An Interview with Kelly Railean, owner of Railean Distillers

Maker's of Railean Rum in San Leon, TX.

American Craft Spirits: Kelly, why rum?

Kelly: I actually started out in the wine business back in 1997, selling wine for a large distributor. I thought I would get into the wine making business, but then I started sailing and decided I needed to learn about rum & pirates in order to really be a sailor! My husband & I bought a Hunter 30' sailboat in 2001 and just really became passionate about rum as we took up sailing. We would bareboat charter in the Caribbean Islands and we had the chance to tour & see all sorts of rum distilleries. I was really impressed with the quality of some of the smaller producers that you may not even be able to find here in the states. Then one day in 2005, while hanging out at The Buccaneer Bar in San Leon (unfortunately the bar was destroyed in Hurricane Ike) and drinking some pretty bad rum, we had a revelation! Matt & I were complaining to our friends how awful the rum was and then I jokingly made the comment, "I bet I could make rum better than this". Next thing I know I am learning about distillation and spending a lot of time researching and tasting all sorts of rums.

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Railean Small Cask Reserve Single-Barrel Rum

Barrel Rum

Score: 95

Hazelnut, marzipan, orange chocolate and vanilla bean on the nose – this is rich, desert-worthy rum, so don't even think about cola, in fact, don't even set the bottles next to one another in the fridge! On the palate, a warm and nutty earthiness develops, which carries the pot still sweetness directly to the finish. Creamy caramel and bourbon notes take a few minutes to develop, but once they do, you begin to get the whole picture of this rum. It's complex, delicious, and beautifully rendered from beginning to end. Here is unspoiled island pleasure straight from the mainlaind.

Local Spotlight: Railean Rum

By Lennie Ambrose Thu., Oct. 28 2010 at 8:00 AM

​When Robb Walsh picked Gilhooley's Raw Bar in San Leon as the place that serves his favorite dish in all of the greater Houston area, he forgot to mention one thing, that Railean Rum is made within walking distance of the oyster shanty. What better way to enhance your journey to Gilhooley's than to also schedule a quick tour of the first (legal) distillery in Southeast Texas?

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Drink Texas This New Year

A guide to holiday boozing for the locavore

By Wes Marshall, Fri., Dec. 25, 2009

Back in 1997, when Burt Butler "Tito" Bev­er­idge II brought his eponymous vodka to the market, he was stuck with 18 maxed-out credit cards, a pickup truck full of debt, and a piece of property that he kindly described as "the cheapest dirt in Travis County." He worked his tail off, crafting a great beverage and using cheap guerilla tactics to market it. Tito's Vodka possessed a powerful strength that helped launch it as a juggernaut: It tastes great. In double-blind taste tests all over the U.S. (including at The Austin Chronicle; see "Texas Gets Spirited Away," Dec. 28, 2007), Tito's wins or places in the top three. It is also quite inexpensive for the quality. By about 2004, Tito was making it look easy. Of course, it wasn't. Owning a business is never easy.

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Railean Rum -

"The Original Texas Rum"

This year has to be one of the hottest and driest summers I can ever remember. It seems like no matter what you do you can't beat the heat. I know it's not very manly but I have found myself craving frozen tropical drinks. While BBQ'ing in this heat a cold beer didn't seem to do the trick anymore, so I headed to a liquor store to pick up a bottle of rum and mixers to liven up any party. This is when I came across a rum that was new to me. Since it is known I support everything from Texas, I thought I would give this rum a shot. Railean Rum was a major hit. This is exactly what I had been searching for all summer to quench my thirst. With its mellow flavor and clean finish it added just the special kick to daiquiris and coladas.

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Liquid Assets

"Fabulous Texas rum on the cheap"

Railean Rum - What hath Tito wrought? The guy just goes out and makes himself rich, and suddenly distillers all over the state get the courage to try their own. So far, we've had an unusually good run, with just about everyone producing quality spirits.

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Exclusively Fermented, Distilled, and Bottled by Railean Distillers, LLC. Copyright ©2013 LLC, San Leon, Texas.
All Rights Reserved | Made in USA | 40% Alc./Vol. | Crave Win Marketing