Lost Spirits is Back!

After a time of quietness…the Lost Spirits is back with a new expression of their Navy style rum, this time with a changed formula. It`s a refined version of the old one with the smoky notes turned down a bit in favor of more fruitiness and a great deal of wood notes. It`s also drier and more balanced with an abv of 122 proof or 61% instead of the old 68%.

But they are not only back with a new rum expression, there is more….back in California from Charleston they are now in the process of building a new distillery in LA. The new distillery being built is going to be much bigger and also fully automated. For those who haven`t read the story about the Lost Spirits and how they use the Thea One reactor to speed up the ageing process I recommend reading more about the tech details over at Cocktailwonk.

This is the mad scientist Willy Wonka booze factory…it´s also most likely the only distillery using antique furniture made from American chestnut. In the 1860`s chestnut was commonly used for barrels but it`s hard to find today and so they are stripping the varnish off with a saw and using the wood in the reactor.

So there`s a lot of work going on there now setting up the new distillery, I have added some pics at the bottom of this post. I asked if the old smoke spewing dragon pot still gonna be there and from what I understand it will but also new ones, with the same theme of course…

You can see the old dragon still in this video here by Bryan Davis who also built the still himself.

Lost Spirits also added new team partners to the team including military scientist Wynn Sanders and Theron Reiner from Rattleback. Because it´s not only rum that`s going to come out of the Thea One…but also peaty scotch whisky originating from Islay.

Small batches of whisky will be Thea aged using a variety of different woods and the outcome will be the new “Abomination” line, with each expression named after different chapters in H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau…

I have yet to taste their whiskies and I`m looking forward to try out their Abomination line, I wonder what it can do in cocktails? maybe there´s a secret weapon…

This picture gives me a bit of “Vampire Lestat feeling” …..

This is not your usual stuff!

The names of the first labels are as follows –

  • Concerning the Beast Folk
  • The Sayers of the Law
  • The Crying of the Puma

So that`s what´s happening in short…not a dull moment there, more will come.

But let´s move on to the rum and the drinks!

I wish I still had some of the old navy style rum left to compare with but from what I remember, it did mix fine but was a bit too strong for me to sip neat and so I welcome the fine tuning and lower proof of this new version of the navy style rum.

In the nose I pick up sherry and prunes, wood, molasses and spices and then something “rooty”. The nose is quite heavy on the sherry I think.

In the mouth there´s a woody explosion at first, then comes the prunes and sherry again, with warm sharpness followed by a distinctive dryness. There´s lots of dark fruits and some spice and maybe a hint of banana.The finish is long with strong and a bit aggressive sherry wood notes.

My conclusion is that this version of their navy style rum is in better balance and cleaner in taste than the first one and it shines in cocktails. A strong rum that asks to be part of drinks that can tame it a little bit…so I threw together my Banana Boo Loo and then a version of a classic tiki drink, the Pearl Diver`s Punch, just making it a bit more lush – the secret with that drink is in the Pearl Diver´s Mix…and because I happened to have a bunch of blood oranges at home I decided to try it with some of my favorite mezcal just to see how it would do.

All the drinks turned out very tasty, especially the Banana Boo Loo which secret is fresh banana and fresh pineapple juice. There´s something about Lost Spirits rums and banana…

Banana Boo Loo

This recipe is for a 75 cl/25 oz goblet (IKEA) and so it´s a double drink!

4 oz fresh pineapple juice (or equal parts fresh pineapple chunks and bottled pineapple juice pre-blended and strained)
2 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz banana-demerara syrup* (or you can mix in Giffard Banane du Brésil into demerara syrup)
4 oz Lost Spirits 61 % Navy Style Rum

Put everything in the blender and blend with 1 cup of crushed ice at high speed for 5 sec. Pour unstrained into a hollowed out pineapple (or goblet) fill up with more crushed ice if needed.

As for the syrup – make a rich simple syrup (it takes 5-10 minutes) with 2:1 (or make a 1;1 syrup if you prefer a lighter one, but personally I prefer a more rich viscous syrupy syrup, it just add that mouth feel to the cocktail and richness) with dark demerara sugar and water and when the sugar is dissolved by heating it up, add banana chunks to it from one half fresh banana and mash it with a fork then take off from heat and leave to cool and set for a couple hours or overnight ( I did overnight, it deepens the flavor)

Blood of the She Creature

1 oz Lost Spirits 61% Navy Style Rum
1 oz Appleton Signature Blend (former VX)
1.5 oz fresh squeezed blood orange juice
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.25 oz Macadamia nut syrup (Giffard)
0.5 oz orgeat
Float Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal

Shake with ice, strain and serve in a chilled cocktail coupe with a large piece of cracked ice chunk. Garnish with 2 pineapple leaves and a dehydrated blood orange slice.

Royal Pearl Diver

0.75 oz Royal Pearl Diver’s Mix
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz passionfruit juice
1 oz Lost Spirits 61% Navy Style Rum
1 oz Demerara rum
1 cup crushed ice

Add everything to a blender and blend at high speed 5 sec. Pour unstrained into a goblet or tiki mug and garnish with speared lime peel and cherry, a tropical orchid and a paper umbrella.

Serve immediately.

Sweet and sour, spicy and strong, complex and velvety smooth…

Royal Pearl Diver’s Mix (enough for 4 drinks):

1 oz unsalted butter (or ghee, clarified)
1 oz honey (use liquid)
1 oz orgeat
1/2 tsp pimento dram
pinch cinnamon spice

Heat butter and honey to melt, mix in the orgeat, pimento dram and cinnamon, then set aside to cool to room temp.

The building of the distillery in pictures:

Here`s a few pictures of the new distillery to be, courtesy of Lost Spirits and Doc Fried:

The 61% Navy Style rum is available through KL Wines.

Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum

LOST SPIRITS RUM POLY BOTTLE

This is the second rum made by the Lost Spirits Distillery, the first was the “Navy Style” rum which i wrote a review of earlier. This rum is called “Polynesian Inspired Rum” and is made with the same methods as the Navy Style and for those who are interested in knowing how it`s made – I send you over to this page, called “Rum Super Geekdom” 

High ester rums in the making…using high quality ingredients and distilled in Bryan`s beautiful handmade copper pot still. I wrote a little about esters and dunder in my post on the Navy Style rum. (It´s hard to believe how that funky muck-looking “witches brew” can make such good rums but it does:-)

The Polynesian Inspired rum also comes in a similarly beautiful bottle as the Navy Style rum, with an artful label, this label has a Marquesan style tiki on one side and moais on the other.

Poly Insp Rum label tiki and moai

The Polynesian Style rum isn`t out for purchase yet but it will hopefully soon be. Like I said in my earlier post, I think I see a steady trend for pot stilled rums with rich bold flavors suitable for both sipping and mixing of exotic and tiki drinks and other rum drinks and I welcome that.

If the Navy Style rum was full of funk and punch this one is sharper and more fiery. It has a bit lower proof at 66%.

To me the Navy style rum is rounder in it´s flavor profile but you can sip this rum too if you like to sip strong rums. Personally I do not prefer overproof rums for sipping and second, I think this rum and the Navy Style as well, are best suited for cocktails.

And for most, I suggest to use this rum in drinks – and as a mixing rum it´s really great – especially if you wanna make tropical, exotic and tiki drinks.

Here is their description:

“POLYNESIAN INSPIRED” Rum

NITROGEN DEPRIVED FERMENTATION

GRADE A MOLASSES

WILD BACTERIA BANANA DUNDER

LATE HARVEST RIESLING

SEASONED VIRGIN AMERICAN OAK

“Nitrogen deprived fermentation” is a way to trigger stress response in the yeast which leads to higher production of esters in the fermentation which in turn leads to more flavors completed from the acids. There are many ways to trigger this stress response and it turns out nitrogen deprivation is one of them.

I think it`s amazing what they are doing at the Lost Spirits Distillery…they built nearly everything at the distillery with only their tiny team of three people.

Lost Spirits Still

 The 600 gallon copper pot still…see more amazing pictures from the distillery here.

Aroma and flavor

So let´s move on to the tasting – the rum has a golden amber color and the nose is fruity with notes of apricot and ripe tropical fruits like macerated banana, it´s warm and inviting.

In the mouth the woodiness hits you and there´s a strong alcohol sharpness, a burn which slowly mellows down and warms your throat. It`s a bit astringent, some citrus notes and ripe tropical fruits same as in the nose followed by some caramel that smooths it out. The finish is quite long.

It´s strong and quite sharp but when you mix with it, it´s a whole different thing and I think this rum really shines in cocktails. It`s made in a different way than the traditional long barrel aging so I won`t compare it with those rums, this is a rum on it´s own. And now, let`s wrap it up with a few rum drinks:

I was all of a sudden craving one of my favorite tiki drinks, the Painkiller but it´s a version of it….

POLYNESIAN PAINKILLA

Poly Painkiller

4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Coco Real (or Coco Lopez) coconut cream
3 oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum

Shake all ingredients with crushed ice and pour unstrained into a coconut shell or other suitable glass or tiki mug. Dust with grated nutmeg or cinnamon and garnish with a mini pineapple. (or pineapple chunk, leaf and cinnamon stick)

OCHO RIOS

Ocho Rio filt

My version of Battery Harris’ Ocho Rios Cocktail, using Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired rum and garnished with brown sugar-coffee rim and a tropical leaf.

2.o oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum
0.5 oz Aperol
1 oz honey syrup

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a brown sugar-coffee rimmed rocks glass and top with a splash of Soda. Garnish with a tropical leaf but make sure the leaf doesn´t touch the drink.

The drink turned out tasting like a good rum sour minus the egg foam, very refreshing and the rum did it justice in every way.Does this rum lend itself to these type of drinks? YES!!! it really does…and with 3 oz of 132 proof rum it packs a punch.

So here´s my final thoughts – I really recommend it for all kinds of rum drinks and it really does have both the flavor and punch required for tiki drinks (and so does their Navy Style Rum) These two rums from the Lost Spirits Distillery are two very different rums even though they – my guess – are made in about the same way but probably aged differently.

You find Lost Spirits website here. For those who are going to the Miami Rumfest on april 25-27 – there will be a seminar on the Navy Style rum, ” Bryan Davis on making Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum” – where you get a chance to taste it and learn directly from Bryan how he makes his rums.