Top Californian Rums

From silver to aged and everything in between, California makes a wide variety of rum. Here are our top picks from The Golden State.
Sep 12, 2017
  • 8
    Smoky & Rich
    Lost Spirits emphasizes the relationship between the art, technology and science of making aged spirits. Understanding the desired final product, reverse engineering and essentially sculpting the spirit, bypassing many of the more time consuming and traditional techniques. Bryan Davis of Lost Spirits believes that time and nature have met its match.
  • 7
    Humboldt's rum is distilled in Fortuna, California from "domestically grown organic sugar cane" and is further flavored with "whole, organic spices." Availability is limited. A vodka is also produced as are two fruit-based spirits available only at the distillery.
  • 6
    Sergeant Classick uses a copper alembic pot still obtained from Jean-Louis Stupfler in Bordeaux, France, which in most cases would have traveled a considerably shorter distance to a nearby Cognac distillery. Instead, it went to Mountain View, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Once there, Sergeant Classick is made from 100% Hawaiian molasses, sourced from the last remaining sugar mill on the island of Kauai. Sergeant Classick is named after master distiller Dave Classick Sr., a Vietnam War veteran.
  • 5
    Hogo & Oily
    The San Francisco Bay Area’s St. George Spirits dates back to 1982 when they opened one of the first craft distilleries in the U.S. Their vast product line spans nearly every category of spirits, traditional or otherwise. St. George Spirits California Agricole Rum uses sugarcane sourced from California’s Imperial Valley, which is immediately shipped to the distillery for pressing. Distillation is done in a 500-liter copper pot-still, which differs from real column-distilled rhum agricole made in Martinique. It’s bottled unaged at 43%. The distillery also has a four-year, French oak aged version of this rum.
  • 4
    Avalon, produced at the California Spirits Company in San Marcos, California is produced with a blend of molasses and evaporated sugarcane juice. It contains no additives and no sweeteners. DISCONTINUED.
  • 3
    Spicy & Rich
    Charbay distilled this rum in 2005 using Hawaiian & Jamaican sugar cane. The cane was pressed and the juice was concentrated in a low-temperature vacuum still, creating a concentrated syrup rather than using high heat to cook into molasses. This syrup was fermented with Champagne yeast and aged on the lees for a week before being slowly double-distilled in a Copper Alembic Pot Still to 137 proof. First aged in stainless steel for five years, it was then transferred to Chardonnay (French Oak) barrels for 3 years, before it finished aging in glass for the last two years. Bottled full barrel-strength, uncut and unfiltered. Single batch (unblended). Only 465 cases (2,790 bottles) produced — 120 cases being released in 2016.
  • 2
    Greenbar Craft Distillery claims to represent "the world's largest portfolio of organic, handcrafted spirits." The silver rum is crafted from organic molasses, the resulting spirit is micro-oxygenated, and there is no charcoal filtering. The resulting color is nonetheless crystal clear.
  • 1
    Liberty Call redistills its white rum for this product, then infuses it with a basket of spices, including clove and nutmeg, that's refreshed periodically. "Best of hearts only" are said to be used. The rum is then "rested" in toasted and charred oak with a "splash" of handmade caramel added.