A Mountain of Crushed Ice is Rum Blogger of the Year 2013 UK Rumfest Golden Rum Barrel Awards

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How a Mai Tai should NOT be and how it should be

Demerara Rums from Guyana

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Demerara Rums Part Two

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Demerara Rums Part Three

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Cachaca and Rhum agricole, what`s the difference?

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Sugarcane!

sugarcane

Tahitian Vanilla Syrup

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Hibiscus Grenadine

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Gomme syrup

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Learn how to easily open a coconut and mix up a tasty Coconaut.

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Green Banana Syrup!

Green Banana syrup bottle

Here`s a quite subtle syrup as far as sweet banana flavor goes but flavor wise it´s rich and there´s a pronounced “green” banana flavor in it. It`s made to mostly be used in tiki and tropical drinks to add a little extra exotic touch of something “green and jungly” yet rich, dark and mysterious…

It`s made with one unripe apple banana, dark muscovado sugar and water.

Muscovado sugar comes in two varieties here, light and dark. The light is not white, it´s light to medium brown and has a rich wonderful flavor. The flavor of the dark is a lot more towards the flavors of molasses and also has a hint of liquorice to it. The finished syrup is a very deep dark brown, almost black.

Apple bananas also called Manzano bananas are short, plump and fat in shape and their flesh’s texture is firm when young almost like plantains, but tender and creamy when ripe. Young Apple bananas are both tangy and sweet with hints of apple. As they ripens, they will develop a far more tropical flavor profile, with notes of pineapple and strawberry. The Apple banana has a complex scent marked by a strong tart-apple aroma.

Ripe Apple bananas should also make a nice syrup with a stronger banana flavor but i wanted  a  “greenish” type of  flavor so i used a green unripe Apple banana which i got from a Thai shop.

Another idea could be to use half unripe and half  ripe piece of  Apple banana with the “light” type muscovado sugar to make a sweeter more bana-ish type of syrup as well.

Green banana syrup collage 1

So what you do is adding in a 2:1 ratio sugar to water in a small pan and make the syrup, let cool and pour into a vessel and set aside. Clean the pan and add slices of the banana which you mash with a fork then add the syrup and let it cook up and when it cooks, take immediately off the heat because you do not want the sugar to caramelize. Leave to cool for at least a couple hours or overnight for the flavors to settle, then strain and bottle in a clean bottle.

Before setting aside i turned the pieces with peel upside down to get as flavor much as possible out of the green peel.

It should last a couple weeks in the fridge. I made only a small batch since i don`t use banana syrup in all drinks, i took about 1 cup(2.5dl) sugar and half of that in water and then one Apple banana.

Green Banana syrup 3

After sitting overnight the whole thing looks like this

The syrup turned out really nice with a deep semi-sweet green bananish and molasses like flavor.

I decided to make a variation of the “Lava flow” using the green banana syrup instead of a fresh banana to take away that sweet banana flavor and make it more “green” and unsweet if that`s the word when there´s Coco Real Cream of Coconut in the drink….but i wanted to avoid the over sweetness which the combination of Cream of Coconut AND a whole ripe banana could be. I also added a half  ounce of fresh lime to add some freshness and zest to the mix.

Kilauea`s Fiery Lava Flow

Kilauea Fiery Lava Flow

2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice

2 oz Coco Real Cream of  Coconut or Coco Lopez

0.5 oz green apple banana syrup

0.5 oz fresh lime

2 oz strawberries

1 oz white rum (i used Koloa Kaua`i Coconut Rum)

1 oz overproof rum (i used Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum)

Mix 1 – Blend rums and strawberries in blender, pour into a tall (or other) glass and set aside

Mix 2 -Rinse the blender and blend pineapple juice, green apple banana syrup and Coco Real with 1 cup crushed ice until smooth. Slowly pour the blended mix into the glass with the rum and strawberries mix which should start to creep up the sides of the glass creating a lava flow effect.

Garnish with what you have on hand, a pineapple wedge, tropical orchid etc and a flaming lime shell.

To make the flaming lime shell: Take a half spent lime shell to use as “bowl” and place 2-3 croutons in it that are drenched in lemon extract (burns longer and brighter) or 151 overproof rum, make sure there´s nothing close to the drink above it and set it alight.

Now that`s a drink! best suitable for the pool in hot tropical weather actually but one can dream right?

Green Banana Daiquiri

Green Banana Daiquiri

Just a daiquiri with this green apple banana syrup! rum, lime and green banana syrup! But this one is even more potent than the Fiery Lava Flow…

2 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz green apple banana syrup

Shake together with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or glass and garnish with two slices of green apple banana. Be careful with this one! if you want a milder daiquiri use another good white or aged rum!

Green Jet Pilot (Twist of Hale Pèles Jet Pilot with a twist of green banana)

Green Jet Pilot

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz grapefruit juice (white)

0.5 oz green apple banana syrup

0.5 oz cinnamon syrup

0.75 oz  Gold Puerto Rican Rum (for example Don Q)

0.75 oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark Rum (amazing blackstrap rum from Louisiana- if you can`t find it sub with Cruzan Blackstrap)

1 dash Angostura bitters

6 drops pernod

Mix everything with crushed ice and dump into an goblet and top with more crushed ice and garnish with a piece of green apple banana on the side of the glass and a speared green banana slice and tropical orchid.

Go green bananas!

Rum from Cuba – Ron Cubay!

Cubay Rums

Ron Cubay is a rum i only had a chance to briefly try at the 2013 UK Rumfest as their table was swamped, and at this last years rumfest i tried them again and up for review i have here the 3 year old white rum, Carta Blanca, the Anejo 7 anos and the Ron Cubay 10 year old Especial Reserva. They are rums of the Spanish style, light, elegant and typically Cuban.

In Cuba rum was first made in the 1700th century when molasses from the Far East was brought there by Columbus via Spain. Growing well in Cuba, the sugarcane became the most important crop and in the 19th century rum production really got going.

Ron Cubay was founded in 1964 in Santo Dominco, Villa Clara, centrally located in Cuba and was only intended for the Cuban market until 2010 when the first shipments for export arrived in Europe and in 2013 i first saw it at the UK Rumfest and briefly wrote about it since a quick tasting usually only gives a very brief first impression.

Ron Cubay is produced with only Cuban molasses from sugar cane since the Cuban legislation forbids using foreign molasses to produce Cuban rum and they are produced by the distilleries of  Cuba Ron S.A which also produce Havana Club and distributed in the UK by JBE Imports.

Distillation is done with a Column Still which typically gives these lighter style rums. The rums are aged in American white oak ex whiskey barrels which are re-charred. Nothing is added and Ron Cubay is a 100% natural product with 100% Cuban materials.

Only 3 out of  5 expressions are marketed in the UK, the 3-year-old Carta Blanca,the 7-year-old Anejo and the 10-year-old Anejo Reserva Especial, but maybe also the new Ron Cubay Extra Viejo which they had up for sampling at the 2014 UK Rumfest is released for purchase in the UK – a light gold colored rum which is mix of white rum and extra aged rum reserves.

That is old Cuban rums that are aged for an average of seven years and then some of the best whites that are aged for nearly 13 years in white American oak barrels. From what i remember of the taste of this rum, it had a quite intense fruity flavor, balanced and no harshness at all which was expected. The bottles are individually numbered and comes in a velvet leather effect gift box.

The other two rums are a 4-year-old Carta Dorada and a 5-year-old Anejo Suave, which naturally i haven`t tried, neither do i know if they are able for purchase in Europe, but i guess not, at least not yet.

Cubay collage 2 rums

CARTA BLANCA

The Carta Blanca (38% ABV) is designed for cocktails and is a vibrant, only slightly sweet rum. The color is white with faint yellowish tones. On the nose it`s pretty “green and young”, with green sugarcane and some slight pepper notes, it´s a typical daiquiri rum.

In the mouth you get the same green freshness with a little fruitiness and slight sweetness, it´s not harsh at all but does have some refreshing pepper notes that makes this rum lively, definitely great for cocktails but can also be sipped neat if you wish.

ANEJO

The anejo is 7 years old (38.0% ABV) and has a medium golden amber color. The nose has a lovely honeyed sweetness, with hints of caramel and toffee mixed with a mellow fruitness, like mashed apricots.

In the mouth it´s fruity, just slightly woody, a bit of vanilla, hints of apricots and peaches and warm rich dark sugar.

A good sipping rum but can of course also go in cocktails.

Cubay Reserva Especial

ANEJO RESERVA ESPECIAL

Deep amber in color the Anejo Reserva Especial is 10 years old (40% ABV) it has a rich nose, like a golden stream of honey with apricot, peach and vanilla notes drenched in sugarcane and light hints of spice.

In the mouth i feel more vanilla paired with honey, toffee and peaches, it´s warm and caressing and so soft, just a very slight hint of spices.

I think this rum has a lot to offer and even while it´s not so widely known yet everywhere it will be. I`d use the Carta Blanca as a mixing rum, the Anejo, which i think i prefer of the three i`d use for both sipping and mixing and finally the Anejo Reserva Especial, for sipping when you want something easy on the palate to relax with.

I made a classic daiquiri with the Carta Blanca, that`s the natural thing to do….but there´s a whole range of things you can mix with it that`s not daiquiris! i just happen to really love that drink :-)

CUBAY DAIQUIRI

Cubay Daiquiri

2 oz Ron Cubay Carta Blanca

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup

Shake ingredients with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or glass.

This drink is simple and yet it´s so perfect! if you want to really taste the rum in your drink this is the drink to make, rum, lime and sugar, the basis of so many cocktails not the least the tiki drinks! if there was no daiquiri invented there`d be no tiki drinks!

Also this is the perfect cocktail to test how good a rum is because you cannot get a tasty daiquiri with a bad rum. With Ron Cubay the daiquiri is good so my thumb is up!

Cubay Rums 2

 

Here´s their UK Website.

The First Rum from La Confrèrie du Rhum!

La Confereie du Rhum Cuvee #1

La Confrèrie du Rhum” is a french rum forum on Facebook where everything rum/rhum/ron is discussed and was created by Benoit Bail in early 2013. Today “La Confrèrie” has 3600 members and of course i`m one of them! and the amount of things i`ve learnt especially about rhum agricole in this french speaking (they speak english too)  :-) group is not bad.

The members are all rum lovers and professionals from the industry (salesmen, producers, distilleries, bottlers, barmen/women etc) from the rum world.

In this very active group everything about rum is discussed, and pictures, rum reviews, websites and ideas are shared almost round the clock and in the past 18 months the group has grown rapidly.

On general demand Vincent, Jerry and Benoit, who are the hosts of the group, decided to bring on a first special bottling named after the group, which should be sold to it`s members in january 2015.

This ultra limited edition bottling which counts 55 bottles of 500 ml, comes from Barbados and remembers by this way the beginnings of history of rum. Distilled at the W.I.R.D (West Indies Rum Distillery) in 2000, this rum has been aged in American oak casks during 13 years, partly in Barbados and then in Germany and has finally been bottled in 2014 for the Confrèrie du Rhum.

The bottle has been waxed by Benoit to give them a better look and to combine the red wax with the red writing on the black label which hides a map of the island in the back. I think the label is really nice! i like how the red contrasts to the black label and how the wax matches the red text. I also like the map of Barbados in the background.

La Confrerie du Rhum

The rum has a golden color and the nose is that of “deep barrel” if there´s such a description…there´s wood and tropical fruit, slight hints of vanilla..and something “medical” but not unpleasant!

So how does this rum taste to me? well, i must say really good!

The taste is very pleasant with the same tropical fruit notes as in the nose, black pepper, liquorice, sugarcane and wood with a rather dry finish with a slightly astringent after taste which i really like and a plus in my book is that i cannot detect any extra sugar in this rum! :-) I also find it has a slight smoky note to it, a bit of earthiness. The rum is 43% ABV.

This marks the beginning of what i hope to be the first of many more rums for La Confrèrie du Rhum! Well done Benoit Bail, Vincent Bidault de Villiers and Jerry Gitany!

La Confèrie du Rhum

La Confrerie logo

Demerara Rum: Wood`s 100 Old Navy Rum

Woods 100 collage

Wood`s 100 is an excellent overproof navy rum from Guyana and distilled at the diamond distillery using a combination of spirits made in pot and column stills from sugarcane growing on the banks of the river Demerara. The appearance is dark and syrupy and the flavor is unrefined rich demerara with kick and depth. This rum is bursting with good flavors! and a plus in my book – it´s a bit stronger.

Wood`s 100 was awarded ‘Distiller of the Year’ and ‘International Spirits Producer of the Year’ at the 2013 IWSC awards.

It´s been around a long time, more precisely for over a century before it was aqcuired by William Grant and Sons (who also owns the OVD demerara rum) in 2002, but it took me until this year´s UK Rumfest until i finally got to try it. I liked it at first sip – which i knew i would. It`s a down to earth demerara rum, very well suited for tiki drinks.

The nose promises of a flavorful demerara rum, and in the mouth it`s deep, dark and rich, you get burnt sugar and molasses, coffee and spice in a very upfront punch in the face kinda way. And that`s what i also expected from a wooden pot still demerara rum of that strength.

It`s 57% ABV or 114 proof, which is navy strength. It is said that in the old navy days sailors would “prove” the strength of their rum rations by checking that gunpowder doused with rum would still burn (thus verifying that rum was at least 57% ABV.) I once saw a gunpowder test at the Tales of the Cocktail where Lemon Hart 151 made the gunpowder ignite.

There isn`t very much to find online storywise on this rum so it´s time to make a few drinks, starting with a classic:

3 dots and a dash

Woods 100 3 Dots and a Dash

0.5 oz Lime Juice

0.5 oz Orange Juice

0.5 oz Honey Mix*

0.25 oz Falernum

0.25 oz Pimento Dram

6 oz Crushed Ice

0.5 oz Wood`s 100 Demerara Rum

1.5 oz Rhum agricole vieux (aged) Rum

Combine everything into a blender and blend at high speed for about 5 seconds. Pour into a tiki mug or a glass and garnish with 3 cherries speared on wood. The garnish is a slight variation from the original recipe where the wood spear is the dash instead of a piece of speared pineapple.

Honey mix – 1 part Honey + 1 part Water, heat to dissolve the honey and then cool to room temp.

Dark and Dusky  (A variation on the “Dark and Stormy”)

Woods 100 - Dark and Dusky

0.5 oz fresh lime

0.25 oz pimento dram

2 oz Wood`s 100 Demerara Rum

Top up with Ginger Beer

Garnish with 3 black cherries and a black anthurium flower.

Volcano House Hot Buttered Rum  (from Jeff Berry`s Grog Log)

Woods 100 - Volcano Island Hot Buttered Rum

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

1/4 oz Maraschino liqueur

3/4 oz sugar

Hot tea

Butter Cloves 1.5 oz Wood`s 100 demerara rum

Pour juice, Maraschino, sugar and rum into a (preheated) mug and fill the rest of the mug with very hot tea. Stir well and then float a small piece of butter. Add a twist of lemon peel and 3-4 cloves.

Hot Tiki Rum Punch (a twist of Hot Rum Punch from Red Jay Bartender’s guide cirka 1934)

Woods 100 - Hot Tiki Rum Punch

1 tsp dark brown sugar to melt in a mug of hot tea

Add 1 oz Wood`s 100 and 1 oz Appleton Extra dark rums

Add 1/2-1 teaspoon spiced butter (after taste)

Spiced butter :

Room temp butter

1 tsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.

small pinch salt

Beat sugar and butter together until thoroughly creamed and fluffy; beat in nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt. Store in the fridge until needed.

My conclusion: Wood´s 100 is a great and strong demerara rum perfect for tiki drinks and other cocktails where you want a little bit of kick with the deep demerara flavor.

St Aubin Reserve Rum from Mauritius

St Aubin Reserve rums

 

The name of St Aubin`s Reserve rums has been inspired by their oldest sugar cane field of the Saint Aubin plantation which produces a reddish sugarcane variety with distinctive flavours. The juice from the red cane is distilled in their copper column still and thus produces a lighter more delicate rum than the artisanal range of Saint Aubin 1819.

I find the difference between the Reserve rums and the artisanal rums to be huge. The Reserve rums are much more light and delicate with just a hint of that aromatic herbal grassiness you find typical in rhum agricole, while the artisanal 1819 range of rums are much more strong in flavor.

St Aubin Reserve White Rum

The nose is as expected very light, almost extremely light, there´s a very slight hint of sugarcane juice. The taste is very mild, aromatic and has a sparkling brilliance to it. It`s pleasant and easy to sip! I would describe the flavor as “light sugarcane juice”

St Aubin Reserve Rum Spiced

This is different…in the nose you get whiffs of orange peel and what i think it´s a hint of gingerbread cake. In the mouth the orange peel is there very strong with cinnamon and that hint of gingerbread as was in the nose. It`s a different spiced rum since it´s made with an agricole rum. I cannot detect much of the agricole grassy notes though.

Would be good in holiday drinks! but it can also be sipped with ice. I used a little bit of it in my Spiced Pago Pago and a small amount of this mixed with their white rum added a bit of spice to the drink.

St Aubin Reserve Rum Vanilla

I had to just compare this vanilla rum with the 1819 Artisanal vanilla rum. Starting with the nose, it`s very very light….just a whiff of vanilla and light caramel, fruity rather than spicy. In the mouth it becomes stronger but this one is much more light and delicate than it´s 1819 cousin and the grassy agricole flavors are toned down.

While the other one has an decidedly earthy character with strong notes of both vanilla, wood and grassiness this one is more fruity with caramel notes and just a slight hint of vanilla. It`s balanced and pleasant and can be used in a variety of cocktails or be enjoyed neat. Remember this rum is made with vanilla beans from their own plantation!

SPICED PAGO PAGO

Spiced Pago Pago 2

6-7 chunks of fresh pineapple, muddled

0.5 oz (15 ml) fresh lime juice

0.5 oz (15 ml) green Chartreuse

0.25 oz (7.5 ml) Creme de Cacao

1 oz (30 ml) St  Aubin Reserve White Rum

0.5 oz (15 ml)  St Aubin Reserve Rum Vanilla

0.5 oz (15 ml)  St Aubin Reserve Rum Spiced

Muddle the pineapple chunks in a shaker and add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a tiki glass (or other fancy glass) filled with very cold cracked ice.

Garnish with pineapple slice, speared maraschino cherry and pineapple or other tropical leaf.

It´s a light and refreshing drink with herbal aromatics added from the Green Chartreuse.

If you would like this drink may also benefit from a float of overproof rum! (such as Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum which would go great with the St Aubin rums in this particular drink)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall i think St Aubin makes pleasant and flavorful rums, also they are very versatile, they greet you with some bright Mauritian sunshine! they make good quality rums. I also like the little square shaped bottles!

Here is their website.

If you live in Europe you can find St Aubin rums at La Gourmandine Rhumière´s online store. and at Christian de Montaguère in Paris.

Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum – Big Bold Flavors!

LSColonial rum bottle 3

COLONIAL AMERICAN INSPIRED RUM 

The Lost Spirits Distillery have done it again! made a geeky rum that blew me away…this time it`s  a 62 % ABV monster with espresso coffee and sarsaparilla notes…

I read Cocktailwonk`s post earlier on this rum where i read the flavor description by Bryan –  “chocolate-dipped plums rolled in espresso powder.”  That made my mouth water and my imagination run rampant….Now having tried it for myself i find that the description is quite on point.

This rum caught me by total surprise too…since i was expecting the Cuban Inspired Anejo Blanco rum to be launched and instead they launch this…albeit it´s a collaboration with Bounty Hunter Wine and Spirits in a very small batch – 225 bottles – and only sold at the Bounty Hunter thus only being available to people in the US and during a short time. It does have a different price tag than the other Lost Spirit rums, (a whopping $100 instead of  $45) due to the tiny production.

I see this rum as an indication of what`s to come because they are continuously developing their rums, experimenting with ways to improve them and reach new levels and what they are doing is total geekery. I wouldn`t be surprised if they come out with a couple more of these type of small batch rums and i`m very interested to see where their rum developments takes them.

I really like the Colonial Inspired rum, i love the dark coffee notes which are subtle but noticeable. There`s also hints of wood, sarsaparilla  and vanilla in it. I like the fact that it`s made without any color or flavor additives, no extra sugar in this rum! just baking grade molasses, water and yeast culture.

The nose to me is tropical fruit, citrus peel and spices and in the mouth you get an initial burn, the rum packs a 62% punch after all, then mature tropical fruit notes, sugarcane, wood, sarsaparilla, dark plums and a hint of coffee.

It`s a strong dark rum and perfect for tiki drinks….just like the others they have made.

Also the label made by Bryan is truly stunning, and like the previous labels – really detailed and artistic, reflecting the flavor profile of the rum.

LSColonial rum drink label collage

LOST SPIRIT RUMS

I like their other rums a lot, the Navy style with it`s rough smokiness, the Polynesian Inspired with it´s fruity pineapple notes and then the Grand Lady…. 151 Cuban which also had pineapple notes and rich vanilla and which i personally find to be very easy to sip…and that makes it a dangerous rum…I would suggest use 1 oz of it and 1 oz of another in a daiquiri for example and yeah occasionally go all 151 in and supercharge that lovely daiquiri bec they really gets good…

There was a post recently on the Tiki Central where the Lost Spirits rums were discussed and Bryan chimed in with an explanation about these rums and what he had in mind when creating them, a good read in my opinion and so therefore i forward it here for those who are interested:

To chime in and offer my own answer (which is actually a lot less important than yours). Most rum companies have been around for a long time. They don’t inherently create new products. They continue to make what they have always made and what their customers expect from them. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact when you have 100 employees to feed it’s essential to your survival and your community.

However, as a tiny new company (three people total) we have no such history. This freedom allows us to be super creative. Our engineering capability also lets us (to some extent) make what we can dream up. In fact we actually make the labels before we design the rum that goes in the bottle.

Short Summaries:

Navy Rum:
This was inspired by watching pirates of the Caribbean over and over again while asking ourselves the question: what would that rum in the movie taste like if it were a real thing. We engineered this one to have a significant wood smoke note to evoke the cannon fire and gun smoke with a tar esque quality reminiscent of wooden ships. Sort of an islay whiskey meets rum idea while still staying pretty close to classic navy rum.

Geeky summary: Phenolic & estery navy rum with the biggest semi-volatile (finish) profile in the industry – woot woot

Polynesian Rum:
Here we asked the question, if tiki was an actual place what would the rum taste like? We tried to make the chemical profile of the rum as close to that of a pineapple as possible. Tricky because we make rum not pineapples so it kept wanting to taste like rum not a pineapple.

Geeky summary: Heavy pot still rum with a big mid palette of carboxylic esters (fruity flavors) and minimal phenolic & semi-volatile influence. Designed to float on tiki drinks.

Cuban Inspired:
Here my dad was reminiscing about how good rum was when he was young (he is very old). So we wondered what the legendary cuban rum of 100 years ago was like. Since I don’t own any of that – I just let my imagination go. The idea here was to do a high rectification (read Spanish style rum) but in a pot still like they would have a LONG time ago. Then we designed the oak component to punch up the vanilla and accentuate the butterscotch notes of the white rum.

Geeky summary: Lighter base rum with a massive vanilla profile created from careful phenol management in the oak.

Colonial:
This one was a personal challenge. The commissioning party wanted a rum that could command the high price tag. For me this was the hardest project to date, because it meant it had to stand against my favorite rums (which are old).

So for this one I actually used a prototype of a set of new techniques that I have been working on in the shop for a long time. I actually had to file patents before I could sell the bottles or give the buyers samples. It was very kind of them to put that kind of faith in me.

Think of this one as a sneak preview of whats to come.

Geeky summary: Holy &@%t

Also here´s a link to a post by Cocktailwonk if you`re into the more technical details about this rum and i think it´s necessary to understand how this rum is made in order to fully appreciate it so here is a link and one other to earlier posts and one new because this is not a rum made the conventional way, it´s just simply different and i happen to like the flavors of the Lost Spirits rums and even though i`ve had no problems sipping their rums i do prefer to mix with them because they are strong.

I made my version of two tiki drinks with it which turned out really good:

Magic of the Lost Spell

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell

This is a drink obviously (if you`re into tiki) inspired by the Black Magic and the Dark Magic drinks…the Dark Magic created by Colonel Tiki in 2010 was in turn inspired by Mai Kai`s Black Magic.

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ oz dark muscovado syrup
¼ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
½ oz strong coffee like Kona, Blue Mountain or a Louisiana coffee like the Community Coffee dark roast (what i`m using)
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
8 drops (1/8th oz) Herbsaint

Blend ingredients with 8oz ice and pour into a crushed ice filled snifter and garnish with tropical orchids and leaves and 3 speared maraschino cherries.

As this rum is hard to get and if you can`t find it, sub with the Lost Spirits Navy style rum. The taste of the drink i found to be spicy and strong and “tiki” as in a dark mysterious tiki bar.

Let`s escape! lower the lights and set that drink on fire…..

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell 2

Lost Pilot

The next drink is my version of the Jet Pilot (Sippin`Safari) which was inspired by Don the beachcomber`s “Test Pilot” which was created during the mid century “golden age” of tiki drinks. There has been a number of drinks evolving from the original Test Pilot, like the Space Pilot, Astronaut, the Ace pilot and the Auto pilot :-)

With this Lost Spirits rum here it becomes the Lost Pilot!

The big difference from the Jet and Test Pilots is that while they use multiple rums this uses only the Colonial and the reason i only use one rum in this drink is that i wanted to see how this bold flavorful rum would do all by itself in this drink.

Since i haven`t yet experimented with blending it with other rums i cannot say if that would make a tastier drink – and i certainly don`t try to duplicate the Mai Kai version (which btw contains four rums and some other things) and of course using several rums brings more depth but i do think that the rum is doing really well and that this version is tasty.

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot

1/2oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice (yellow)
1/2oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod
4oz crushed ice

Throw everything into the blender, ice last. Flash-blend for less than 5 seconds. Pour into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a tropical orchid and leaf.

This is another strong and spicy tiki drink to help you escape into the eternal bliss of tropical fantasy island….

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot collage

This cool tiki mug is the result of a collaboration between the good folks at The Floating Rum Shack and Cheeky Tiki.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I wish the Colonial American Inspired  Rum was made in large batch…..i love the full flavor, the in your face punch and the potent strength, coffee notes and all and wish it was more widely available…i count myself very lucky to have a bottle. It shows me what potential the Lost Spirits Distillery have and i`m looking forward to see what they gonna make in the future.

If you happen to live in the US and can order from the Bounty Hunters Wine and Spirits you have a chance to get a bottle before they gone, only 225 bottles were made.

I just think the rums from the Lost Spirits Distillery rock! they are flavorful, strong, exciting and quite a different animal…and oh so naturally well suited for the type of drinks i love the most…

This is all about big, bold flavours.

LSColonial label back

St Aubin Rum from Mauritius

St Aubun 1819 bottle

I`m a lover of agricole rums and St Aubin is new to me even though it`s not new on the market. Hailing from beautiful Mauritius it`s an exotic and exciting rum to review!

St Aubin plantation located on southern Mauritius has been cultivating sugarcane since 1890 and takes it´s name from one of it`s first owner Pierre de St Aubin. On the estate there`s both artisanal and a traditional rums made. And what more is, they also have a tea plantation, Bois Chéri and a vanilla plantation and that`s the vanilla they use in their vanilla flavored rums. The water used in the rum making comes from their own spring water from Bois Chéri. It`s all local produce here which is something i like.

Each rum has it´s specific terroir and on Mauritius there´s abundant sunshine and rich volcanic soil watered by tropical rains creating a micro climate perfect for growing good quality sugarcanes producing this rum made from pure sugar cane juice.

On Mauritius the first pressed sugar cane juice is called “fangourin” and it´s that what makes the artisanal rums at St Aubin. It is further fermented and distilled once in a copper alembic still before being bottled without ageing.

When you open the bottle the nose you get is mild, herbal, grassy, floral, hints of vanilla, crispy and that of green sugarcane. In the mouth it intensifies strongly and the herbal grassiness comes more upfront. It`s not too sweet and rather on the dry side, and it´s a very pleasant and flavorful rum.

I get a mental picture of me sipping on a ti punch….

St Aubin Ti Punch

St Aubin Ti Punch

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

0.5 oz sugar cane syrup

A piece of lime, cut about 1/3 of a lime and squeeze the juice into the glass on top of the sugar, stir a little then add the rum and stir again. Adding ice or not is up to you…some people swear by no ice while others want some ice. I like it cold but you can also chill the glass, that way you don`t get any dilution from ice.

St Aubin 1819 white rum makes a very nice ti punch, flavorful, mild, crispy and refreshing! it´s a pleasure to sip on it. The daiquiri of the french islands! so simple and so tasty!

ST AUBIN FLAVORED RUMS

I also have three flavored rums here, coffee, vanilla and coconut. These flavored rums are made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice and they are flavored with natural ingredients. It`s tricky to make a good flavored rum, but these three here are all very well balanced and it tastes just natural.

COCONUT

Let`s start with the coconut…

It`s a very delightful coconut scent on the nose and the flavor is crispy brilliant with just a very slight hint of herbal grassiness and sugarcane. First you taste the coconut and then comes the sugarcane, it´s sweet but not overly-sweet. It sounds silly but i think it kinda transports you to a tropical beach…

The coconut rum is mild and caresses your palate like a soft tropical breeze…You can drink this on the rocks and also make nice cocktails with it as well as using it in tiki drinks.

VANILLA

Vanilla is my favorite spice and i have tried more than once to spice up rums with vanilla beans leaving the beans uncut in the bottle for various length of times but i have personally found it quite difficult to get it balanced and i don`t know how people manage to leave the beans in the bottle without the rum gets ruined by too much of the vanilla flavor. But this vanilla rum from St Aubin is excellent!

The nose is mild but deep and almost earthy.The herbal flavor is much more pronounced than i could feel in the coconut rum which to me tasted much lighter. This is spicy, with a deep vanilla flavor without being overpowering.

It`s a good vanilla rum and easy on the palate, good to drink as it is or in cocktails.

COFFEE

St Aubin coffee

Freshly ground coffee on the nose! with hints of sugarcane. In the mouth a vibrant coffee flavor, sugarcane and even a slight hint of vanilla. It`s mild and nice and easy to drink as well. This could be used on the rocks with ice, in cocktails and even as cocktail ingredient. Would be great in tiki drinks too especially paired with pineapple juice.

I find that all three of these flavored rums are very good! and i like that they are made from local ingredients.The coffee used is coming from the region Chamarel on Mauritius, the vanilla is from their own vanilla plantation and the coconuts are of course from the island.

COCKTAILS

I decided to make three cocktails all based on the daiquiri – which by the way is the drink that almost all tiki drinks are based on…rum, sugar and lime and then some :-)

Mauritius Sunshine

St Aubin Mauritius Sunshine

2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coconut Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15 ml simple syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf.

Coffee – Pineapple Daiquiri

St Aubin coffee pineaple daiquiri

2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coffee Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml dark muscovado syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a fancy glass. Garnish with an orchid stem. I took a bit less sugar syrup in this one because i found the coffee rum to be a bit sweeter than the coconut.

Fiery Sunset

St Aubin Fiery Sunset

1 oz/30 ml St Aubin Vanilla Rum
1 oz/30 ml St Aubin 50% White Rum
1.5 oz/45 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml sugarcane syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice
Barspoon grenadine (preferably home/house made)

Shake everything except grenadine with ice and strain into a tall glass with ice cubes. Add the grenadine and garnish with vanilla beans.

My final conclusion: These are great rums! all of them, if  i shall pick a favorite or two it has to be the 50% white and the coconut but they are all good rums and made with local and natural ingredients. I`d say St Aubin rums is a pleasant surprise!

Here is St Aubin`s website.

UK Rumfest 2014 – Let there be RUM!!! (part two)

Sugarcane Mount Gay stand

Exciting rums…interesting (and tasty) seminars, good rum friends, carnival music and good food – that`s the UK Rumfest!(and in England good food to me spells either Caribbean food or Fish and Chips (with extra hotsauce) and there was Caribbean food in the venue and upstairs in the pub they had the most delicious and crispy fish and chips! oh how i miss that one now!

Here`s the second post about this years UK Rumfest! (the first part is here) I liked it a lot this year, the venue was very good and more intimate than last year which allowed rum lovers and producers to have better and easier discussions, likewise the rum selection was good – but i do have a wish though…i`d love to see Velier rums and more french style rhum agricoles…

Combined with main stage presentations featuring Chef Hasan De Four on cooking with rum, London auction house Christie’s hosted The RumFest’s first ever auction for charity including £5,200 on the hammer for one of the oldest bottles of rum in the world, dating back to 1780 from the recently discovered Harewood House collection. The auction had over 20 precious and rare rum lots sold to the highest bidder, for prices that stretched into the thousands.

Ian Burrell was on hand to take spectators and bidders through the history of each of the rums, while Christie’s auctioneer David Elswood hosted the Saturday highlight and a grand total of £10,670 to be donated to the WaterAid Charity Fund and the Geraldine Connor Foundation in Leeds.

On Friday the trade-only Boutique RumFest returned in association with the Cork Supply company (which btw had an interesting short seminar about cork) and allowed buyers, distributors, distillers, press and industry figures from as far as Fiji and India to come together and discuss and sample rum.

So let there be rum…

OVD and Wood´s 100

OVD collage

That was the first stand i stumbled into on the saturday when the rumfest started, first thing i saw was the OVD bottle …

OVD is a demerara rum from Guyana and OVD stands for Old Vatted Demerara, a rum i know since a long time and also wrote about long ago on this blog. OVD was first imported in Scotland in 1838 and is a blend of demerara rums that is aged for seven years in oak casks and it´s the best selling dark rum in Scotland.

But there was also Wood`s 100 which i also have known about for long but had never tried so now i had my chance and disappointed i was NOT! this rum is bursting with good flavors! and a plus in my book – it´s a bit stronger, i have a special love for full proof rums. This is a perfect rum for tots and tiki drinks.

Wood`s 100 is an excellent overproof navy rum also from Guyana and distilled at the diamond distillery using a combination of  spirits made in pot and column stills from sugarcane growing on the banks of the river Demerara. The appearance is dark and syrupy and the flavor is unrefined rich demerara with kick and depth.

OVD Woods collage

Ron Cubay

Next stop was Ron Cubay, i wrote a little about them last year and remember i said i need to re-visit them. This year they had a new rum there, Ron Cubay Extra Viejo – a light gold colored rum which is mix of white rum and extra aged rum reserves. That is old Cuban rums that are aged for an average of seven years and then some of the best whites that are aged for nearly 13 years in white American oak barrels. From what i remember of the taste of this rum, it had a quite intense fruity flavor, balanced and no harshness at all which was expected. The bottles are individually numbered and comes in a velvet leather effect gift box.

Cubay collage

Rum Punch!

Oh how i love these Caribbean rum punches! they serve them and sell them ready made at every UK Rumfest, some are small batch brands. Really, nothing is so Caribbean to me as a rum punch and i love their appetizing colors, usually red and the two i tried at this stand were all that.

The first i tried was the rum punch from River`s Rum from the River Antoine distillery in Grenada, and oh so tasty! after that i tasted W&D`s Caribbean Rum Punch, as tasty as as can be! it`s actually really nice to break off from all the neat rum sampling with a cold Rum Punch, it sort of clear the palate a bit too.

W&D Rum Punch also have a website where you can order both rum punches and Caribbean cakes for all occasions, they also offer non alcoholic punches! You can order from the website and also book them for catering at your events if you live in the UK. You can also check out their Facebook page and get the Party started with W&D’s Caribbean Punches!

More on rum punch later on this blog.

Rum punch collage

Excellent taste and so refreshing….

Foursquare

This distillery and it`s excellent rums and Richard Seale need no presentation. I spent a great deal of time here talking rum at this this stand. I tried a special one that was very interesting and oh so good…. not out for sale yet though. And luckily and finally the Doorly`s XO will soon be launched in the cold country where i happen to live…so a new Doorly`s XO will soon be comfortably installed in my home bar.

Here is a link to a video about the Foursquare rum distillery.

Foursquare collage

St Nicholas Abbey

Here comes the next absolut top quality rum, also from Barbados, i wrote about this distillery and their rums last year and this year they are launching their very own 5 year old, made at the distillery from start to end. A very exciting new rum from St Nicholas Abbey! more on this rum and the white one later.

Real Mc Coy

Another good one, i tried their rum the first time last year, it´s really good stuff and the Real Mc Coy rum has an interesting history that i wrote about when i reviewed their 5 year old rum. I`m gonna write about the 12 year old soon, which is my favorite of the three. But i recommend trying them all.

Pusser`s

This year there are two new rums arriving from Pusser`s to the UK, a 40.5 abv version of the current gunpowder proof rum (54.5%) and also a 100% natural spiced rum which is steeped for up to ten days with stem ginger, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.

Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM

I wish there was more french caribbean rhum agricole at the rumfest! but at least there was Clemènt and Rhum JM both solid and good agricoles. I made sure i tried them all even though i`ve tried many of them before :-) Also on display they had the 25 year anniversary bottle from Rhum Clemènt made in collaboration with artist JonOne which i think is really really pretty! i want one! the glass too! and the content of the bottle is pure good rhum agricole…Clemènt V.S.O.P

Plantation

Plantation had a hut this year with all kinds of rum suspects walking in and out…They had the whole range to try on the stand, well almost…including their famous Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple rum and the new Jamaican -98 Tokai which was very good.

Angostura

Angostura rum is always around, anywhere i go they are there and they are good, i like all of their rums and the bitters plus their amaro that was launched in the summer and which i`m gonna write about later. Angostura is always solid and consistent.

Angostura

El Dorado

The flagship of demerara rum, they went big this year and had pop up bars and masterclasses around London, they even made a El Dorado pop-up bar which was built like a replica of the Golden City.I will always love their rums, especially my “first love” the 15 year old.

Bacardi

Unsuspecting i passed by their hut…and was gently dragged in with the words, “do you want to try a few cocktails”? then seated at a table and a wooden tray appeared with 3 cocktails that were each made with a different Bacardi rums. One was smoking, the next was blackish and the third was served in a egg shell. Interesting. I looked at the tray, tried them and was caught by surprise…they were amazing! especially the one in the egg cup.

Bacardi cocktails

Taking a look at the menu on the tray revealed the cocktail recipes and which rums they were made with. The first one on the left with smoke in a mini bottle was the Phoenix Daiquiri – made by Rob Libecans – Bacardi Gold rum (stone washed) smoked barrel stave pomegranate oil, citric acid, mineral sugar)

The second in the middle was the Black Butter – made by Rich Woods – Bacardi Black rum, cherry bark, cola and toffee popcorn reduction. The third one in the egg cup (my fav) was the Bacardi 8 PJB – made by Monica Berg – Bacardi 8 year old rum (peanut infused) fresh lime, Norfolk raspberry cordial. A sort of variety on the daiquiri with the raspberry cordial as a sweetener. All three of them were really tasty cocktails! they are welcome to “kidnap” me into that hut again if they want…anytime!

Don Q

Over at the Don Q stand there were fantastic cocktails galore!

Made with the good Don Q Rums by Alexx Mouzouris – Don Q Brand Ambassador in Europe and bartender extraordinaire! I sampled one cocktail that was especially good, it was some kind of punch infused with chile peppers. He also decorated the booth with cymbidium orchids making it look tropical and almost tiki-ish…

The Don Q rums have recently redesigned their bottles honoring it`s heritage as one of America’s oldest family-owned and operated businesses. Destilería Serrallés has for over 149 years been producing many good rums .

Don Q collage

Don Q Cristal, one of  the classic rums from Don Q.

Alexx burning it

Alexx creating good flavors…

Sunset Rums

Genuinely Caribbean…rums, rum punches and hotsauces at this stand. I tried all the rums and punches and also bought a hotsauce and a green seasoning for my cooking at home – you can never have too many rums or hotsauces! Sunset strong rum is probably one of the strongest overproof rums there is (84.5% or 169 proof) and nah i didn`t try it neat but i had it in a rum punch.

Chocka´s Coconut Hub

Fresh coconuts with coconut water at Chocka`s Coconut Hub, freshly chopped in front of you. This is one of these things that i really like…and coconuts makes life go around….drink them fresh as is or pour some rum in it.

Chocka coconut collage

And there`s more….Mount Gay, Ron Botran, Havana Club, Gosling`s, Diplomatico, Mezan…there was over 400 rums at the rumfest and i cannot cover them all….and then we have the masterclasses/seminars and they were good!

MASTERCLASSES

Naval Style Rums Black Tot and Pusser`s with Martin Cate

Black tot seminar MC

This seminar about navy rum, the British Royal Navy and the black tot turned out to be a memorable one when sailors from the Royal British Navy took part in our sampling of the Black Tot Last Consignment Rum, telling their stories about how it was at the time and on that day. The so called Black Tot Day was the last day they could have their daily rum ration called a “tot”

It ended at precisely 6 bells in the forenoon watch (11am) when the last rum ration was issued aboard ships of the British Royal Navy. One of the sailors told me that he cried that day. The last tot was served on july 31 1970 and since then the Black Tot Day is celebrated every year in memory a 300 year old Royal Naval tradition.

So when the tot was not done anymore the British navy had no more use of those rum barrels they had stored in warehouses and so they emptied the barrels into wicker clad stone flagons which were sealed under HM Customs and Excise Supervision and were then transferred to Government bonded warehouses where they did sit for 40 years (!) and the rum was only used for state occasions and royal weddings.

Until when the stocks were acquired and bottled by Speciality Drinks who bottled them under the name Black Tot Last Consignment. When the flagons were opened there were three original solera rums there and these three were blended together to create the Black Tot rum. Original naval records states that the naval rums were rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.

Black tot collage 1

Black Tot rum and story telling, cheers!

The Black Tot rum is the last that exists today from the barrels they used to have on the British Royal Navy ships and this rum fetch a price of 610 British pounds per bottle, or 76 pounds for 5 cl and in the US around USD 1000. This rum is literally a piece of history in a glass and that`s what you pay for, is precious not only because of it´s history but also because this is the last that remain from the original barrels and when it´s gone it´s gone.

The Black Tot rum is a very good rum, containing 54% strong navy rum and one of the rums in the blend is demerara rum from Port Morant Guyana and it really does have a very deep, very woody demerara flavor with a long finish. It tastes old….but in a good way, with hints of very dark coffee, leather, smoke and tar. Not everybody likes the flavor, but i doIt`s believed that these rums were distilled in the 1940s.

We also sampled Pusser’s and their Blue Label which is a classic British Navy style rum, and needs no presentation….it`s inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot and using the same four rums required to make a real navy rum, rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad. And as most of you know it`s a great fullbodied rum as well.

Black tot collage 2

Happiness and history in a glass…and yours truly enjoying a precious and memorable moment of tot cheering with the Royal Navy sailors.

Mahiki Cocktail Masterclass by Georgi Radew

mahiki seminar georgi

This seminar followed the Navy rum seminar…so from navy rum straight to tiki drinks! not bad at all…i could spend every day like this…

Georgi spoke about the history of the tiki cocktails from the old favorites to the new twists that are made at Mahiki with demonstrations of a couple of those cocktails including their Treasure Chest, which was tastier than i expected. Overall, the seminar was very good and entertaining, the Mahiki cocktails were all well made and very tasty!

The seminar was sponsored by Duppy Share so we got a presentation of the Duppy by the founder George Frost and of course we got to drink Duppy Share both neat and in the cocktails.

Tiki drinks + Duppy Share, yes i totally enjoyed this seminar!

Mahiki mugs

Awesome mugs made by Cheeky Tiki! i especially like that Zombie mug.

Mahiki session

And the tiki drinks all made with fresh fruits and good rum were all well made! 

mahiki treasure chest

The Mahiki Treasure Chest, it´s really tasty.

Plantation Rum

It´s always a pleasure to listen to Alexandre Gabriel and Paul McFadyen when they tell you about Plantation rums, it´s both interesting and entertaining. And of course we got to sample the star of the show the Stiggin`s Fancy pineapple rum, i consider myself  lucky to get a chance to do that for the third time now since last summer and then their new rum the 98 Jamaican tokai and single cask rums which of course, like the rest of the rums from the Plantation range, was nothing but excellent.

btw i love that Stiggin`s Fancy bottle… i wish i had one, full or empty to beautify my home bar…

Plantation collage

There were many more great seminars i`d liked to attended but you know, you need to be out there in the big room too meeting the people and sampling the rums! and when you do….time flies! And that is all for this year, hopefully i`m back again the next!

RUMFEST PICTURE PARADE!

Chef Hassan

Chef Hassan de Four cooking with rum….

Ian at auction

Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell at Christie´s rum auction

Duppy Share

 The lovely Duppy Share Rum, what a beautiful display!

Real Mc Coy12

The Real Mc Coy 12 Year Old Rum and their other rums as well are excellent! more on this 12 year old gem later!

There were not many agricoles from the french caribbean around for some reason but i did find Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM….both brands makes excellent rhums.

Rhum Clement collage

Rhum Clemènt VSOP in the beautiful 25 Year Anniversary bottle. And yes indeed i do love me some Ti Punch!

ED rums

Amazing expressions from El Dorado, i like all their single barrel rums a lot! they had all their rums up for sampling, some in exchange for golden tot tokens. There were also of course the 5, 8, 12, 15 and 21 to sample.

The single barrel rums are more for the rum connoisseurs as they are not blended and as sweet or “smooth” as the others since they are straight from the barrels.

Rhum JM collage

Rhum JM, one of the classic good rhum agricoles from Martinique. 

Pussers collage

Only good things can come out from Pusser`s rums and fresh pineapples!  

Colorful caribbean rums

I love these colorful Caribbean rums with the sunshine vibe! and they really do have some interesting strong rums! one of my favorites is the Rivers…it tastes like a smoky JWray. Worthy Park Rum Bar is another good overproof, it actually won the best overproof at the Showrum 2014 in Italy, the Italy Rumfest.

atlas du rhum

I also got a chance to take a look in Luca Gargano`s (Velier Rum) new book “Atlas du Rhum” which is about rum and rum distilleries in the Caribbean. There´s only the french version out for now, it has recently been launched but the english version is on the way.

Mount Gay2

 Beautiful display and another solid rum, Mount Gay from Barbados. I love their XO and the Black Barrel! 

TIKI, TIKI, TIKI………….!

Trailer collage

A collage from Trailer Happiness…excellent tiki bar! i really wish i had been able to visit more of London`s tiki bars but hopefully the next time! I wish i could spend all my time just visiting tiki bars….

bar signs

Sign at the Pub “The George and Dragon”upstairs at the Ibis Hotel.

Ron Jeremy

Last time i saw this Ron Jeremy figure was in San Diego this summer at the Tiki Oasis at one of the room parties…..Ron Jeremy is everywhere…..here adorned with a colorful lei!

guiness cert 2

Guiness World Record Certificate, Largest Rum tasting in the world! well done Ian!

And at last….

Drink more rum

 

Check out my previous post about the Guiness World Record for the World`s Largest Rum Tasting and the Boutique Rumfest!

UK Rumfest 2014 – Let there be RUM!!! (part one)

Rum UnivHavana Club 7 anos

WORLD RECORD!

“ Rum is about history and that’s what we all achieved today ”  – Ian Burrell

This years UK Rumfest was different from the others i been to in that this year Ian Burrell did an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World`s Largest Rum Tasting – and YES…we nailed it!

The world record was set with 353 participants, it´s official here.

World record rum tasting

The rum tasting took place at the ILEC Conference center, where also the UK Rumfest and the Boutique Rumfest took place. There were rums presented by six brands for tasting and joining Burrell in leading the tasting were Joy Spence from Appleton Estate, John Georges from Angostura, John Eason from DonQ, George Freegard from Pusser’s, Xavier Herrera from Diplomatico and Asbel Morales Lorenzo from Havana Club.

It was a great evening and i feel very happy to be part of that historic event! i took a little (not so good sorry) video when the announcement was made:

We weren`t sure if we would break the previous record which was recently done in Colombia so it was with great excitement we awaited the announcement after we had tasted all the premium rums on the table….and luckily we made it! and this is how happy the crowd was:

World record 3

Guinness world record collage

It was a great and funny evening! thanks to Peter Holland (The Floating Rum Shack)  for his awesome and fun selfie! now that was a good start…

THE RUM EXPERIENCE UNIVERSITY

rumexpuniv

That was the next thing up and this was a one day rum-course with several seminars covering rums, how rum is aged and blended, distillation, rum history, how to taste and appreciate rum, about sugarcane, molasses, rum barrels etc

Six of the world’s most knowledgeable rum aficionados shared their their knowledge under one roof. The world’s first female master blender and award winning Master Blender Joy Spence from Jamaica; From Canada Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum’s Master distiller Michael Delevante for his first masterclass in the UK; Havana Club’s Master blender Asbel Morales all the way from Cuba; Foursquare Rum Distillery’s award winning rum maker Richard Seale from the home of rum Barbados.

Michael Delevante spoke about Appleton Rum and Joy Spence, master blender with a vibrant personality from Appleton thought us among other things, how to taste rum, what to look for and how to appreciate the rum in the glass, Asbel Morales from Havana Club spoke about the Havana Club 7 year old Rum and Richard Seale from Foursquare Distillery on Barbados had a great and very interesting seminar about spirits distillation which was in depth and enlightening, i sure learnt a thing and two!

Here are a few short notes from the seminars:

  • That the yeast used by the Appleton distillery comes from the cane of the estate and that yeast culture been going since 1972.
  • There´s a lagoon on the Appleton Estate property where the water for the fermentation process comes from, water that has been filtered through the limestone formations.
  • Appleton uses both pot and column stills in different proportions, the column stills produces light fruity notes of pineapple, banana, coconut while the pot stills produces heavier types of rum (simplified)
  • One tropical year of ageing is equivalent to three years in cooler climates due to the evaporation (angel`s share)
  • When looking at an aged rum in the glass holding it up to the light, you will see a “green shadow” which is produced by tannins from the oak reflecting the light. The longer the rum been in the barrel, the more pronounced is the “green ring or shadow” Appleton 21 had a very pronounced such green shadow in the glass.
  • Distillation does not create flavor, it extracts it.
  • Fermentation creates flavor, distillation extracts flavor and maturation is the evolution of flavor.
  • Only three columns are needed to distill a spirit.
  • Cuba is the birthplace of light rum and rum in Cuba is much more than a drink it´s a cultural expression.
  • The youngest rum in the Havana Club 7 anos has been aged for 7 years and HC 7 is a blend of 4-6 different rums.
  • Cuba has over 80 local rum brands, ten of them are high quality rum brands.

And when it comes to rum the learning is a life-long journey…rum is actually more than just a drink, rum is a life style.

Rum University collage

BOUTIQUE RUMFEST

The Boutique Rumfest is a trade only event created specifically for New or Boutique Rums or Cachaça brands. The target audience  are wholesalers, distributors, spirit buyers, bar professionals etc and importers from all over Europe. I like this event because it´s calmer and so much easier to get time to talk to the exhibitors with less crowds. What i try to do is find and try interesting rums that are new to my palate, not necessarily new on the market even though of course new rums on the market always are a given. Here are a few of the rums i tried at the Boutique:

St Nicholas Abbey 5 Year Old

St Nicholas Abbey 5 year old

Here is the new release of the first ever estate produced rum at  5 years old rum from St Nicholas Abbey, very flavorful and it got that wonderful “St Nicholas Abbey” flavor to it. It`s an excellent rum and after their range of wonderful and totally amazingly good rums (the white, the 10, 12 and 15 (oh the 15….) these are rums that will blow your mind and that`s all i`m gonna say for now because a review will come and there i will write more in depth about this rum.

Duppy Share

Duppy Share 3

Duppy Share was released in the UK in july and is a golden Caribbean rum crafted from a blend of oak-aged spirits from the islands of Jamaica and Barbados. The  brand name “Duppy Share” takes its name from the dark spirits of Caribbean folklore known as duppies.

It is said that in the dead of night, when the distillers’ backs are turned, they journey between islands, stealing a share of the rum left ageing in old oak barrels. Spirit masters, and skilled in the fine art of blending, the duppies take only the best. It`s the same as what we know as the “angels share”  :-) More on this rum later on this blog.

Authentic Caribbean Rum

The ACR or Authentic Caribbean Rum was developed as a symbol of authenticity, provenance and quality for rums within the WIRSPA family (The West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’Association Inc) and designed to help trade customers and consumers identify Authentic Caribbean Rum brands it is also used to promote the development of Authentic Caribbean Rum.

The ACR marque had a whole range of authentic caribbean rums for tasting on the table, the brands belonging to the ACR are English Harbour 5 year Old, Cockspur Fine Rum, Doorly`s XO, St Nicholas Abbey 10 Year Old, Mount Gay XO, Traveller`s Five Barrel, Clarke´s Court Old Grog, Westerhall Vintage, El Dorado 15 Year Old, Barbacourt Réserve Spéciale Five Star Rum, Hampden Gold, Monymusk Plantation Special Reserve Rum, Barceló Imperial, Brugal XV, Captain Bligh XO, Chairman’s Reserve, Borgoe 8 Year Old Grand Reserve, Angostura 1919.

Here´s a whooole lot of great rums! one that is new to me is the Jamaican monymusk…

ACR collage

Westerhall

Westerhall Rums are rums from Grenada, the spice island of the Caribbean. They are genuine Caribbean rums with a down to earth island style. They have some good rums like their vintage and plantation rum and i`m also fond of their Jack Iron overproof .

Clarke`s Court

Another rum distillery from Grenada, Clarke´s Court. The distillery dates back to 1937 and they have a range of nice rums like the Old Grog, the #37 Blend and other tasty things like their Rum Punch and the nutmeg flavored Camerhogne Spice liqueur.

Rums from Mauritius…

I see them more and more…the rums from Mauritius – and i tried all i could try and liked many of what i tried too, the Mauritius Gold, St Aubin, Blue Mauritius and Green Island are all interesting rums from a very interesting and beautiful island. I haven`t tried all rums from Mauritius yet though, but at least more now after the Rumfest than before.

Bounty rum from Fiji

Paradise Beverages carried a range of rums from Fiji and one especially catched my attention, Bounty Rum overproof, it was great! i wouldn`t mind having a bottle of that one.

Bounty overproof

Two Indies Rum

A rum that is a mix of Indian and Caribbean (younger rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica) styles of rum made by Amrut, a distiller in India that began production right after India got its independence in 1948. It`s a different rum in that the indian rum in the mix (3 year old) is made with something called jaggery goor which is a concentrated product of date, cane juice, or palm sugar and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. I have used it myself sometimes in simple syrup making to add a bit of a darker depth to tiki drinks, it´s pretty tasty.

From what i remember from the brief tasting of this rum is that it had a tropical fruit-ish but dark flavor with some spiciness.

Examples of furthermore rums were Ron Cubay, Doorly`s, English Harbour, Dos Madeiras, Ophtimus, Ron Centenario, Real McCoy, Seven Fathoms…some of these i will write about in my next post.

Clarkes court collage

Clarke´s Court Rums

Westerhall collage

Westerhall Rums, Jack Iron, Vintage and Plantation.

Mauritius collage

Beautiful rums from Mauritius 

Yes there are more rums than these…and i went to several interesting seminars – more will come in the next post, about the UK Rumfest!

Carnival lady

Duppy Share Punch anyone?

Deep down from Louisiana – Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum

Rougaroux bottle

This rum surprises me… it´s that good…and it makes one hell of a “Corn `n`Oil!

Rougaroux Rum is made by Donner-Peltier Distillers located in the middle of the cane fields in Thibodaux, Louisiana using pure black strap molasses and raw sugar grown and milled from a family owned farm just down the road from the distillery. They also produce a gin, a vodka and a whiskey called LA1 Whiskey because it´s Louisiana`s first aged whiskey since prohibition.

The name Rougaroux comes from french and cajun folklore legends:

“Deep in the heart of Southern Louisiana Cajun Country lurks a mysterious creature known as the Rougarou, (Roo ga roo). It lingers in the sugarcane fields and swamps, emerging only during a full moon to exact justice on the wicked”

- Because of their monster flavor, we chose this name for our rums”

And flavorful this rum sure is…

I have only tried this dark one and so i have yet to try the white rum which i have heard is also very good having a thick molasses and brown sugar character)

I had heard about Rougaroux rum but never yet tried it when i one day was sitting at the Carousel bar at the Monteleone in New Orleans with a few friends during the Tales of the Cocktail this past summer. One of them suggested i try a rum Alexander with Rougaroux dark which i did and i found it so good i felt i just had to review this rum, here we had something really interesting!

This is a blackstrap rum – but it´s quite different from the other two blackstrap rums i have. They do of course have similarities, like that typical “yummy” blackstrap/molasses flavor but Rougaroux has also an almost demerara-like flavor profile to it with a bold, mysterious, thick and full bodied flavor – and it is (of course) also perfect for tiki drinks…( a big plus in my book…)

But Rougaroux is not as black-ish in color as the others, instead it has a very dark brown color with beautiful almost”reddish” mahogany hues. The label is also really cool i think and so fitting for this rum.

Using Louisiana raw sugar cane and blackstrap molasses they create a white rum which is further aged in white oak barrels (for how long is not known) There is no caramel or other additives in this rum.

Nose: The nose gets me directly to think about a blackstrap with demerara aromas…Deep wood and sugarcane, mash of ripe tropical fruits, a hint of crispy citrus and fresh sugarcane. It`s big on the nose.

In the Mouth: Here comes some vanilla notes along with the wood, it`s deep and oaky with hints of orange peel, sugarcane and molasses. It`s rather balanced and pleasant to sip on and the flavor stays with you for quite some time.

What i find interesting is that it reminds me of  El Dorado 12 year old…and i`m kinda puzzled by that – but i love it! I really like those dark, thick, flavorful rums that got “punch” (and can stand up in tiki cocktails) Also a white rum can have that same character – which i suspect their white “Sugarshine” rum may have…since it´s said to have thick molasses and brown sugar  flavors – a tasting is required! and i can`t wait to try that one as well.

Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum won in 2013, bronze at the San Francisco World Spirits and gold
at the World Spirits Award and in 2014 it won silver at the World Spirits Award and gold at the Beverage Tasting Institute.

If i would pick three words to describe this rum it would be dark, deep and balanced…they call it a whiskey sipper´s rum.

Well, after trying this i can safely say that i prefer to not be without it and that is despite i already have other blackstrap rums, but this one is more than just a blackstrap rum, it´s different. And it does go very well in tiki cocktails.

Dark Puka Punch

Rougaroux Dark Puka Punch

1 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
1 oz aged Rhum Agricole
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz orange júice
0.75 oz pineapple juice
0.75 z passionfruit syrup (lilikoi)
2 tsp honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, mixed and heated to dissolve the honey, then cooled to room temp)
0.25 oz * falernum

Float a little bit of 151 rum on top and finish with a couple dashes angostura bitters.

Classic tiki drink, tasty and rummy! the Rougaroux plays well here.

* Falernum – you can read about what it is here and how to make your own if you wish (it´s brighter and tastier) here and here.

And on to the next….did i say Rougaroux Full Moon Dark makes a mean Corn ´n`Oil? here it is:

Full Moon Corn ´n´ Oil

Rougaroux Full Moon Corn n Oil 1

2 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz Falernum
And just a little squeeze of fresh lime…

Build in a rocks glass with crushed or cracked ice.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the top, stir, and throw in the spent lime wedge in the glass.

Sip and enjoy!

Three Dots and a Dash

Three Dots and a Dash with Rougaroux rum and Clement VSOP

Here´s one of my favorite tiki drinks, it´s a Don the Beachcomber drink and that`s quite appropriate here in this post since Donn Beach was a Louisiana native just like the Rougaroux rum is. He made this drink to commemorate the Allied victory and the name of the drink comes from the Morse Code for the letter “V.” Hence the garnish of the three cherries and either a pineapple leaf/spear or a long chunk representing the three dots and the dash for the Morse Code.

I have only switched the original recipe`s demerara rum for the Rougaroux.

1.5 oz amber Martinican Rhum
0.5 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz honey mix*
0.25 oz falernum
0.25 oz pimento Dram
6 oz crushed Ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed for about 5 seconds. Pour into an appropriate glass and garnish with 3 cherries and a pineapple leaf spear or a long shaped chunk.

*Honey Mix

1 part Honey and 1 part Water, gently heated so the honey dissolves and then cooled to room temp.

Here`s some info on where to buy (only in the US and Louisiana for now)

Rougaroux Dark Rum

 

Rougaroux Dark Puka Punch collage