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The word "unique" is overused, but I'm not really sure how else to describe this rum. The core component is 18-year-old pot-still Jamaican rum while the remainder of the blend (about 30%) is made up of Guyanese rum (21 years old), Barbados rum (12 years old) and a small quantity of Martinique rum (3 years old). These are blended together and then aged in a single amaro cask for a further six months. Pretty crazy.The nose is all fruit, smoke, and funk, and the Jamaican aspect really stands out. Notes of roasted pineapple, tropical fruit medley, baked apple, pear skin, banana, banana leaf, baking spice, nutmeg, vanilla, burnt sugar, treacle, a hint of burnt rubber (in that amazing Jamaican rum sense), vegetation, undergrowth, and crushed sugar cane. The palate is expansive, introducing all of those flavor components, but also adding a hint of bitterness, and an herbal component, especially on the finish. It ends on a really lovely bitter note (kind of like the song "Disintegration" by The Cure), but the incredibly complex finish just keeps going and going. I like it neat, though it is bottled undiluted at a whopping 65.9% abv, so a few drops of water softens the palate. Oskar Kostecki
Boukman is a classic Haitian 'clairin trempè' or spiced rhum honoring the great Dutty Boukman who led the slaves 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
Another exceptional release from Foursquare! This 14 year old rum spends its entire life aging in ex-bourbon casks, though the lack of a cask finish is not a detraction from complexity. One of the more intense recent releases (and not just in abv!) this is a rich and full-bodied rum that exudes a lot of style. Notes of raisin, sultana, dried figs, candied apple, ginger, ginger snaps, baking spice, vanilla, shaved coconut, dark honey, something slightly musty, worn leather and pipe tobacco all interplay on the very complex nose. The palate introduces some dried apricot and other stone fruit, and almost a hint of orange marmalade, along with the savory and spice notes. Supremely delicious, this is also a fascinating continuation of where the Foursquare releases are going, with an added layer of fruitiness and lift to this bottle. Foursquare keeps setting new benchmarks for quality. Oskar Kostecki
From the island of Minamidaito in Okinawa, Japan, comes this full-flavored, potent rum made from locally and sustainably grown sugar cane (which means production is limited as the island is subjected to not-infrequent typhoons). The cane juice is converted to molasses and then distilled once and then aged for three years. Try this on its own with a squeeze of yuzu, or better yet, a yuzu daiquiri!
The curators of Holmes Cay are on a mission to convince you that rum can be as exquisite, as unique, and as valuable as any single-malt Scotch. This single-cask selection goes a long way towards that end. The 2009 Barbados rum comes from the Foursquare Rum Distillery, a blend of column and pot-still distillations, aged for eight years in Barbados, then two in the UK, and a final year finished in Port Casks in New York. As with all Holmes Cay rums it is bottled at cask-strength (56% in this case) but holds it's heat deceptively well. Notes of sweet cherry, coconut, cinnamon, and banoffee pie linger on the palate long after you take a sip. There's a touch of tannin from the oak to reign in the richness of this rum, and a kick of heat on the finish, which mellows out with just a drop or two of water. Michelle DeWyngaert
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
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. It is then bottled at 55.4% ABV with no additives and no filtering. One of the few rums to earn 5 stars in Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, his review states that, "flavor and quality heights rarely seen in domestic rums and only a handful of Caribbean region rums as it all comes down to perfect balance between alcohol, acidity, wood usage, and flawless distillation."I couldn't agree more. This rum is rich, concentrated, and has a spicy kick at the finish. Perfect on its own, or it makes a mean old fashioned! 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
Our friends over at a fellow retailer sometimes just put "!!!!!!!!!" in product descriptions, and I'm tempted to copy them on this one, as there are almost no words to describe Rum Fire. Clocking in at a huge ester level (over 500 ppm) and bottled at 63%, it might rip your face off and kick you in the privates, but you know, you just might like it. Untamed and bombastic, this is funky rum at its finest, guaranteed to take you on a journey. A hate it or love it scenario. An angel-demon from bygone days shredding sweet and funky heavy wattage straight to your soul. I can't help myself, I'm utterly in love. Oskar Kostecki
The Street Pumas line was created by PM Spirits for great value, solidly made without any additives or colorings. This is their classic white rum distilled by "Alcoholes del Istmo” in Panama from local molasses, it is then brought to Jerez and bottled at 42%ABV, where it gets this kickass label by Steve Orlando. Clean, fresh, tropical notes, well-balanced on the palate. This is perfect for mixing in cocktails or just a splash of soda!
Michal Sajous makes this wonderful clairin in the small town of Saint-Michel de L'Attalaye, situated on a plateau surrounded by mountains, about a hundred kilometers north from Port-au-Prince. He grows several different varieties of cane, with the Cristalline being used for this particular bottling. Fermented in stainless steel with all indigenous yeast, this a beautifully mineral expression of fresh-pressed sugarcane juice rum, more effusive and intense than anything I've had from Martinique or Guadaloupe, but still carrying a similar flavor profile. Perfumes of dried flowers, tropical fruit, and the hallmark green grassiness is supported by the more herbal and dense aromas of tea tree oil and eucalyptus. There is an undercurrent of salinity, and the pronounced acidity keeps this fresh and lifted. Drink this neat or make the most phenomenal Ti' Punch. This is the second batch to hit New York, this one coming in at 54.3%! Oskar Kostecki