Who in the hell is Sammy Hagar?  Well, if you’re into rock and roll, you might know or if you’re into tequila, you might know, and now, if you’re into rum, you just might know; otherwise you’re just plumb out of luck. It turns out that Sammy Hagar is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who after several solo platinum albums joined Van Halen in 1985 and took the band to 4 no. 1 albums.  Unable to sit still, he became associated with Cabo Wabo Tequila and opened several successful Cabo Wabo Cantinas.  After tasting further success with his first restaurant venture, he expanded on it and opened Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill, which naturally got him thinking about Rum. Since he lives in Hawaii part of the year, he figured what better place to make rum, especially utilizing Hawaii’s world class sugar cane.  He met a local vodka distiller on Maui and talked him into whipping up some rum for him and that’s how Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum came into existence.

Beach Rum

Well, let’s see if Sammy’s success extends to his rums.  Sammy’s silver rum comes in a clear bottle with a green sugar cane plant painted on the back – and visible from the front through the transparent rum.  Straight up, the nose is very vegetative and chock full of sugar cane and coconut and earthy fragrances followed by a rummy alcohol hint.  On the palate, the tingle and taste of the rum comes to the front followed by the coconut with the floral notes bringing up the rear. The finish is fairly smooth and fairly long. On the rocks, everything settles down into a harmonious blend of floral notes with the rum, this time, taking the back seat but still in control.  With that little bit of ice, this becomes a very pleasant sipping rum.  In a mixed drink, this rum has enough presence not to get lost or lose its flavor. Good one, Sammy.

Next up is Sammy’s Red Head Beach Bar Rum, which is a macadamia nut flavored rum that is colored red with natural coloring.  Honestly, I have never heard of anything being macadamia nut flavored other than macadamia nuts themselves.  (By the by, I love these nuts covered in chocolate, yum.)  Straight up, the nose is truly nutty and full of macadamia aroma followed by faint cherries and even fainter coconut backed by the smell of sugary rum. On the palate, the macadamia flavor takes a back seat to the sugary cherry/berry flavor but is still strong enough to make a decent appearance with the rum bringing up the rear.  The finish is more sugary berry like than macadamia, which takes the back seat this time, and it is sweet yet smooth and medium in length.  I think I would have liked this even more if the sweetness and the berry like flavors didn’t overpower the macadamia and rum flavors.  However, when I did taste the macadamia, it was spot on and really thick and tasty.  On the rocks, the sweetness of the berry like flavor is subdued and the oiliness of the macadamia comes forward and the final product is a much more balanced rum although the flavor of the rum is less discernible.  The finish leaves a stronger macadamia taste.  I think they’re onto something here that could be beyond outstanding if they got rid of the cherry like flavors and kept it strictly to the rum and macadamia essence and the color be damned.  At about $23.00 per 750 ML bottle, this is a good deal on a great rum.


By George Brozowski