Stingray Spiced Rum out of Carrollton Is so Much Better than It's Supposed to Be

JEM Beverage Co. is a little distillery that produces handcrafted spiced rum on a remote island in the Caribbean where lagoons of blue water give way in the flat dry landlocked city known as Carrollton. This small-batch craft distillery makes a few other spirits as well, including Southern Star Vodka, Western Son Vodka and Red River Texas bourbon whiskey.

Recently I found a bottle of their Stingray Spiced Rum at a local liquor store. According to the label on back, it's "infused with exotic spices such as vanilla, cinnamon and almond." JEM Bev. Co. uses Florida sugarcane molasses for its rum, and then allows it sleep in oak barrels for three months before bottling it and topping it off with a cork, which a pirate would just pull out with his teeth.

The 750ml bottle of rum (35 percent alc/vol) comes in at just under $15, which makes it an exceptionally priced bottle for the spiced rum segment, particularly considering the quality. It doesn't carry with it that alcohol burn most mid-range spiced rums have. And those notes of vanilla, almond and cinnamon do a nice little island dance on your palate. It goes great in any cocktail or soda, and it can even be sipped straight.

The big question here is: Is a $15 bottle of spiced rum from Carrollton supposed to be this good? Raise your hand if you think so. No, it's simply not. We need to get a memo out to Carrollton.

Of course, I only jest. Many Texas distillers are doing amazing things. It's beautiful.

Stingray Spiced Rum has made it's way to some liquor store shelves in the area, but a message to them went unanswered so I'm not sure of all the places. According to their Twitter feed they're in all area Goody Goody stores, although I found a bottle a smaller independent shop. If you happen to come across some, I highly recommend snagging a bottle.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.