Best Craft Rum Distillery (2020)


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    St. Michaels, Maryland

    LYON RUM is the flagship spirit of Windon Distilling Company – a micro distillery on the Chesapeake Bay dedicated to distilling American Rum from 100-percent Louisiana sugarcane using traditional pot stills. Rum lovers have numerous options to choose from: White Rum, Dark Rum and barrel-rested Sailors Reserve Rum, plus Curaçao, Coffee Rum, Rock&Rum and seasonal specialties like toasted Coconut Rum, Overproof Pineapple Rum and Blackberry Harvest Rum.
    Photo courtesy of LYON RUM

  • Muddy River Distillery

    Muddy River Distillery
    Belmont, North Carolina

    Muddy River Distillery specializes in rum, made from top quality ingredients in custom-built stills. Each rum is made with sugar cane molasses and sugar. Queen Charlotte’s Reserve spends a year in new American white oak, while Spiced Carolina Rum is blended with spices for hints of cinnamon and vanilla. The distillery also makes a coconut rum and basil rum.
    Photo courtesy of Muddy River Distillery

  • Wicked Dolphin

    Wicked Dolphin
    Cape Coral, Florida

    Wicked Dolphin Distillery uses 100-percent Florida-grown sugarcane to create small-batch rums in a traditional copper pot still. The spirit then gets aged in used American white oak Kentucky bourbon barrels for a minimum of one year (and up to 14 years). Wicked Dolphin also produces a silver rum, coconut rum (made from real coconut water), black rum and vanilla bean rum.
    Photo courtesy of Wicked Dolphin

  • Arizona Craft Beverage

    Arizona Craft Beverage
    Elgin, Arizona

    Each rum from Arizona Craft Beverage starts with pure cane sugar, juiced and combined with a special yeast strain to produce delicate rums. The spirits are then aged in spent whiskey and wine barrels (or new barrels for black rum) to add complexity to the finished product.
    Photo courtesy of Arizona Craft Beverage

  • Three Roll Estate

    Three Roll Estate
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Three Roll Estate uses sugarcane grown on the Louisiana alluvial flood plain to distill their lineup of “cane to glass” rums. This includes a once-a-year Rhum Agricole made from fresh-pressed cane juice, a cachaça-inspired Brazilian-style rum, white rum, dark rum, spiced rum and a cinnamon-infused rum.
    Photo courtesy of Three Roll Estate

  • Seven Caves Spirits

    Seven Caves Spirits
    San Diego, California

    Seven Caves Rum starts as molasses and sugar cane, distilled and aged in new oak casks. The limited release series ages rums for a second time in finishing barrels from bourbon, rye and Madeira distilleries around the globe.
    Photo courtesy of Seven Caves Spirits

  • Koloa Rum Company

    Koloa Rum Company
    Lihue, Hawaii

    All the rums from Koloa Rum Company are made with Hawaiian sugarcane and Mount Waialeale rainwater and twice distilled in a vintage copper pot still. Options include white and aged rums, as well as rums flavored with coconut, coffee and spices.
    Photo courtesy of Koloa Rum Company

  • KoHana Distillers

    KoHana Distillers
    Kunia Camp, Hawaii

    Native sugarcane was growing on the Hawaiian Islands long before the first plantations existed. At KoHana Distillers, sugarcane is harvested by hand, pressed into juice and distilled into a pure cane rum in small batches. The white agricole rum rests in oak to produce the barrel aged agricole rum. There’s also a cask-strength rum and a cocoa and honey rum.
    Photo courtesy of KoHana Distillers

  • Richland Distilling Company

    Richland Distilling Company
    Richland, Georgia

    Richland Distilling Company uses only two ingredients in crafting its fine spirits: pure, unrefined cane sugar syrup and natural water. That's it. Single Estate Old Georgia Rum starts by distilling pure cane juice, then aging the rum in new American white oak barrels for at least 32 months. Sugar cane comes from the proprietor's own estate, and the water is pulled from the Georgia aquifer.
    Photo courtesy of Richland Distilling Company

  • Smoky Quartz Distillery

    Smoky Quartz Distillery
    Seabrook, New Hampshire

    Smoky Quartz Distillery, a grain-to-glass operation on the southern coast of New Hampshire, makes their Granite Coast Rum from American molasses, fermented at high temperature with champagne yeast. The mash is then distilled in an 8-plate still and rested for two weeks, allowing it to breathe. It’s then cut to 80 proof with Monadnock spring water.
    Photo courtesy of Smoky Quartz Distillery

Sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean began distilling rum during the 17th century from molasses, an inexpensive byproduct of the sugar refining process. The spirit came to the U.S. in 1664 with the opening of the first rum distillery on Staten Island and continued to grow in popularity through the Revolutionary War. Rum has come a long way since those early days, and distilleries across the nation are experimenting with how to craft the finest variations.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Craft Rum Distillery are as follows:

  1. LYON RUM - St. Michaels, Maryland
  2. Muddy River Distillery - Belmont, North Carolina
  3. Wicked Dolphin - Cape Coral, Florida
  4. Arizona Craft Beverage - Elgin, Arizona
  5. Three Roll Estate - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  6. Seven Caves Spirits - San Diego, California
  7. Koloa Rum Company - Lihue, Hawaii
  8. KoHana Distillers - Kunia Camp, Hawaii
  9. Richland Distilling Company - Richland, Georgia
  10. Smoky Quartz Distillery - Seabrook, New Hampshire

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning distilleries!

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