My first stop on my way to watch the famed Alabama Redneck Tide vs. the LSU Offenseless Tigers was at Bayou Rum Distillery. I’m sure you’ve heard of this place or had some of the products as they distribute to not only most of the United States but now globally as well. Bayou Rum is situated just off I-10 in Lacassine, Louisiana amongst the vast fields of sugar cane which makes it super easy to pop in and sample the goods. It’s pretty amazing to see what they have accomplished because they have only been distributing for five years - to see that level of growth so quick is really impressive.
You walk into the gift shop / retail store of the complex where you can buy the booze and merchandise and are immediately greeted by very friendly staff. We had the pleasure of having Nancy (I’m sorry if I butchered the spelling of your name, dear) who led us through a tasting and even took us on an expedited tour because we had arrived a tad too early for the real thing. For the tasting side of things you have five options to choose from but are only allowed to taste three (complimentary or free for you simpletons) - the options are a Satsuma Liqueur, a 2.5 year single barrel aged in rye whisky barrels, a three year select rum aged in Bourbon barrels, a spiced rum and their signature Bayou silver rum. I decided to go with the satsuma liqueur, single barrel and select.
I started off with the satsuma liqueur - TIMEOUT, YO! A satsuma is a type of orange popular in the great state of Louisiana. Sadly, the satsuma does not have a well received shelf appearance therefore it is not typically sold in stores. It’s a great tasting, citrusey treat that you should try the next time you’re in New Orleans trying to pick up hood rats. TIME IN! The satsuma liqueur was everything you expected it to be - incredibly sweet and exploding with orange flavors. I would use this as a triple sec substitute or to take that shitty ass bite off your overzealous margarita. Also, put that bitch over some sherbet ice cream.
Next, I rolled right ahead with the single barrel which, AS MENTIONED BEFORE, is a 2.5 year rum aged in rye whisky barrels. You can absolutely taste the rye as it overtakes the rum and I’m not sure how I felt about it. Just kidding - it wasn’t for me. It was a bit too sour which may actually give an Old Fashioned or Sazerac a unique kick. I wouldn’t test that theory on a friend though - try it yourself first before you go balls deep.
I ended the tasting with the select which is a three year rum finished in Bourbon barrels using the Solera method - basically they stack the barrels on one another with the oldest liquor on the bottom and over time add the younger liquor to the one below it so on and so forth forever and ever. The select was better than the single barrel but again it’s a taste intended for mixed drinks and not for sipping. While it was shockingly smooth it lacked the complexity needed for a sipping rum.
Let’s talk the tour. Miss Nancy ran through an incredibly quick tour and we were super appreciative of this. We got to see the bottling lines, cooking tanks, flavoring tanks, distillation units and storage areas - pretty standard for a tour. The tour was also complimentary which is a really nice thing nowadays where a lot of places try to nickel and dime you whenever they can.
As mentioned earlier this is a relatively new distillery so I inquired whether they are planning any older releases as they move on. They currently have a Bayou 300 offering which is a limited production of…can you guess? THAT’S RIGHT! 300 bottles. I did not get a chance to try this or pick one up at a hefty price tag of $125 but everyone I asked about it seemed to really enjoy it. They have an XO release planned within a couple years and I will definitely try that.
After the tour we walked around the gift shop area like everyone in the history of alcohol tours does to see what silly thing we were going to buy. The staff were super helpful, friendly and a joy to talk to. It’s refreshing to walk into a distillery, winery or brewery and have normal, fun people working that do not take themselves too seriously. They told me they have an event center coming where you can rent out space to get white girl wasted in so that’s pretty neat.
If you have time to check them out please do so. You will definitely enjoy the hospitality and may even buy you a t-shirt or too. Also there’s rum.