Todd Thrasher, who currently produces five rums in his Smoke Stack Series at Potomac Distilling Co. in Washington, D.C., is preparing to release the sixth in August: Relaxed Rum.
Thrasher has spent months developing and crafting an aged rum in the United States that would rival those that have been produced in the Caribbean since the 19th century—but, of course, that is a matter of one’s own taste. With that said, Thrasher has taken a breezier approach to what everyone else calls aging, describing the process as a relaxation period in which rum lays dormant for a while in new American white oak barrels. After tasting the spirit over the course of 24 months, the rum progressively turned a natural amber color. This deep hue is married with smooth a flavor that is similar to bourbon, featuring an essence of vanilla and tobacco with smoky notes.
Style is largely dependent on the specific rum’s country of origin and its colonizing history, specifically, how sugar is incorporated into the spirit. While a good bit of rum is produced in the Caribbean, style is inexorably tied to the imperial history of the three colonizing European powers. Guyana, once an English territory in the Caribbean, is home to Thrasher’s favorite rum brand. He visited several times while researching before opening his Potomac Distilling Co.. And it is from these travels and Thrasher learning amongst experts as well as completing extensive experimentation and education that Thrasher’s Rum was born. Rich, oaky, molasses-based, and available in six signature styles—Green Spiced, White, Gold, Spiced, Coconut, and the highly-anticipated Relaxed Rum—Thrasher’s collection brings a distinct English Caribbean-style of rum to America, a country that has primarily relied on rum to be imported from other countries.