Wright & Brown "B+B Exclusive" Barrel #27 Release 1 Rum
Earl Brown showed up with a sample of Rye whiskey in September last year, one half of the two-man (one cat) Wright & Brown Distilling Co of West Oakland. Along with moonshiner and tugboat operator Daniel Wright, they had spent 3+ years designing and building out their operation, including on site fermentation and distillation on a modified Vendome copper pot still. The topic at that time was their first release, a Rye whiskey that has been a store favorite ever since. Earl is one of those guys that radiates passion, knowledge, and joy for what he does - no detail is too small and after years spent turning a dream into reality he was ready to talk about all of them. We were having such a great time chatting, he broke out a sample of another product in the works - a single-run rum. That rum imprinted itself on my mind in a way few spirits ever have, and I spent the next year re-sampling from my memory. When Earl got in touch to let us know their Rum was getting ready to be released, we jumped at the chance to visit the distillery and choose our very own single barrel. Loads of sampling paid off with an especially remarkable rum. And in true Bitters + Bottles form, we're adding an extra twist, this is Barrel #27 Release 1. Also known as "the Halloween Barrel."
A little more backstory, Wright & Brown produces both once-distilled and twice-distilled rum. Our single barrel release coincides with their Small Batch 001 release, a 500-bottle release blended from their double-distilled rum (that deliciousness is heading into the shop as well!) Now a sampling of that Wright & Brown passion...
"A major difference between the single-run and the double distillation is that with the single-run, it is distilled to proof, the proof we barrel at. In other words, no water is added after distillation, before barreling. This allows a much richer and more pure version of the distillate to be aged. The difference is that most rums are distilled to a much higher proof: up to 190 proof for some column still rums. They then have to add a significant amount of water before barrel aging (and often flavoring additives to make it taste like 'rum.') Ours has no flavoring or coloring added.
Our still design: a modified pot still from Vendome Copper and Brassworks in Louisville, allows us to do a double distilled pot-still approach or a long, slow, single-run. With the single-run, the aromas and flavors are more intense, heavier, richer. Some people describe these characteristics as the 'funk' or 'hogo'. With single run comes deeper cuts. This can lead to more oils, esters and acids in the rum which aren’t visible to the naked eye but in addition to non-chill filtration can lead to flocculation or cloudiness in cold temperatures. There is nothing bad about this floc besides aesthetics. In fact those elements are part of the reason this single distillation rum has such remarkable texture in the mouthfeel. It goes away by giving the bottle a good shake and only appears after extended periods of cold temp.
Our molasses is carefully selected for flavors, non-GMO, Grade A blackstrap molasses from Georgia."
Barrel 27 was distilled on Halloween day, 2015, to around 114 proof, aged in a 225 liter recooped Limousin Oak barrel with a very light char. The barrel was partially drained and a small amount of filtered water was added and allowed to marry in barrel to bring it down to a bottling proof of 99.