While possibly a challenge to fully comprehend for a novice rum enthusiast, this is high art for a starving artist price.
Notes: Lost Spirits Distillery is probably one of the most amazing distilleries I have ever visited. I had the chance to vista there a few years ago after Bryan (Davis) and Joanne ( Haruta) moved back to the states after selling their distillery in Barcelona which produced that wonderful Obsello Absinthe and Barcelona Gin a few years ago. Since then he moved to Salinas California and had been producing some amazing whiskies such as Leviathan I, II and III and Bohemian Bonfire, both ultra smoked whiskies produced in a extremely unique hand built still, another absinthe that we have not tried yet and now this Rum.
This rum is very unique on a number of counts. It is produced in a handmade copper pot still of Bryans own design for a start and the ingredients are quite singular also. Lost Spirits uses an older style of fermentation which deprives the yeast of nitrogen and stresses them to produce unique flavor compounds that when combined with other elements of fermentation and distillation produce a rum with less of the high alcohols that give its sister The Naval Rum a heavier taste and mouthfeel ( think a dark heavy rum style like say Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva if you have not had the Naval Style , or sadly cannot find it) , this rather simplified explanation of the process and careful aging in multiple wood types, artful blending and meticulous care produce a rum of very distinctive taste and appearance.
I would also like to point out that Lost Spirits does not any coloring or flavoring additives, unlike many in the industry. It comes by its color and bountiful flavors honestly – not from a chemical vat and tweaking.
Appearance: Lovely gold with red highlights, faultlessly clear like a liquid amber. On swirling it leaves a very thin coat on the glass with a well defined edge line which then forms tears at intervals
First Impression: Floral sugar cane notes with touches of spice, nutmeg, ginger, tamarind, galangal, and Vietnamese cinnamon with a sweet tropical citrus and persimmon notes.
Taste: Strong turbinado sugar/concentrated cane juice flavor (as a side bar think maple syrup vs.maple sap as an analogy) very much in the Cuban tradition/style of rum of a lighter but flavorful type of rum. An intense oily entry with cane juice, spice, and moderate oak and wood notes (almost a sauterne like entry except rum) there seems to be some interesting wine barrel aging going on that contributes a slightly grapes and floral citrus notes with the oak char, possibly some French oak cognac like notes lurking in the background.
Drinks: Absolutely a revelation for older classic drinks calling for a Cuban style rum (such as Papa Doble , El Presidente or Daiquiri) and marvelous for more modern drinks. Makes the much more common overproof (Ron Rico Purple Label, Bacardi, etc., taste like benzene by comparison and makes for deadly smooth Zombies and other Tiki drinks calling for a overproof rum
Bottle: As usual with Lost Spirits Bryan has put that art degree to good use. Starting with a crystal like French glass bottle with a heavy glass decanter like foot, the glass practically glistens and sparkles – much more “wow” factor than similar bottles. Then we get to the labels art label art. The label itself almost feels like a banknote with raised printing and the artwork would make the Tommy Bahama people jelous.The Deco artwork, inspired use of various fonts and patterns make for a singular and beautiful label.
Other: Aged in one of their aging acceleration reactors
Final Thoughts: Trying the spirits from Lost Spirits is always an exercise in complexity, pleasure and pure art (pushing the boundaries of the possible). Rarely have we encountered products that are the culmination of arcane knowledge, imagination, skill, and dedication ( especially across a range of diverse spirits – some people are master of one spirit but not other types . Bryan is the Heisenberg of the Spirits World !