Rich and Joel are the importers and distributors for Hayman's gin and that led to a relationship with E & A Sheer, the ancient rum blending house in the Netherlands that helped put the Royal Standard together (they've only been doing this for a few centuries though). ABV bar owner Todd Smith, who was once my sales rep for Pacific Edge (Rich and Joel's distribution business) at K&L, helped as a taster for the project, as did our friends Martin Cate from Smuggler's Cove and Thad Vogler from Bar Agricole. Everyone, myself included, wanted a flavorful, easy-to-love, inexpensive rum that had character and a heritage. Rich also worked directly with Noah Ellis, an ex-Michael Mina food and beverage director, to create a number of different blends before the final specimen was chosen. I've dusted two sample bottles already myself mixing up a variety of various libations, enjoying all of them with equal relish. High proof chasers in search of power will still want to give this a shot, despite the 42% ABV. It definitely has a kick and the rum character cuts through the lime and the sugar when I make a Daiquiri. The Royal Standard is a bartender's dream come true: Inexpensive, profesionally-blended, cocktail-oriented rum in a great package. (David Driscoll, K&L Buyer)
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