I am really excited to see Florida growing in several new and exciting industries. Sure, I’ve been talking about beer for a few years ago, but the Sunshine State is now stating to really get involved in my second favorite alcoholic beverage: Rum.
Up until now, all rums you find here have been pretty much Caribbean affairs. That is finally starting to change. I know there are a few distilleries in the Keys, St. Augustine Distillery just started releasing their rums, South Florida Distillery and their Fwaygo blanco rum is tearing up Ft. Lauderdale.
Rum, if you didn’t know, is fermented sugar cane, and the sugar cane used by Wicked Dolphin comes from fields only 30 minutes away from the distillery. Just like other good Florida distilleries, they don’t use all of the rum. Just the ‘heart,’ or the highest quality stuff that has the best flavor, aroma, and clarity.
And all of this is done in a 750 gallon copper pot still. Once that’s done, then the rums are aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels for at least 1 year.
Owner JoAnn Elardo started Wicked Dolphin in 2012 with three different rums in the lineup. And since Wicked Dolphin is made of 100% pure awesome, I was able to try them all.
I’m a big coconut fan, so the first one I sampled was their Coconut rum, a smooth blanco made with real coconut (no syrups). It was easily one of the smoothest rums I’ve ever had. Clean, little bite, and it had a fantastic coconut flavor that was light and sweet, but not syrupy or cloying.
I just did it on the rocks, but I can imagine how nice this would be in a few mixers. I also wonder how this would be soaked in some oak and thrown in secondary fermentation for a beer. So many ideas.
Second was Wicked Dolphin Spiced rum, which is a gold spiced that’s nowhere near as rough as many mass-produced spiced rums on the market. My lovely wife and I drank these with Coke and straight, and both were fantastic. Deep and robust, but without a harsh bite.
There’s a new rum as well, Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve. That uses Florida sugar cane & Florida molasses, and gets aged for three years. It’s got a great rich and dark flavor, and you can really get a feel for the barrel aging process Wicked Dolphin uses.
I sure like my rum (if I’m not drinking beer, of course), and I’m incredibly happy to see rum growing so much in the state. I have one last sample to try, the Wicked Dolphin white rum; I’ll update when I’ve tried that as well.
I think I may forego my nightly beer this evening for a little more of that Coconut Rum… That doesn’t make me a bad beer blogger, does it?
Drink Florida Craft (Rum),