The Holmes Cay Fiji Rum – Single Origin Edition is a blend of lightly aged molasses-based pot and column still rum from South Pacific Distilleries in Lautoka, Fiji. Holmes Cay founder Eric Kaye, in collaboration with the hosts of the Rumcast podcast, chose this exceptional, unadulterated blend to introduce to US spirits lovers in a 2260-bottle limited edition. This honest rum has no sugar, no color and no other flavors added in distillation or in blending.
I don’t drink a huge amount of rum but have on occasion had the opportunity to try a number of high-end pours. I would put this rum in that category as well. The Papa’s Pilar Marquesas Blend Rum is “inspired by Ernest “Papa” Hemingway and his adventures on his boat, Pilar. The limited-edition blend pays homage to Hemingway’s experience with rum and whiskey in the Marquesas Keys, a wild group of uninhabited islands near Key West.”
We’re only two months away from completing the first year of StiLl 630’s Experimental Collection but first we need to take a look at the X-10. The X-10 is a 21 month old spiced rum bottled at 100 proof. While spiced rums are nothing new to the market, StilL 630’s spiced rum is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.
At the first nose, it is sherry forward and reminiscent of aspects of sherry finished whiskeys. However, the sugar cane is very present and clearly comes through the taste and finish. It is very well blended while the bourbon, port and sherry notes all linger with the sugar cane. It’s quite viscous and has a great mouth-feel that coats the tongue and throat. It is balanced, with the finishes keeping the overly sweet sugar cane in check, creating a complex, sophisticated product. I cannot stop sipping it.
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.