I remember my reaction the first time I saw a bottle of Alaska Outlaw whiskey. “They make this stuff where? Wasilla, Alaska? What?!”
It must say something about the drinking culture in South Florida that when I heard about Wicked Dolphin Rums, I had much the same reaction. But then I read a little deeper and it made more sense. Here’s a distillery in Cape Coral, near Ft. Myers and only a few miles from Florida’s vast sugarcane fields.
They’re currently producing three expressions of rum, so let’s give them a taste.
Wicked Dolphin Florida Silver Rum
Like all their rums, it’s distilled in a 750-gallon copper pot still from a mix of brown sugar and molasses. But unusual for a silver, it then gets aged in once-used bourbon barrels for one to two years, which imparts a bit of color. On the nose, it’s a silver rum through and through, with the familiar mix of alcohol and a bit of funk. It’s on the palate where this one sneaks up on you: it’s clean, but nearly perfectly balanced and pleasantly round, with a big, oily mouthfeel and a finish that surpasses expectations, as some of that bourbon cask vanilla comes through. ★★★
Wicked Dolphin Florida Spiced Rum
They won’t reveal their exact spice recipe, except to say it involves Florida honey, Florida oranges, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Not a huge shock, given the big nose that falls somewhere between spiced pears and ginger snap cookies. In the mouth, you’ll find many of those same spice notes along with burnt sugar and some peppery heat, although it finishes a bit quicker than the silver. If you’re building a tiki drink with this, you may be able to forego the Allspice Dram and/or falernum. ★★★★
Wicked Dolphin Coconut Rum
Yeah, we know: coconut rum. But they make theirs with pure coconut water, rather than the fake coconut chemical flavor of some others. This one drinks very clean, with a little funk in the mid-palate and a long finish of subtle coconut. Start playing around with this one in cocktails. ★★★