Wedged between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay in southwest Florida, Siesta Key Beach was named "The Best Beach in America"in 2011. Its sand - composed of 99% pure quartz - remains soft and cool despite the Florida heat, and is considered the whitest and finest sand in the world. Just a few miles away from the pristine beach, Troy Roberts, master distiller at Drum Circle Distillery, makes award-winning Siesta Key Gold, Silver and Spiced Rums.
Each bottle of Siesta Key Rum is made from organic sugarcane sourced from the grasslands of Florida's Everglades. The sugarcane is pressed into molasses and then rested in stainless steel tanks, allowing the sediment and particulate matter in the molasses to settle. Prior to fermentation, the sediment is discarded, resulting in a cleaner tasting distillate, explains Roberts.
After resting the molasses, Roberts adds water and ferments the mash using a proprietary strain of yeast. Yeast has "an enormous effect on flavor," says Roberts, and "is one of the most critical steps in making great rum." Roberts created his own yeast by combining two different strains - one that contributes traditional rum flavors, and another discovered in the French West Indies that adds more "bright, upfront qualities to rum, resulting in more complexity." After fermentation, Robert's double-distills the wash in his custom-designed, Christian Carl copper-pot still imported from Germany. The still, its rectifying column and its copper plates were specifically designed to produce a refined, full-flavored rum.
Following distillation, Siesta Key Silver Rum is filtered and brought to proof before being bottled by hand. With notes of vanilla and butterscotch, Siesta Key Silver Rum earned the Best in Class Medal at the RumXP International Tasting Competition and the Silver Medal at the International Rum Festival.
Siesta Key Gold Rum is aged in new, charred oak, 10, 15 and 30 gallons barrels. In addition, a portion of the rum is also aged in former Maker's Mark bourbon barrels. After aging the rum for just over three years, Roberts blends the barrels together to get exactly the right flavor. Siesta Key Gold Rum has notes of toffee, honey and vanilla, along with a hint of sweet corn.
While the exact recipe for Siesta Key Spiced Rum remains a closely-guarded secret, Roberts did tell us that he adds honey to the rum to provide a smoother, sweeter flavor profile. In addition, he uses real spices - cinnamon, cardamom, clove and a handful of others - in order to give the rum its signature flavor profile. No artificial flavors or sweeteners of any kind are used. Siesta Key Spiced Rum earned the Best in Class Medal at the RumXP International Tasting Competition and was named one of the Best Artisan Products in the United States by Cooking Light Magazine in 2012.
Each of bottle of Siesta Key Rum is filled by hand and labeled with an image inspired by Siesta Key Beach. "There are so many variables,"Roberts says, in making good rum. "You can set up your formula but in the end you still have to go by taste." Try some great-tasting rum today!
Spiced – 70 (35% ABV)
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Spiced: Vanilla and butterscotch aroma, with hints of warm cinnamon and citrus. Notes of orange citrus, cinnamon and vanilla predominate, with a hint of clove and pepper. Lingering finish of sweet vanilla and lemon zest.