An Update from Rick: Cowichan Rhumb

Hi all, Rick here. I don’t normally do the blog thing, but we just released our first ever Merridale Rhumb and I wanted to take the opportunity to share some behind-the-scenes on what this release is all about.

First, we know you want to know about the name. It's unconventional. But so are we. In navigation, a Rhumb Line, Rhumb, or Loxodrome is an arc that crosses all meridians of longitude at the same angle. That is, a path with constant bearing as measured relative to true or magnetic north. It's a nautical term, and as we all know, the drink of choice at sea is rum... so it felt like a fitting choice. We also love the idea of Rhumb as a metaphor for embracing adventure and finding solace in points of reference along the way. 

So…why make rum? Because we like it. And we like a challenge. We started with the idea to make rum from British Columbia agricultural products about six years ago. It was a long process that involved a lot of experimentation. The first year began with us growing Jerusalem artichokes and harvesting the canes, which are similar to sugarcane. The yield was relatively low and involved a lot of labour, so the next year we tried harvesting the root of the artichokes instead. Again, the result wasn’t what we were hoping for. The following year, our neighbours grew sugar beets for us. The result was better, but still not enough to get us really excited. Next, we tried honey, which was the best so far. Finally, we opted to use caramelized honey (yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds) and the result was…wonderful.

We put the spirit into a variety of barrels to taste the results here as well, utilizing our master distiller Laurente’s extensive experience in the West Indies; he was a rum blender for nearly ten years in Antigua. With his expertise and our dedicated approach to creating the best possible craft spirits, we were able to produce Cowichan Rhumb. This amber Rhumb is intensely flavourful, not too sweet, and goes down beautifully served neat or blended into your favourite cocktail. It’s aged for over two years and then blended to create a super smooth-drinking spirit.

All in all, we’re thrilled to be releasing this new product as an extension of the Cowichan Craft Spirits line, alongside our Cowichan Gin, Vodka, and brandies. We’ve created about 250 bottles of Cowichan Rhumb as a starting point, and will be sure to let you all know when there’s more coming. We truly appreciate your continued support of Merridale and all that we do. Cheers!

- Rick