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?

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