Triple Eight Hurricane Rum
Triple Eight Distillery produces rum from a fermented mix of raw organic sugar (aka sucanat), evaporated cane juice, and molasses. After pitching with yeast, fermentation can take as long as 3 weeks.
Triple Eight Distillery also buys rum from various distilleries in Central America and the Caribbean which we bring on Nantucket to mature. They bring these barrels of rum to Nantucket so the rum can age on the island. During this maturation process, Nantucket’s environment plays an important role. Being an island, they have a maritime climate (oceanic climate, marine climate). The island of Nantucket is located in the North Atlantic. That means they get influenced by polar air mass. However, Nantucket is also close to the Gulf stream, so they get influenced by temperate and tropical air mass as well. Only a handful of places in the world have this type of climate. One region is the western isles of Scotland. Triple Eight Distillery takes advantage of its unique situation by using ventilated warehouses, allowing the island to mature our spirits in selected barrels (all barrels are at least 53 gallons in size). After aging, a portion of the whisky is sometimes double-barreled, or finished, in former Sherry casks, previously used wine barrels from Nantucket Vineyard, barrels that previously held cognac, sauternes, etc (whatever we think is interesting). The real importance of this step is “marrying” the different rum barrels through vatting and re-barreling, allowing their differing qualities to come together.
For the Hurricane Rum Triple Eight never uses rum younger than 4 years old. Typically, we blend barrels that range from 4 years old to 12 years old. Every time they produce a batch of their rum they use an average of ten barrels. We will taste a range of barrels and then select ten or more per batch.
At this point, Triple Eight dilutes the cask strength rum with Nantucket water down to 88.8 proof (or 44.4% abv). Nantucket has a sole source aquifer. That means there are no underground tributaries, so nothing can contaminate our water source from anywhere else. Industrial pollution in Rhode Island or Massachusetts won’t affect their water source.
Triple Eight is currently experimenting with different types of yeast and different distillation methods. They distill the rum twice, once through the column and once through the pot still. Each of these distillation techniques produce distinctly different flavor profiles.
The source for Hurricane Rum.
After the founding of Nantucket Vineyard in 1981 by Dean and Melissa Long, and Cisco Brewers in 1995 by Randy and Wendy Hudson, the idea of establishing a distillery on island seemed the next logical step. In 1997 Nantucket Vineyard purchased a copper pot still and began distilling spirit. Dean Long became the lead distiller at Triple Eight Distillery after 16 years as head winemaker for Nantucket Vineyard.
After 11 years and the successful release of the Notch Single Malt Whisky in 2008, Dean returned his main focus to winemaking and Randy Hudson took over as lead distiller after serving as head brewer for Cisco Brewers for the previous 13 years.
Triple Eight Distillery has been recognized many times as an industry leader in spirit production and has been awarded top honors in national and international competitions such as the International Spirit Challenge, San Francisco World Spirit Competition, International Wine and Spirit Competition, American Distilling Institute, American Craft Spirit Association and The Berlin International Spirits Competition.
For more information, check out the Triple Eight website.