I recently found myself sipping Afrohead Premium Aged Dark Rum at the lobby bar of the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel. Afrohead, matured in charred Bourbon-aged oak barrels, comes in 7-year (“Briland”) and 15-year (“XO”) versions. The former boasts smooth hints of butterscotch, honey, allspice and that Bourbon-oak wood. The Afrohead XO is slightly mellower and drier, with lingering notes of toffee, tobacco, and vanilla.
After sampling the two varieties straight up and comfortably numbed from the rum, I was offered an Old Fashioned made with Afrohead Briland rather than with the traditional whiskey. Rum worked well in the classic cocktail, and, less surprisingly, was also successful in sparking a sparkling Passion Fruit Mojito. I may or may not have tasted another cocktail after that one.
Afrohead began in 2007, when “rum savant” Toby Tyler blended the then-unnamed rum and served it at his restaurant on Harbour Island, Bahamas (also known as Briland). In 2015, the rum launched in Florida, and is currently available in New York, Chicago and Tennessee. Plans call for an expansion to ten other American cities later this year, but more pertinently: It’s a delicious dark rum, is available at local liquor stores and select bars such as the one in the Surfcomber Hotel lobby, and retails for $29.99 (Briland 07) and $44.99 (XO).