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Rum Review: Siesta Key Spiced Rum

Siesta Key Spiced Rum Review

Siesta Key Spiced Rum

Siesta Key Spiced rum isn’t available for purchase here in California, but after reading about my massive spiced rum tasting, the good folks at Drum Circle Distilling were kind enough to send me a bottle. (Update: Siesta Key can now be found at Total Wine stores in California.) Their rum is distilled from Florida molasses in a copper pot still; spices and honey are added to achieve the desired flavor profile. Siesta Key spiced is bottled at 35% ABV and retails for $20. Our bottle is from batch 28 (hand-numbered on the label, I might add).

The Siesta Key bottle is tall and upright with nice sloping shoulders and a hand-sized neck that makes pouring a breeze. The closure is a synthetic cork topped with a plasticized foam cap. The label was clearly designed to evoke thoughts of Florida: a sand dollar, nautical map, palm tree and a lifeguard shack at sunset. Pretty much ticks all the boxes! On the back label is an explanation of the product and its origins along with a recipe for a beachy punch called the Siesta Key Sunset (I’m sensing a theme developing).

In the glass, the rum presents as a deep golden bronze, and a swirl of the snifter shows what we already know: there is honey added to this mix. The drops that form take an eternity to descend.

The aromas detected on nosing include orange zest, vanilla, caramel, nutmeg and cinnamon. There’s also a bit of cardamom, coffee and cocoa. Let’s have a taste.

As the rum enters, there is a bit more heat than the 35% ABV would foretell, and the spices and the young spirit combine to make me sit up in my chair. Now conditioned to the elixir, I notice the flavors: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, orange, vanilla and butterscotch. As I pause to evaluate the finish, I’m pleased to find no saccharin bitterness. The finish is instead dominated by the vanilla and citrus notes with a bit of coffee and clove.

Siesta Key Spiced rum is another example of what you can do when you combine quality rum with natural spices. It manages to be complex and assertive while maintaining the smoothness many spiced rum drinkers desire. It’s good enough to drink over ice, which is saying a lot in this category. Had this rum been in the Spiced Rum Challenge, it would have placed in the top two.

On to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 1.75/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3/4
  • Aftertaste: 2/2
  • Total Score: 8.75/10

Buy Siesta Key Spiced Rum Online

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2014 2:19 pm

    Josh, we are in complete sync with you insofar as this extremely well made, pure spiced rum. I know exactly what you mean, but the use of the word “natural” in re spices or flavors is generally misused, thanks to the well paid lobbyists.

    You see in the world of flavorings “natural” means that at least one “natural” component be used to concoct what otherwise is an artificial flavoring. And this “natural” component doesn’t even have to be from the flavor itself. For example the one “natural” component in “natural strawberry flavoring” is usually castroium – which is extracted from good old beaver anal glands. I’m not kidding, look it up.

    So when I read the label which stated that this spiced rum was made with “…natural spices and… a touch of honey, a red flag began waving: the term “natural spices” is too close to “natural flavorings” for comfort, so I walked away from the purchase, and contacted the distiller.

    Siesta Key was quite forthright and assured me that the spices they used were all “real” spices and not the “natural” spices above. I applaud this distiller for their honesty – the use of real spices and honey may also account for the cloudiness (also evident in The Lash – also made with “real”, not “natural” spices.

    This is one of the best – real – spiced rums on the market, along with Seales Foursquare, or Old Monk. It’s really a must buy. And again, Josh, good review, we knew what you meant, no beaver here, lol…

    • August 18, 2014 3:23 pm

      Jimbo – I didn’t know about castroium. That’s disgusting. Yet another reason to use real spices.

      Btw… I think you must have had an early batch of the spiced. Probably before #5. The first batches were spiced and filtered differently than I do it now resulting in cloudiness. While there was nothing wrong with the rum, people were concerned with the look on the shelf. Now I spice/filter in a way to keep it clear.

  2. August 18, 2014 3:14 pm

    Thanks Josh! I couldn’t be happier with your review. And I have to say, you nailed it with the spices in the mix. Most of the flavors that you identified are actual spices in the rum. One of the flavor notes, butterscotch, is not an added flavor but rather something we are able to pull out of the molasses in the way we ferment. It comes off the still with a bit of a butterscotch note.

    To be placed by Chairman’s Reserve Spiced is not a bad place to be! They make a great spiced rum.

    Fyi… we are available in parts of California now. We are for sale in Total Wine stores mostly in Southern California.

  3. adamct permalink
    April 9, 2017 8:38 pm

    Using the same sweetness scale as in your spiced rum challenge (out of 5), what would the sweetness rating of the Siesta Key Spiced Rum be?

    Many thanks in advance!


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