This Thirsty Thursday we visit the Virgin Islands, specifically St. Croix, home of Cruzan rum. The Cruzan distillery was founded in 1760 and is currently the largest supplier of American rum. While the distillery offers a wide variety of aged rum we had the opportunity to sample Cruzan Single Barrel, winner of “World’s Best Rum” at the 2000 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Cruzan Single Barrel is distilled five times through column stills that give the rum a clean and smooth flavor. Next, the rum is placed in oak barrels and aged between 14 months and 12 years, allowing the rum to mature and develop flavor profiles. After the first maturation stage the rum is blended and put in new American oak barrels to take on even more flavor. Once the second maturation stage is complete each barrel is bottled and numbered individually giving the rum a “single barrel” title.
Each bottle was designed with rum in mind, the wooden & cork stopper is definitely high quality if you plan on storing a bottle in your collection. The rum has dark amber coloring in the bottle and was a good indicator of the rich flavor we were about to experience.
The nose on this blend is pretty amazing. We were able to smell caramel, molasses, rich sugars and a blend of cinnamon and vanilla. You can really tell that a lot of work went into producing each barrel when you smell the various flavors working together as one.
We sampled Cruzan Single Barrel neat in wine style glasses that really opened up the flavors and smell of the rum. The first sip is incredibly smooth and a strong caramel flavor comes first followed by hints of molasses and toffee.
The finish was longer than we expected and led to additional flavors as we let it sit, some tasters described honey and peppermint. Each sip was more enjoyable than the last and proved that this is an easy drinking spirit.
Cruzan Single Barrel is a complex rum that is extremely enjoyable and approachable for first timers and veterans alike. Our tasters gave it an average rating of 80/100. We will easily be working this bottle in as a staple for our home bars; it’s a versatile spirit that can work during multiple seasons and in various cocktails like the one below. For more information about Cruzan Single Barrel please visit CruzanRum.com $30
*Disclosure: A sample bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel Rum was provided for review purposes. Brash received no compensation for this review.
CRUZAN® COCONUT OLD FASHIONED
Created by Jesse Card, Cruzan Mixologist
- 2 parts Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum
- ½ part Rich Simple Syrup
- 3 dashes of Bitters
- Coconut Water Ice Cubes (*see additional recipe below)
METHOD: Cut a wide swath of orange peel and lightly press it in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add rum, syrup and bitters. Now drop in a few Coconut Water Ice Cubes and stir gently.
*COCNUT WATER ICE CUBES: Pour a can of Coconut Water (strain the pulp out first, if needed) in an ice cube tray – the bigger the cube tray the better – and freeze for several hours.