The rum scene in Lansing became much better today

So my local pusher…uh, I mean my licensed retail alcohol sales proprietor, contacted me today.

“Hey, is this Bill, the rum guy?”, he asked.

“Yes”, I replied.  Instantly flattered, of course.

“I’ve got something special over here.  I think you’ll like it.  Stop by when you have a chance, I’ll hold a bottle for you.”

I stop by on the way home, not knowing exactly what he had waiting for me.  As I enter the store he sees me and waves me over to the tasting area in front of his office.  “Hang tight”, he says, going into his office.  He returns a moment later with a sample – a generous sample – and hands it to me.

“Five to eight years old, aged in American white oak barrels, and finished in casks. Try it.”

I sip, and it was fantastic.  “Vermouth casks?”, I ask.

“Yeah buddy”, he says. He’s not good with names and everyone becomes “Buddy” after a few moments.

“It’s Don Q.  Only 12 bottles allocated for the state right now.  I bought them all!”.

He has his open bottle, and I bought one, leaving 10 left for the rest of the state.

He then asks me if I have a few minutes, which I did, because he’s a nice guy.  He tells me  “burbon is hot right now, but everybody does burbon. I think rum is going to be the next big thing, and I want people to think of this place when they think of rum.  Good rum.  People think of Bacardi when they think of just ‘rum’.  I want good rum.  What sort of stuff should I be carrying?”

I’m glad you asked.

He has a really good selection, and I point out that he’s got all the rum ‘families’ covered except for agricole, and the higher end stuff.  He shows me the state price list, and I point out Real McCoy 12 year, five Foursquare expressions, Chairman’s Reserve (regular and forgotten cask).  I also point out Bounty from St. Lucia, lower price point, but still “exotic” and a talking point.  We’ll work on agricoles later.  He phones in the order while I’m there, just to discover that Foursquare literally just started distro in Michigan this week, and the others will be entering on April 29.   The guy on the phone taking the order was surprised anyone had even heard of these, as he knew nothing about them.


Overall today was a great day.  I have a new bottle for my “rum reference library”, my local dealer is going to have a more expansive selection to choose from, and I’ll be getting part of the first cases of rums in my state from distillers I love and have even visited three times!  Yeah, today was a really good day.