The Rum

"Crafted using authentic colonial techniques and ingredients, the unique flavor of our rum tells its own story."

Drink Like A Patriot.

Made with imported Caribbean molasses, Red Harbor Rum is twice distilled in a traditional pot still, and aged in freshly charred American oak barrels.

Unlike the vast majority of imported rums, our rum has a distinctive, oak-forward flavor that is reminiscent of bourbon and uniquely tied to early American history.

Red Harbor Rum has been carefully researched and packaged to accurately reflect the look and feel of an 18th century bottle of rum.

Tasting Notes

Strong aromas of fresh American oak and vanilla. It hits the palate with the natural sweetness of molasses along with the smooth and light addition of vanilla . On the end, a unique crisp char note commonly found in bourbons and whiskeys.

40% ABV (80 PROOF)

A Storied Past

In the 18th century, Charleston played a huge role in rum becoming the most popular drink in North America. In 1735 alone, over 130,000 gallons of rum arrived in the port, passing through the hands of more than 60 different merchants. However, after England realized the lucrative potential of this emerging industry, they introduced a series of acts that sought to control the trade of colonies in a way that would produce the most profit for them. This led to great frustration within the colonies and resulted in a thriving underground trade of smuggled rum and molasses.

Red Harbor Rum gets its name from the period in which the British controlled the Charleston harbor and levied heavy taxes on the rum industry. These taxes, imposed through acts such as The Molasses Act of 1733 and Sugar Act of 1764, threatened the whole economic development of the colonies, and as a result, were largely circumvented through smuggling.

As Richard Foss said in Rum: A Global History, “Just what percentage of rum was smuggled can never be known, but there were many entrepreneurs operating along a vast and lightly patrolled coast, and the officials in charge of suppressing trade were notoriously bribable.” There were a myriad of other ways the colonist could obtain the rum and molasses, such as rendezvousing with the ship at a location outside the main port or altering the markings on the goods to conceal their origin, but one thing is for certain. Once the product was ashore, it would have been quickly transported further inland inside new American oak barrels. This gave the rum a more pronounced oak flavor that is similar to many bourbons and whiskeys one might see today.

As history affirms, “rum is truly the forgotten liquor of America.”

Revitalizing America's Oldest Spirit

Jake MacDowell and Justin Buchanan are two of America’s youngest distillers. College roommates turned business partners, these guys are aiming to revitalize interest in America’s oldest spirit – colonial rum.

red harbor bottle

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