It’s just a fact – Wisconsin is known for cheese. You want to know two things Wisconsin isn’t known for? Rum and pirates. But surprising as it might be, Wisconsin now has both.
“Roaring” Dan Seavey was indeed the only person ever charged with piracy on the Great Lakes, and it’s for this reason that the Great Lakes Distillery opted to name their very first rum in his honor. A scalliwagg of the early 20th century, Roaring Dan was hardly your typical golden age swashbuckler – but he was mean and cantankerous enough to put even Blackbeard to shame. Indeed, Blackbeard never used his own ship as a floating whorehouse, nor did he dispatch an opponent in a bar brawl by dropping a piano on his head.
Like the seagoing miscreant whose name it bears, Roaring Dan Rum is far from typical. Correction, Roaring Dan Maple Flavored Rum is far from typical. Aye, maple. I’ve seen rum in an assortment of flavors in my time, but never maple. More on that soon.
In the bottle, Roaring Dan is a very light amber, but still maintains a hint of vibrancy. To the nose, it carries some of rum’s gentler qualites, including a smooth, creamy dose of cane juice and vanilla, topped off by the added maple.
Despite its gentle aroma, Roaring Dan does have a bit of bite as it travels across the tongue – not unpleasantly, but enough to wake you up and remind you you’re drinking something a mite stronger than liquid candy. The flavors naturally echo the aromas – cane juice, vanilla, maple, although they’re somewhat dodgy, and seem to linger most on the outskirts of the mouth (back of tongue, back of cheeks…)
Roaring Dan’s flavors might be tricky when left on their own, but as a mixer this rum truly shines. The creamy, maple nature of it allows for all sorts of drink combinations you might not normally associate with rum, and none is a more perfect match (or easier mix) than a simple Roaring Dan and cream soda. Rarely would I ever conceive to mix cream soda with rum, but in this case I tell ya, it’s magic!
Roaring Dan Rum might seem a rather gentle concoction to name after such a dastardly soul as Dan Seavey – until you learn that Dan himself was actually rather soft-spoken, and had a soft spot for children. In this way the rum suddenly seems all too fitting for this man of the Great Lakes. Like a maply version of 10 Cane it maintains that approachable sweetness of sugar cane rather than straying into the more firey turf of most rum. As such, it can make for an excellent addition to many coctails, and remain approachable to rum-drinker and pedestrian alike.