Rum, Unaged, 40% ABV, $27
I was really excited about this rum because it hails from Broussard, LA… only a few miles from where I was raised in Lafayette. In fact, I made sure that I secured a bottle from the original release. Sadly, that was last year and I’m only getting around to posting these notes now after spending some one-on-one time with a good pour.
Sweet Crude smells like caramel, grass, dark cherry, Bit o’ Honey and a hint of turpentine. The taste is briny, sweet and spicy up front and the finish is leathery, bitter and spicy. At first, I detect brine, lemon, ginger, agave (no joke), white pepper and grass. The palate feels slightly oily with bitterness and spice and the finish is similar… bitter tannins (does this spend any time in wood) and a good bit of spice that slowly fades against a vegetal backdrop. It reminds me more of mezcal than rum… strange (no, I didn’t pour from the wrong bottle). It’s hard to believe that this comes from molasses. The flavor isn’t reedy like cane juice rum, but the profile is closer to that style.
It’s possible that they’ve improved Sweet Crude by now, but this initial batch wasn’t very good. The price has dropped a few bucks to the low $20 range, but this still isn’t a good buy for rum. Unless you must experience the Cajun heritage represented by this rum, I would totally pass on this one.
According to Caribbean Journal’s Rum Journal, I have a sample of one of the best rums in the country:
- Prichard’s Fine Aged Rum (Kelso, TN) – Tennessee is known for another fine spirit, but it’s quickly developing into a home for rum. One of the best is Prichard’s, which makes a range of rums, including a range of flavoured rums. But the Fine Aged Rum is the best of the bunch.
The only other mainland rums I’ve had are:
- Sweet Crude (Broussard, LA) – Hailing from my homeland, this rum was introduced last year in south Louisiana. I’ll be posting a tasting of this one at some point, but it’s not worth looking for yet. I still hold out hope for this craft distillery to produce something noteworthy… even rooting for them!
- Copper Run Gold Rum (Walnut Shade, MO) – This is a decent rum, but overpriced.
So, it looks like I need to branch out a bit. There are some interesting mentions in the article and I plan to actively pursue bottles of these:
- Siesta Key Spiced Rum (Sarasota, FL) – Rum Journal named Siesta Key Rum our spiced rum of the year in 2012, meaning it wasn’t just the best American spiced rum — it was the best spiced rum period. And so it remains. (Siesta Key’s other varieties, including spiced and gold, are also excellent).
- Dancing Pines Cask Rum (Loveland, CO) – Dancing Pines makes three rums, including a light and a spiced variety, but the cask rum is our favourite. It’s made from cane molasses and distilled in charred oak barrels. It’s got strong notes of caramel, toffee and malt.
- Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum (Maui, HI) – Made by Sammy Hagar, the legendary frontman of Van Halen, Sammy’s Beach Bar rum is actually a rhum agricole, meaning it’s distilled from sugar cane juice in the style of rums from Martinique. It’s fresh, it’s Hawaiian and it’s delicious.