Gruppo Campari honors Joy Spence and Eddie Russell

In today’s fast-paced world it might be hard to imagine spending five or even ten years at one job. Gruppo Campari is celebrating two loyal employees and spirits industry legends who have been on the job for three and a half decades each.

Master Blenders Honored

Two titans of the spirits world mark major milestones, as Appleton Estate Jamaica rum master blender and Wild Turkey master distiller celebrate 35 years in the industry.

Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Master Blender Joy Spence and Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell were recognized on May 18, 2016 at the Gruppo Campari Annual Convention for both having served the spirits industry for 35 years.

In commemorating Joy and Eddie’s contribution to the industry, with both careers spanning back to the 1980s, Gruppo Campari’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, said: “Gruppo Campari is honored to have two legends of the spirits industry in charge of crafting and ensuring the exceptional quality and taste of our Appleton Estate and Wild Turkey brands. The entire Campari family joins with rum, bourbon, and spirits enthusiasts around the world in congratulating Joy and Eddie on this significant milestone in their careers.”

Joy has the distinction of being the first female Master Blender in the Spirits industry, and she will also celebrate her 20th Anniversary as Master Blender in 2017. Among Joy’s many award-winning creations for Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum are Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum (the oldest barrel-aged rum in the world), Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old, and the Appleton Estate 250th Anniversary Blend, which was her first creation as Master Blender. In addition, Joy is currently preparing a limited edition blend of rums aged at least 25 years which will be released in concert with her 20th anniversary as Master Blender.

Joy was awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer by the Government of Jamaica for her service to industry. Joy also possesses a honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Loughborough and a honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies.

Appointed Master Distiller at Wild Turkey in 2015, Eddie Russell is the 3rd generation Russell to work at Wild Turkey and he is also a Bourbon Hall of Famer. With bourbon and rye more popular than ever, he is in the most prolific period of his career, creating some of the finest premium whiskies on the market, including Master’s Keep 17 Year Old, Wild Turkey Forgiven and Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary.

This year, Wild Turkey will release Eddie’s second limited-edition bourbon as Master Distiller. Named Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades, this limited edition commemorates Eddie’s 35th year at the distillery. Additionally, Eddie’s son Bruce recently joined the family business, serving as a brand ambassador for Russell’s Reserve, making the Russell clan one of the only multi-generational whiskey-making families in the business.

Both Joy and Eddie enjoy traveling the world spreading the word about rum and bourbon respectively, and they will kick off their 35th Anniversary Celebrations with a dinner for spirits writers and enthusiasts that they will jointly host in London on May 24th.

Zafra 30 Year Old aged rum from Panama

An exquisite expression long rested in oak barrels in the tropical regions of Panama, Zafra 30 Year Old aged rum is presented as a luxury limited edition of 6,720 bottles from hand-selected bourbon casks.

The Zafra Master Series, well known for the 21 year old Master Reserve, gained worldwide attention upon its debut in 2009 by Dana Importers of Miami, Florida.

The new limited edition Zafra 30 year old aged rum is a limited edition luxury expresion from Panama.

Created by a masterful blender, Zafra 30 year old limited edition aged rum from Panama sets a high standard for luxury rums sold in the United States.

This 30 year old luxury rum debuted at the VIP Tasting Bar of the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival to the amazement of many serious rum enthusiasts.

The color is deep mahogany. Aromas of luscious old oak over rich dark fruit lead to buttery dark brown caramel and vanilla. On the palate, a perfectly balanced entry of bitter wood, vanilla and honey blossoms into a warm and complex mid-palate accentuated with echoes of sherry and bourbon. The very long finish remains balanced to the end.

Zafra 30 Year Old aged rum is the result of a legendary life-long master blender’s talent, persistence and attention to detail. This limited edition rum expression is among the very finest from Panama.

The 750ml bottle retails for about $190.

2016 RumXP Award Winners Announced at Miami Rum Festival

The International Rum Expert Panel today announced the list of awarding winning rums from their 2016 blind tasting competition held at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo.

A wide variety of rums from more than 30 countries came to the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo to compete for top honors in the International Rum Expert Panel blind tasting competition.

Miami Rum Festival is once again host to the RumXP international tasting competition with several dozen esteemed rum judges precipitating in the premiere rum competition, presenting prestigious rum awards to the best scoring products.

The event brought together a vast selection of rums from Sweden and Denmark, India, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Puerto Rico, Peru, Barbados, Mexico, Florida, Colorado, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, Panama, St. Lucia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Haiti, Dominican Republic, The Bahamas and many more rum making countries, as well as Rhums Agricoles from Martinique and Cachaças from Brazil.

The distinguished panel of RumXP judges were sequestered for three days of blind tasting sessions carefully organized by the experienced competition staff before being analyzed and compiled by a veteran team of statisticians.

In addition to the professional RumXP judges, the Consumer Rum Jury, consisting of serious rum enthusiasts from across America and around the world, convened to sample and evaluate many fine rums for their own awards based on consumer preferences.

The results of these two international rum blind tasting competitions based on the categories and styles of rum are as follows.

• White Rum
Best In Class: Bayou Silver
Gold: Blue Chair Bay, Pito Rico Elite, Don Q Cristal, Ron Cartavio Silver

• Premium White Rum
Best In Class: Puerto Angel
Gold: Caliche, Fwaygo, Plantation 3 Star, Skotlander Rum VI, Koloa White

• Gold Rum
Best In Class: Siesta Key Gold
Gold: Wicked Dolphin, Puerto Angel Amber, Don Q Gold, Koloa Gold

• Spiced Rum
Best In Class: Siesta Key Spiced
Gold: Siesta Key Distillers Solara, Bayou Spiced, Siesta Key Limited Edition Spiced, Koloa Spiced

• Flavored Rum
Best In Class: Koloa Coffee
Gold: Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum, Don Q Pasion, Blue Chair Bay Banana, Koloa Coconut

• Overproof Rum
Best In Class: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof
Gold: Pito Rico 106, Don Q 151, Gunroom 130 Proof, Skotlander V

• Black Rum
Best In Class: Wicked Dolphin Black
Gold: Koloa Black

• Aged Rum
Best In Class: Bayou Select
Gold: Don Q Anejo, Marauda Steel Pan, Plantation Original Dark, Tiburon

• Aged Rum 5-8 Years
Best In Class: Ron Duran 7
Gold: Plantation 5, Cartavio 5

• Aged Rum 9-12 Years
Best In Class: Yolo Gold
Gold: Cartavio Solera 12, Ron Duran 12, Panama Pacific 9

• Aged Rum 15+
Best In Class: Pusser’s 15yr
Gold: Panama Pacific 23

• Premium Aged Rum
Best In Class: Plantation 20th Anniversary
Gold: Plantation Gran Anejo, Santeria Rum, Don Q Gran Anejo, Fwaygo Single Barrel

• Vintage Aged Rum
Best In Class: Mezan Jamaica 2000
Gold: Plantation Jamaica 2001, Plantation St. Lucia 2004, Mezan Panama 2006, Don Q 2005, Mezan Guyana 2005

• Agricole Unaged Rhum
Best In Class: Maison La Mauny Ter Rouj
Gold: Trois Rivières Cuvee du Moulin, Isautier Blanc, Maison La Mauny Blanc

• Agricole Aged Rhum
Best In Class: Trois Rivières VSOP
Gold: Isautier Vieux Louis & Charles, Isautier Vieux 7yr, Maison La Mauny XO

• Cachaça Unaged
Best In Class: Weber Haus
Gold: Germana Ultra Premium, Germana Palha, Novo Fogo Silver, Lundu Silver

• Cachaça Aged
Best In Class: Sebastiana Single barrel
Gold: Novo Fogo 2yr Oak, Sebastiana 3yr Double Barrel, Middas Carvalho, Germana Caetano’s

– – –

• The 2016 Consumer Rum Jury Awards

Best In Class: Siesta Key Toasted Coconut

Gold: Koloa Coffee, Plantation Pineapple, Pussers 15, YOLO Gold, Koloa Coconut, Duran 12

Silver: Mezan Panama 2005, La Mauny Spiced, Koloa Dark, Tiburon, Don Q Signature Release 2005

Bronze: Dzama Rhum Nosy Be 104, Balcones Texas Rum, Panama Pacific 9, Puerto Angel Blanco, Fwaygo White, Trois Rivières Cuvee Du Moulin, Blue Chair Bay White

Brazilian Invasion at Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

The spirit producers of Brazil are planning a Miami invasion. The DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center is the focus of this invasion scheduled for April 15-17 to celebrate the national cane spirit of Brazil: Cachaça.

Brazils' cane spirit producers are invading the Miami Rum Festival with "Taste Brazil," a group presentation of the best cachaça products.

The Brazilian Institute of Cachaça (IBRAC) and Brazilian spirit producers are coming to Miami Rum Renaissance Festival April 15-18 to share their enthusiasm for the authentic spirit of Brazil.

With a robust campaign entitled “Taste The New Cachaça — Taste Brasil,” ten brands are teaming up to “invade America” by showing American rum enthusiasts and professionals their best cane spirits at the upcoming Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo.

Don’t call it rum. It’s not made from molasses. Cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sah) is fermented and distilled fresh cane juice. Compared to rums made from molasses, it’s a bit sassy and wild, built for fun and easily accessible to those that appreciate the true spirit of cane.

While most rums are distilled from 85 to 95% pure alcohol, Cachaça is typically distilled to only 38 to 48%, leaving behind more of the natural flavors of cane in the distillate. The United States officially recognizes the category of Cachaça as a product unique to Brazil.

Although there are no precise records as to the actual site where Cachaça was first distilled, historians and researchers believe it was distilled at a sugar mill located on the coast of Brazil sometime between 1516 and 1532.

Carlos Lima is the Executive Director of the Brazilian Institute of Cachaça (IBRAC). “With more than a thousand producers in Brasil now garnering attention — many of which are small, regional artisan operations — the world is discovering Cachaça as a fascinating spirit unique to Brasil. We’re coming to Miami to share our enthusiasm, our passion and our skill in producing the very best cane spirits.”

Among the brands and expressions participating are Destom 1000 Montes Amendoim, Dona Beja Sarau Reserva Especial, Germana Desde 1912, Meia Lua Azul, Middas, Novo Fogo Barrel Aged, Sebastiana Double Barrel, Velho Barreiro Diamond, Weber Haus Premium Black and Werneck Ouro.

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo is a global gathering of rum professionals and consumers held for three days in mid-April at the DoubleTree Airport Convention Center. Tickets are available online in advance.

In addition to exhibiting products to consumers and the trade, Mr. Carlos Lima will be presenting a seminar entitled: “Cachaça: Brasil In A Bottle” at 3pm Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17.

For more information, visit the web site at http://www.MiamiRumFest.com

Montanya Exclusiva aged rum from Colorado

From Crested Butte, Colorado — some say the last great Colorado ski town — comes a fine aged American craft rum with a unique flavor profile from Montanya Distillers.

Montanya’s limited edition Exclusiva is a pot still aged rum that rests for 30 months in American White Oak Barrels that previously held Colorado whisky. It is then finished for six months in a French Oak barrel that recently held Sutcliffe Vineyard’s Colorado-made Cabernet Sauvignon and Port.

“Many rums on the market today contain only a fraction of the oldest rum they advertise on their labels,” said Karen Hoskin, Co-founder and President of Montanya Distillers. “However, with our Exclusiva rum, this is a single barrel rum, which is aged for three years. Every bottle is marked with its barrel number.”

Limited Edition Montanya Exclusiva aged rum rests in whiskey and port barrels for a delightful assimilation of flavors.

Montanya Distillers’ limited edition Exclusiva aged rum from Crested Butte, Colorado is a fine exampled of the growing trend of award-winning American rums.

Aromas of earth, cane and brown sugar are complimented by the oak and wine berry notes over hints of baking spice and vanilla. On the palate, the aged rum spirit is well enhanced by the wine barrel accents revealing notes of honey and raisin, vanilla, port and whiskey before fortified wine and butter linger into the long finish.

Exclusiva is the first line extension since Montanya Distillers opened in 2008. It will mainly be available in Colorado through Republic National Distributing Company and at Montanya’s tasting room in Crested Butte, Colorado.

“We have always wanted to age a rum in the barrel for longer than the Oro and Platino,” said Karen. For the first five years we were in business, all we could do was keep the Oro and Platino in stock, so the Exclusiva kept getting bottled and sold as Oro. Finally we just had to commit to it. It was worth the wait — it is such a unique rum. Not everyone will understand what we are doing with this rum’s flavor profile, because it finishes dry and tannic unlike most rums which finish sweet with a rush of caramel. The vinous character of this rum is something I personally love, because I have always preferred my rums more dry. I love what the French Oak and its Port contribute to the Exclusiva’s smoothness. But if you are looking for a traditional Caribbean style rum, this is not it. It is made from only 12% molasses, This is mountain style all the way — raw unrefined cane, altitude age and mineralized mountain water to proof. It is just plain different and worth a sip.”

Exclusiva joins Montanya’s Oro dark aged rum and Platino light aged rum, which together have won 19 gold and silver medals in international competitions. The Platino also won two Best in Class designations and was named Best White Rum at the World Rum Awards in 2015.

The brand has gained a solid reputation not only for creating well crafted spirits, but also for their philosophy of incorporating smart and sustainable technology, such as their 100% wind powered distillery and tasting room. The barrel aging facility includes a south-facing solar wall which warms the barrels and opens the pores of the oak during daylight, then allows the crisp mountain temperatures to cool the barrels at night, emphasizing the interaction between spirit and wood.

Montanya Exclusiva in the 750ml bottle sells for $59.

Hemingway Daiquiri remains a Cuban classic

The Daiquiri is among the simplest of drinks: Rum, Lime, and Sugar — shaken, not stirred. Among the most interesting variations on the simple theme of lime and rum, the Hemingway Daiquiri has endured as one of the most beloved.

Constantino Ribalaigua was the Cuban Champion of the Daiquiri. He refined and perfected many versions at La Floridita in Havana. In fact, the 1939 edition of his La Florida Cocktail Book included no less than five variations of the classic hand-shaken drink, not to mention the hand blended variations he made popular.

The classic Hemingway Daiquiri from La Floridita by Constantino Ribalaigua.

The world famous Hemingway Daiquiri was developed by Constantino Ribalaigua at his legendary bar, La Floridita in Havana, Cuba.

Elsewhere in Havana, in 1937, increasingly besieged and beleaguered by tourists at the ever popular Sloppy Joe’s, Ernest Hemingway stumbled a few blocks into Constantino’s bar and immediately fell in love with the intimate atmosphere of “La Cuna del Daiquiri” (the Cradle of the Daiquiri). La Floridita became his second home. You can still find a bronze statue of Hemingway sitting in his favorite spot.

Hemingway naturally preferred his drinks dry, and Constantino’s Daiquiri Number Three fit the bill perfectly. Over time, as this tart libation became the writer’s perennial favorite, it simply became known as Hemingway’s Daiquiri.

The Hemingway Daiquiri

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1.5 ounces of dry white rum (Caña Brava preferred)

method: combine ingredients with shaved ice and shake vigorously for at least one minute, until the can becomes extremely cold. Strain into cocktail glass.

The Hemingway Daiquiri is meant to be very dry on the palate — if that’s not to your liking, you could add up to a quarter ounce of simple syrup, to taste.

The less sugar in the drink the more that you can consume. There’s written accounts of Hemingway and a friend consuming 17 doubles each, in one marathon bad weather session.

A note on the Luxardo Maraschino: this dry liqueur is made from the sour fruit and the crushed pits of Marasca cherries. The red liquid in a jar of cocktail cherries is not to be used as a substitute.

Now, lets talk rum. Constantino would have most likely used Bacardi Superior, made in Cuba. Choose a dry rum that reflects the old Carta Blanca style. My preference is Caña Brava from the 86 Company.

For the popular Papa Doble variation, double all the ingredients, add an equal amount of ice, and frappe. Serve in a large chilled goblet with a straw. Sliced lime wheel and brandied cherry garnish optional, but totally awesome.

Here’s to less sugar in the glass for less pain in the ass. May you find your own “Islands In The Stream.”

-RumScout

Don Q 2005 Vintage Single Barrel Rum from Puerto Rico

From the Serralles family distillery located near the city of Ponce on the south coast of Puerto Rico, this new 2005 Vintage Don Q Single Barrel Rum reflects the signature style of the company’s legacy of producing authentic dry aged rums.

Don Q Single Barrel rum is part of a limited edition series, bottled from a limited selection of exceptional single barrel Puerto Rican rum laid down in 2005.

From Serralles, the masters of Puerto Rican Rum, Don Q presents this Single Barrel limited edition 2005 vintage aged rum.

Don Q Single Barrel 2005 vintage from Serralles is a limited edition release ten year old aged rum from Puerto Rico.

Crafted from molasses using a modern five column still, this unique spirit by Master Distiller Silvia Santiago is worthy of the Serrallés family name and their 150 year reputation for producing exceptional rum.

On the nose, a delicate sweetness over toasted wood leads to a pleasant note of cane, a touch of sourdough and nut butter, with a hint of marzipan. On the palate, a delicate entry quickly develops a pleasant warmth that features charred and toasted bourbon wood before a rich buttery viscosity persists into the long finish.

Enjoyed neat in a fine tasting glass, the 2005 Single Barrel is a delightful experience for those that truly appreciate a well aged, dry light rum.

Bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof), the limited edition 750ml bottle of  Don Q Single Barrel 2005 Vintage rum sells for $39.99.

Dzama Nosy-Be Amber rum from Madagascar

Almost in a class by themselves, the rums of Dzama (pronounced zama) of Madagascar are influenced by their unique terroir, production methods and philosophy.

Among the most interesting is the Nosy-Be Amber 104, a delightful expression that combines a higher proof (52% abv) with an amazing smoothness that faithfully reflects the cane fields of Nosy-Be, a tiny island of Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa.

The rum is distilled with local molasses. The area’s rich volcanic soil produces hearty strains of sugar cane, rich in minerals and high in sugar content.

From the tiny island of Nosy-Be in Madagascar, this 104 proof amber rum reflectes the unique terroir of it's origin.

Dzama Nosy-Be Amber 104 is a fine aged rum from Madagascar, offering a delightful balance of rich flavor and smooth mouthfeel.

The area also has a reputation for the delightful scents that fill the air from the world renowned Madagascar vanilla, as well as Ylang-Ylang, citrus, clove and wild pepper. These aromas infuse echoes of these lovely fragrances into the spirit.

Nosy-Be Amber 104 is distilled in column stills and rested four years in oak from the Chivas Brothers Distillery. This expression won a gold award in the 2012 International Rum Expert Panel tasting competition.

With a potent proof of 104, the nose starts with subtle tones of sweet vegetal cane, fresh cut vegetables, flowers, short bread cookies and pepper, while the palate suggests sweet butter cream, cane, vanilla and old oak, leading to bright pepper before a long, slightly sweet and warm lingering finish.

Dzama Rhum was developed by Lucien Fohine. His son Franck, with an extensive education in viticulture and oenology, as well as fermentation and distillation, continues the family traditions by maintaining the highest quality standards with each of their unique rum expressions.

Dzama dominates 60% of the spirits market on the island of Madagascar. The brand name is derived from the city of Dzamandzar.

Dzama rums are imported in the USA by Vizcaya Wine Imports. The 750ml bottle of Nosy-Be Amber 104 sells for $49.95.

The real Mai Tai: a classic Tiki cocktail

If you asked a layman to name a Tiki drink off the top of their head, a large percentage would answer Mai Tai. So, why is it so hard to find a proper one when you’re any where near a beach?

Perhaps you’ve mastered your Martinis and Margaritas. Now it’s time to mix the magical mystique of the Mai Tai. Don’t get me wrong, rum is fun, you’ll like what you like–but if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right–so put down that pre-mix or pineapple juice and prepare to understand the simple balance of rum, lime, almond and orange that makes the Mai Tai a true classic.

A real Mai Tai recipe, featuring Jamaican rum and French Rhum, along with lime juice, almond syrup and orange Curaçao liqueur.

Invented by Trader Vic, this classic Mai Tai tiki cocktail features an alluring combination of lime juice, almond syrup and orange Curaçao liqueur — fortified with Jamaican rum and French Rhum.

Back in 1944, when Tiki was but ten years young, Trader Vic put this tropical thing together and served it to friends from Tahiti visiting his bar, and so the story goes, they responded, “Mai tai roa ae!” which, allowing for aliteration, is translated as “Out of this world! The best!”

But the real star of the show was the Wray & Nephew 17-year-old Jamaican rum at the heart of it. It was only a couple of years before the entirety of the supply was exhausted with the help of Vic’s thirsty audience. The 15-year-old version replaced it to fill demand, however, was similarly depleted by the 1950s. Vic then went in search of a new substitute and found it in the form of molasses based rhum from Martinique.

If you’re not an expert, the important thing to take away from that is the guy who originally made it also re-made it when the rum ran out. If you know the difference between Agricole and Industriel, this is a breakthrough. Vic found elements of what made the original Jamaican rum so interesting, what he described as “rich pungent flavor,” in the traditional molasses-based or “industrial” french style rhums.

Nothing will ever be 100% authentic again–at least not since the Merchant Hotel in Belfast ran out of the last publicly available bottle of Wray & Nephew 17. It has been popularized to mix Agricole and Jamaican together, what with the Rumdood’s research and all, and I’ve seen at least one Martin Cate suggested recipe blending Guyana and Jamaica, but in the end we’re all trying to recapture that rich-dark-and-funky-thing that both of Vic’s choices had going on.

Speaking of rich, I’d be remiss if I didn’t speak for a moment about orgeat (pronounced or-zsa, like Zsa Zsa Gabor). A lot has already been said on the origins and recipes, but briefly, it’s an almond emulsion, and a key ingredient in the Mai Tai. If you’re not up to the task of making it yourself there are some specialists who are dedicated to the craft, like Orgeat Works (see also Beachbum Berry’s Orgeat), Small Hand Foods, BG Reynolds, and many more if you use your google-fu.

In the past ten years the variety of orange liqueurs has expanded significantly as well. If you haven’t spent time substituting the usual triple sec with the likes of Pierre Ferrand’s Dry Curaçao, Clement Creole Shrubb, Bayou Satsuma, Guavaberry’s Old Oranjestad and a whole gamut of other orange flavors, well, you’re missing out.

On that note, let’s talk about our recipe.

Mai Tai

  • 3⁄4oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1⁄2oz orange Curaçao liqueur
  • 1⁄2oz orgeat or almond syrup
  • 1oz aged Jamaican rum
  • 1oz aged French rhum

Add your ingredients to a shaker. Fill it with pebble or crushed ice. Shake well for 15-30 seconds. Pour unstrained into a vessel of your choice. Add a slapped mint spring and spent lime for garnish. Optionally: invert lime shell, fill with overproof and set it on fire.

-Rum Scout

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival adds luxury VIP Tasting Bar

The addition of select luxury, vintage and limited edition rums will offer a new level of excitement for serious rum enthusiasts at the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and International Trade Expo. The annual event, said to be the world’s largest gathering of rum experts, professionals and consumers, is scheduled for April 15-17, 2016 at the DoubleTree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center.

Miami Rum Festival and Trade Expo host Robert Burr today announced the addition of the VIP Tasting Bar at this popular rum event, featuring a selection of outstanding samples from his private collection.

“We want to share with rum fest participants some of the most interesting and exquisite rums that we’ve collected from our travels around the world. This is a splendid opportunity for rum enthusiasts to better understand and appreciate these limited edition, vintage and rare collectibles,” said Robert Burr, author of Rob’s Rum Guide, the National Rum Examiner blog and the Rum Minute YouTube channel.

Miami Rum Renaissance, VIP Tasting Bar, rum festival, trade expo, Robert Burr

The addition of the new luxury VIP Rum Tasting Bar at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and International Trade Expo allows rum enthusiasts to discover the world’s best rums.

The VIP Tasting Bar will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Rum Fest weekend from 1 to 6pm.

Both Robert Burr and his son Rob V. Burr will be on hand at the VIP Tasting Bar to share their knowledge and passion for these select expressions of the world’s best rums.

“In the course of publishing Rob’s Rum Guide and reporting for the National Rum Examiner, we are privileged to visit most of the great rum distilleries in the world,” said Rob. V. Burr. “Along the way, we’re collecting some very special bottles that represent the incredible range of high quality rums from Barbados and Jamaica to Guatemala and Panama; from Nicaragua and Haiti to Martinique and Guadeloupe; from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to Venezuela and Guyana — and beyond. We invite our rum loving friends to stop by the VIP Tasting Bar to share some of our passion — as well as a taste of these fine rums.”

The event is also host to the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP) Tasting Competition and associated awards.

Advance tickets for the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and International Trade Show are currently on sale through the web site. Tickets will not be available at the door.

Hotel rooms at the adjoining DoubleTree Hilton are also available at the discount rate of $139 per night online.

For more information, call the rum fest hotline at 305-443-7973 or visit the web site at RumRenaissance.com

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