The When Rome Burns cocktail is one that you want…
Stark Spirits is a distillery in Pasadena, California that only recently pushed their first product to market: Stark Spirits California Silver Rum. There is very little information about the rum on the company’s website, but we were looking forward to trying the offerings from a local (to us, here in Los Angeles) distillery and kept an eye out for them in stores once we heard they had been released. We picked up a bottle at one of our favorite wine stores and couldn’t wait to get it home to try.
The rum smells slightly sweet, with both molasses and vegetal notes, and is fairly smooth on the nose. The vegetal notes are an interesting contrast with the molasses, but there is not a lot of complexity to the smell of the rum. The rum is slightly sweet at the first sip, but quite mild, and that sweetness quickly fades to a sharp, tongue-tingling alcohol flavor. The finish is short and leaves you with a small hint of the vegetal notes that we picked out on the nose and the the aftertaste of the alcohol. We did not find this rum to be a palatable choice when it came to sipping it neat at all.
We also made some daiquiris with the rum to see if that would improve it, only to find that all we got out of the rum was a hint of that vegetal flavor we picked up in the nose – meaning that our daiquiris weren’t bad, but they did distinctly remind us of margaritas made with unaged tequila. If you were using it in a more complicated cocktail, it would likely just disappear into the background. We couldn’t recommend buying this rum just to attempt to hide it in a cocktail.
There is almost no information (as of writing this) about how this rum is produced on the Stark website, though it does mention both molasses and sugar cane as ingredients. We wondered if they actually used both in the production of this rum. We were disappointed with this tasting because we had high hopes for rum from a local micro-distillery, but this rum gets a pass from us. We hear that they are barrel aging some of their spirits – aiming for one and two year releases – right now, so we’ll be interested to give the rum another taste after it has spent some time in a barrel to see if it smooths out and picks up a bit more complexity.
Rum Rating: 1/5
Rum Rating Scale:
0/5 – Is this even rum?
1/5 – Bad. Not worth buying and not worth drinking
2/5 – Not very good, but could be covered up with mixers.
3/5 – Good, versatile rum.
4/5 – Great rum, with complex flavors that is outstanding on its own or in cocktails.
5/5 – Amazing rum. Don’t even think about covering it up with mixers.