I love rum. I have always loved rum. I do appreciate that there are other fine spirits out there but they lack the one thing I really enjoy…which is RUM. I fell in love with this beautiful concoction when my parents traveled to Jamaica and brought back several bottles. I was a young teenager and let’s just say I snuck a few nips here and there when mom and dad weren’t looking.
I decided to make my own rum and our garage looked like a meth lab for almost 5 years, evoking visions of “Breaking Bad”
When I turned 18, I took a job driving limousines. The owner of the company had worked out a deal with a large liquor chain to purchase all of their overstock bottles for $4.00 each, regardless of original price. I immediately began bartering and stockpiling bottles of my favorites in anticipation of an enormous 21st birthday blow out. When the day finally came, we went through about 10 bottles but I had an inventory of around 80 (apparently, I thought I’d have a bunch more friends! lol). We had a great time. Let’s face it, Rum is fun.
All of my friends knew I was a rum aficionado, so when they traveled, they would try to find a unique bottle I didn’t have. As the years went by, I collected and consumed nearly every rum known to man. My current collection stands around 300 bottles.
For Christmas 2016 my wife bought me one of those “How to make beer at home” kits. I’ve always been a bit of a geek so I dove in head first and made a few batches. It was a decent IPA I called “Wilson West Coast IPA” and my beer drinking friends enjoyed it.
I like an ice-cold beer now and then but beer still isn’t rum so I wanted to learn more. I knew that all alcohol we drink is basically three ingredients: Water, Sugar and Yeast.
The yeast is the key to the taste, so I bought every book I could find on this incredible single cell organism, setup a lab in my garage and started culturing. After many, many, many experiments and failures, I finally bred a strain that nailed the taste I was after (clean, crisp citrus). I then mixed it with a strain sent to me by a 300-year-old West Indies rum distillery that evokes Earthy spice tones and tested it out. The taste was insane. One of my best friends and rum drinking buddies, Mike, suggested we take a stab at creating a rum brand.
After 4 years the recipe was perfected and SoCal Rum was born.
You can sip it straight, many of my friends do but it really shines in a cocktail!
-Glenn Wilson (Master Distiller)