Review: Below Deck Rum (Coffee)

Below Deck Coffee

One of the best of the local distilleries is Eastside Distilling.  Not only do I love their location, but they appear to be infinitely creative. They are willing to experiment with the kind of liqueurs that are both pleasing, and potent.

See my review of Burnside Bourbon for some of their other fantastic potables.

Today, we take a look at one of the their three (Yes I said three) varieties of rum.  In addition to a wonderful silver, they also bottle a Ginger and a Coffee rum.  Since I think I’ve done enough things with ginger in them lately, I wanted to show you the coffee instead.

Now, there are a couple of ways to get flavor into alcohol.  You can put extracts into the still during distillation so that the flavor compounds wind up in the vapor.  This is pretty standard for any clear, flavored vodkas.  Your bacardi limon, stoli blueberry and 360 cherry all use this format to one extent or another.  Another way to get flavor is to add extracts to the product after distilling, I’m pretty sure that is what happens here.  This is a cold pressed coffee extract being added to a rum base, which results in a very strong, very dark and flavorful product.

If you squint you can see the essential oils floating in the shine of the liquor.  I’m not a coffee lover, but this is what I prefer to most other coffee liqueurs.   Living in the NW there are no shortage of coffee liqueurs.  House Spirits, New Deal, Eastside and even Stone Barn Brandyworks each make one and those are just the ones I know of right now.  The presence of so many good roasters in the area means no lack of good beans to put into the mix.

I think if anything I have to say that the coffee flavor bothers me more than the alcohol flavor.  It mixes very well with chocolate, creams, and you can spice it up with a hit of bitters or even a dash of something like an Amaro.  You get a much more noticeable bitterness which can play nicely with the right kinds of notes in any other cocktail.

AM Drinking: Business Time

If you’re ever having one of those mornings where you stayed up way too late, slept way too little and still have to get up and do things that aren’t “work” or operating heavy and dangerous machinery you know the wonders of not having drunk enough the night before.

I create this category for the people who are perpetually at 5 o’clock and see no issue with the thought of making a lovely drink before the sun has rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

business time

This morning we showcase a lovely little beverage that rolls up a number of morning flavors.  It isn’t much to look at, but it helps to get through the sunday doldrums when it’s not warm enough for mojitos but not cold enough for hot cider.

6 oz Milk (2%)
4 oz Coole Swan (irish cream)
1.5 oz Below Deck Coffee Rum
1 oz 360 Double Chocolate Vodka
1 oz Bols Creme de Cacao

I used a good sized Working Glass Tumbler for this one as there was no way my old fashioned was going to hold this much and it would make my collins look a bit weak.  These things will get a full post at some point as a quick and dirty shaker but that’s for another day.

The alcohol presented here isn’t strong enough to curdle the milk so you don’t get the chewy nasty sensation you might otherwise.  This is a strong drink for taking long lovely pulls on over eggs and toast.  I’m not a coffee drinker so the double chocolate and Cacao are pulling double duty tamping down the very very strong coffee flavors from the below deck.  The rum is my favorite base for anything, with brandy a close second, and here you have both caffeine and alcohol in one shot which is really the best of both worlds.

This lives in the same category as the buttery nipple, the white russian and many other cream or milk based drinks.  Entirely opposite of the fruit based drinks one normally sees, this is not a sipping beverage and carries very little in the way of subtlety.  Just watch out because the Coole swan sneaks up on you.