Saint Augustine Rum Distillery opened in 2013 at the defunct Ice factory on the edge of the city’s historic district. They produce a full line of spirits- Rum, Gin, Vodka and Bourbon.
Rum was one of the first spirits they began producing using a combination of sugarcane syrup and molasses sourced from local Florida businesses. They distill the fermented wine using 550 gallon Vendome Pot stills and then rest the rum in once used Bourbon barrels for an unspecified amount of time.
The rum is blended to 45% ABV and hand bottled at the distillery.
The bottle is in a traditional 750 mL long neck bottle. The label on the front and back provide ample information about the product with a picture of an old sugarcane press. The rum has a light straw color in the bottle and glass. I gently swirled the liquid creating a thin ring that quickly thickened, spinning off fast moving legs and pebbles in less than two minutes.
I was pleased with the complexity of the aroma as it revealed notes of vanilla, brown sugar, black pepper, cherry and star fruit with a faint hint of oak.
Sipping the rum provides a swirl of flavors- first it lays a foundation of vanilla, charred oak and alcohol. The fruit notes and brown sugar flavors from the aroma manifest creating the mid and high notes. These flavors merge and linger as the rum fades in a long peppery-sweet finish.
While visiting Saint Augustine we had the rum in a few punch style cocktails at local restaurants. We found it did a good job of blending with (and positively augmenting) the fruit flavors in the drinks. Available in Florida, we purchased the bottle for this review at a store not far from our hotel.
If you decide to visit Saint Augustine, make sure to visit the distillery and take the time to sample their range of products. They are doing some interesting things with cask finishes working with local spirit brands.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with what the rum delivered and am glad we picked it up as one of our trip’s souvenirs.