Richland Rum. Artisan Rum from Georgia

September 4, 2013

Richland Rum is a most kind product.

I like it plain and simple in a snifter or a small rocks glass with ONE cube of coconut water ice.  Why mess with perfection by covering it up with fizzy soda or changing the inherent balance by adding too much ice? 

Richland is part of a new world of rum along with Busted Barrel in New Jersey.  Both are hand-made rum from passionate artisans.   These are rums for sipping and are aimed directly at the sophisticated whiskey drinker who would never cover up these fine spirits with syrupy flavoring agents or candy colored soda-pop.

Years ago I spent much time on my families Little Harbor yacht in the British Virgin Islands.  Rum was always on the menu starting with breakfast.  You see the rum that is imbibed in the islands, more often than not is a cheap drink, to be enjoyed by most.  In the morning, orange juice is mixed with rum (mostly rum), at lunch- it is usually woven into a blisteringly potent Pina Colada and at dinner the historic rum punch may fit the foods enjoyed at the time like barbeque or fish.  Rum is extremely versatile and it can even be used in cooking.

Richland Rum is not booze cruise style, cheap rum to fill a tall to/go cup.  It doesn’t welcome a tall glass packed with quarter cube ice nor does it take kindly to corn syrup cola.  This rum gets VERY UPSET when it is covered up in supermarket style grenadine and it practically will shout in anguish if it is thrown back in a shot topped in coconut cream. 

This rum should be sipped and contemplated.  It is most elegant beast and one you should try to find if given the chance! 

Rum is now the new whiskey and perhaps there is a reason to enjoy it more if you understand the reasoning behind the historic correlation of rum and bourbon?  The barrels used for bourbon go on to being used for rum… There is a lovely toasty character to the mouth-feel and it goes just beautifully with a cube of coconut water ice.  Think simple here! 

Richland is from Georgia and it uses locally grown sugar cane in season and out of season, sugar cane syrup.  No molasses ever!  There is nothing in Richland Rum that says machine made.  It speaks the words artisanal very clearly to me.

Oh, they got me with the gas-fired handmade pot stills! 


Tasting Notes:

Char on the back of my tongue gives way to notes of brown butter and grilled tropical fruits.  There is a whiskey burn that swirls around for a while before settling down into a bucket of crunchy cornmeal crusted hushpuppies. 

Cane sugar dominates this scene with bitter elements of citrus combining with the lucidity of wet stones. (When licked fresh out of the ocean)  This is a masterpiece of rum and it deserves your finest cut crystal snifter. 

Don’t you dare add Coke to it because Jack Iron will visit you in your sleep.