Bayou – Spiced

Today I’m tasting another Bayou Rum offering, their Spiced rum! I was plesantly surprised with this one. It has the potential to be a capable spiced rum for all your cocktail needs.

Distillers Notes:

Infused with a complex yet delicate spice blend inspired by the Creole baking traditions Louisiana is famous for. Bayou Rum is rested for up to 30 days with a special blend of creole baking spices, which imparts both flavor and an amber color.

 

  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Clear light amber.
  • Aroma: Starts with creamy banana, then caramel and a touch of bubblegum. Also teases you like a dessert you watch get delivered to that couple two tables down.
  • Flavor: Very smooth over the palette but hits you in the throat. Subtle and delicate with banana, all spice, and hint of vanilla.
  • Finish: Tingly spicy and enjoyable.
  • Notes: Well rounded and easy to sip. I almost didn’t even add ice to finish out my tasting. It isn’t bold like Old New Orleans Cajun Spice, but is more straight forward compared to Parade Spiced. A really really good spiced rum that lives up to the name, and at a very solid price.
  • Rating: B

Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Q Liquor
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket
  • I’ve even seen it at Target.

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • The Rum House
  • A popular local rum with a wide distribution. Use their locater tool for your location.

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

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Old New Orleans – Cajun Spice

From the oldest distillery in the states, today I’m tasting Old New Orleans Cajun Spice rum. So far I’ve only tasted their Amber, and it was definitely interesting to say the least. With this rum, it is 2 for 2 so far for interesting rums. But read on, because you just might love this one.

Distillers Notes:

The Cajun Spice Rum is one of our most popular rums. Unlike many spiced rums, rather than creating a syrup and blending it into our rum, we take the popular baking spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger, vanilla, chicory and cayenne and create, essentially, a tea bag and steep our rum in the seasonings for 4-6 weeks. Producing a flavorful, but delicate bodied rum. This rum is really great in not only holiday cocktails, but in tiki-inspired cocktails.

 

  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Clear yellow gold, lighter that I would expect.
  • Aroma: Lowers my guard leading off with butterscotch but follows with a swift and brutal 1-2-3-4 punch of cinnamon, all spice, clove, and ginger.
  • Flavor: It will kick in your door and ransack your kitchen leaving crumbling pieces of ginger snaps and dry-wall all over your nice clean floor.
  • Finish: Thin and tingly, about what you would expect from a spicy baked good.
  • Notes: It’s damn spicy. Smoother than the Amber. If you like ginger snaps, you could probably drink this straight. However I hate ginger snaps! This is probably a fantastic mixer in all those holiday style cocktails. If you like ginger and cinnamon you will absolutely love this. If you hate those things, then you have no reason to ever buy this rum.
  • Rating: C+*

*Honestly, this could be anything. The rum itself is smooth and drinks well. I have friends who will only drink this rum. But if you just don’t like ginger (ME) then you just won’t like this.


Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Q Liquor
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket
  • Old New Orleans doesn’t list any distributors online, but I feel like I’ve seen it at neighborhood grocery stores like Rouse’s.

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • The Rum House
  • Again, nothing is listed online, but this is a pretty popular local rum and should be easy to get at your local watering hole.

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

Rank Wildcat – Black Gold

The second offering out of Rank Wildcat Distilleries, Black Gold is a pretty middle-of-the-road rum, but is produced a bit backwards…

Black Gold Single Harvest Blend is aged with hand-charred American white oak staves harvested from whiskey barrels. […] Think of it this way: instead of putting the rum in a barrel, they are putting the barrel in the rum! After close monitoring, when the staves have done their job, the rum finishes its maturation in 10 gallon barrels. In a matter of months rather than years, the product passes the distillers’ standards, taking on wonderful flavors and hues from its interaction with the wood. Hints of pipe tobacco and vanilla.

Rank Wildcat distillery has three basic principles:

  1. No blackstrap molasses.
  2. All natural flavor. No added sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
  3. Artisan-crafted.

Black Gold is, I believed their Sweet Crude Rum, aged with oak staves for a period of time. Aging with oak rather than in oak, quickens the aging process and partakes a stronger color and flavor in a shorter period of time. I will make sure to follow up at some point with a direct comparison of Sweet Crude to Black Gold.

  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Clear yellow gold
  • Aroma: Light and crisp, with a hit of sweetness, caramel, and vanilla.
  • Flavor: Pretty basic. Single note that I can honestly, only describe as “yep, that’s rum”
  • Finish: Strong mouth burn that lingers for a while.
  • Notes: This rum feels stronger than it is. The distinct alcohol burn can be distracting, but ice helps. A little bit of something reminds me of a campfire. Whether it’s the smoky flavor, or the roasted marshmallows, I can’t be sure. Overall, it’s just not that interesting.
  • Rating: C-

Update: I brought a bottle to my Cuban family’s Easter party, and my Uncle could not get enough of it! Said it was the best rum he’s had in years, and knowing that he prefers a lighter body rum, it makes sense. 


Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Bin Q Liquor
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar
  • Whole Foods
  • Trader Joes
  • Some Rouse’s Markets

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • Chimes East

*The closer you are to Lafayette, the easier it is to find. 


I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

Photo by @gonzo_form

Parade – Spiced Rum

THIS IS WHAT SPICED RUM SHOULD TASTE LIKE!

Ok… now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk about how damn good this rum is.

Parade Spiced Rum is the infusion of Alma Plantation’s terroir with a subtle medley of botanicals, creating Louisiana’s Original Single Estate Spiced Rum. You may notice hints of Seville orange, vanilla, and raw sugar when drinking it neat, in a cocktail, or our favorite, “Spiced on ice.”

Hailing from Baton Rouge’s own distillery, Cane Land Distilling, comes Parade Spiced Rum, a beautiful, cloudy, caramel colored spirit. Spiced rums can be hit-or-miss, created either using additives to cover up a sub-par rum, or, in this case, using spices to create a wonderfully layered and enjoyable sipping rum.

  • Nation: Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Cloudy caramel
  • Aroma: Off the top, some toasted marshmallow, subtle cinnamon (not that aggressive “Big Red” style cinnamon), vanilla, and baking spices. Weirdly, I’m also picking up bubblegum.
  • Flavor: It’s damn smooth. Sweet but not too sweet, and just a little tangy.
  • Finish: A cleansing, satisfying orange peel finish.
  • Notes: This is subtle, layered, and flavorful. Sweet. Fruity. Citrus. You’ll constantly discover something new when you’re drinking this. Very very enjoyable. 
  • Rating: B+

Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Reeves Market
  • Bin Q Liquor
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Some Rouse’s Markets

By the Glass:

  • Radio Bar
  • City Pork
  • Olive or Twist
  • The Rum House
  • The Bulldog

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

Bayou – Select

From an Award Winning Distiller comes Bayou Select Aged Rum. Bayou Rum is one of the most widely distributed rums from Louisiana, receiving national recognition in 2016 for their Select Rum.

Bayou® Rum is craft distilled from locally grown sugarcane in Lacassine, Louisiana, USA. Our signature ‘sugarhouse’ recipe uses a blend of 100% natural, unrefined Louisiana sugarcane and molasses. Every batch of Bayou Rum is distilled in copper pots and bottled by hand.

Bayou Select is “The Rum for Bourbon drinkers”, matured in bourbon barrels for up to 3 years using the Solera aging method.

  • Nation:  Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Burnt Orange
  • Aroma: Apple pie (apples, vanilla, touch of cinnamon). Along with faint hints of caramel, orange spice, and maybe a little butterscotch.
  • Flavor: Something a little tropical and spicy. Rough around the edges, but an ice cube calms everything down.
  • Finish: Rough without ice. After ice, it’s a pleasant little sipper, but it’s young and not that layered yet.
  • Notes: Reminds of what I was drinking in Cuba. I really enjoy it with coke and lime and it makes a fantastic daiquiri. Prices do vary, I’ve paid $37 for a bottle, and I’ve seen it as low as $28. I don’t think you’ll find a better aged Louisiana rum for about $30. It want’s to be a sipper and for that it will need a few more years, but I look forward to it.  Honestly one of my favorites so far, and I can’t wait to try it after it’s had a bit longer to age. 
  • Rating: B-

Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Rouse’s Market
  • Albertson’s
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Robert Fresh Market
  • Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket
  • Calandro’s
  • Target
  • It’s one of the more widely carried brands, but Select can be a little harder to find.

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • Superior Grill
  • Rum House

Order it Online too!


I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

A Trio of Mardi Gras Cocktails

Mardi Gras is just around the corner! I wanted to do something special for what is undoubtedly Louisiana’s most famous celebration! It wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 that I realized that Mardi Gras was not a national holiday. Everywhere else it’s just another Tuesday, but in New Orleans, it’s a day for celebration, for drinking with friends, and a day when New Orleans’ true colors can shine.

For the special occasion, I put together 3 Mardi Gras inspired cocktails to get you in the carnival spirit, even if where you are, it is just another Tuesday.

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The colors of Mardi Gras go back as far as 1872. Purple stands for justice (for when you give a great catch to a nearby kid who fell), green for faith (for when you pray that the bathroom has TP), and gold for power (to make it through the marathon of carnival season). They also happen to be the colors of two “rival” Louisiana schools, LSU (purple & gold) and Tulane (green). The rumor is that LSU was looking to new school colors, saw a store stocked up on Mardi Gras decorations, and went with purple and gold, since Tulane was already green. I have no idea if that’s true, but it does make it easy when your football team matches your carnival outfit.

Inspired by the true colors of Mardi Gras, I developed a trio of drinks you can show off come Fat Tuesday. Meet: Rosemari Gras, Parade Route, and Throw Bee Something.

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Purple: Rosemari Gras

  • 2oz Roulaison Clear Rum
  • 2oz Blueberry Simple Syrup (see end of post for recipe)
  • 1oz Lime Juice
  • Rosemary Garnish
  • Top with Sparkling Water

Add rosemary and lime juice to a shaker and attempt to muddle. Add rum and blueberry syrup. Shake well and double strain* over ice in a rocks glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

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Green: Parade Route

  • 1.5oz Parade Rum Argente
  • 0.75oz Lime Juice
  • 0.5oz Crème de Menthe
  • Tablespoon of Cane Sugar
  • Mint Garnish
  • Top with Sparkling water

Add mint leaves, cane sugar, and lime juice to a shaker and gently muddle. Add rum and Crème de Menthe. Shake well and double strain* over ice in a highball glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

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Gold: Throw Bee Something

  • 1.5oz Old New Orleans Amber Rum
  • 0.75oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.75oz Honey

Add everything to a shaker and shake well. Serve in a chilled coupe glass and look fancy.


Blueberry Simple Syrup:

  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar

One package of blueberries ended up being about 3/4 of a cup, which is why these measurements are kinda weird. Feel free to scale up if needed. Recipe resulted in about 8oz of syrup.

Rinse blueberries. Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 15ish minutes. Let cool and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Put in a pretty bottle or something. Enjoy!

People always say simple syrup lasts 2-3 days in the fridge, but I usually enjoy it for about 2 weeks and I haven’t died or anything.


* I double strain because I absolutely hate little bits of things in my drinks. You could regular strain if you want, or if you don’t have a fine mesh strainer.

Roulaison – Clear Rum

From a small craft distiller out of New Orleans, today I’m tasting Roulaison’s flagship clear rum.

Our flagship rum is robust with notes of pineapple and bruised banana as well as a backbone of cinnamon and mint.  It creates a luscious mouth-feel, slightly cooling and subtly sweet with notes of crisp lemongrass and lime. The finish lends subtle hints of spice, smoke, forest and pine.

  • Nation:  Louisiana, USA
  • Color: Crystal Clear
  • Aroma: Overly ripe fruit syrup. Layered and distracting. Was hard to pinpoint anything else and this somewhat annoyed me.
  • Flavor: Thinner mouth feel than the aroma would suggest but still satisfying.
  • Finish: Slight herbal/medicinal finish. Has a slow build to a smoldering heat and enjoyable tingle.
  • Notes: Reminds me somewhat of Rank Wildcat’s Sweet Crude, maybe since they are both small batch, pot-distilled rums. I’d love to put them side by side in a flight. Overall, it’s interesting and leaves you with a captivating and addicting mouth tingle that’s not quite smooth or simple.
  • Rating: B-

Find it Locally:

By the Bottle:

  • Q Liquor
  • Calandro’s Supermarket
  • Martin’s Wine Cellar

By the Glass:

  • Olive or Twist
  • City Pork

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.