Roaring Dan's Maple Flavored Rum

Roaring Dan's-RG4-USE

Product of:  Milwaukee, USA
Age:  3-8 months
Price: $29
Alcohol: 45% ABV
Context: Flavored/Spiced Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.  Roaring Dan’s Maple flavored rum is a light pale straw color.  Swirling produces a few quick long legs (likely caused by the added maple sugar), followed by a ring of many beads forming a hollow crown inside the tasting glass.  The aromas are pleasant, if not entirely surprising.  Roaring Dan’s smells like a briefly aged molasses-based rum, with some maple sugar added, and even at 45%ABV, it’s not astringent.  It exhibits a little more complexity on the nose, with subtle lemon oil, oaken vanilla and the slightest trace of molasses.  An sip reveals a pleasant medium-weight body that delivers the liquid form of a buttery sweet pancake sensation.  The maple sugar sweetness lingers briefly, then subsides to a drier alcohol finish.

Celebrity branding has been the rage in seemingly all markets since the 20-teens, and the Spirits industry has taken several seats on that bandwagon.  A few notable celebrities actually endorse the products for profit (ex: Enrique Iglesias for
Atlantico rum, Ron Jeremy for Ron de Jeremy).  Others unknowingly offer posthumous endorsements, such as Bill McCoy and Real McCoy rum.  

Roaring Dan's Backstory-RG1

Cue Dan Seavy, aka Roaring Dan.  Local legend has it that Dan was a ship-stealing pirate, contraband venison runner, whore monger and later, a Prohibition-era rum runner on the Great Lakes that separate America from Canada.  Click on the label at right  to read the back story on this character, and read more about Captain Seavy’s exploits here.

According to newspaper reports, Roaring Dan was a real scoundrel.  If the rum is even half as intriguing as his story, and pimping his legend to popularize the spirit we love, then I’m good with it.  

Roaring Dan’s Rum is distilled to 180 proof in an Arnold Holstein single copper pot and double column still from molasses fermented with a “high-temperature tolerant Champagne-like yeast,” according to Great Lakes Distillery of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Before the rum goes though a second distillation, Anderson's pure maple syrup from Wisconsin is added.  Aging is performed in charred new American white oak barrels and used bourbon barrels.   

As a child growing up on the shores of one of the Great Lakes not far from Roaring Dan Seavy’s place of business, I enjoyed trips to the Mom-and Pop candy store for their homemade maple sugar sweets. Roaring Dan’s Maple Flavored Rum brings back those memories.  It’s different, interesting, mildly complex, and pleasant to sip, yet its delicacy would be lost on dense cocktails.  Roaring Dan’s is a good, honest flavored rum, and certainly a better spirit than the dark character whose name it bears.

Reviewed: A bottle from Batch no.16 on October 2013 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017