Review: Don Q Rum Signature Release Single Barrel 2007

2016 saw the release of Don Q’s 2005 vintage rum, its first in a new line of single-barrel releases, and as promised, a 2007 vintage rum is now hitting the shelves.

Like the 2005 vintage release, this is Puerto Rico-born rum, though this release has spent 9 years in barrel (the 2005 spent 10 years aging). And though it’s younger, the rum is clearly darker in color than the 2005 when they’re placed side by side.

It’s quite a different experience, too.

Unlike the gentle 2005, the 2007 is a scorcher on the nose, redolent with notes of petrol, overripe banana, pure vanilla extract, match-heads, and burnt-black wood. The palate is more engaging, a bit burly at first with notes of greenery and banana, then pushing into traditional brown sugar, burnt caramel, and vanilla notes. The finish is rustic, heavy with oak, with a dusting of clove that lingers as said finish fades.

This is a better sipper than the 2005 release, but well worth sampling side by side to experience how different aged rums with otherwise similar provenance can be.

80 proof.

A- / $36 / donq.com

Cocktail Recipes for National Rum Day 2017

Pina Colada Old Fashioned

August 16th is the perfect time of year for National Rum Day. It is smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer, where rum fits right in. Below you’ll find a number of cocktails for celebrating the occasion, some of which include a few unusual ingredients. You can find most on Amazon.

To round out our rum celebration, try out the Rum Curry Chicken at the bottom of the page. The chef recommends cooking up more than you think you’ll need because it is that good. Who wants to disappoint folks asking for seconds?

Bacolod Breeze

Bacolod Breeze
1 1/2 oz. Don Papa Rum
3 Tbsp. Nata de Coco (coconut jelly)
3 large ice cubes
1 dash of Calamansi juice (this typically used in Filipino cooking and is nice on grilled chicken or pork)
guava juice
mint leaves

Shake rum and Nata de Coco with ice cubes. Pour into a highball glass (including ice). Fill to the top with guava juice Add Calamansi on the rim of the glass and garnish with mint leaves.

Piña Colada Old-Fashioned
courtesy of Touro – a trendy bar and restaurant in San Juan
1 oz. Don Q Coco rum
¼ oz. spiced pineapple shrub
3 dashes Angostura bitters
dehydrated pineapple
shaved coconut
orange twist or peel, for garnish

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add both rums, pineapple shrub, and Angostura bitters. Stir until well-chilled—about 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel or twist.

Spiced Pineapple Shrub
courtesy of MotherWouldKnow.com
1 pound fresh pineapple, cut into small pieces About 2 cups
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Demerara (raw) sugar
4 cloves, crushed
3 cinnamon sticks, crushed
20 allspice berries
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
¾ cup red wine vinegar

Pour the pineapple pieces, the granulated and Demerara sugar together. Mix them, cover, and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. Add the spices and let the mixture steep an additional day. Mix in the wine vinegar and refrigerate for another 3 days. When the mixture is done steeping, strain it into a pitcher or other container with a lid, pressing the pineapple pieces to get out all the juices.

Masskara

Masskara
1/2 oz. Don Papa Rum
4 fresh blackberries
1/2 oz. St-Germain Elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 egg white
grapefruit bitters
edible flowers

Shake all ingredients, except two of the blackberries, with ice. Garnish with blackberries and serve in a short stem wine glass.

Casa D’Aristi Banana Daiquiri
2 oz. Casa D’Aristi rum
½ oz. lemon juice
1 fresh banana
½ cup coconut milk
½ oz. simple syrup
3 cups of ice
Maraschino cherry

Shake all ingredients vigorously with the ice. Strain into a balloon glass filled with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry on top before serving.

Sailor Jerry Sangria
1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced rum
½ cup sugar
2 parts dry red wine
1 part orange juice
1 lemon, lime, and orange

Chill all ingredients. Slice citrus into thin rounds and place in a large pitcher with Sailor Jerry and sugar. Chill for 2 hours to develop flavors. When ready to serve, crush fruit with a wooden spoon; then stir in wine and orange juice. Serve topped with lemon-lime soda.

Cruzan Crush

Cruzan Crush
recipe by Teddy Collins, Miami
4 parts Cruzan Vanilla rum
4 parts Cruzan Aged dark rum
6 parts pineapple juice
3 parts lemon juice
3 parts apricot simple syrup
fresh mint and thyme

Combine lemon juice, apricot simple syrup,and pineapple juice into a cocktail bucket or punch bowl. Lightly smack 10 mint leaves and drop into the bucket along with 2 stems of thyme and muddle softly. Add rums, crushed ice, and stir. Garnish with fresh mint, thyme and 4-6 straws. Enjoy!

To Make Apricot Simple Syrup
Over medium heat, combine equal parts sugar and apricot juice. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool.

Peach and Chile

Rum and Peach Cocktail with Chile Syrup
courtesy of Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary
2 peaches, one chopped into small chunks, the other sliced into 6-8 wedges
¼ cup caster or superfine sugar
½ cup water
½ jalapeño chile
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup good quality rum
Fiery ginger beer (We used Cock and Bull Cherry Ginger Beer)
1 small slice of fresh ginger
1 tbsp caster or superfine sugar
crushed ice
½ red chile or jalapeño cut into small slices

Place the small chunks of chopped peach into a saucepan along with the sugar, water, and jalapeño. Bring to the boil; stir and simmer for 10 minutes, mushing the mixture with a fork every couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, dust the peach wedges in the brown sugar and grill/bbq or griddle each side on a high heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar caramelizes. Remove from the heat and put to one side.

Take your two glasses and rub the rims of the glasses with a small slice of fresh ginger. Spread the one tbsp of caster sugar on a plate and dip the rims of the glasses in the sugar to coat. Fill each glass with crushed ice and pour 2 tbsp of rum into each glass. Sieve the peach-jalapeño mixture, squashing it down to get all the of the liquid out. Divide the liquid between the two glasses. Top with ginger beer and decorate the glasses with the caramelized peaches and chile slices before serving.

Flaming Volcano

The Flaming Volcano
courtesy of Thrillist.com
1 oz. Dixie Black Pepper vodka
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. falernum
lemon lime soda
¼ oz. blue curaçao
151-proof rum
½ fresh lime

In a hurricane glass, filled with crushed ice, add vodka, simple syrup, and falernum. Top off with lemon lime soda and blue curaçao. Using a manual juicer, hull out a lime half and fill it with 151-proof rum. Float it in the drink. When the tip is lit with a match, the top of the drink is engulfed in flames.

This cocktail is very simple but popular in times past. It was used in place of Navy grog by pirates in the Caribbean and was given to voters during election campaigns in colonial British America. Our own George Washington was reputed to “swill the planters” with bumbo.

Bumbo
2 ounces rum
1 ounce water
2 sugar cubes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Mix rum, water, and sugar cubes in a rocks glass. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg on top and serve. Garnishes are optional. A related drink is the Traitor, made with orange juice, rum, honey, and nutmeg,

The Macua (The National Drink of Nicaragua)
courtesy of BarNoneDrinks.com
1 1/2 oz. Flor de Cana Gold Label rum
1 oz. guava juice
1 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/3 oz. simple syrup

Fill 3/4 of a cocktail shaker with ice and add Flor de Cana rum, guava juice, orange juice, lemon juice, and simple sugar. Shake well for 30 seconds, serve in a Tom Collins glass with ice and decorate with an orange slice. Raise your glass, hike through the rain forest, or surf down a volcano and celebrate Nicaragua’s National Independence Day on September 15.

Tshunk

Tschunk (a German cocktail)
courtesy of Tshunk.org
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 oz. golden rum or dark rum
1 lime
Club-Maté

Dice limes, put them together with the brown sugar into a high glass and crush both. Add crushed ice and pour the rum over it. Top off with Club-Maté and add a straw.

Club Maté is a caffeinated drink from Germany. It is hard to find in the U.S. Here are instructions to make your own. You can skip the boiling the tea steps if you buy Yerba Maté already brewed in bottles or cans. We’re including the complete directions in case you prefer to make it from scratch.

Club Maté Copycat
courtesy of instructables.com
3 Tbsp. Yerba Maté
2 cups hot water
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. citric acid
Refrigerated carbonated water

Fill the yerba maté into tea filter, add hot water and let it sit for at least 7 minutes. Then remove the tea filter, add the sugar and citric acid; stir until dissolved. At this point, the “maté base” may get a little cloudy and will taste way too sweet and sour at the same time. Don’t worry about that, as it will get fixed in the next step. Let the “maté base” cool down (add ice cubes if you’re impatient) and put it in the fridge for some minutes. Shortly before drinking, combine carbonated water and the cold “maté base” in a 1:1 ratio. This makes sure you always have a fizzy drink.

Coquito

Coquito
courtesy of allrecipes.com
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 (12 fluid oz.) can evaporated milk
1 (14 oz.) can cream of coconut
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white rum
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. real vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottles and chill overnight.
Note: This also makes a nice addition to coffee, in place of normal creamer.

Curry Rum Chicken
courtesy of cooks.com
1/4 cup light rum
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chicken bouillon (granules or cubes)
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water

In a large frying pan, combine 1 cup of water, the rum, bouillon, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium/low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn over chicken and simmer for 15 minutes more. Serve on a bed of rice or noodles. (The “sauce” is great over cooked noodles and you can easily double the sauce ingredients initially and have lots to pour over noodles or rice).

Review: Oak & Cane American Craft Rum

Given the relative ease and speed of making rum instead of whiskey, it’s surprising that more craft distillers aren’t pursuing this spirit. Oak & Cane, produced in Florida, is an exception to that rule. It’s also made with much different methods than your typical bottle of grog. To wit:

What sets Oak & Cane apart? Its innovative distillation process. Instead of relying on the traditional aging process for rum, which typically takes years, Oak & Cane double-distills its recipe to smooth out the finish. It then rests its rum for 6 to 12 months with fresh Florida orange peels and medium-charred white American Oak – the only rum to use this unique ingredient – resulting in a smooth, versatile spirit with a taste comparable to an aged rum.

Interesting concept, but how does it work out?

Very sweet on the nose, Oak & Cane Rum offers classic but somewhat simplistic aromas of spun sugar, vanilla, some orange peel (less than you’d think), and a bit of butterscotch. The wood influence is there, but it’s still raw, unable to shake its apparent youth (and time in new oak barrels). On the palate, the sweetness continues first and foremost. Almost cloying at times, this rum feels like it’s spiked with syrup, some coconut and candied pecan notes adding nuance, but ultimately unable to do much against the onslaught of cane. Hey, I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s right there in the name, after all.

It’s a credible mixer, but the sweetness is a bit too much for straight sipping.

B- / $43 / oakandcane.com

Cocktail Recipes for National Mojito Day 2017

Dry Sparkling Water Mojito Summertime is Mojito time for many people — and what better time to enjoy one than July 11th, National Mojito Day?

We’re celebrating with these eight great recipes and want to share them with you. These include some interesting variations, including chocolate, saké, and even a few recipes for folks who don’t care for the traditional mint. (What’s wrong with you? Don’t answer that.)

Blueberry Mojito Popsicles
from Sarah Fennel at bromabakery.com
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
35 mint leaves
¾ cup lime juice
6 Tbsp light rum
6 oz. blueberries
popsicle mold (for 10 popsicles)

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and 25 mint leaves. Heat over medium heat until the  sugar is completely dissolved; then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, strain out mint and pour syrup into a large bowl. Squeeze lime juice and rum into the bowl and mix until combined. Pour into 10 popsicle molds, filling a little more than ¾ of the way up. Toss one fresh mint leaf and about 12 blueberries into each mold. Fit with popsicle stick and freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Note: We had trouble with the popsicles freezing so recommend changing the ½ cup of water to ¾ cup.

Blackberry Plum Mojito

Blackberry-Plum Mojitos (Party Sized)
courtesy of Martha Stewart
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
2 pounds plums, pitted and cut into wedges (We used Santa Rosa plums for their sweetness.)
18 oz. fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
2 to 3 cups Beauregard Dixie Citrus vodka
6 cups DRY Rhubarb sparkling water

Bring sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved—3 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 15 minutes. Syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. Combine lemon juice, fruit, and basil in a bowl. Add syrup; mash lightly to release juices. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 4 days. Combine fruit mixture and vodka in a pitcher or punch bowl; ladle about 1/3 cup into each glass. Fill with ice. Top with sparkling water, garnish with more basil, and serve.

Here’s one for those who don’t care for mint. Basil is a related plant to mint but has a very different taste to it.

Basil Mojitos
by Stephanie Spencer at My Recipes and Sunset.com
10 large basil leaves, divided
1/4 cup plus 4 tsp. superfine sugar, divided
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup white rum
about 1/2 cup cold club soda
lime wedges

Whirl 2 basil leaves and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until well blended; transfer to a plate and set aside. Put 6 to 8 remaining basil leaves in a large cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes, the remaining 4 tsp. sugar, and lime juice. Muddle the mixture with the back of a thick wooden spoon, keeping your hand over the top to prevent spilling, until basil has broken up. Add rum and a few more ice cubes to shaker, cover, and shake to blend. Rub a lime wedge along rim of 2 low-ball glasses and dip in basil sugar (reserve remaining sugar for more cocktails). Add a few ice cubes to each glass. Remove top from shaker (do not strain), and divide mixture between glasses. Top off each with club soda and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Chocolate Mint Mojito

Chocolate, Mint, and Lime Mojito
courtesy of Foodal.com
For the cocoa syrup:

1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder

For the drink:
8 chocolate mint leaves (substitute with regular mint if unavailable)
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. cocoa syrup
2 oz. light rum
6 ice cubes
2 oz. club soda

Make the cocoa syrup:
Combine sugar, water, and cocoa in a small saucepot. Place on a burner over medium-high heat, stirring continuously. Allow the syrup to simmer for 3 minutes, until thickened slightly. Let cool, then store in a sealed jar.

Make the drink:
Muddle mint leaves and lime in the base of a highball glass. Stir in syrup and rum, then add the ice cubes. Top with club soda, garnish with a sprig of M. piperita (fresh peppermint), and enjoy!

Black and Blue Mojito

The Black and Blue Mojito Recipe
by Kim Haasarud at Redbook Magazine
3 blackberries
10 blueberries
7 mint leaves
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. light rum
club soda

In a tall glass, muddle the berries and mint with the lime juice and simple syrup with the handle of a wooden spoon. Add the rum and some crushed ice; top with a splash of club soda and stir. Garnish with mint and more berries. Feel better!

Red, White and Blue Mojito
Island Company Rum and Food Network
12 to 15 fresh mint leaves, plus extra for topping
5 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. Island Company rum
1 1/2 oz. of club soda
4 oz. fresh lime juice
6 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
lime wedges, for serving

In the bottom of the glasses, add 1 oz. of simple syrup each and a few of the mint leaves. Muddle with a muddler. Add a lime slice to each glass. Add strawberries to each glass, then fill with crushed ice three-quarters of the way full. Top with blueberries. Pour your rum, the rest of the syrup, lime juice and club soda over top. Mix with a long spoon or knife and serve with an additional sprig of mint.

Green Tea Saké Mosc-jito

Green Tea Saké Mosc-jito
by William Eccleston, GM/Wine Director of Ristorante Panorama in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1.5 oz. G Joy Saké
3/4 oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
3/4 oz. green tea simple syrup
2 lime wedges
1 ½ oz. Sparkling Italian Moscato
candied ginger

Make the green tea syrup by boiling one green tea bag with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar. Let cool before removing the tea bag.

Muddle with juice of 2 lime wedges and 8-10 mint leaves. Shake and pour into hi-ball glass. Float with the sparkling Italian Moscato. Garnish with candied ginger and lime wedge.

Irish Mojito
courtesy of Islands.com
½ lime, juiced
small handful of fresh mint leaves
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Limon
2 tsp. granulated sugar
a splash of club soda
a splash of Crème de Menthe (use green for more color)
lime wedge, for garnish

Squeeze half a lime into a cocktail shaker, add mint leaves and muddle. Add Bacardi, sugar, and a handful of ice and shake. Strain mixture into martini glass. Top off with a splash of club soda and a drizzle of Crème de Menthe, which will sink to the bottom. Add a lime wedge for garnish, and serve.

We’re wondering: Why not use an Irish whiskey? Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.

Review: Ron Diplomatico Planas and Mantuano

Our friends at Ron Diplomatico are releasing two new expressions, part of the company’s brand new “Tradition Range” and both a little lower down the price totem than the flagship Ron Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, and each with a different purpose. These Venezuelan rums couldn’t be more different from one another… so read on for some reviews.

Ron Diplomatico Planas – This is a white rum (with a slight shade of yellow to it) that is aged up to six years, then charcoal filtered to strip the color out. As delicate and delightful a white rum as you’re likely to find, the rum starts off with a heady amount of alcohol, masking sweet notes of coconut and a hint of lemon. The palate is on the sweet side (but not overly so), dosed with coconut, pineapple, and a kick of licorice on the back end. This gives the otherwise fairly straightforward rum a bit of a spicy kick, with just a hint of lime peel lingering on the back end. A worthy choice as your new house white rum for making daiquiris and mojitos. 94 proof. A- / $29

Ron Diplomatico Mantuano – This is a dark rum (and a fairly dusky one at that) with a more burly profile than Exclusiva. Aged up to eight years, it’s got some coffee, cinnamon, and cloves on the nose — along with some raisin notes. Quite savory on the tongue — those bitching about Exclusiva being too sweet can check this out — the coffee notes filter down to dusky charcoal, barrel char, some raisin, and a bit of dark chocolate. Sugar is almost an afterthought here. If you like your rum chewy and filtered through the dank haze of wood, this is your jam. For me though, it’s a bit one-note. 80 proof. B / $24

rondiplomatico.com

Review: Havana Club Tributo 2017

The second rum in Cuba-based Havana Club‘s Tributo Collection has hit shelves, but not many of them: Just 2500 bottles of this expression will be released globally.

We missed out on Tributo 2016 but were excited to land a sample of the new release. The company explains a bit about why it’s so special.

Havana Club Tributo 2017 has been crafted by Asbel Morales, Havana Club Maestro del Ron Cubano, from a new blend of hand-selected base rums and a decades-old ‘aguardiente’ – or spirit base. The ‘aguardiente’ is at the heart of this rum, and has been enhanced by maturation in barrels that are over 80 years old. The result is an exceptional rum with a distinctive dry note and an intriguing array of flavours, highlighting and paying homage to the finest Cuban sugar cane. The 2017 edition is bottled at 40% abv, with an amber glow and flavours of chocolate, tobacco and coffee.

This unique blend of Havana Club’s exceptional rum reserves honours the passion and knowledge of the Maestros del Ron Cubano, a role that has recently been declared a Cultural Patrimony of the Cuban nation by the Culture Ministry in Cuba. As such, each bottle of Havana Club Tributo is individually numbered and adorned with the signature of Havana Club Maestro del Ron Cubano, Asbel Morales. The outer packaging will entice rum connoisseurs and spirits drinkers alike with luxury green gold cues evoking the sugar cane lands used for generations in the production of authentic Cuban rum.

A sultry experience from the start, this rum offers an impressively deep aroma that mingles Madeira wine with coffee, tobacco, and toffee. This is the barrel doing nearly all the talking, intense and well-integrated wood notes doing the heavy lifting for that fortified wine character that only comes with many years of mellowing in cask. The palate is just as complex and rarefied, loading up immediately with flavors that run from coffee bean and dark chocolate to dried raspberry and green banana. The overwhelming flavor element throughout all of this is a slightly smoky blend of vanilla and caramel, not too sweet as it laces in notes of coconut en route to a finish that echoes more dark (very dark) chocolate. It all comes together quite beautifully, lingering on the tongue for ages and demanding significant thought and analysis.

All told, this is an enchanting and beguiling rum that can go toe to toe in terms of the complexity with some of the world’s most enigmatic spirits, including well-aged Cognac and Scotch whisky. If you happen to encounter a bottle in your travels, strongly consider picking it up (despite the hefty price tag).

80 proof.

A / $390 / havana-club.com

Review: Cooper River Petty’s Island Rums and Cooper & Vine Brandy

Cooper River Distillers is the first legal distillery in Camden, NJ — ever! This outfit produced its first product, a rum, in 2014, and since then it’s been adding more rum expressions, brandy, and whiskey. We received a variety pack from the company — three rums and its brandy — and put them all to the test in the writeups that follow.

Cooper River Petty’s Island Rum – Pot-distilled white rum (unaged) made from a “custom blend of molasses.” Funky and pungent, but with a distinct sweetness underneath the initial notes of leather and burlap. It’s not the usual tropical fruit character but rather a floral-driven note that evokes notes of hibiscus, grapefruit peel, and cinnamon-scented tapioca. Lots going on, with a somewhat muddy direction. 90 proof. B- / $25

Cooper River Petty’s Island Driftwood Dream Spiced Rum – Take the Petty’s Island white rum base, “then we age it on toasted applewood for a month, add all-natural cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, ginger, coffee, and allspice before finally sweetening Driftwood Dream just a tad with the same molasses we use as the base for all of our rums.” Incredibly dark color, and the molasses added comes through immediately. This, and some ginger notes, overwhelm all the other flavors, though a hint of coffee on the finish is both fun and quite unique spiced rum. Gingersnap in a bottle — that’s the gist — with a boozy edge. The more I sip on this, the more I fall in love with it. 80 proof. A / $32

Cooper River Petty’s Island Rum Rye Oak Reserve – Here’s the white rum aged for 13 to 16 months in charred, white oak barrels previously used for Cooper’s rye whiskey. Though amber in color, it’s still quite brash. Butterscotch notes hit the nose, along with hints of coconut and plenty of ethanol heat. On the palate, the raw alcohol notes tend to dominate, incompletely covering up the funky underpinnings of the white rum, thick with raw forest floor notes, pungent tobacco, and just a hint of spice — the only real indication of the rye whiskey barrel. 90 proof. B- / $39

Cooper River Cooper & Vine Garden State Brandy – Lastly, this is a brandy (made from New Jersey-sourced pinot grigio wine) that is aged for about 18 months in 15 gallon barrels — some new oak, some previously used for Cooper’s rum and rye — all blended together in the end. This is a rustic, very young brandy that is loaded with simplistic granary notes, raw alcohol, and blunt fruit notes, the finish offering heat and plenty of vegetal overtones. Nothing much to see at this young age. 85 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1. C- / $37

cooperriverdistillers.com

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