Origin: Porchjam Distillery, New Orleans, LA, USA
Finish: Neutral vessel
In the realm of American rum, there are only a few distilleries putting out product that warrants a serious rum drinker's attention; there are even fewer that are putting out fresh-pressed cane juice rum at that.
Cheramie is such a brand of rum that is distilled by New Orleans-based Porchjam distillery, and utilizes the fairly large sugarcane industry in Louisiana for the base of their product. Founded in 2017 by native Scotsman Gordon Stewart, Porchjam originally focused on producing and releasing Bolden Vodka before adding rum to its portfolio.
We are looking at the Cheramie Blanc expression today, which is an unaged expression of sugarcane juice-based rum, produced via Porchjam's dual 24-plate column still configuration; my particular bottle is from the 2020 harvest. While the rum is technically unaged, the label states that the rum rested in 3 months, presumably in stainless steel vats.
Clear, high clarity, low viscosity
Fresh pineapple, ripe kiwi, white chocolate fudge, sugarcane, almonds, underripe banana
Fresh sugarcane, underripe banana, Golden Delicious apple, green bell pepper
Medium-short, biting, warming; club soda, underripe banana, shishito peppers, Golden Delicious apple skin
This unaged rum is quite the adventure! Lots of fruit and grassy notes up front, with other flavors creeping around them, fighting for their place at the forefront. But thankfully there's enough love to go around.
Plenty of notes you'd expect in sugarcane juice rums, including fresh cane itself, peppers, and some bright, ripe fruitls, while also brining in some apples, a simmering sensation of seltzer, and even some more savory and heavy notes like white chocolate fudge and almonds.
There are few American-made rums that I would truly recommend, and Cheramie Blanc is one of them. It's exciting to see Cheramie continue to gain traction, and I look forward to trying future expressions as they come available.