It’s been an odd Spring with temperature swings almost every other day between sweater weather & tee-shirts, so when the sun decided to shine on down and my bar-port thermometer broke the 75 degree mark, I decided to break the glasses out, squeeze a dozen limes, pull out the simple syrup & finally sample the small collection of Lyon Rums I had squirreled away for just such a day. Daiquiris it would be.
Located on Maryland’s Eastern shore and, as of right now, only available in DC & Maryland, the Lyon Distillery in St. Michaels distills all their product in small crafted batches with organic ingredients. The distillery is starting to explore corn whiskeys and Ryes, but for right now, I’ll concentrate on the rums.
Right out the gate, my friends and I started with a daiquiri made with their Dark Rum (around $40 a bottle) . I held back just a wee bit on the sugar pour hopping to better accentuate the smokey flavor of the rum . The char of the barrel combined with a nutty spiciness not too much different from some of its Caribbean brothers, only there is a difference. The rum’s finish has an almost almond, bitterness that stood out in the icy cocktail after each sip. New to me! and appreciated. I tried a rum & tonic with the Dark a little later and found the same almond finish and I equally enjoyed it noting I’d never tasted it in a rum before.
Next came the White, once again used in a daiquiri ($40 a bottle) . For a clear and clean spirit, I found this bottle to stand up perfectly with the lime and sweet. No burn, no bore, the white had a clean finish which faded rather quickly from my mouth. I wish she stayed around a little longer, but the quick departure of rum flavor after a sip’s not a bad thing. The taste stood tall while drinking. As an ingredient in a layered drink or as a companion with an additional rum in a tiki or tropical drink, the Lyon’ White would be a great addition.
I’ve never understood the need for an overproof anything and the Lyon’ Overproof White Rum was no exception. I can always taste the burn of the stronger alcohol content and, for me, overproof just puts too much flavor emphasis on alcohol. Maybe a reader can write back to us and enlighten me as to the need. To be honest, I have a few bottles of 120+ rum and find myself only using them for floats on the top of layered tropical drinks. My daiquiri made with this overproof stung a little too much going down and the nose on it just didn’t cut it. I guess I just have an aversion to too strong an alcohol flavor and the Lyon’ Overproof, like any other 100+ prrof liquor I’ve drunk, just didn’t cut it for me.
Saving the best for last, my pals and I finished with the Lyon’ Sailor’s Reserve, they’re addition to the spiced rum market. Loved this one. I tend to star away from mixed cocktails that hide the flavor of the added spirit, but a spiced rum usually can stand up in almost any drink. Lyon Distillery just did an outstanding job with theirs. Not Sailor Jerry’ spicy, not overdone, this spiced rum really balances itself between the actual flavor of the rums aging and the added spice. Bottom line, I could taste the rum through the pizzazz. Delicious, and one could taste the work that went into the distilling process with this one. What a great Summer rum and one I may very well have to go out and buy another bottle or two of.
So there you have it. The rum line by Lyon is a great one. You guys know I love my rum in the late Spring and summertime and I’m happy to report that I’m gonna have to make a bit more room in the home bar rum shelf for Maryland’s own Lyon Rums. If you’re in DC or Maryland in the coming warm months, pick up a bottle or two.