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New Rum Review: Foursquare Port Cask Finish

November 14, 2015

Greetings, rum chums!

Today we’re back with another gem of a rum from Barbados, the Port Cask Finish from Foursquare Rum Distillery. We’ve seen a lot of rums finished in various fortified wine barrels (mostly Sherry) and my most common complaint is that the wine ends up overpowering the rum. Look, I like Sherry and Port as much as the next guy, but if I want to taste Sherry, I’ll pour a glass of it.

Fortunately, such us not the case with Richard Seale’s port-finished release. As you can see by the fill level of the bottle below, I’ve spent some time with this one before writing about it. Read the review here and see why this rum is so special.


Foursquare Rum Distillery Port Cask Finish

New Rum Review: Westerhall Estate

October 16, 2015

Greetings, folks!

Today I’m back with a  rum from the island of Grenada. This one is actually a sourced rum that is aged and blended by the folks at Westerhall Estate. It’s a nice example of a solid rum that’s good enough for sipping, yet plays well with others in cocktails.

Read the review here.


Westerhall Plantation Estate Rum

A Look at the Lost Spirits Rapid Aging System

September 22, 2015

Greetings, folks!

Today we take a detour from rum reviews to report on a recent field trip to Lost Spirits’ hilltop lab where history is made, and time is perpetually on fast forward. You may have read the press release on their THEA One rapid alcohol aging system, but let’s add a bit of context and even taste some of the booze produced through this novel process.

Check out the article: Alcohol Production in the Fourth Dimension, A look at Lost Spirits’ THEA One Reactor, a time machine for booze.


A THEA One Reactor glows at Lost Spirits' hilltop lab

New Rum Reviews: Kōhana Hawaiian Agricole Rum

August 6, 2015

Aloha kakou!

As I attempt to keep you up-to-date with all the new rums coming on the market, I thought it high time to look at an exciting new agricole style rum coming out of Hawaii called Kōhana. I recently received three expressions of this tasty rum, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. In addition to reading the reviews, you’ll also learn a bit of ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i (Hawaiian language) in the process. Click here to read the article.

Huli pau!


Kohana rum


Calling all NorCal Bartenders: Reinvent the Piña Colada & win up to $800!

July 31, 2015

Have you ever wanted to develop a new take on the classic Piña Colada? Well, here’s your chance to do so and win as much as $800 in the process!

In conjunction with the The Rum Lab and the California Rum Fest, we’re calling all NorCal tropical ‘tenders to submit recipes for the contest, which is graciously sponsored by Real Cocktail Ingredients and Don Q Rum.

Submit your recipes via email and get ready to compete in-person at Forbidden Island on Friday afternoon, September 11, 2015!

For entry information, read the official rules here:

Email your entries and questions to

This will be a great kick-off for the California RumFest, which will be held the very next day, Saturday, September 12 at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco.

Oh, and I’ll be running the competition at Forbidden Island, so you get to hang out with me (sorry about that part).

Planning to join us? Let us know on the Facebook event page here.

Wishing you all the best of luck,


New Rum Reviews: Mezan Jamaica & Panama

July 27, 2015

At long last, I’m back with more rum reviews. Today we take a look at an exciting new rum line called Mezan.  The differentiation for this line comes less from what it is, and more of what it isn’t: messed with. No sugar, no caramel color–just water to proof. And unlike some rums from Berry Bros or Samaroli, these won’t set you back $100+ a bottle. OK great, but are they any good? Read the review and find out!


Mezan Rums

What’s the Best Cachaça for a Caipirinha?

May 4, 2015

Much like rhum agricole from the French West Indies, Brazil’s national drink is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice, but it’s not called rum, it’s called cachaça (ka-SHAH-sa).

Here in the United States, cachaça has mostly been used to make Brazil’s most famous drink: the caipirinha, but open-minded bartenders are beginning to see beyond the caipirinha. These folks are embracing cachaça’s unique flavor profile and finding ways to incorporate this versatile spirit into a variety uniquely pleasing cocktail creations.

Bartender innovation notwithstanding, I still get a lot of folks who ask me “what’s the best cachaça for a caipirinha?” and until recently, I could only recommend a few brands. Seeking to expand my knowledge of sugar cane spirits from Brazil led me to our latest in the spirit challenge series, in which we blind taste every bottle we can acquire in a category  and determine which tastes best.

So without further ado, let’s take the Cachaça Challenge!

What's the best cachaca for a caipirinha?

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