Friday, January 24, 2014

Legal Rum in Key West

     It has finally happened, a rum distillery in Key West.  Paul Menta and his partners have jumped through all of the legal hoops and opened a distillery and tasting room for his "Chef Distilled Rum" on the corner of Simonton and Front Streets.   Located in the location that once was Jack's Saloon in 1900, then in 1903 the building became the Coca Cola Bottling Company, today it is producing a high quality white rum and soon aged and flavored rums.

     There is a pair of 200 gallon stills on the property, one to strip the impurities from the wash and the other to extract the alcohol.   The rum is passed through the still 6 times to remove all of the unwanted materials and leave a pure clean and honest rum.  It is then charcoal filtered before being put into sea water washed 5 gallon barrels to begin the aging.   Much of the rum now is unaged and bottled as the clean white "Legal Rum" that is sold through the tasting room and distributed by Opici Wine and Spirits.

     Sitting on the table in the still room, was one of the new rums, a 105 proof version of the white rum.  This is coming out soon, boasting a strong and smooth flavor that offers flavors that only the overproof versions of rums can offer.  It will be called 105 Simonton from the address of the plant and the proof of the rum.  There are a number of flavored varieties being developed and being readied for your palate in the very near future.

    Today you can visit the plant and tasting room and be a part of the process and bottle your own bottle of rum.  This is a unique experience and one that you will not forget. 

     I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the distillery here in Key West yesterday morning, and it is a destination as well as a distillery that needs to be seen on your next stop in Key West.   I will also be featuring the "Legal Rum" at the Rum Bar in the next few weeks.  This is a good rum and worth a taste and a visit to Paul's distillery.  ;o)