We were in Cape Coral recently and stumbled upon the Wicked Dolphin Distillery. This is not the first distillery we have visited in Florida. We have taken a tour through the St. Augustine Distillery and also have visited Timber Creek in the Panhandle and the fledgling Sugar Sand Distillery near Lake Placid.
It’s not easy to find the place, although our trusty GPS guided us there through an interesting mix of residential and industrial properties. One thing is for certain, when you arrive, you know it. The place is well decorated and brightly colored.
One of our big disappointments was that we did not have an opportunity to go on one of their free tours. Unlike other distilleries, it appears that work comes to a halt when guests are shown about, so tours only are held certain times of the day.
When we arrived, there was a group of former airline stewardesses who had purchased a private tour. The next one was not for two hours – which did not fit our schedule.
Nevertheless, there still was plenty to see and do there. Wicked Dolphin Distilleries was started in 2012 with the idea of using locally sourced sugar cane and other ingredients. In fact, Wicked Dolphin Event Manager Angela Milisitz – told us that they are looking at working with organic cane in some of their new product.
Speaking of product, there was no shortage. In addition to the regular Wicked Dolphin Crystal, there were Black, Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Mango and Pineapple varietals. They also produce a vodka and some different “rumshine” products. Those come in strawberry, blueberry and apple pie flavors.
Award Winning Rums
Over their short lifespan, this artisan rum distillery has racked up the hardware. For the past four years they have snatched the USA Today’s Best Craft Rum Distillery Award. They also have taken top honors from the International Rum Conference, The American Distilling Institute and The World Spirits Competition – among others.
Our sampling proved these august bodies to be correct. It was difficult to taste each of the different varieties. However, it was our duty as reporters to do so. I simply must say that we tried the Pineapple, Coconut, Key Lime and Crystal versions.
We found them to be light and flavorful. Angela explained that this is because they use real fruit and not extracts, flavorings or oils. My observation is that each of these rums easily can stand on their own. However, some seem to think they make good mixed drinks or can be used for cooking.
If you wish, there is plenty of other Wicked Dolphin branded merchandise. There’s apparel like T-shirts and sweatshirts, there are shot glasses, mugs, key chains and flasks. You may want some of their Wicked Dolphin branded sauces, there are gift baskets and boxes with several of their rum varieties.
And if none of that suits you – they are open to suggestion.
As we said before, we did not take the tour. But this is what we know. It takes from 45 minutes to an hour to complete. And while you can bring your kids along, they cannot sample the product unless they are of legal age.
It might be best to take the tour during the winter. While the distillery is air conditioned, the heat coming from the equipment, can make it pretty warm in the Barrel Room. They recommend you dress comfortably.
And yes, you can take pictures.
We had a pretty good time at the Wicked Dolphin Distillery. The next time, we will make reservations for a tour and report back on how we were able to use our bottle of Wicked Dolphin Pineapple Rum. (Mrs Funmeister already is looking into an appropriate recipe.)