Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Review: Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old Rum

Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old Rum is owned by 3 Badge Beverage Corporation (August Sebastiani) based in Sonoma, CA, Distilled, Aged and Blended by J. Armando Bermúdez & Co. in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, and Imported and Bottled by Frank-Lin Distillers Products in Fairfield, CA at 40% ABV. 

Price: $39 MSRP

This 12 year old rum is named after the schooner Kirk and Sweeney, that in 1924 was seized off the cost of New York by the US Coast Guard for rum running. While 3 Badge does not make this information public, Kirk and Sweeney is most likely produced at the Bermúdez Distillery since it is located in Santiago de los Caballeros, D.R. If this indeed the case then the rum is fermented from blackstrap molasses and column distilled. Some of this fresh rum is put into ex-French oak wine barrels and aged for 12 years in a brick warehouse. After this rum has fully matured, the barrels are pulled, vatted, and this blended is shipped to Frank-Lin Distillers where they bottle it at 40% ABV.

The onion shaped bottle is quite impressive and modeled after 18th-century bottles used to ship rum and other spirits. The bottle has a substantial weight to it and the screen printed label depicts the eponymous schooner, compass rose, Dominican Republic, and Long Island, NY. The natural cork closure is held closed with a gold foil sticker tape printed with the latitude and longitude coordinates for where the rum was seized off the coast of Long Island.

Tasting Notes

Nose: At first whiff the nose is dominated by vanilla. The aroma is rich and opulent with notes of creme brulee and brown sugar topped off with more vanilla.

Palate: The palate is smooth with a medium body. The rum has a subtle sweetness that well balanced with oak tannins. The flavor is explodes with vanilla and faint hints of molasses. As you drink the rum tertiary notes of milk chocolate and caramel peak trough the veil of vanilla. 

Finish: The finish is long and warm. Once again vanilla is the central flavor throughout the finish with light notes for green sugar cane and oak. 

Conclusion: Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old Dominican Rum is a bit of a one trick pony. Vanilla, vanilla and more vanilla at every turn. While I enjoy the flavor of vanilla, it would be nice if there was a little bit more variation in the flavor profile. That being said it is impressive that a 12 year old Dominican rum is not completely dominated by oak or super dry from over a decade of matruation in a tropical climate. For those who enjoy Zaya Rum, Kirk and Sweeney 12 is comparable in its flavor profile and would please those looking for a smooth, vanilla forward sipping rum. 

Thank you to Folsom + Associates for providing the free sample.