The Devil Returns
While we’ve been working to bring in single casks of interesting sugar cane and molasses-distilled spirits from all over the world since 2012, we were always a little ahead of the curve when it came to the connoisseur rum market. We’ve always received tremendous positive feedback about our K&L exclusive rum selections, it’s just that we’ve never had enough of a rum audience to make them a regular thing. In 2017, however, with the tiki cocktail culture renaissance in full swing and a new excitement about rum making its way through a number of internet message boards, we’ve been overwhelmed by consumer questions about our single barrel program—particularly those we bring in under the Golden Devil label. When would new selections be arriving? Could we source rare pot still rums from Guyana? Would there be an agricole rhum cask in the future? Had we considered doing a private blend?
The answer to all of those questions was yes. However, the larger, looming question was: if we restarted the program, would the demand justify the supply? Judging by the amount of emails we received and the excitement that’s already been buzzing online about these new Golden Devil casks, it appears the rum revival we’d long been anticipating might finally be upon us and we’ve got you covered for the holidays. There are three new K&L exclusive Golden Devil releases to show you: two full proof single barrels and one custom blend. The 19 year old agricole rhum from Bellevue distillery in Guadaloupe is a picture of elegance. The 25 year old pot still rum from the now-defunct Enmore distillery in Guyana is a collector’s dream come true. Plus, we’ve created our own K&L exclusive dark overproof blend of Jamaican pot still rum with column still rums from Guyana. (NOTE: these rums will also be available by the pour at Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco in the near future).
For those looking to dig deeper into the higher-end rum market, these two single barrel exclusives should get you on the right track. For those interested in an affordable, high-proof, flavor-packed tiki mixer, we challenge you to find a better bang for your buck than our new Golden Devil dark overproof. Check out the specifics below:
Enmore 25 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum $199.99 - Enmore was once the home of El Dorado's famed wooden coffey still, but the distillery was closed in 1993 and all of the equipment was eventually moved to DDL's main Diamond site where all the former Guyana distilleries are consolidated now. This single barrel edition, distilled in 1992, represents one of the last runs at the former site and for serious rum fans these lost distillates are as collectable as can be. This particular rum, however, comes not from the wooden coffey still at Enmore, but rather a single pot still, potentially the wooden pot moved there from the defunct Versailles distillery before eventually landing at the Diamond site where it sits today. Guyana's pot distilled rums are valued by blenders and other experts as a source of very heavy bodied, very flavorful and deeply aromatic rums, Dark in color and earthy on the nose, the flavors are rich and expansive with molasses, burnt sugar, roasted coffee, and cocoa on the finish. For many collectors, Enmore is like the Port Ellen of rum, yet its price points are still well within reach considering its rarity and value on the market. Bottled at 63% cask strength, this Golden Devil single barrel edition is a true gem of magnificence and a valued piece of rum's long and ever-evolving history.
Bellevue 19 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guadeloupe Rum $99.99 - Bellevue distillery on the island of Guadaloupe has been run by the Damoiseau family since they purchased the ancient facility in 1924, eventually merging with La Martiniquase, one of France's largest drinks companies. Since the mid-nineties, the extra support has led to a serious reinvestment in the distillery grounds and while Damoiseau uses only locally-sourced sugar cane for all of its rums, most of which is planted right next to the site itself, Bellevue rum is actually distilled from molasses, despite its bold and herbaceous character. Bellevue uses a column still for its production, distilling to a proof of nearly 160 and maturing in ex-Bourbon and ex-Cognac barrels. Generally unavailable in the U.S., we purchased this 19-year-old single barrel from Europe and had it bottled by our friends at Golden Devil in the UK. At 59.7% cask strength, the rum is far from the bold and grassy flavor we see from Damoiseau regularly. It has an herbaceous character on the initial palate, but the color is dark and brooding and the flavors range from flat cola to ginger and root beer on the finish. Tiki fans will rejoice, but Rum fans of all kinds will be thrilled by the opportunity to secure a single cask selection from one of the industry's more elusive producers.
Golden Devil "K&L Exclusive" Dark Overproof Rum $19.99 - With tiki culture experiencing a full renaissance and rum appreciation reaching its highest level of enthusiasm in decades, we thought it was time to create a custom K&L dark overproof edition that offered our customers something unique, well-priced, interesting, and flat-out delicious in that category. Made with a unique blend of rums from Jamaica and Guyana, this 57% ABV edition combines the aromatic and funky pot still flavor of the Jamaican rum culture with the textural compounds of Guyanese column-distilled beauty. Hints of green banana and molasses penetrate the palate on the first sip, but the power of the proof takes over half way through and turns dry and robust on the finish with notes of earth and oak on the finish. We're expecting our friends in the tiki industry to go nuts for this, both due to the quality and the value proposition blended into each bottle. Don't be surprised if your favorite rum bar has a few bottles of this behind the counter next time you go.