Texas isn’t a region one typically associates with rum production, but what the hell: It’s hot, and there’s plenty of sugar to go around. (Imperial Sugar is based here, after all.)
Graham Barnes names Treaty Oak Rum after a famous tree in its hometown of Austin, and is made from all-Texas ingredients (which, in the case of rum, mostly means molasses, yeast, and water). Made by hand, the company prides itself on both brewing its own mash and distilling in-house, a first, it says, for Texas distilling.
The rum is a hot, white spirit, redolent with lime aromas but also petrol overtones, reminiscent of cachaca. On the body, more of the same. This is an intense and a little funky rum, initially almost bitter despite a powerful and big body. That intensity fades as the finish comes on, though, and finally Treaty Oak proves that is indeed rum, with a mild sweetness that offers some fun secondary character: Dark molasses, filberts, and light wood character. It opens up even more — showing more of that sweetness — as you sip and let it air out, proving that there’s quality to be found in its crystal clear confines.
B / $30 / treatyoakrum.com