Key West First Legal Rum Distillery

Key West First Legal Rum Distillery: Artisanship in Every Drink

A distinctive and lovely distillery making waves in the spirits industry is located in the middle of Key West, Florida. As its name indicates, the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery was the city’s first legal rum distillery since Prohibition. Nowadays, it is renowned for being a trendsetter and for the artisanship it puts into each drink it makes.

The backstory of the distillery 

Paul Menta is the expert chef and top businessman in key west. Paul, the rum fermentation expert, launched the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery in 2012. Paul Menta, the famous chef, has long fantasised about starting a distillery and producing his rum. He ultimately realised his dream after years of preparation and study. The placement of the distillery is also not by chance. 

Rum production began on the island in the early 1800s, and Key West formerly had a strong rum industry. Unfortunately, because alcohol manufacture and sales were prohibited in the US during the Prohibition era, this sector needed to be more active. Alcohol production and sales were once again permitted only when Prohibition was ended.


The Key West First Legal Rum Distillery stands apart for various reasons, including its commitment to artisanship. Paul ferments rum using conventional techniques and premium ingredients to create small batches. As a result, a tasty and distinctive product is produced. Each rum available from the distillery has a unique taste character. For instance, the Key West Golden Rum is a silky rum with golden hues and aromas of caramel and vanilla.

It is produced from sugar cane cultivated in Florida and is matured for three years in barrels made of American oak. 

But the Key West Dark Rum is a deep, dark rum with undertones of chocolate and molasses. It is created from blackstrap molasses and is matured in American oak barrels for three years. Various flavoured rums, including coconut, key lime, and coffee, are also available at the distillery. These rums have wonderful and genuine tastes added by natural infusion.

Visit and Tastings 

Visiting and tasting at the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery is one of the greatest ways to appreciate craftsmanship. A VIP, private, and basic visit and tasting are all available at the distillery.

Basic visit and tasting

A fantastic approach to learning more about the distillery and its products is to take a basic visit and taste. Guests will discover the history of rum in Key West and how it is distilled. Several of the distillery’s rums, including the Key West Golden Rum and the Key West Dark Rum, will also be available for them to sample.

Private visit 

The private visit is great for individuals who prefer a more specialised experience. This tour is given by a knowledgeable member of the distillery staff and includes a sample of six rums and a memento glass.

VIP visit 

The Key West First Legal Rum Distillery VIP visit offers the best possible experience. This trip includes a private tour of the distillery, sampling every rum produced by the company, including special edition rums that are not made accessible to the general public, and a bottle of the visitor’s choice to take home.

When to visit? 

Between 3 and 3:30 pm, visitors to the distillery may take a tour and see as prefiltered alcohol is poured into the still. If you miss the official tour, the employees will typically be glad to show you around while at work. Don’t expect to see Menta peering at the stills on a windy day. He’ll be kiteboarding outdoors.

Popular products 

Barrel proof rum

This rum has high proof. Therefore it’s not for the weak of the heart. It has a robust and powerful flavour and is matured for up to three years in oak barrels before being bottled at cask strength.

Dark rum 

This molasses-based, robust rum is matured for up to two years in wood barrels. It has a silky finish and hints of coffee and chocolate.

Key lime rum 

This fan favourite is made with real Key Lime juice and aged in oak barrels. Its light citrus flavour makes it delightful to drink on a hot summer day.

Hemingway Rum Co.

With this partnership with the Hemingway family, rums modelled after Ernest Hemingway’s preferred drinks were created. The dark and blonde rums from Their Papa’s Pilar should be tried.

Legal rum 

The distillery’s distinctive rum, manufactured with locally grown sugar cane and aged in wood barrels, is this one. With undertones of vanilla and caramel, it has a smooth and well-balanced taste.

In this blog, we have given you an account of Key West First Legal Rum Distillery: Artisanship in Every Drink. We described the craftsmanship and artisanship of the rum in  Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. 

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