotten even funkier, spicier and bolder.
It becomes a full-on jam session, resulting in a manifestation of rum you’ve never experienced before.
If a rum can be called rock and roll, it’s this, something bursting with personality.
It’s different, unique, and it marries tequila’s troublemaking character with the drinkability and power of rum.
It’s an inspired expression — and something we want to see more of.
Rum Journal Review: 92 points
One Drop Tequila Finish Limited Edition