Rum Review: Kirk & Sweeney 12-Year
Kirk & Sweeney 12-Year Rum Review
Up for review today is a new offering from 35 Maple Street, the Sonoma firm responsible for Masterson’s Rye. Kirk & Sweeney is named after a schooner seized off the coast of New York during prohibition with a hold full of rum.
This Dominican Rum is aged twelve years in American oak (I can only assume in used Bourbon barrels). Kirk & Sweeney has been generating significant buzz here in Northern California lately, so I’m eager to take a look and see what we’ve got here.
The Kirk & Sweeney bottle is quite unique. It’s exceedingly squat, and my initial reaction was that bartenders would hate handling it, as it’s got no really good spot to place your hand as you pour. Another oddity is the natural cork stopper which is topped not in wood or plastic, but with a paper band of gold. That said, I recently discussed the rum with Jason Alexander of Tacoma Cabana, and he told me it’s been selling well *because* of the odd bottle shape. It’s certainly not the first time the marketing, package design and functionality have been at odds with one another. C’est la vie! Let’s get some in a glass.
In the snifter, the color is mahogany with flashes of copper. A swirl generates a host of slow-moving legs. There is just a slight astringency above the glass. The nose leads with heavy vanilla extract followed by caramel, toffee and butterscotch. After the hard candy comes plum, fig, and a hint of banana. Time for a taste.
The entry is hotter than I expected given the mellow nose. The hot and spicy start is initially overwhelming, but quickly fades, yielding an oaky foundation. The flavors are bright and almost citrusy–another surprise given that citrus went undetected on nosing. The hard candy is obscured now by the heat, and the main flavor is the vanilla extract. There is a bit of dust above the oak which is followed by a hint of orange peel. On the medium-long finish there is a bit of cinnamon, the suggestion of a cardamom pod and a wee bit of clove, but it’s the vanilla that lingers the longest.
All in all, Kirk & Sweeney is a solid rum at the $30 price point, but it taste lacks the complexity I was hoping for. In the end, the vanilla extract carries the day here, leading to a one-note finish.
On to the scores:
- Appearance 1/1
- Aroma 1.75/2
- Mouth feel .75/1
- Taste 3/4
- Aftertaste 1.5/2
- Total 8/10
Have you had this rum? Please share your thoughts below!