Kirk and Sweeney is a 12 year old rum from the Dominican Republic. Aged in American White oak this rum is produced by 35 Maple Street, the Spirits division of The Other Guy (TOG), a wine company whose home base is in Sonoma California. 35 Maple Street also produces a Botanical Gin and a Rye Whiskey. The bottle is a 750 ml with a 40% ABV.
The rum is named for a Schooner known for running rum during Prohibition. It was captured by the Coast Guard in 1924 with a large supply of rum on board. The Coast Guard converted the ship to a training vessel and renamed her the Chase. It remained in service until it's retirement in the late 1940's.
The bottle is inspired by the classic onion bulb design. The rum is secured in the bottle by a raised cork that is covered with a bronze safety seal. The neck of the bottle has a picture of the Kirk and Sweeney on it and details the batch and bottle number. The bottle for this review is from Batch number 1, Bottle number 5473. On the side of the natural cork you will find a little inscription about the ship. The cork for our bottle was already starting to feel dried out and will need to be monitored in case it needs to be replaced. Around the bottle is a classic navigational map design that hints at the possible route the Kirk and Sweeney might have taken during the Prohibition time period. The rum maintains a pleasant mahogany color from the bottle to the glass. As I swirl the rum, I watch thick beads form on the glass and slowly descend down the side.
I found the aroma pleasant but not complex. The aroma revealed smoky vanilla, soft fruit notes and a light hint of oak at the end.
The first sip reveals the smoky presence of oak tannins, followed by the honey hitting the high notes while the smoky oak carries the foundation. Out of this, vanilla and caramel notes form and unite creating a well balanced toffee effect. The toffee forms into a subtle cocoa note that carries into the light dry finish of the rum.
There are times when the aroma of the rum tells you all about what you are about to experience. Kirk and Sweeney is not one of those rums. The smoky vanilla in the aroma cloaks a complexity that only comes out in the flavor of the rum. These flavors combine to create a full bodied experience that a well balanced aged rum can provide. It provides some of the flavor profiles I have found in some of my favorite rums from the Dominican Republic. Try it neat or with an ice cube; I believe you will discover a nice sipping rum with a good price point compared to similar products in the market place.