Maggie’s Farm Rum’s winning streak continues | Pittsburgh City Paper

Maggie’s Farm Rum’s winning streak continues

Russell’s dedication is reflected by the shiny copper of his brand-new still

The past year has been a busy one for Maggie’s Farm Rum founder/owner/head distiller/bartender/janitor Tim Russell. Maggie’s has raked in more awards than any other rum distillery, including a Best in Class award from the American Craft Spirits Association, where Russell’s Queen’s Share Double Barrel Rum received the only gold medal awarded to any rum in the competition. The rum is unique because it’s made from the “tails” (the leftovers) of rum batches, then redistilled into a single spirit. The process was passed to him by a master distiller on Grand Cayman, who learned it from a Jamaican state distiller. Aging in a virgin toasted-oak barrel, and finishing in a used rum barrel from another distillery, gives this young rum an uncommon depth of flavor. 

Last Saturday, Russell released his first batch of Queen’s Share since taking home the gold in February. He doubled the quantity of his original release of 50 bottles and has another 100 bottles on the way, but due to limiting factors in production, there won’t be a large amount available at any one time. It all makes for one very restricted commodity.

Russell’s dedication is easily reflected by the shiny copper of his brand-new still, which will be running by the end of September. With more production volume, Russell can experiment without fear of falling behind on his flagship products, his spiced and white rums.

As for what’s next, there might be an apple brandy for fall, and a rum aged in port-wine barrels come Christmastime. Russell also plans to focus more on aged and single-barrel products. On Sept. 11, a limited release of his single-barrel gold rum will set the stage for more to come. As for a possible expansion, Russell is looking at 2016. “At this point,” he says,  “I’m the only one doing the production, whether it’s bottling, corking, distilling or labeling. By next summer, something will have to give.”