I recently found out that there are at least 559 rums from the USA. In true rum snob fashion, I have always felt that rums should come from the Caribbean. Southern Florida and Hawaii also qualify due to their tropical climate and growing sugar cane. Louisiana also qualifies as a Gulf state where sugar cane is grown in abundance. Alabama and Mississippi are also Gulf states, but really weird alcohol laws in those states would not qualify them as rum producers. Texas is a Gulf state, but beer and whiskey come to mind more often. But rum from the frigid northern states? Puh-LEEZ!!!! They should rename them as gluten free whiskies.
So what does all of this mean? It means that rum is really catching on with so many mainland companies producing rum. However, buyer beware! Chances are, there would be little or no reviews on many of these. I did find a handful that could rival the best from the Caribbean, but one is mostly taking chances on them without first checking for any reviews at all.
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I've also had bum rums from other places. One should probably check reviews (or have a taste) before buying any bottle!
I've had some unimpressive rums from the US... but also good ones, and there's a fantastic maker just a few (chilly) miles from me in Pittsburgh. You can import good equipment and cane; you can't match the tropical climate for aging, but with patience (and maybe some blending) you can still achieve great results.
So although I think it's good to familiarize yourself with different regions as you learn what style you like, and the buyer should ALWAYS beware, I also wouldn't count out rums from the U.S.A. completely.
It is good to know that a distiller located in frigid parts of this country found ways to create good rums without the luxury of tropical climate aging. I guess anything is possible!
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