Last Mountain 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum
Review: Last Mountain 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum 83.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on October 17, 2016
Colin Schmidt was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1992. After being drafted, he spent four years playing College Hockey and then signed his first pro contract in 1996. Colin’s pro experience was brief, cut off by a few shoulder injuries after a short spell of what Colin referred to as “playing left bench.” Fortunately, as far as we are concerned, Colin’s story did not end there.
A few years later, Colin, who was working in the mortgage industry, and his wife, Meredith, whose background was in banking, began to look for their own business opportunities in Saskatchewan. Colin had a friend who had started up a micro-distillery in Colorado, and the idea to begin a similar operation in Saskatchewan was very appealing to them. In August of 2010, Colin and Meredith’s hard work and perseverance paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.
In 2012 Colin reached out to me and sent me samples of both his Vodka (see review here) and later his first whisky (see review here) for me to taste and review. I was surprised at the quality of each spirit and have kept tabs on the folks at Last Mountain ever since. Recently the distillery released a brand new rum distilled (in Saskatchewan) from molasses and aged for two years in once filled bourbon barrels. Colin sent me a bottle and asked me to provide feedback in the form of a review here on my website.
Note: Last Mountain’s 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
The Last Mountain 306 Original Saskatchewan Rum arrives in the same tall slender bottle which is used for their Last Mountain Vodka. These tall bottles seem to be popping up all over, and I have been forced to adjust my liquor shelves to accommodate their growing numbers. The bottle is sealed with a nice tight synthetic cork. The ‘306’ is a fererence to Saskatchewan’s current area code and adds a nice homage to the place where the rum is distilled.
The only drawback to the presentation is lack of ‘pop’ and the confusing nature of the label. As you can see the wheat grain graphics upon the label are rather odd for a cane spirit. I understand that the folks at Last Mountain are trying to draw attention to their prairie heritage; but this is rum, not whisky, and the wheat grain upon the label seems to imply the wrong spirit.
On the more positive note, the back label is much better with a picture of Colin and Meredith at the distillery accompanied by a very nice write-up which draws attention to both the 306 Rum and its unique nature being Saskatchewan’s only distilled rum.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When poured into my glencairn, the rum displays a pale straw colour consistent with an amber rum which has been aged for only two years. I gave my glass a slow tilt and a twirl, and I noticed a light sheen on the inside of the glass the crest of which gave up very skinny legs which moved rather quickly down the sides of the glass. This is a good sign for an amber rum as there appears to be little evidence of undo added sweetness.
The use of once used bourbon barrels has paid dividends as the rum immediately throws fine oak spice into the air accompanied by light aromas of vanilla, almond, butterscotch, orange peel and coconut. The fine oak spice is a little firmer than one would normally encounter in such a young rum; but it is appealing bringing very mild whisky-like scents, (rye, ginger and grain) into the air alongside the light rum aroma. The result is a spirit which displays nice complexity despite its young age.
In the Mouth 50/60
The rum continues to impress me as I sip. Fine oak spice and light butterscotch flavours cross the palate chased by bits of orange peel and mild flavours of vanilla and almond. I also taste mild indications of banana and coconut as the complexity of the rum continues to impress me. I should ntoe that there is a light astringency due to the youth of the rum; but this is easily placated by a single cube of ice.
The fine oak spices which give the rum an intriguing whisky-like quality have an impact on the spirit’s mixability. Standard rum cocktails like the Daiquiri, and the Mojito are a challenge to mix as the oak interferes with the accustomed flavour profile of each cocktail. Adding a few drops of bitters to the daiquiri creates a very nice alternative cocktail; but the mojito remained a difficult cocktail for me to work with.
However, the standard, rum and cola cocktail (Cuba Libre’) is enhanced in a big way by the firm fine oak spice within the 306 Original Saskatchewan Rum. In Canada (and throughout most of North America) cola is the standard mixer for amber rums, and the enhanced flavour provided by the oak spice is definitely a huge positive for this spirit. Adding a few bitters makes the cocktail even better (see recipe below).
In the Throat 12.5/15
The 306 Original Saskatchewan Rum has a short crisp finish with a nice rush of fine oak spice chased by light butterscotch, vanilla and almond flavours. There is perhaps a touch of roughness; but as indicated earlier, a simple cube of ice alleviates the light astringency. When mixed in cocktails both the rush of spice and the mildness of the butterscotch sweetness are welcome features of the spirit.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
Last Mountain’s 306 Original Saskatchewan Rum is a very good amber rum. Although my score of 83.5/100 may not on the surface appear to be a stellar rating, it is the highest score I have assigned to a two-year old rum. My only serious criticism of this spirit is the confusing nature of the label, which is easily overlooked when a rum tastes this good.
The Original Saskatchewan Rum can be sipped with an ice-cube, or it can be mixed into some of the best Cuba Libre’s I have tasted in a long while. I am going to continue to watch what is happening at the Last Mountain Distillery as Colin and Meredith appear to be going from strength to strength.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
2 oz 306 Original Saskatchewan Rum
Slice of Lime
dash Angostura Bitters
Rub the rim of a tumbler glass with lime
Pour the Saskatchewan Rum to a tumbler filled with ice
Add a few drops of bitters and a slice of Lime
Complete with Cola
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)