Based in Metro Atlanta, Paul Senft is a vocal student of Spirits (Primarily Rum) and Cocktail history. His love of travel, history, and spirits led hm to founding RumJourney.com which led him to becoming a professional freelance writer covering Spirits, Cocktails, and Travel. Paul currently writes two Rum reviews for Got Rum? Magazine and at least one article for Flaviar.com every month along with other freelance opportunities that time alows. When he is not exploring the world learning about his favorite subjects, he can be found hosting seminars and tastings at restaurants, shows, and private events.
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This was an excellent year for new Rum releases, and it was challenging to settle on my top three. Then I thought about the three Rums I have revisited the most during the year and the list was surprisingly easy using that metric. So, without further ado, here is my top three choices for 2019.
This Rum quickly became my go-to Rum for making cocktails and I honestly have no idea how many bottles we have gone through this year. The combination of Coffey Still and Pot Still Rums from the Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados and low ester Pot Still Rums from Hampden Estate Distillery in Jamaica creates a dynamic and versatile flavor profile that is truly something special.
Don Q Sherry Cask Finish
Of the double cask finishes that Don Q has done this is by far my favorite. Not overly sweet like some other Sherry Cask finished Rums this one has a deep flavor profile that is a joy to explore. Its complexity leads to it mixing well in classic prohibition era cocktails, but I prefer to enjoy it neat with a meal.
Holmes Cay Barbados 2005
This was one of my big surprises of the year and that is in part why it makes my top three. I have long enjoyed cask strength products and with it being sourced from Foursquare Rum Distillery, I went in with some baseline expectations of what I would find in the flavor profile. What I found was a rum that clearly had its own identity, that met and exceeded expectations and was by far one of my favorite private bottlings of 2019.
When making this list it really was a whirlwind of positive impressions, Boutique-y Rum Companies Issan Rum, Richland Rums Coastal Georgia Rum, Hampden Singe Estate, Rum-Bar, on and on it goes but alas I could only pick three. Building on this momentum I hope we all continue to enjoy wonderful new rum in 2020. Cheers!