It has become very difficult to take bottle shots in my home as of late, due to the incessant curiosity of my two best friends: Kiki and the black cat. That being said, I managed to eek out a clear image of the new Three Roll Estate rum labels now that the Louisiana brand has changed its name from Cane Land—despite Kiki’s efforts to block my view. The Baton Rouge distiller is producing one of the more impressive American craft spirit lineups I’ve tasted over the last year, providing a farm-to mill-to distillery-to glass spirit of immense quality, for a price that’s well within reason. Not that Americans are clamoring for more rum (despite what the internet wants you to believe), but those of us who want to see our domestic micro-distillation industry progress and thrive should be supporting well-made spirits of any kind, so long as they provide value for the dollar. From my limited tasting experience thus far, I’m here to tell you that Three Roll’s latest editions are certified farm-to-table delights.
Three Roll Estate (founded as Cane Land in 2013 by Walter Tharp) operates in conjunction with the Alma Sugar Plantation & Sugar Mill in Lakeland, also owned by the Tharp family, and produces some of the most dynamic cane spirits in the United States. Their absolutely killer Cachaça-inspired white rum has had me going back for seconds and thirds, drinking straight from the bottle as I can’t even wait for it to hit the glass. Made freshly during the three-month Louisiana sugar harvest and fermented with yeast sourced directly from Brazil, the nose alone is incredible, ranging from freshly-ground cinnamon notes, to cut grass and fermented cane, and I can’t get over the depth. The Alma Plantation is located in Louisiana’s alluvial flood plain, shaped by the varying paths of the Mississippi River, which reach up to fifteen feet deep, apparently providing for a more flavorful sugarcane and perhaps the complexity I’m alluding to. On the palate it’s dry as a bone and when sipped neatly the finish goes on for a solid ten minutes, smothering your taste buds with pure cane deliciousness.
The Dark Rum is another stupendous achievement, by far the most complex and satisfying of its kind I’ve ever tasted from a craft distillery, made from 100% black strap molasses. It is magical on the palate, brimming with character and intensity, having been first rested in French oak vats before a finishing maturation in American oak barrels. Again, however, it’s all about the nose for me: a stunningly-complex bouquet of coffee, cocoa, molasses, and cola, swirling around in a hedonistic splendor.
Three Roll has me very excited about rum again, let alone craft distillation. More excited than I’ve been in some time. Go get a bottle and see what you think.