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Old 11-24-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
mamajuana
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Default Black Squirrel Distillery - new NY craft rum distillery

I am glad to say a new ground breaking Distiller of Rum is opening less than a Mile from where I live in the City of Buffalo!

It is called Black Squirrel Distillery they are ground breaking because they will be the first to use Maple Syrup instead of molasses or sugar cane as the base for their rums! They also already have some aging in different woods.

Here is an article from a local source http://buffalorising.com/2014/11/bla...rel-distillery


"After learning about the formations of yet another local distillery that has been in the making for over a year’s time, the cat is finally out of the bag. Or in this case, it’s a squirrel. That’s right, Buffalo’s first rum distillery is setting up on Elmwood Avenue (1595 Elmwood – formerly The Kitchen Table). It’s called Black Squirrel Distillery, and it’s being operated by Jason Schwinger and his partners, Brian Fending and Matt Pelkey.

Schwinger, who helped to launch the initial wave of mass public kayaking on the Buffalo River (check out this cool article on the scene), has had his eye set on another prize for quite some time (along with his partners). I was curious about the reason for choosing rum as the spirit of choice, so I gave him a ring to ask him a few questions about the decision. The answer is fascinating:

“The reason for rum is that nobody is doing it. NY State law designates us with a Class D Farm Distillery License. That means that we must make our spirits with a minimum of 75% NYS farm ingredients. That’s easy for whiskeys and cideries, but there is no sugar being produced in NYS. That makes it hard to produce rum. So we decided to use maple trees instead. The problem was, the US Tariff and Taxation Bureau (TTB) is in charge of dictating what your spirit can be called (what it actually is), and there was no designation for rum made from maple syrup. Fortunately, we were able to obtain TTB formula classification as rum with label approval. Now, instead of using press sugar cane juice and molasses, we are the first modern day distillery to make rum out of maple syrup – it’s going to be a traditional amber rum style. It’s new to New York State and created by Black Squirrel.”

At this time, Schwinger tells me that they already have some product made, sitting in French oak and American oak barrels. Black Squirrel will be more of a sugar shack, prohibition-syle speakeasy than a traditional distillery. “My great grandmother had a speakeasy on this corner,” he said [laughing]. “The Volkers had another one on the opposite corner, so I’m going back to my roots, and the roots of this city.”

Black Squirrel’s first barrel is anticipated to be tapped in early January, if all goes according to plan. More details coming soon."


This is the first Time in Buffalo Can say that I have looked forward to January.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:35 AM   #2
Ruminsky Van Drunkenberg
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Well, I dunno...there may be an appalling lack of worldwide regulation regarding what a rum is, but if it isn't made from sugar cane or its by products, I'd suggest it's not a rum, just a spirit trying to be one.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:28 AM   #3
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Some personal Research regarding this subject:


http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives...3705.Sh.r.html


"The "sugar" in both maple syrup and sugar cane is primarily sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose."

"19th century sugar cane sucrose production outstrips 21st century sugar maple sucrose production by more than a factor of 10"


imbibemagazine.com/Elements-Maple-Syrup


"But maple products weren’t only used to sweeten cakes and tea. Workers fortified themselves with sap beer during the annual harvest, and in the 19th century a type of maple rum was distilled in parts of New England and upstate New York. And while cane sugar was supplanting maple sugar in the early years of the republic (making syrup the main maple product), the old-style sweetener undoubtedly found its way into assorted punches, eggnogs and flips."


http://eatingwithbev.blogspot.com/20...-worth-it.html

"Because of the circles I travel in it has come to my attention that it is possible to make Rum, and alcoholic beverage, from maple syrup"


" It takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. He used two gallons of syrup for his Rum run. Mind you, he had to boil down those 80 gallons of sap to make the two gallons of syrup. He netted 2 liters of 160 proof Rum.


"So would he do this again? Was it worth it? Although the Rum was tasty, in his opinion it didn’t quite have the maple taste that he thought it would have. "



So in short from this brief overview they are both consisting of similar sugar contents. Rum was made from Maple syrup since before the Civil war then sugar cane started becoming more popular as it is much easier to cultivate. Sugar cane is by far easier to produce and to ferment into rum which is why maple will never become more popular.

An interesting historical adventure by this company, a true craft spirit using ingredients nobody else has in a long time. I can't wait to see how this compares to molasses and sugar cane made rums. This reminds me some what of the craft distiller Balcones in Texas who is also using inputs into their Whiskey that are not easily comparable.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruminsky Van Drunkenberg View Post
Well, I dunno...there may be an appalling lack of worldwide regulation regarding what a rum is, but if it isn't made from sugar cane or its by products, I'd suggest it's not a rum, just a spirit trying to be one.
I'd have to agree with this, being made from sugar cane or its products should be the very minimum requirement for something to be called a rum. Even if both sugar cane and maple syrup contains sucrose, the idea that the other components are less important to the character of a rum is bit of a stretch : Sugar cane rums and molasses based rums are very different in taste profiles, and yet both contain sucrose.

Already, the definition of what is a rum is tenuous at best, with all the altered products and liquors on the market. We might as well just label as "rum" any spirit that doesn't fall into any of the other catergories of spirits.

Last edited by arobichem; 11-25-2014 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:39 AM   #5
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While I certainly understand the rum community calling out this product as not rum based on its based ingredients, I still feel based on history that this is a very interesting development. I may be a little enthusiastic based on the fact that I could walk there and back totally slammed.

I will be be doing a full review of all their products regardless and give my full thoughts on this.

While many would call out anything called rum not made from cane or cane by products and I would have to agree to some level I still find this interesting. come early January I will make my next update here. You will hear this first at MOR from Buffalo, NY!

I am also willing to field any questions to the owners on this product.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:53 AM   #6
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One question for this ground breaking craft distiller

Why??
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Old 11-26-2014, 06:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajuana View Post

I will be be doing a full review of all their products regardless and give my full thoughts on this.
What's your review site? I'd like to know your thoughts once you put them up.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:17 AM   #8
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Sorta reminds me of a guy named Li who was going to revive the Vincent marque with a bike powered by Honda.
I'll be surprised if a maple sugar "rum" goes anywhere as an actual rum.
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