Kirk and Sweeney: A Rum Well Worth Pursuing

Jul 03, 2017

Kirk and Sweeney: A Rum Well Worth Pursuing


“Kirk and Sweeney” was a wooden schooner, best known for smuggling rum from the Caribbean to the Northeast during the early years of Prohibition. In 1924, it was seized off the coast of New York with a massive amount of rum aboard. The schooner was subsequently renamed “Chase” and pressed into duty as a Coast Guard trainer, serving until the late 1940’s when it was retired and salvaged.


Handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, this rum adheres to the very strict regulations to be called “Dominican Rum”. The process begins with hand harvested, high quality sugarcane that is pure. The byproduct of the sugarcane, “Blackstrap Molasses” is then carefully fermented and distilled. The average aging of rum in the Caribbean is generally two years, Kirk and Sweeney is the rare exception. Aged twelve years (non solera) in ex French Oak wine barrels in brick houses at the distillery, this is indeed a rum well worth pursuing.

The Rums

Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum- 12 Year

This deep mahogany colored rum presents a sweet aroma balanced heavily toward cane honey, with earthy sugar cane undertones, along with a hint of vanilla, luscious toasted oak, caramel and dried fruits.

95 pts, Wine Enthusiast

Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum- 18 Year

Eighteen years of aging and expert blending come to life with the first taste, revealing a deep vanilla flavor, followed by dried fruits, nutmeg, cinnamon spices and a hint of oak. Immensely smooth all the way through, this rum unwinds with a gently wavering sensation of oak, sherry and raisin.

93 pts, Wine Enthusiast

Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum- 23 Year

Having spent 23 years in the barrel, this rum is as pleasantly complex as the nose and aging would suggest, offering a rich evolution on the mouth–from fresh, sweet sensations to dried fruits. Finishing off each decadent sip, you’ll find endnotes that range from a distinct caramel, to sherry, to a well-balanced blend of almond and vanilla.

96 pts, Wine Enthusiast

Summer Recipe Ideas

Rum Babalu

2 parts Kirk and Sweeney 12-Year Rum

.75 part fresh lime juice

.5 part maple syrup

1 part Bundaberg ginger beer

1 dash of aromatic bitters

Garnish: orange peel

Add all ingredients in a shaker except ginger beer, add ice and shake well until chilled. Strain over ice in a double rocks glass, top with ginger beer and garnish with an orange peel.

Courtesy of Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, NYC.

Dark and Stormy

2 oz. Kirk and Sweeney 12-Year Rum

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Fresh Lime Juice

Pack a highball glass with ice, fill the glass halfway with K & S Rum. Top off with ginger beer, add fresh lime juice to taste.

Courtesy of Kirk and Sweeney.

Rum Line Daiquiri 

2 oz. Kirk & Sweeney 18-Year Rum

1 oz. Guava Juice

.5 oz. Simple Syrup

.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients into mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with one lime wheel on rim of glass.

Courtesy of Kirk and Sweeney.

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