Editors Note:  We continue with our Low Budget Review Guy who not only travels Texas, but apparently stays smashed on rum.  Check his great review, and he keeps it everything Texas

My newest entry in the ever-continuing search for the best rums brings to the bar a Texas-made product, Railean Rum.  I always like trying “Made In Texas” products, supports local economies, and business people.  Foods have been by and large a very positive experience, BBQ and BBQ  sauces, salsa’s, etc.  However, historically Texas made alcohol products have been an uneven result at best.  Some Texas wines are very good.  Texas booze, however, has had largely poor results for my taste-buds.  Probably because it is a new industry here, and learning to make good products takes time and patience.  That brings me to Railean Rum.  Owned by one of the few women in the business, Kelli Railean has a passion for good rums.  She founded Railean Distillers in San Leon, Tx on Galveston Bay.  She describes San Leon as, “A small drinking community with a large fishing problem.”  Sounds like my kinda place….their website advises they use Gulf Coast Sugar Cane Molasses.

Railean Rum. Very Cool

They offer three rums, Texas White, Reserve XO, and Small Cask Reserve.  My review is on the Reserve XO.  The Small Cask Reserve is produced from single barrels, which is rare.  The XO is blended as most rums are.  First, the bottle.  It  features the Railean mascot, a brightly-feathered Monk Parrot.  Evidently there is a large colony of these birds in San Leon and they have been adopted as the company logo.  (Do they get a cut?) The label is easy to read, well designed, and allows the  golden amber color of the rum to entice potential buyers.  Indeed, it was the rum’s color that caught my eye, and then the parrot on the label.  I picked up the bottle, read the label, and they had a customer.  Well done.  The label does state this is an ultra premium rum.  I am unsure what that really means, but in most establishments , that means a higher price.

Upon opening the cork top ( a good sign), I could smell the warm molasses based alcohol softly calling.  The amber color pours gently into the glass like a slow hill country rain.  The first sip was quite smooth, no harsh bite, with some chocolate and light pecan aftertaste.  It “finishes” very well, the oak barrels giving it a very smooth ride.  This rum makes you think of just sitting and watching the sun go down or hearing the tide come in.  It is an OK rum for sipping, I prefer the darker rums for that, but it mixes very well with coke or cherry coke zero.  Mixed with fruit drinks it blends well.

Overall grade:  I give this rum an “A”.  For about $18 a bottle, this is a good value and a good product.  I will buy this rum again and recommend it to friends looking to get something different than the large commercial distillers.   At this time, I am placing this rum in my ever-changing top-5.   I look forward to trying the Small Cask Preserve in the future.

My top 5:

So many Choices, So Little Time for Over Indulgence


Plantation Grande Preserve (Barbados)

Old Monk

Mount Gay Extra Old

Railean Reserve XO

Just dropped: Flor De Cano 12 yr

The Quest Continues….

The Rum Guy

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