Since its inception in 2006, the Newport Distilling Company (NDC) has sought to revive the tradition of crafting rum in the state of Rhode Island.
In the early 1700s Newport was considered to be the rum capital of the world with close to two dozen distilleries operating on the Newport Harbor front. By 1872 the culture in Newport shifted and all but one distillery remained.

Fast forward to the early 2000s when the President and Co-Founder of the Newport Storm Brewery took a historic tour of Newport and rediscovered the once bustling market of rum making and vowed to restore the tradition to its former glory.

The stills fired up in 2006 and after roughly two years of aging, Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum hit the shelves throughout Rhode Island and has now journeyed as far as Key West, Florida!

After 10 years of growing success, the NDC adds another unique and rare spirit to their portfolio, Widows Walk, an overproof white rum.

Handcrafted in Newport with flavorful blackstrap molasses and a single pot still, Widows Walk has a buttery nose up front followed by a grassy cane flavor and finishing with dark molasses notes. When scavenging for white rum in the market one often finds a spirit that is 60% water and 40% ABV, Widows Walk blows these specs out of the water with a hearty 67.5% ABV. This robust ABV brings forth more concentrated flavors allowing it to be balanced by a wider variety of modifiers used in cocktailing. “There are lots of distillers making flavored rums and lower proof white rums,” notes Master Distiller Brent Ryan, “an overproof white rum is a unique expression that is focused on our meticulous process and the spirit itself.”

As for the name you ask? In Newport’s rum heyday, life on the sea was not for the faint of heart. When ships left port, there was little guarantee of when or if they would return. Because of this, ship’s owners and crew members’ loved ones used small structures on the top of harbor side houses to look out for the safe return of their ships. These structures eventually became known as “widows walks” as too often the ships, and the mariners on them, never returned.

The untamed flavors of this unaged white rum bring back the spirit of the bold sailors that put it all on the line to seek their fortunes. Distribution of Widows Walk begins this week and spans across RI, CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD,DC, SC, GA, FL, IL and now DENMARK! To discover more of Newport Distilling Co. adventures and Widows Walk go to

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.