Jul 3, 2014

Different Drum...

Different Drum (40.0%): Now we are taking a big spin today. I will taste a rum... It is named as "Different Drum"* and distilled by La Colombe Distillery in Philadelphia. La Colombe is my favorite coffee roaster in the States. My entire home supply is coming from them. When I heard that the co-founders Jean Philippe Iberti and Todd Carmichael who is also hosting Dangerous Grounds (an amazingly exciting, high adrenaline and addictive show for coffee lovers by the way, highly recommended...) on Travel Channel decided to distill their own rum I got very psyched and kept my ears wide open since. The project was announced not long time ago and they got their approval to place a still in their new coffee shop on Frankford Ave. in Fishtown, Philadelphia last Fall. Their 450 liter capacity German made copper still with two 2200 liter stainless steel fermenters got installed in January but I am pretty sure that it is not the only still they operate. It's been reported before that the bulk distilling would take place in their roasting plant in Port Richmond where actually La Colombe Distillery's license is registered but I couldn't quite confirm this information. It is not that easy to find detailed information on their website (or anywhere else) about their distilling process, type of their mash bill or what method they are using to infuse the rum with coffee. I am guessing that the rum is distilled from cane sugar and then infused using the plates of the column attached to the still after the distillation. On the other hand when I saw the type of the still they chose I couldn't help but notice that they have the possibility to bypass the column from time to time which means they might be planning to distill some whiskey in the future as well... Just saying... I will definitely try to contact and visit them when I am in Philly next time. Oh, one more thing: The marketing goes with the slogan "A rum for the bourbon drinker...". Didn't quite understand what that means but I am hoping to figure it out during the tasting. Color: Dark amber, quince paste. It's pretty cloudy and shows some thick legs on the glass. Nose: Coffee is definitely there but not overpowering. Toasted oak, toffee, orange marmalade and roasted chestnut shells. A few drops of water release all the coffee aromas hidden deep in the glass. Now it is like nosing an empty cup of great coffee: red fruits, cherries and clementine peel. Palate: Very young spirit on the palate with tingling alcohol burn at both sides of the tongue. Small barrel influences we got used to taste in young American whiskeys: tannins, char and green wood. Light roast coffee beans, burnt sugar and insanely dark chocolate bars. Adding water had the same effect like it had on the nose. All the coffee notes are pulled out to the front line: Sour cherries, blood orange and roasted coconut shavings. Finish: Long with everlasting crushed coffee beans and cacao nibs. Overall: In spite of being very young it is a quite flavorful spirit but it's really lacking the depth you are looking for in a sipping rum. And on top of everything it's price tag at $50 is very hard to justify. In the rum world you can get some amazing bottles at this price. But if you are a coffee person in search of something different and experimental and don't mind the cost it's a no-brainer... I am sure you will have a very special place in your spirits cabinet for it. It's a great conversation starter to begin with. At the end I didn't get the "rum for the bourbon drinker..." part but it's definitely a rum for coffee lovers...

* I assume the rum is named after the song Different Drum written by Mike Nesmith and made popular by Linda Ronstadt.