Friday, June 30, 2017

Black Coral Rum, Riviera Beach, Fla.

Riviera Beach, Fla.--Black Coral Rum is made the old fashioned way. There are no artificial ingredients or added sugar in this rum according to owner Ben Etheridge. "This is what the essence of rum was like before artificial essences," said Etheridge, during an interview, at the Ninth Annual Miami Rum & Trade Show in April this year. 

Mixologist John Moore and Owner Ben Etheridge, Black Coral Rum,
Riviera Beach Florida based, 9th Annual Miami Rum & Trade Show,
Miami, Fla. Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Florida born Etheridge started making rum in his backyard at age 16 and now at age 34 he and his dad Clint have a 500-gallon still distillery. They are very transparent about their process. "It is our duty to be honest with you. Not many do it but we do," Ben said.

Ben is passionate about his rum and wants everyone to be able to experience it so he keeps his prices affordable. He also wants you to buy his rum to help the families of fallen service men and women. For each bottle of rum sold, one dollar goes to Operation 300, a non-profit organization, based in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Other ways they help the local community is by buying Florida grown sugar-cane molasses from Clewiston and getting their bottles made in Miami-Dade County.

As for the rum, both the white and spiced rum starts with a nine-day fermentation period followed by a 12- hour distillation period. Then both are put into white American Oak barrels and aged for six months. The white is then passed through coconut husk carbon filtration before bottling and the spiced has natural ingredients added to it. As Ben says, “If it doesn’t grow in the ground it is not in our rum.”

The white rum has delicious overtones of butterscotch, almond, chocolate and molasses. 
The spiced rum has a juicy, vanilla banana bread taste. 

Black Coral Rum opened just over two years ago and already it can be found in most restaurants, bars, Publix Stores, ABC Liquor Stores and Total Wine & More from Melbourne to Key Largo on the East coast of Florida and from Port Charlotte to Naples on the West coast of Florida.

To find more locations go to Black Coral Rum's website , and enter your zip code to find a location near you. Due to Florida law restrictions the distillery is not allowed to offer online rum sales. But if you go in person you can buy up to six bottles of each type of rum (this time last year you could only purchase two bottles). 

However if you go to Publix, ABC or Total Wines & More you can buy as many bottles as you like.

This fall (around September), Black Coral Rum will be moving from Riviera Beach to a new location in downtown West Palm Beach where they will be opening a tasting room for their 2000-2500 gallon still. "We'll be building the biggest distillery in West Palm Beach. It will be the biggest craft distillery in the state," said Ben, adding, "We will be making spirits that haven't been made in over a hundred years."

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