Florida Rum Trip

Drum Circle Distillery, Sarasota


Hot off 2011's Rum Renaissance in Miami, Florida, The Rumelier travelled north again for another rum adventure in the "Sunshine State". This time he was joined by a small group of fellow members of the Rum XP Panel for a visit to the Drum Circle Distillery, the home of Siesta Key Rum, Sarasota. The group also took some time to visit the Caribbean Florida Distillers distillery in Auburndale, Florida.

Award winning rums from Siesta Key.

The Rumelier was back in Florida for a quick visit to the central area of the State. After he made a stopover in Coral Gables he and the small group of Rum XP's travelled up by car for the long drive up and across the State of Florida. This is an area The Rumelier had not spent much time in, so the drive up was interesting even though the terrain was very flat.

After a quick pit-stop for lunch the small group rendezvoused at the Drum Circle Distillery in Sarasota, on Florida's beautiful west coast.

The small group of Rum XP's found themselves in a small industrial estate on the outskirts of town, not usually where you would find a rum distillery. This was not your normal sprawling distillery like those located all over the Caribbean Islands, this was a recently built small artisan distillery, with all modern equipment.

Owners of Drum Circle Distillery, Troy Roberts and Tom Clarke.

Once inside the unassuming building the group was greeted by partners in the distillery Troy Roberts and Tom Clarke. While waiting for everyone to arrive the group began snapping away with their cameras which were mainly pointed at the brand new, shiny customized Christian Carl copper pot still.

The open warehouse is 6400 square feet in size, where a single room functions as the storage, fermentation, distillation and aging areas, with a seperate area for the bottling and offices.

While one side of the room functions as the production area the opposite side functions as the ever expanding barrel aging area, where numerous barrels of different sizes are seen slowing aging their rum.

Fresh rum straight from the still at Drum Circle Distillery.

After everyone had finally arrived, owner Troy Roberts gave the group a guided in-depth tour of the whole distillery, from the storage of the local molasses right to the raw rum coming straight from the still, a beautiful sight for any serious rum lover.

Troy was a very gracious host and was only too happy to answer any questions asked by the Rum XP's. The group slowly made their way over to the barrels of rum stacked on one side of the room. Here Troy opened several barrels and pulled off samples for the group to taste and give their opinion on. The group were very impressed with all the rums they sampled, although not completely surprised, as all the rums had received awards at the recent Rum Renaissance Rum Festival held in Miami, Florida. This is seen as a tremendous achievement considering the distillery has only be open for two years.

Looking inside a barrel of Siesta Key Rum slowly aging away.
Evolution of a Siesta Key Rum label.

Florida Caribbean Distillers, Auburndale 

Molasses arriving by the trailer load at the distillery.
One of many bottling lines at Florida Distillers.

Key West

The Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn, Duval St. Key West.

After the tour of the Caribbean Distillers Distillery The Rumelier along with Bahama Bob Leonard and Mike Streeter from rumconnection.com drove down to Fort Myers to catch a small plane down to Key West, where The Rumelier would spend a few days touring this popular vacation destination.

Bahama Bob Leonard with his Root Juice.
The entrance to the Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn.