The Funk Heavy Pot Still Jamaican Rum Named Best of Category

by James Stevenson

Proof & Wood Ventures, the new spirits company founded by spirits industry veteran Dave Schmier, is proud to announce that The Funk Unaged Heavy Pot Still Jamaican Rum has taken home the prestigious Best of Category—Certified Craft Blended Spirit at the 2019 American Distilling Institute Judging of Craft Spirits.

Distilled in St. Catherine, Jamaica, The Funk truly lives up to its name. Behind its deep mineral, well, funk, you’ll find creamy notes of coconut, mango and pineapple. The spirit is ideal for tiki drinks, Daiquiris and anywhere else funky rum “hogo” flavor is needed. It’s bottled at a powerful-but-not-overpowering 100 proof (50% ABV).

“Our original plan for this rum was to age it and blend it with column-still rum, but when I tasted it at still strength and then brought the proof down a bit, I found the traditional pot still flavors combined with an accessible lightness that it has,” says Proof & Wood founder Dave Schmier. “I knew we had to bottle it on its own.”

, The Funk Heavy Pot Still Jamaican Rum Named Best of Category

While Schmier made sure to put down some barrels of both pot- and column-still rums in Kentucky for future aged bottlings, The Funk is now available in 11 states (plus Washington, D.C.) where Proof & Wood’s products are distributed, at a suggested retail price of $27.99.

High-resolution bottle photos of The Funk (along with more information about the full Proof & Wood portfolio) are available in the Proof & Wood media kit. For more information, please contact Jason Horn at [email protected] or 847-902-0860.


At Proof & Wood Ventures, Inc., we invest in and develop spirits brands, and age our own spirits. Our core business is sourcing and bottling fine American whiskies, but we also import other high-quality spirits from around the world that were not available in the US previously. Founder Dave Schmier is delighted to be able to create both cocktail-friendly bottlings for value-focused bartenders and high-end collectors’ editions for connoisseurs.

“Our name comes from the two things we control as a blender and finisher of fine spirits, and the two things that are incredibly important to any spirit’s flavor: the proof it’s bottled at, and the wood of the barrel we age it in,” Schmier says. “That is who we are.”


Dave Schmier has a long history in marketing and selling spirits. He was the founder and CEO of boutique beverage marketing agency Idea Foundation, winner of Reggie Awards for its work with Absolut Vodka and Alizé. Schmier’s first venture into tactually creating spirits was as owner of drinks consultancy Dynamic Beverages, LLC, which launched Orange V—one of the first flavored vodkas to use a certified-organic base spirit—in 2003. Its success (or lack thereof) led Schmier in 2010 to co-found Bardstown Barrel Selections, a merchant of carefully selected American whiskies. The company’s booming hit, Redemption Rye Whiskey, grew to sell 20,000 cases per year in less than five years, and resulted in the brand being acquired by spirits giant Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits in 2015.

With his years of experience and personal connections at distilleries, barrelmakers and more, Schmier didn’t want to leave an industry he’d grown to love, so he founded Proof & Wood in 2015 . “I didn’t want to just sit back after BBS and Redemption Rye,” he says. “So I started a company to source not only great American whiskies but also other amazing booze from all over the globe.”

Schmier also founded the Independent Spirits Expo in 2005. The convention for small, craft liquor-makers, distributors, bartenders and others now holds annual events in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas. He holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut and a BS in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University. A native of New York City, he now lives in Connecticut.

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