Got to try this new rum last night at Forbidden Island. It’s rum from Balcones Distilling (makers of Texas Whiskey) and the Forbidden Island edition is a spicy pot still rum that isn’t half bad. The representative compared it to Jamaican rum, which is honestly a bold move to compare yourself to the world’s best rum (I expect nothing less from a Texan). But, I give those folks from Texas credit for swinging for the fences.
The rum is quite potent, bottled at cask strength. Give it a try the next time you’re at Forbidden Island. There is a “general public” release this Friday 5/21 from 5-7 p.m.
There are a couple cocktail specials using this rum. I tried the “Over the Falls” with citrus, spices, orgeat, and absinthe. This is a wonderful tropical cocktail and while you definitely taste the absinthe it doesn’t overpower. What might be more than you expect is the ABV – this is a very boozy cocktail! Quite delicious though.
Fantastic time tonight for Ohana night at @ . This was our next toe-dip back into indoor dining and it was so nice to see so many familiar faces at Forbidden Island tonight. Wasn’t quite like the before times (hello, marks!) but still some fabulous FI cocktails and hospitality.
Mrs Mai Tai had the Chi-Chi, while I indulged with a classic Mai Tai with Appleton 12 and Plantation Xaymaca. It was a very good Mai Tai! Along with the Guac and Chips and an Ester Williams tropical movie on the TV, it was just like old times.
I completed the Kill Devil list on the patio at Forbidden Island today. I started the list in early 2018, but got probably 75% of the 106 rums purchased via take-out orders in the last few months. So, I’m pleased to be part of the “Quaranteam” who did this largely under lockdown.
My final rum was my favorite, Appleton 12, in a Mai Tai of course. This was our first baby step back to dining in person with table service on the patio at a table with Mrs. Mai Tai (who said the Chi-Chi’s were especially delicious today).
Thanks to some of the members of the “Forbidden Ohana” Facebook group for coming out to celebrate today, some of which were at conversation distance away at their own tables. Thank you to Dean Koenig for the pour of Foursquare 2008, a fantastic rum. I was at FI when Dean completed his Kill Devil list, so it’s very nice to see him today for mine. Cheers!
And thank you John and Michael and all the FI staff for support doing the list. I’ll look forward to seeing my plaque up on the bar someday when I’m patronizing inside again (FI opens for indoor dining starting tomorrow). I’ll start working on FI’s Kill Devil 2.0 rum list soon, though for a while I’ll be sticking to cocktails on my next few visits.
These rum clubs are a great way to try our some new rums. And while they aren’t all “winners” it is a great experience to talk with fellow patrons and the FI staff about the rums. For my 106 rums I kept short tasting notes and did rate the rums. I grade on the curve so there were lots of 3 star rums, but here are the top rums from the list.
English Harbor 5 yr
Ron Barcelo Imperial
Appleton 21 yr
Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still
British Royal Navy Imperial
Mount Gay Extra Old
Real McCoy 12 yr
St. Paul Dark Rum
El Dorado 15 yr
Plantation Rum Jamaica
Smith & Cross
Clement Creole Shrubb
Kuleana Hui Hui
Should come as no surprise to regular readers that my tastes favor Jamaica/Barbados/Guyana rums.
And now on to the next adventure of spreading the good word of rum.
The Bay Area is having a heatwave but that didn’t stop dozens of tikiphiles from braving 100° heat to pack the Forbidden Island outdoor patio on Sunday. Straight from opening at 2 pm every table was filled with cool drinks being the desired antidote. I tasted a few rums in the form of a Mai Tai (these were all rums that I’ve had before). You can definitely taste the difference between Pyrat XO and Clement Premiére Canne in a Mai Tai.
The Forbidden Island crew has really got this patio process working smoothly now, with attentive servers and fast service for cocktails, rum samples, and the requisite food component of your order. The Yelp-based reservation system is important and crucial these days.
We had the pleasure of seeing two local luminaries complete the Kill Devil Club 2.0 rum list. Congrats to Cathie Wartelle and Lon Cook for drinking all the rums from this list of “hard to find, allocated, rare and rums aged 10 years and older.” The tiki mug you get is pretty cool too.
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Alameda’s Forbidden Island twice in the last few days. Their patio is open and is expanded to fill the parking lot.
The crew has done a good job filling the space with socially distant tables and two-seat barrels, with some nice decor, a shade netting, and a fine selection of diverse but appropriately retro/exotic music. The crew works hard to accommodate groups in whichever seating they are most comfortable, and upon entering everyone has use some hand sanitizer and to read the rules (my favorite: No “Freedom Rights” Outbursts). Masks are supposed to be worn when away from the table, and encouraged to be worn except when you are actively eating/drinking.
Food is still a required part of your experience, if you want cocktails. This is basically an extension of the same rules allowing to-go cocktails but only when accompanied by food.
The new setup means that Forbidden Island is now able to have a much larger set of cocktails to order from, and they’re presented in all their regular garnished glory. The crew is also able to have a brief bit of conversation and camaraderie that Forbidden Island is famous for. The set up is a big draw for patrons working on their Kill Devil rum lists order rums from the list. Rums can be sampled neat, on rocks, or in a Daiquiri, Ti Punch, or Mai Tai.
To-go cocktails have been great, but there’s nothing like getting a freshly made Chamborlada or another expertly prepared cocktail. I ordered a Mai Tai and John Peterson somehow after all these months remembered that I like it a little bit heavy on the orgeat. Man, that is customer service at it’s finest.
It was a great couple visits, and I got to see some tiki friends in the flesh, too. Mahalo to Forbidden Island, let’s keep this going.