Monday, November 25, 2019

Cotton & Reed: DC’s First Rum Distillery

This month Cotton & Reed Distillery celebrated its third anniversary as DC’s First Rum Distillery. One of their many celebration activities included a release of just 102 bottles of 102-proof Sherried Cask Strength Rum ($50). The process starts with their White Rum ($29) made from Lousiana grown raw cane syrup and blackstrap molasses (6,000 pounds per batch) and fermented with a Rhum Agricole yeast strain and a Chenin Blanc yeast strain. The rum is then aged in used bourbon barrels just like their Mellow Gold Rum ($29). Afterward, the aging rum is transferred to PX Sherry-seasoned casks where PX refers to Pedro Ximénez grapes aged in a solera system where the grape brandy undergoes oxidative aging for an Oloroso. This process involves bottling some of the oldest casks, then refilling with grape brandy from younger casks. Cotton & Reed will follow a similar approach with their Sherried Cask Strength Rum augmenting their first cask with rum from a younger cask.

In addition to their very unique Dry Spiced Rum ($29) that is infused with mostly gin inspired botanicals like juniper instead of baking spices, their Despaccino 2018 ($29) is delicious. The coffee beans come from Counter Culture which are then cold-brewed from Junius Coffee. The rum is also infused with rhubarb, dehydrated orange, and cacao all contributing distinct rich characters.

Finally, don't neglect their cocktails.  I chose a light and refreshing Rumba Palumba made from their White Rum, mezcal, grapefruit, and lemons.  Excellent.

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