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Six Rum Cask Finished Whiskeys

If you haven’t heard by now, whiskey drinkers are discovering rum. While we love a good wine cask Four Square or independently bottled Worthy Park as much as the next hogo-head, we’re just as excited about the possibilities of rum cask finished whiskey. Sometimes sweet, sometimes funky, and always interesting, here are six great examples of the magic that can happen when rum and whiskey meet.

Rum Cask Finished Whiskeys
Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14-Year-Old (image via Balvenie)

Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14-Year-Old

To make its Caribbean Cask, the good folks at Balvenie took 14-year-old whisky matured in traditional oak casks and finished it in casks that had been custom-filled with a blend of Caribbean rums selected by malt master David C. Stewart. The result is rich, sweet, and fruity, with plenty of vanilla and a touch of spice.

Stranahan’s Snowflake

At Stranahan’s Distillery in Denver, Colorado, master distiller Rob Dietrich says he’s particularly excited about rum casks, and 2017’s limited-edition Snowflake release showed off that excitement in spades. The blend includes three different rum casks, along with Cognac, Madeira, sangiovese, and Port.

Balcones Texas Single Malt

In Waco, Texas, Balcones Distillery uses the emptied casks from its Texas Rum to make an annual limited-edition release of Texas Single Malt Rum Cask Finish. It’s bottled at cask strength and shows off notes of peanut brittle, tropical fruits, and sweet tea.

Angel’s Envy Rye finished in Rum Barrels

Building on its smash-hit port-finished bourbon, Angel’s Envy Rye finished in Rum Barrels spends six years maturing in new charred oak casks, followed by a beauty rest in Caribbean rum casks selected by the distilling team. “We sourced and sampled more than 100 different rums before choosing one with extraordinary richness that perfectly marries with our rye whiskey,” late master distiller Lincoln Henderson said.

Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Finish

Just introduced in October 2017, Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Finish is a blend of Irish pot still, malt, and grain whiskeys finished in first-fill XO rum casks. Fruity and tropical, it’s got notes of bananas and dates plus plenty of sweet caramel.

Barrell Tale of Two Islands

Barrell Craft Spirits flips the rum-finished whiskey genre on its head with this most unusual of offerings, a funky Jamaican rum finished in Islay whisky casks. It’s a big, bold, unusual combination of peat and esters that sounds weird, but somehow works.

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is the author of Scotch: A Complete Introduction to Scotland's Whiskies and a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Whisky Advocate, Food and Wine, Spirited Magazine, Artisan Spirit, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is the former managing editor of Edible Portland, as well as a cofounder and former managing editor of The Whiskey Wash. In 2017, Margarett won the Alan Lodge Young Drinks Writer of the Year award. She received a fellowship for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in 2017 and 2019.

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