Review: Wilderness Trail Distillery Harvest Rum
How’s this for unique? Harvest Rum is made by Kentucky-based Wilderness Trail Distillery from molasses made from cane sorghum grown right on the company’s own farm. The rum is then aged in used Four Roses bourbon barrels for “several” months.
It’s tough to imagine more of a “bourbon drinker’s rum,” and Harvest is indeed surprisingly whiskeylike. The nose isn’t immediately evocative of either spirit, a curious mix of green papaya, peanut butter, and saltwater taffy. The body kicks in with some bubble gum, vanilla cookies, and light hospital character… then the sweetness fades as the more woody astringency comes to the forefront. The finish is bittersweet and lightly chocolatey, with strong black pepper overtones.
Harvest says this drinks like a bourbon and finishes with a rum, but I think they’ve got it backwards. I found the more candylike rum characteristics at the start, with the more wood-driven notes (which I more closely associate with whiskey) on the back end. Your mileage my vary. Either way, it’s fun to take the drive.
95 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1. (Proof level will vary among batches.)
B+ / $20 (375ml) / wildernesstracedistillery.com
How is this rum? TTB defines rum as being from sugar cane, and sorghum is a whole other thing. Other producers who’ve proposed using sorghum molasses have been told they couldn’t use “rum” on the label. Does this mark a change in TTB policy, or did Wilderness Trail just somehow slip through the label permitting?
I’ve heard the “Rum has to be made from sugar cane” definition before but that makes about as much sense as saying all whisky has to be made from corn. Rum is made from cane not grain and that should include all Canes resulting in many choices. Sounds like somebody is just trying to protect their turf. I prefer Meyers Dark Rum but would like to try some Harvest Rum.