Monday, December 14, 2020

Picaroon Single Barrel Rum from Blackwater Distilling™

Heading to or from the Delmarva beaches leads to the Bay Bridge, Kent Island, and a chance to taste and tour Maryland's oldest post-prohibition distillery: Blackwater Distilling™. They were founded in 2008 and gained traction with their Sloop Betty Handcrafted Wheat Vodka - a vodka labeled "Produced and Bottled by Blackwater Distilling” since they don't actually distill the vodka or the cane sugar (Cachaça) used in this unique blend. 

On the other hand, their Picaroon Maryland Rum is labeled with "Distilled and Bottled by Blackwater Distilling" since the rum is distilled entirely onsite using raw cane sugar based on the French Caribbean tradition. And the cane juice is fermented using a yeast strain that was isolated during a natural sugar cane fermentation in the island of Martinique and at temperatures present on that island.  

Blackwater traditionally releases three versions of this Picaroon Maryland Rum, a White, Gold, and Dark. Interestingly, the Gold is colored using caramel made in-house (the distillery is a stickler for quality).  The Dark is a barrel-aged Picaroon Rum, which has been stored in new, 53-gallon, charred, American oak barrels. During bottling the rum is mellowed by blending in some of the un-aged Picaroon White Rum. 

More recently, the distillery has released a new member to the family -- the Picaroon Single Barrel Rum. As its name implies, all bottles in the series come from a single barrel and each batch is one-of-a-kind, labeled with handwritten barrel and bottle numbers.  I purchased a bottle and am baffled with each sip. Don't misunderstand. It's very good, but the complexity reminds me more of a soft whiskey with a hint of cane sugar sweetness.  The 50% abv is tempered somewhat by cinnamon and other baking spices and overall, a very intriguing rum.

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