William Levy, the well-known Cuban American actor, model, and third place winner on season fourteen of Dancing with the Stars has teamed with Matt Malone of Miami Club Rum. Their collaboration is on the brink of going national. The first targeted areas include New York, California, and Las Vegas.
Miami Club Rum currently produces a platinum rum, “platinum being the name generally accepted in the industry as dark rum to be distilled into a clear form,” says Malone, adding that it is “a modern-style rum created ultimately to be used as a mixer.” It's aged in French oak but all ingredients are from Miami or South Florida. He even plays salsa, samba, and some arias to the rum as it distills with vintage Bose speakers that shake the barrels up. A secret oxygenation technique is used to aerate the depths.
The distillery has some heavy clientele like Michael Schwartz and Michelle Bernstein as well as the Loews, the Ritz-Carlton, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise Lines, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. The duty-free store in Miami is one of the best locations. "People tend to want to take a piece of Miami home," Malone says.
Malone wants to pass his distillery on to his two children. After all, his wife’s family has made rum in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, for five generations. And although he was born in the Midwest, Malone insist Miami is his home. A photographer that he employs, Sid Hoeltzel, lives around the corner. His new bottle is being designed just across the street.
Tours of the distillery at 2320 N. Miami Ave. are scheduled every day by Miami Tours, Dragonfly, and the Brew Bus. The space is open for special events and corporate parties (WLRN will be hosting poetry month with the end function held at Miami Club Rum.) The tour is 30 minutes long with rum tastings. You can also purchase up to two bottles at the distillery to take home.
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Malone has plans to introduce his second bottle of rum this fall, an añejo which will be aged significantly longer in American oak and then in a 30-gallon bourbon barrel.
Levy and Malone are also embarking on a seven-country publicity tour to raise the brand's awareness.
And If you happen to be walking the streets of Wynwood and spot a hand-painted 1972 Mercedes-Benz convertible by world-renowned artist Don RiMix, give a wave – that’s just Malone's ride.