Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Master distiller Jeff Louchheim gave up his career as a private investigator to open Key West Distilling. Located in Old Town Key West where his Artisan Still stands tall in the distillery. The craft distilleries offer the “small batch” quality of their spirits that the larger commercial facilities lack. You can visit the distillery between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday
Upon entering Key West Distilling on Southard Street, between Duval and Simonton, you pick up the aroma of alcohol and fermenting sugar cane. It is the smell of “home cooking”, according to Jeff. Jeff uses sugarcane that he buys in Costa Rica as his base for both the rum and his vodka. He feels that it gives both the spirits a better flavor and natural smoothness. “There is no comparison to the taste of small batch craft distilling versus commercially made products”.
The rum at Key West Distillery has recently finished aging in charred oak barrels, which brings out the flavors such as vanilla and oak. Jeff dropped off a sample of his new spiced rum for me to take a look at as well as the 153 proof expressions.
The new spiced rum starts off with a very pleasant aroma of crème brulee blended with a grassy aroma that is there when rum is made directly from sugarcane juice. This is a dry expression with a subtle sweetness on the finish. I find the rum overall to be quite enjoyable. This spiced rum that can be enjoyed either neat or in a cocktail.
The Overproof expression is at a full 153 proof, is as you would expect pretty fiery, but there is a smoothness there that is not usually found in white Overproof rums. This is a great rum for use in some of the “Tiki Cocktails” that call for overproof rums.
If you are in Key West be sure to make some time to stop by the Key West Distilling Company a tour the facility and try the wide variety of spirits. ;o)