Ask yourself: Did Señor Bacardi produce a well-crafted, eminently-drinkable spirit in HIS first year of operation? Señor Botran? How about the folks at Mount Gay? I've got to hand it to the folks at Van Brunt Stillhouse - they've done a really good job on this rum. Room to improve? Sure. My first choice in the rum cabinet? No. But there's definitely the foundation here for good things to come. Even today, if you're looking to see how an American rum holds up against the traditional kings of the hill, you won't be disappointed. That said, this is a young artisanal distillery, and it remains to be seen if they can produce consistent results year after year.