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Boukman is a classic Haitian 'clairin trempè' or spiced rhum honoring the great Dutty Boukman who led the enslaved people of Haiti to freedom in 1791. The base is fresh sugar cane juice from two of the best sites in Haiti, Croix des Bouquets and Cap Haïtien. It is fermented with indigenous yeasts, distilled and then blended with seven botanicals, many native to the island, making this a true expression of Haitian terroir. There is no sugar added, but the addition of whole and extracted vanilla, clove, and cinnamon give it a warm, sweet spice on the finish. If you notice the stain on the front label, that's there, as Voodoo tradition dictates, to ward off evil spirits. This may be a part of why I enjoy it so much in hot toddies when I'm feeling under the weather, but this is also delicious on its own as a digestif. Michelle DeWyngaert
In the small commune of Carrefour Des Pères, Haiti, Patrick St. Surin makes this incredibly expressive sugar cane distillate, the Clairin Milot. Patrick farms 10 hectares of local cane varieties, and harvests a few more from neighboring farmers always during the prime months, February-March and July-August. The juice is fermented with native yeasts an a tiny addition of sugar syrup from the same cane, which is traditional for the area, and then pot-distilled twice and bottled at full proof.
A collaboration between two of the best rum distilleries in the world, Foursquare and Hampden Estate in Jamaica, Probitas is made of three components: a 2-year-aged Foursquare rum distilled on Coffey still, an unaged Foursquare Coffey still, and an unaged Hampden Estate pot-distilled rum. Opening with notes of creamy vanilla and citrus on the nose, from the first sip this is rich and complex, incorporating the best of what both producers have to offer, with just enough funk from the Hampden distillate to make this very engaging. Tropical fruit, banana custard, notes of molasses and sugarcane are all present on the thick and oily palate. Sipping it neat isn't a problem, but cocktails is where this rum really shines. Will make the perfect Daiquiri! Oskar Kostecki
Many rum drinkers are familiar with Lemon Hart 151 - the rum that defined tiki cocktail culture from the 1930s to the 1960s - and this is the best substitute there is. Ed Hamilton introduced this Demerara Overproof rum in 2015 after the owner of Lemon Hart said that they would no longer be bottling under the brand name; it is made by Demerara Distillers in Guyana, the same distillery that makes the original Lemon Hart 151. It is a blend of rums as young as 18 months and as old as 5 years, making for a rich, robust, yet smooth rum that begs to made into a Zombie or any other high-octane concoction. Dark-fruited on the nose with aromas of burnt cane sugar, tobacco, coffee grounds, and sweet spice. The palate is incredibly balanced given its high alcohol percentage making it a seriously versatile component to any home bartender's set up. Tim Gagnon
The Heelios Distillery was established in Okinawa in 1961. For Teeda they use local, Okinawan sugarcane, pot-distilled, and then aged for three years in American white oak.
The Port Mourant still is totally unique; the last double wooden pot still in operation in the entire world. Originally built in 1732 on the Port Mourant Estate, it then moved to Uitvlugt Estate, and after that was shut down, ended up at Demerara Distillers Limited, the last rum distillery in Guyana. Since then the rums coming off the Port Mourant still have been used in blends for El Dorado, the flagship brand of DDL. To find a single cask of exclusively Port Mourant still rum is a treat indeed. This cask has spent most of its time aging in a continental climate in Northern Europe, and is bottled at cask strength without any additives. Off the bat this feels slightly funkier than one would expect from a rum from Guyana. There is tropical fruit here: a hint of guava, a hint of banana, under-ripe pineapple, coconut, along with apricot, green apple peel, mirabelle plum. There is an herbaceous and savory edge to this rum, with some vegetal notes of dried grass and undergrowth, along with a hint of engine oil and a touch of iodine. Incredibly complex, and maybe even a little bit mysterious, this is a rum I kept coming back to, trying to figure out it's shifting and mesmerizing profile. Oskar Kostecki
Two James was the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition and they are committed to making uplifting their community and making high-quality, environmentally-conscious spirits. Though most of their spirits are made with locally grown ingredients, unfortunately sugar cane doesn't do well in Michigan. For 'Doctor Bird' the several rums are shipped in from Jamaica, which are then blended together at their Corktown distillery and aged in used Moscatel barriques giving this rum a unique and powerful flavor.