A new private label rum brand has emerged, originally selling in Australia but now coming to Europe and the United States. Deck Reckoning is sourcing some interesting rums and we were provided with samples of two expressions.
Dead Reckoning Australia 9 Year Bourbon Cask
Issued at 55% ABV, this cask strength rum is aged four years in the tropics with an additional five years of continental aging. There’s no indication of the still type, though this leans light in body. There’s plenty of flavor and while it did okay in a Mai Tai it is more interesting to sip neat. I taste a blend of baking spices and this is a fine sipping rum that’s only mildly assertive.
Dead Reckoning South Pacific (Fiji) 10 Year Muskat Cask
Don’t overlook this very interesting expression, even if the 47% ABV will turn off rum nerds who only partake in cask strength territory. The pot/column distillate is aged in Muskat casks and is 100% tropical aged. As such, this is a very expressive rum with a rich and full-bodied flavor. The Muskat cask aging definitely imparts a fragrant, floral, and fruity taste profile, but it doesn’t overpower. The long finish is delightful.
Even better, I loved the Mai Tai I made with Dead Reckoning South Pacific 10 Year Muskat Cask. This is a great example of where the Mai Tai really wants an assertive and bold rum to play with and Dead Reckoning’s expression works perfectly.
The rum samples were provided by Dead Reckoning but this is not a sponsored post. I wasn’t provided with pricing info but they are limited expressions so surely won’t be cheap.
After some cocktails and apps at Tiki Tom’s we walked over to Walnut Creek Yacht Club for dinner. For those who are unfamiliar, Walnut Creek is a land-locked city in Contra Costa County in the East Bay Area. So, the “Yacht Club” is a theme or maybe an ironic name, not an actual place to dock your yacht.
We enjoyed our dinner and I had an incredible Lobster Roll. Our service was very prompt and friendly, and this place is so popular that reservations are recommended. Prices are a little high, commiserate with quality.
The WCYC has a nice cocktail menu including a 1944 style Mai Tai. The Mai Tai includes Cruzan Spiced Rum, Appleton Reserve Rum, Orgeat, Ferrand Dry Curacao, and Lime Juice, along with a float of Coruba Dark Rum in the spent lime shell. Far better than the average suburban restaurant, and far better than we’ve had at a lot of places (even if it doesn’t compare to the Ultimate Mai Tai over at Tiki Tom’s). They also serve a Mary Pickford that we thought was pretty good as well.
That’s the takeaway after tasting the much hyped Appleton 17 Legend rum in a Mai Tai at Smuggler’s Cove tonight. Simply amazing and so mich better than even SC’s world-class standard Mai Tai. So much more flavorful and rich. Consistent with a previous tasting, it lingers so long on the palette and it’s a taste that is simply unlike any rum or blend I’ve ever tried.
The shenanigans started before opening, when Martin Cate came out with a “Mai Tai” to whet our appetite. Inside the efficiency of the SC crew meant that rum pours and Mai Tais flowed quite quickly. But the quality in the cocktail was still there.
Having a rum to be similar to the original Wray & Nephew 17 used in the original Mai Tai has been a passion of SC’s owner Martin Cate. Literally imploring and begging Appleton to make such a rum. And tonight it was here at one of the world’s greatest tiki bars and made using Smuggler’s Cove high standards for lime, orgeat, curaçao, sugar, and rum. Cheers, Martin.
Had a great time over at Tiki Tom’s for some pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers on Saturday. They only serve you in the bar if you’re just having drinks, so we ordered some appetizers to justify a table seating.
Drinks were well done, consistent with our recent visits. I made sure to check on the quality control of the Ultimate Mai Tai and can confirm they’re still making this very well (not sure about the offer of a rum float, though…). And our two guests thought their Ultimate Mai Tais were really great.
Mrs. Mai Tai ordered her favorite, the Ohana Punch, still really great featuring green apple and walnut. She also had the Pineapple Whip with dark rum – so wonderful when you mix the rum in with the dairy desert.
Our friends went with a couple Tiki Tom’s favorites, the Blowfish Intoxica and the Song of the Siren. Two very good options for those who haven’t been to Tiki Tom’s before. They really enjoyed Tiki Tom’s amazing decor.
We enjoyed the apps, including the Tiki Spamsubi and Prawn Skewers, and our service was super prompt and friendly. As is common on our last few visits, the waitress did a good job making sure that orders with specific ingredients would be okay for the guests. Tiki Tom’s doesn’t take reservations on Fri/Sat and there were plenty of people there but the tables turned over quick enough that no guests seemed to need to wait long.
Amrut Two Indies is a rum produced in Bengaluru India and made with distillate from both India as well as the West Indies (Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados). The light style of rum has some mild spice notes on the finish after an initial burst of astringency. The rum isn’t really anything special when sampled neat, though the ABV is a bit higher than you’d expect at a precise 42.8%. This is not a heavy rum, so could appeal to those new to spirits or even some crossover whiskey drinkers.
Given the middling review of the rum when tasting it neat, I did not have high expectations for this rum in a Mai Tai where I usually like my rums to be bolder and boozier. But I’m here to tell you that Amrut Two Indies is fantastic in a Mai Tai.
Amrut has some bright and citrusy notes that paired so well with fresh lime and my custom blend of Clement and DeKuyper orange liqueurs. The Mai Tai was a pleasure from beginning to end and the mild aging notes certainly came through in the cocktail. Not every rum needs to be a sipper and I was impressed with Amrut Two Indies as a mixing rum.
Congratulations to Heather and Tim for completing the 100 rum list as part of the Kon-Tiki Expedition. The ceremony Wednesday included a special menu of Heather and Tim’s favorite cocktails, plus cheering as they banged the gong to celebrate.
The Kon-Tiki was really buzzing in downtown Oakland on Wednesday. The place was quite full, though the service staff and bartenders were doing a great job getting drink and food orders filled in a timely fashion. The Kon-Tiki’s world’s best cheeseburger was in amazing tip top form, and we tried the very intriguing new desert item Vino Pears a la Mode. This is wine-soaked pears served with vanilla ice cream and this was truly interesting and delicious.
We must call out the excellent musical playlist from Kon-Tiki’s @not_carlos. The playlist featured a variety of mostly instrumental songs that leaned in a soul and afrobeat direction. This felt retro (even though some songs are very recent) and groovy, and since they were instrumental this still felt appropriate for a tiki bar.
I’m doing Kon-Tiki’s Rum Expedition list of 100 rums again, and decided to Daiq it up last night for National Daiquiri Day.
I tried three rums in this format, all light/clear and I believe all unaged.
Copalli White – this pot/column blend from Belize is made from sugar cane juice but is very approachable. Not as much character in this one compared to the other two, but it is very serviceable in this format.
Père Labat Blanc 59 – a high proof rhum had more oomph and the traditional Martinique grassy notes were somewhat tempered in this format. I liked this, not just for the 59% ABV but because of the terroir of the island of origin.
KōHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum KEA – by far by favorite from this list. I absolutely love Kea for the savory qualities, even at only 40% ABV. Not grassy like the Martinique, instead this flavor bomb had a really lovely and long finish in the daiquiri.