Wicked Dolphin, Cape Coral, FL

Wicked Dolphin is one of my favorite rums. I discovered it last time I was in Florida at Victoria’s brother Michael’s wedding. We were planning to drink at the hotel afterward. There was a liquor store next to the wedding venue. When I went inside, I looked for something local and found Wicked Dolphin.

Upon trying Wicked Dolphin, Victoria and I both loved it. I knew if I ever visited Florida again, I’d have to pick up some more of it. When I went to their website, I found out they had tours. I also found out they heavily encourage photo taking and sharing on social media. Not only did I find a rum I love, but also a company that would be awesome to blog about!

On my Deep South road trip, I decided to take a visit.

I went inside to see when the next tour was. There was plenty of rum and samples there. I could have enjoyed a bunch of samples waiting for the next tour, but I decided that wasn’t the best idea. I had more driving to do. I looked around instead.

As I waited, the place got more crowded. A lot of other people also wanted to take the tour!

After a little bit, we were led to the distillery.

Paul was our tour guide. He is an assistant distiller. While he was getting ready, he told us to walk around and take as many pictures as we like. That’s exactly what I did!

In the middle of my picture taking, Paul was checking the proof of a batch of rum. It was at 175.6!

It was not done! It kept going up as he showed us it. It’s final resting place was 176.8.

I continued my picture taking of the facility.

A little while later, Paul was directing us to over by the bar so the tour could start.

I learned that Wicked Dolphin has 14 types of rum and also makes a vodka. I found out that over 30,000 people a year tour the distillery. Vanilla bean rum is their top-selling flavor.

Everyone was told not to touch any of the equipment. It was hot, and they were actively making the rum. As we took the tour, we could see other people working.

Before we knew it, some samples came out.

Paul continued the tour and talked about the process of making rum. I learned that the yeast used is different for rum than it is for other liquors. The pH level of rum will kill regular yeast, so a special yeast is used.

Sugar and water is mixed with yeast in the kettle and allowed to ferment. It takes about a week for the rum to ferment properly. After it is fermented, it is put through the copper still. The main source of heat for the distilling is steam.

They run nine different distillations to finally get the finished product. When they are done distilling the rum, it is often aged in wooden barrels.

After whatever aging process they do with the rum, they then bottle the rum by hand. They can bottle around 480 bottles an hour. They even have a sign-up sheet on their website if you want to volunteer to help them.

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m a huge fan of local products.

Wicked Dolphin is a huge proponent of being as local as possible. I learned that 96% of what goes in the rum is sourced within a 3-hour drive. The only things that can’t be sourced locally are apples, vanilla, and coconut water. Additionally, they strive to reduce waste. The waste from the distilling process is fed to cows and pigs.

They are also focusing on the Florida market first, before expanding to other states. They call this following the “Tito Model.” Tito’s Vodka focused on conquering the Texas market before moving on to the rest of the US. In many ways, I’m hoping they conquer Florida first and get to Texas fast!

All in all, I am very impressed with Wicked Dolphin. I already loved the rum, but taking the tour has made me love it more. The fact that they are truly a local product with local ingredients is pretty amazing! I also like the great tour that Paul gave and the fact they are so social media friendly. I am really wishing for their continued success. I can’t wait until they are in Texas!

Since I can’t get it on the shelves in Texas, I made sure not to leave empty handed!

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