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Boukman is a classic Haitian 'clairin trempè' or spiced rhum honoring the great Dutty Boukman who led the enslaved people of Haiti to freedom in 1791. The base is fresh sugar cane juice from two of the best sites in Haiti, Croix des Bouquets and Cap Haïtien. It is fermented with indigenous yeasts, distilled and then blended with seven botanicals, many native to the island, making this a true expression of Haitian terroir. There is no sugar added, but the addition of whole and extracted vanilla, clove, and cinnamon give it a warm, sweet spice on the finish. If you notice the stain on the front label, that's there, as Voodoo tradition dictates, to ward off evil spirits. This may be a part of why I enjoy it so much in hot toddies when I'm feeling under the weather, but this is also delicious on its own as a digestif. Michelle DeWyngaert
In the small commune of Carrefour Des Pères, Haiti, Patrick St. Surin makes this incredibly expressive sugar cane distillate, the Clairin Milot. Patrick farms 10 hectares of local cane varieties, and harvests a few more from neighboring farmers always during the prime months, February-March and July-August. The juice is fermented with native yeasts an a tiny addition of sugar syrup from the same cane, which is traditional for the area, and then pot-distilled twice and bottled at full proof.
A collaboration between two of the best rum distilleries in the world, Foursquare and Hampden Estate in Jamaica, Probitas is made of three components: a 2-year-aged Foursquare rum distilled on Coffey still, an unaged Foursquare Coffey still, and an unaged Hampden Estate pot-distilled rum. Opening with notes of creamy vanilla and citrus on the nose, from the first sip this is rich and complex, incorporating the best of what both producers have to offer, with just enough funk from the Hampden distillate to make this very engaging. Tropical fruit, banana custard, notes of molasses and sugarcane are all present on the thick and oily palate. Sipping it neat isn't a problem, but cocktails is where this rum really shines. Will make the perfect Daiquiri! Oskar Kostecki
The Heelios Distillery was established in Okinawa in 1961. For Teeda they use local, Okinawan sugarcane, pot-distilled, and then aged for three years in American white oak.
A brand new bottlings from Holmes Cay, and a departure from their aged single-barrel expressions, this is a blend of younger casks from the South Pacific Distilleries in Fiji. The rums are all molasses-based and a mix of copper pot and column-still distillations, briefly aged and bottled, as all of the Holmes Cay rums are, without coloring or additions. Notes of cooked pineapple, banana purée, kiwi, vanilla bean, and cinnamon red hots on the finish. Incredibly aromatic, with great balance perfect for daiquiris or on its own. This is an excellent opportunity to taste the high quality selections of Eric Kaye at a much more approachable price-point. Michelle DeWyngaert
The Port Mourant still is totally unique; the last double wooden pot still in operation in the entire world. Originally built in 1732 on the Port Mourant Estate, it then moved to Uitvlugt Estate, and after that was shut down, ended up at Demerara Distillers Limited, the last rum distillery in Guyana. Since then the rums coming off the Port Mourant still have been used in blends for El Dorado, the flagship brand of DDL. To find a single cask of exclusively Port Mourant still rum is a treat indeed. This cask has spent most of its time aging in a continental climate in Northern Europe, and is bottled at cask strength without any additives. Off the bat this feels slightly funkier than one would expect from a rum from Guyana. There is tropical fruit here: a hint of guava, a hint of banana, under-ripe pineapple, coconut, along with apricot, green apple peel, mirabelle plum. There is an herbaceous and savory edge to this rum, with some vegetal notes of dried grass and undergrowth, along with a hint of engine oil and a touch of iodine. Incredibly complex, and maybe even a little bit mysterious, this is a rum I kept coming back to, trying to figure out it's shifting and mesmerizing profile. Oskar Kostecki
The tiny Isle of Marie-Galante, a part of Guadalupe, devotes 20% of its land to growing sugarcane, and for great reason; the rum is delicious! This is a very traditional rhum agricole made at the oldest distillery on the island, with one of the oldest stills, with all estate and locally grown sugarcane (red, white, blue, and grey). The farming here is all by hand, without chemicals or fertilizers, and as a department of France, they are actually subject to regulated wages and fair labor laws. This bottling, a whopping 59%ABV is actually the standard on the island. The fresh cane juice is distilled in creole column stills and then slowly proofed down over 10-15 in old foudres. I can think of many ways to enjoy this rhum, but I highly recommend you try it as it is utilized most often on the island; in a ti'punch, just a splash of cane/simple syrup, a hefty pour of rhum, and a small disc of lime. Michelle DeWyngaert
Privateer is a New England based rum distillery dedicated to using the highest quality molasses, the best techniques, and never filtering or using additives or coloring. The white rum starts with 100% Grade A Guatemalan molasses from a single source: the Madre Tierra Sugar Farm. Madre Tierra is a member of Sugar for Good, an organization committed to the best environmental practices and standards for sugarcane workers. The mash is fermented at a lower temperature than is typical for rum in order to coax out the most vibrant flavors. The fermented molasses base is distilled twice and then transferred to steel tanks where it is slowly proofed and settled for two months. Finally it is bottled at 80 proof as a clean, incredibly aromatic, tropical, white rum. Michelle DeWyngaert
Maggie Campbell is serious force to be reckoned with. A savant of spirits, if you will. Her dedication to precision and passion for great rum has led to these exquisite bottles. The 'Queen's Share' is based with 100% Grade A Guatemalan molasses and is taken from a blend of the 'seconds'(the end of the 'heart' and just before the 'tails') cut from each of the Privateer spirits. It is pot distilled first and then goes into a column still before being aged for a minimum of two years in either a new American oak or used bourbon, run, or brandy barrels. As each expression of the Queen's Share is a single batch, single barrel expression, it is matched with which ever barrel they believe will properly showcase the unique spirit. This edition was chosen by the spirits experts, and Privateer enthusiasts, of importer PM Spirits as their favorite cask of the lot. It is bottled at 56.5%ABV.
Two James was the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition and they are committed to making uplifting their community and making high-quality, environmentally-conscious spirits. Though most of their spirits are made with locally grown ingredients, unfortunately sugar cane doesn't do well in Michigan. For 'Doctor Bird' the several rums are shipped in from Jamaica, which are then blended together at their Corktown distillery and aged in used Moscatel barriques giving this rum a unique and powerful flavor.