From our Distiller...Aged Rum
Start with high grade molasses, patiently ferment it, carefully distill it, and put it away in new, charred, American oak barrels for one year and what do you get? Big Springs Spirits latest release – a barrel-aged rum. We knew we had something good when first tasted it after it had only been in the barrel for three months. It has only gotten better with 9 additional months of aging. Never heard of barrel-aged rum? This is not surprising as there are not many offerings in the Pennsylvania state store system, and this is a bit of a shame as they offer much of what you want in high quality bourbons, scotches, and whiskeys, but for much less money. How rum is distilled is not as tightly regulated compared to whiskeys so distillers have more freedom, particularly with regards to the proof it is distilled to. This has led to the wide range of flavors found among the different brands of white rums, which gets even wider after aging in barrels. There is something for everybody among the aged rums available. They range from lighter ones with notes of tropical fruits, to full bodied ones, almost reminiscent of scotch. Slowly but surely the aged rums are gaining in popularity, with some folks even saying they will be the next “new” thing, supplanting rye whiskey from its current boom in popularity.
How does one drink aged rum? As more and more people are discovering the great flavors of aged rums (and their values) folks are enjoying them as one would a fine whiskey – neat or on the rocks. This allows you to truly appreciate the subtle and complex flavors in the spirit. If you like cocktails, more often than not, aged rums perform very well in those made with whiskey, using the rum in place of the whiskey. They do perform well in traditional rum cocktails as well, but use a light hand with the mixers so as not to overpower the subtleties of the aged spirit.
We are quite pleased with our aged rum. We tested it at several different proofs and decided we liked 100 proof the best. After one year of aging in the barrel, some of the flavors found in the white rum are still there, but now they are lovingly intermingled with flavors picked up from the barrels. The cinnamon notes are now more prominent and spicier, and the anisette is still there in the middle and finish. From the barrels we have picked up vanilla as expected but also some nice caramel notes. The fusion of flavors and aromas have added depth and richness to the flavors of the rum. It is fabulous simply on the rocks.