Swill is our bi-monthly column dedicated to liquor, wine, beer, and every other delicious dram that falls under the broader umbrella of booze. But it’s more than just tasting notes scribbled on a cocktail napkin — Swill is about getting outside of your comfort zone, trying new things, and exploring the big, wide world of libations. One week you might catch us halfway through a bottle of single-malt scotch, and the week after that we might be buzzing on some Ugandan moonshine made from bananas. This column is just one big boozy adventure, so grab yourself a glass and join us for another round.
I’ve tried some seriously weird booze in my day — including plenty of stuff that’s brewed with coffee beans, and even a few drinks infused with tobacco flavor — but never before have I encountered a rum that’s intentionally designed to taste like coffee and cigarettes. So of course, when I came across a bottle of this stuff from Stolen Rum, I had to give it a try.
What’s really interesting about it is that it’s a hybrid of two different styles of rum. You’ve probably tried both spiced rum and flavored rum before, but I highly doubt they were served in the same glass. Generally speaking, the two styles are kept separate, which is why Coffee & Cigarettes is so intriguing.
To make the stuff, Stolen starts with its basic spiced rum, and ages it in ex-bourbon barrels for a minimum of two years. After that, it’s blended with natural spices and oils sourced from around the world, including Moroccan fenugreek, Madagascan vanilla, and Arabica coffee beans from Colombia. As a finishing touch, it’s then “passsed through the smoke of American Hardwood”.
We’re not exactly sure how they do that last part, but the result is surprisingly tasty. The most dominant flavor is definitely coffee, but layered in alongside it you get all those wonderful vanilla and toffee flavors from the spiced rum, with a bold, smokey finish to round it all out. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you tend to like smoke and coffee, you’ll probably love this stuff. Hell, I’m not particularly fond of coffee, cigarettes, or even spiced rum to be quite honest, but I found the mixture of all three to be highly enjoyable.
And at the end of the day, if you give it a try and find it revolting, a partially-drank bottle of Stolen Coffee & Cigarettes Spiced Rum would probably make a great gift for the hipster in your life.