Like most people, we think of rum as delightful ingredient in drinks with colorful names like Missionary’s Downfall, served with little umbrellas or in a coconut shell. At least that’s how we got started a few decades back at Trader Vic’s in the basement of the New York Plaza Hotel.
So when we uncorked a bottle of South Bay Rum, catching a whiff of lovely tropical fruit, brown sugar and spices, we were transported back to the halcyon days of our youth passing time in the Tiki bar at the fabulous Plaza. We were so cool, you have no idea!
But South Bay Rum is a very different experience. This is a sipping rum. Once we tasted it, we left behind the dugout canoes and Polynesian decor and discovered an altogether new pleasure.
Here is a sophisticated rum that can compete with the best of Bourbon or Whisky for a full bodied, rich, smooth, sip-by-sip libation either straight up or on the rocks. The wonderful nose leads to a palate suggestive of toffee, cream and spicy notes finishing with a hint of vanilla and caramel.
South Bay Rum is handcrafted in the Dominican Republic from molasses and blended under the supervision of Ron Maestro Pedro Ramon Lopez Oliver, one of the world’s most renowned Rum Masters who comes from Cuba for the blending process. Unique casks of aged rum, hand selected and blended using the Solera method are what make South Bay special. All the casks have previously held sherry, port, single malt Scotch whisky and bourbon. The contents of the barrels are married for a significant period of time to obtain the rich flavors and remarkably smooth finish of South Bay Rum.
The label is interesting. It has a small batch number and in the case of the bottle we sampled, it was No. 18 and only 6,600 bottles were made. The traditional Cuban style is a painstaking process requiring considerable investment in time and capital, which makes the suggested retail of $27.99 a real steal.
South Bay Rum is available in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Texas, Colorado, Florida and South Carolina with new states opening up shortly. We’ll keep you posted as we really want to share this wonderful experience with you.