As the resident bourbon historian here at Bourbon & Banter, I have a shocking secret to admit: I have a love affair with American rum. When people think of spirits that defined our nation, it’s almost always bourbon and rye whiskey. But rum, dear friends, is what fueled our colonial ancestors and built the foundation upon which this great country was laid. This favorite drink of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was mostly produced in New England and enjoyed by everyone from commoner to governor, in proto-cocktails like punches, cups, and flips, to name a few. Rum distilling and drinking was strong in Colonial America until the revolution halted the molasses trade and slowed production considerably. Things picked up after the war ended, of course, but by then the deed was nearly done: Britain, who we had royally pissed off, owned most of the molasses of the world, and made it damned hard for us to get it. So, residents of early America began to turn their tastes toward patriotic, albeit harsh, rye whiskey (much like George Washington made when he opened his distillery in 1797), and rum production in the US was nearly defunct by the end of the nineteenth century.
Enter Bayou Rum, on a valiant mission to resurrect American rum production from the ashes. Located in Louisiana, this rum is as patriotic today as it would have been two centuries ago since it is crafted from 100% Louisiana sugarcane. Smooth, delightful, and well-priced, this rum is a definite must for your bar. Let’s dig in!
MELISSA'S BAYOU SELECT RUM REVIEW
Name: Bayou Select Rum
Proof: 80 proof / 40% ABV
Age: NAS – no age statement
How I Drank It: Neat, in a Glencairn Whisky Glass.
Nose: Sugarcane sweetness, followed by a bit of caramel and nutmeg.
Taste: One-note sugarcane sweetness with a hint of oak.
The Burn: In the burn, the toasted oak gets teased out a little more as you experience medium-length warmth. Sweetness and a hint of caramel remain on your palate for a while. Enjoyable like a good glass of bourbon! I can’t wait to taste this product when it is a little older because I think more time in oak will do it good.
Neat, Splash or Rocks: Water thins out the palate and ice would numb all the flavor away. The best course of action is to drink this neat, or in a boozy cocktail like a traditional daiquiri (not one of those blended fruity Bachelorette Party drinks, we’re not animals here.)
Bottomline: This is an excellent entry point for Bourbon fans that want to get into rum, but don’t know where to start. Bayou Select is approachable and enjoyable, and I know it will fill the rum slot on my bar for years to come. So, enjoy a bit of history in this unique American rum. Cheers!
Disclaimer: Special thanks to Bayou Rum for providing Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their rum for review.
We appreciate their generosity and for allowing us to share our thoughts with no strings attached.