Silver Lining

As aromas of cured pineapple, ocean spray and charred wood rise from the glass, your first thought might be along the lines of “what the… ?” The welcome surprise continues on the palate. It’s as if a sip has you splashing in a tropical tide pool as a fire pit smolders nearby.

Whaler’s Cove is a silver rum from Fog’s End Distillery in Gonzales. “You can sip it as a white rum,” says Steven Wales, a co-owner. “It’s such an unusual thing.”

Instead of the cloying nature of so many mass-market rums, Whaler’s Cove carries a cultivated manner that causes you to slow down, to allow the spirit to speak.

The rum results from a blend of blackstrap molasses, sugar cane juice and a strain of yeast Wales is careful not to reveal. “The first test we did was with [only] blackstrap,” he adds. “It resulted in a weird barbecue flavor.”

So Wales and his team of tasters tried 29 more combinations before settling on a recipe.

In flavor profile, it resembles a fine tequila. Just why that’s so is a matter of speculation. But Wales points to the use of a pot still over open flame, the hint of ash found in blackstrap and a facsimile that brings dunder pit character to the spirit.

Particularly in Jamaican rum making, dunder pits create something akin to a sourdough starter that produces dense flavors. The folks at Fog’s End developed a way to sour the sugar mash before distillation. And there’s more good news: They have a few batches aging in oak barrels.

FOG’S END DISTILLERY, 425 Alta St. #15, Gonzales.

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