Everyone in Miami seems to have a hustle and for brother and sister Dani and Mike Zighelboim their hustle began in 2013 when they would begin smuggling coconuts. Their first smuggling operation came with a suitcase full of cocunotes from El Salvador to Miami International Airport. Born in Miami to Latin parents, the Zigs grew up between Miami, Guatemala and El Salvador; often spending weekdays in Central America and weekends in Miami. These two drastically different, yet culturally connected places, are the very inspiration behind Coconut Cartel.
Coconut Cartel stars with a single original Guatemalan Anejo rum at barrel strength. The company then uses freshly harvest coconut water to down-proof the rum to bottle strength (80 Proof).
The distillery in which Coconut Cartel is made is 100% vertically integrated where they grow and press their own sugarcane, ferment, distill and barrel rest the rums in American White Oak.
Rum Review: Coconut Cartel Special
ABV: 40% (80 Poof)
Age: 12+ Years in American White Oak Barrels
Color: Light Gold
Distillery: Destiladora de Alcoholes y Rones S.A.
The Nose: Warm Bread, vanilla and as you would expect some coconut. The coconut isn’t as dominant as anticipated and a secondary waft from the glass showcases pralines and cream which was a favorite of my father.
Tasting Notes: The initial sip only has a hint of coconut on the front end with bananas, caramel and a saltiness to it which I believe is a trait of coconut water. Subsequent ships remain unchanged with the dominant profile being banana and coconut with a hint of salted caramel.
The Pairing: We were gifted our bottle from Davidoff Cigars who recently held an event at Two Guys Smoke Shop. As a result, we opted to pair this with one of my favorite Davidoff made cigars, Winston Churchill Late Hour. It is said that after his day, Winston Churchill would enjoy a cigar and libation in the late hours of the day when he would find himself with time alone. Our pairing introduces notes of mango, while enhancing the coconut on the finish. Our pairings never affect our final score, but if they did it would be +1.
Conclusion: This is not coconut rum, like Malibu. It is a sipping rum that sees the Rum cut from barrel strength using coconut water. The result is something that doesn’t taste like it was made in a laboratory utilizing suntan lotion. This is a mild rum that isn’t overly sweet and it is easily enjoyed. If youre looking for a pure traditional sipping rum, this isn’t it. What is is though is unique, mild, and the definition of a summertime or tropical libation.