Liquid Assets: No’Lasses from Fair Game Beverage Co.

As the weather gets warmer, tiki drinks become more popular and with them – rum! The delicious spirit is distilled from sugar, usually cane syrup or molasses. In fact, the U.S. strictly defines “rum” as a spirit distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane or one of its by-products. Unfortunately, this leaves out North Carolina’s sorghum cane.

Grown in the Appalachian South as a replacement for imported sugar, sorghum never gained mass market appeal. Regardless, in the mountains of North Carolina, sorghum molasses found a sweet spot in the food culture. Pittsboro’s Fair Game Beverage Co. honors this tradition with “No’Lasses.”

The spirit starts with slow fermentation of fresh-pressed sorghum cane juice and sorghum cane syrup. After fermentation, it is distilled in the gorgeous copper alembic still that the distillery sourced from Spain. Lastly, the spirit is matured in bourbon oak barrels and bottled.

While technically not an aged rum, there are taste similarities. On the nose, the sweetness of the sorghum is met with the caramelization of the bourbon-soaked wood. Trying this spirit neat is a treat. There are fantastic layers of complexity, first with the initial sweetness that is quickly layered by a bit of funkiness, reminiscent of single malt whiskey. The spirit wins you over with its long, smooth and slightly sweet finish.

Fans of aged rums and whiskeys will find a lot to like with this spirit. It’s a fantastic example of using North Carolina culture and agriculture in distillation.

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