Three of Strong Spirits Brightwater Rum


Three of Strong Spirits was opened in Portland, Maine back in June of 2019. Their focus from the beginning has been on rum, which they create using some peculiar sugarcane products. While some of their rums are made from traditional molasses or even flash-frozen Louisiana cane juice, their flagship product, Brightwater Rum, is made from evaporated and reconstituted cane juice. It is then fermented at the distillery with pitched wine yeast, double pot distilled, and bottled without aging at 40%.


The first and most obvious note for me is vomit. I can’t say I have a very clear idea of where my vomit-aroma-in-spirits threshold is, but this exceeds it. Mixed in with it is a subtle sour milk quality, vanilla buttercream, spent coffee grounds, and watermelon rind. 

The palate is better than I expected, partly because it does away with the most of the butyric flavor. There’s lots of fruit: watermelon rinds and watermelon-flavored candy, papaya, mango lassi, banana pudding, and acidic orange juice that’s starting to turn. Throw in some vanilla buttercream, too.


I don’t love it. The fruity palate is certainly better than the nose, but wow, that nose is hard to get into. It seems to me the unusual choice to distill from reconstituted sugar is not paying off, and the reduction to 40% isn’t helping either. If they put out a molasses-based rum at a higher strength, I could see that having some potential. Unfortunately, this just isn’t for me. (4/10)