Diplomático Distillery Collection rums, labeled “No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum” and “No. 2 Barbet Rum” each contain a unique bottle number, batch number, and the date of the distillation marked on the label, as well as an illustration of the still.
A pair of rums that spotlight the distinctive production process used by the popular Diplomático Rum from Venezuela — the Diplomático Distillery Collection — have been released in the United States.
The distillery in La Miel, Venezuela has a long history of producing fine rums, using traditional copper pot stills, as well as modern column stills. One additional asset that sets them apart from others is their batch kettle still, a hybrid configuration best known for producing whiskies.
The new Diplomático Distillery Collection highlights these distillation systems with two new limited edition expressions: a Single Batch Kettle rum and a Single Barbet Column rum.
This new pair allows consumers to better understand and distinguish the various production methods and unique personalities of the stills used to make many of Diplomático’s fine blended expressions. Continue reading
Having been involved in owning bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Cirencester — a market town northwest of London — for many years, Richard was looking for an alternative to rums he was serving from large brands that had strayed from their origins. Continue reading
From one of the oldest rum producers in the world comes one of the finest rare aged rums ever bottled, Mount Gay 1703 Master Select.
Derived from double copper pot and single column still distillates, this spirit is a blend of 10 to 30 year old aged rums. 1703 Master Select is a deliciously complex and concentrated nectar reflecting the life-long mastery of blender Allen Smith. Continue reading
From Destilerías Unidas in Venezuela, the Diplomatico brand has revealed Diplomatico 2002 Single Vintage, a new limited edition luxury rum expression.
Distilled in vintage copper pot stills in 2002, the rum was then aged in bourbon and single malt whisky casks for twelve years.
2002 Single Vintage Selection
Diplomatico 2002 Single Vintage is a limited edition aged rum from Venezuela aged in oak for twelve years before a second aging in sherry barrels.
Crafted from a selection of the most exceptional rum reserves in their vast complex of aging warehouses, the components of this Diplomático 2002 Single Vintage are hand-selected for exceptional quality.
After the initial aging process, these select spirits are transferred to Oloroso Spanish Sherry casks for another year to impart an enhanced finish.
After the second aging process, the Maestros Roneros carefully blend the rums in order to obtain the structure, body, personality, flavors and aromas that best express the vintage year.
The result is an artful and delicate balance of rare aged rums, destined for this special limited edition 2002 Single Vintage, created for the most serious rum enthusiasts.
Aromas of vanilla and almond lead to well balanced caramel and dark dried fruit before aromatic oak, cigar box, musk and raisin. On the palate, initial flavors of caramel, vanilla and oak are enhanced by complex dark fruit, spices and hints of tobacco. The finish dries out with very long lasting echoes of oak, raisin and toffee.
This 750ml bottle of Diplomatico 2002 Single Vintage limited edition aged rum, bottled at 43% abv, sells for $119.
The Diplomatico brand includes many fine traditional expressions such as Rum Blanco, Reserva and Exclusiva. Among the prestige products are the single vintages and their ultimate luxury rum, Diplomatico Ambassador.
The iconic Mount Gay brand of rum from Barbados recently announced a special limited edition aged rum package: Origin Series – The Copper Stills.
From Barbados, the new Mount Gay Origin Series: Volume Two, The Copper Stills Collection features two similarly aged rums created in two different stills.
The Copper Stills: Pot vs. Column
Mount Gay releases their limited edition Origin Series Volume Two: The Copper Stills, featuring a selection of two aged rum expressions from Barbados.
The first was produced in a copper pot still, the traditional method of creating rum that dates back to the brand’s origins in Barbados in 1703. The second expression was created in a modern copper column still, a more efficient method for producing rum from molasses.
Each of the two rums included in this special package exhibits a flavor profile unique to it’s method of distillation. Mount Gay rums achieve their complexity and depth of flavor by combining these types of marques in their popular blends.
The Copper Pot Rum leads with aromas of sweet cane, vanilla and funky fruit. On the palate notes of dark chocolate, toasted coconut and almonds lead to butter and oak in the finish.
The Copper Column Rum offers aromas of butter and banana. On the palate, hints of sweet ripe fruit and delicate floral notes precede toasted oak.
The Origin Series Collections
“We created the Origin Series collections so that we could give rum drinkers the unique opportunity to experience rum by tasting the pure essence of the distinct distillation methods. We want to share a deeper understanding of how each part of the process can change the taste of rum entirely,” said Mount Gay Master Blender Allen Smith. “Copper Pot is a rich, intricate interpretation of signature Mount Gay aromatics, robust in flavor and body. Copper Column is a delicate and mellow expression of our classic profile.”
Like Volume One of the Origin Series – which featured Virgin Cask and Charred Cask varieties – Volume Two is presented in bespoke packaging of two 375ml bottles, along with a detailed booklet that gives an overview of the creation of the two rums.
The Origin Series Copper Stills collection, at 43% abv, will be available beginning October 2016 at premium liquor and spirits stores across the United States for a suggested retail price of $95.
In North Florida, take the A1A Cocktail Trail when you want to enjoy a leisurely drive along the coast. The route combines amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean with stops at popular watering holes that feature tropical cocktails made with fresh Florida citrus and local craft spirits from St. Augustine Distillery.
North Florida’s A1A Cocktail Trail offers a delightful adventure along Florida’s Historic Coastline, discovering tropical cocktails made with fresh Florida citrus and rum from the St. Augustine Distillery.
The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), St. Augustine Distillery and the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) have created a trail of bars and restaurants along Florida’s Historic Coastline that serve up original cocktails made by experienced Florida mixologists.
“We are excited about putting Florida on the ‘map’ as a state that is creating some of the freshest cocktails. We’re combining locally made spirits from Florida agriculture with the world’s finest citrus, highlighting our long history of agriculture and sustainable production practices,” explained Philip McDaniel, co-founder and CEO of St. Augustine Distillery. “Together with the FDOC and VCB, we are proud to promote the Spirit of Florida.”
Amy Carpenter from the Florida Department of Citrus (left) and Kara Pound from the St. Augustine Distillery (right) visit with Matt Stevens (middle), manager of A1A Ale Works in St. Augustine, to unveil the new A1A Cocktail Trail program.
Once your passport is stamped at all eight locations, redeem it for a free collectible A1A Cocktail Trail t-shirt and branded, wooden coaster set.
Passports are also available at the I-95 Welcome Center, the I-75 Welcome Center, the St. Augustine Distillery and Florida’s Historical Coast office in St. Augustine.
Discover Florida’s Historic Coastline
Take your time and enjoy the natural beauty, leisurely pace and delightful venues along Florida’s Historic Coastline.
Florida A1A – the beach road
Florida’s A1A is a north-south Florida State Road that runs mostly along the Atlantic Ocean, with sections from Key West at the southern tip of Florida, to Fernandina Beach, just south of Georgia on Amelia Island.
Saint Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the contiguous United States. Since the late 19th century, St. Augustine’s distinct historical character has made the city a major tourist attraction.
The St. Augustine Distillery is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The restaurant is open seven days a week for dinner from 5 to 10pm, and lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. The bar is open from 11:30am to midnight on Sunday and Monday, until 2am the rest of the week. Call 904-825-4962 or visit the web site.
Their craft rum spirits are produced on-site by master distillers from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.
A signature bottle design is the distinguishing visual factor that first sets Deadhead Rum apart from the competition. Now, the spirit in the bottle is getting well-deserved attention since the Deadhead Rum brand transitioned to a new Mexican distillery for production of its 6 year old aged rum expression.
Iconic Brands’ Deadhead rum is a 6 year old aged rum produced at Bonampak distillery in the southwest region of Mexico.
According to Kim Brandi, founder and CEO of Iconic Brands, sales of Deadhead Rum have nearly doubled in the past three years to almost 20,000 cases.
The 65 year old Destilados Bonampak distillery is headed by a veteran rum producing Cuban family. The tropical climate, coastal breezes and ocean salinity help distinguish the DNA of this spirit. The process starts with sugarcane grown in Tapachula, Chiapas near the Guatemalan border and the Pacific Ocean. The distiller’s master blender earned his reputation with a large Cuban rum brand. The spirit rests in French Oak barrels for six years.
Aromas of vanilla, spice and big wood dominate the cane grass notes. On the palate, a dry bitter wood balances burnt sugar, vanilla wafer, pumpkin pie spice and a hint of citrus peel before notes of dried fruit appear during the long finish.
The iconic bottle is a depiction of a tsantsa, the shrunken head of an enemy. Traditionally used for trophy, ritual and trade purposes by tribes in the northwestern regions of the Amazon rain forest, the item is believed to harness the spirit of that enemy, compelling him to serve the shrinker and preventing the soul from avenging its death.
Iconic Brands seeks to distinguish their offerings with a “No Compromise” philosophy. The unique characteristics of this Mexican rum — and certainly the shrunken head vessel — are true to this goal.
Deadhead 6 Year Old aged rum is bottled at 40% abv. The 750ml bottle sells for $38.99.
See Deadhead 6 in Rob’s Rum Guide extensive list of rums.
On the tropical island of Kauai in Hawaii, Kōloa Rum Company produces artisanal, single-batch rums, including this Kōloa Hawaiian Kauai Coffee flavored rum.
At its distilled spirits tasting room and company store on the grounds of Kilohana Plantation near Lihue, visitors delight in discovering their delicious expressions of cane spirit.
Located nearby, the Kauai Coffee Company operates the largest coffee plantation in the islands. Every day they’re hand-roasting small batches of their distinct coffee beans grown on the sunny slopes of southern Kauai.
Award-winning Koloa coffee rum is a flavored rum made from local sugar cane and coffee grown in Kauai, Hawaii.
The collaboration of these local rum and coffee makers has been declared a great success with the fast-growing popularity of this delicious coffee flavored rum.
On the nose, immediate aromas of mocha and medium roast coffee bean overtake the senses. On the palate, sweet mellow breakfast coffee develops mid-palate. A big note of cacao appears before finishing semi-dry. Lingering tones of authentic mellow-roasted Hawaiian coffee remain in the finish.
Kōloa rums are well known to rum enthusiasts across the United States. In the Miami Rum Festival’s annual RumXP blind tasting competition, they’ve consistently taken home top awards. Kōloa Hawaiian Kauai Coffee flavored rum is no exception. It won the RumXP Best In Class award in 2016.
This delightful coffee rum, bottled at 34% abv, is presented in a package worthy of gift giving for those that appreciate fine rum and good coffee. At 34% abv, the 750ml bottle sells for about $40.
From Weeki Wachee, Florida — the enchanted land of mermaids and manatees — NJoy Distillery produces their Wild Buck American Rye Whiskey and Florida Mermaid aged rum.
The production facility is located on an 80 acre farm in the middle of the 40,000 acre Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area park. The distillery is cleverly hidden a remote portion of Florida’s west coast.
NJoy’s Florida Mermaid aged rum from Weeki Wachee is a blend of Florida rum and pot still aged rum from the Caribbean.
Combining three year old Florida rum with a high ester Jamaican pot still marque, the blend is further rested in the Wild Buck Whiskey barrels for 90 days. The result is a delightful sipping rum that also makes great cocktails.
The nose begins with bold aromas of black banana, flowers and butter. Next, vanilla and almond emerge over oak with a big funky fruit basket. On the palate, complex esters offer a delightfully fruity astringent entry that evolves to big warmth in the mid-palate. Wood and brown butter dominate before some baking spice as the finish slowly fades.
Florida Mermaid rum is bottled at 100 proof (50% abv). It’s available at the distillery near Weeki Wachee (7237 Wild Buck Road) as well as liquor stores in Central Florida.
Awards include Best in Class and Best in Category at American Distilling Institutes Spirits Competition in San Diego. Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for Best in Aged Overproof Rum Category. And Silver at the American Craft Spirits Competition in 2016.
American Rums highlighted in international cocktail seminar
The New American Rum Revolution has arrived. The 2016 Tales Of The Cocktail convention in new Orleans will present a seminar hosted by the editors of Robs Rum Guide featuring great American rum producers.
The New American Rum Revolution seminar at the 2016 Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans will be hosted by the editors of Robs Rum Guide.
The 90 minute program is designed to provide a perspective on American rum’s past, present and future. The seminar will share insight from some of the most successful American rum producers.
“In the past few years, more national, regional and local rum distillers are gaining well-deserved attention. Many making their mark as true artisan spirits by winning awards and setting new standards for authentic, hand-made rum,” said Robert A. Burr, publisher of Robs Rum Guide. “It’s nothing short of a rum revolution. It’s changing the American rum industry, bringing back the art of craft distilling. It’s presenting American rum in a most favorable light. We’re emphasizing the quality aspects of small production.”
American Rum History
Before the American revolution, more than 8,000 distilleries in the American colonies were producing rum. A plentiful supply of molasses was available through trade with Caribbean islands. Most ceased production by the time prohibition decimated the American spirits industry.
“It’s nothing short of a rum revolution — presenting American rum in a most favorable light by emphasizing the quality aspects of small production.”
According to the editors of Robs Rum Guide, the number of distilleries now producing rum in the United States is growing at a incredible rate. The trend is igniting what what can only be described as a new American rum revolution.
The New American Rum Revolution Has Arrived
The rum renaissance has sparked a tasting seminar at the upcoming Tales Of The Cocktail festival in New Orleans in July where bartenders and professionals in the spirits trade gather to learn more about their industry.
Among the seminar panelists are Trey Litel of Louisiana Spirits (Bayou Rum), Bob Gunter of the Koloa Rum Company and Steven Gubb of Paradise Imports (Gubba Rum). Robert V. Burr will lead an informative and entertaining sampling of notable American rums. His presentation will contain details about each of the producers’ unique qualities.
The New American Rum Revolution seminar features notable expressions from American producers.
The New American Rum Revolution seminar takes place in New Orleans at 3:30pm on Wednesday, July 20 at the Fleur de Lis Suite of the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street. For information about this global gathering of the spirits industry, or tickets for this seminar, visit the Tales Of The Cocktail web site. https://talesofthecocktail.com/
The Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise is coming. A seven day holiday cruise through the Eastern Caribbean, featuring VIP tours of rum distilleries along the way, is set to sail from Puerto Rico on Saturday, November 19.
A delightful holiday rum cruise through the Eastern Caribbean promises special rum tasting events and VIP distillery tours aboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas cruise ship, departing November 19, 2016.
Rum cruisers will meet rum experts from around the world. They’ll find great rum bargains on each island and revel with fellow rum enthusiasts.
Robert A. Burr and his wife Robin will lead the land tours in St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados, visiting rum shops, rum tasting rooms and distilleries.
The group will depart Puerto Rico on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas on a seven night cruise in search of Caribbean rum. The cruise returns to San Juan on Saturday, November 26. Guests will enjoy Thanksgiving Day in Barbados with specially planned events and a fabulous holiday meal.
The cost of VIP distillery tours with transportation is $300 per person, in addition to the cost of the cruise. The official travel agent coordinating the rum cruise is Deb Fogarty of Be Well Travel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The Ultimate Adventure For Rum Enthusiasts
“Rum enthusiasts and their friends will especially enjoy this unique opportunity to learn more about their favorite Caribbean spirits. These are exclusive guided tours by some of the most knowledgeable people in the world of rum,” said Ms. Fogarty. “We are privileged to offer a holiday cruise itinerary that combines all the luxuries of this modern ship with rare VIP access. You’ll love these special tours and fine rum tastings at these iconic distilleries and rum shops along the way.”
“It’s a rum lover’s dream come true: setting sail through the Eastern Caribbean on a holiday adventure to discover how great rum is produced, aged and blended.”
The new Matusalem Rum production facility is now in operation.
The Miami-based family owners of Matusalem Rum, after being exiled from Cuba for nearly 60 years, recently celebrated the opening of their new ISO 9000 approved production facility in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic.
The bottling line in their new Dominican Republic manufacturing facility allows Matusalem rum to expand their production capacity while maintaining the legacy Cuban formula that makes their solera style rum a favorite in many countries.
Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina and the Minister of Industry and Trade, José del Castillo Saviñón, were on hand to officiate the event.
The new Matusalem Rum production facility is projected to produce more than 550,000 cases of rum per year. With an initial production of 14,000 bottles a day, it creates more than 300 direct jobs and approximately 750 indirect jobs in the local economy.
A state-of-the-art bottling line and large space for aging barrels will allow the company to greatly expand production. Matusalem can now increase distribution throughout United States, the European Union, Russia, Middle East, Asia Pacific, South America, Central America, México and the Caribbean Islands.
The Brand, The Family
After arriving in Cuba from their native Spain, Benjamin and Eduardo Camp and partner Evaristo Alvarez, founded Matusalem Rum in 1872 in Santiago de Cuba. The company’s President/CEO is Dr. Claudio Alvarez, a direct descendant of Evaristo Alvarez.
Matusalem Rum distillation and blending principles come from the Solera Aging System, originally developed for the production of sherry and brandy.
Matusalem Rums are still produced in the same Cuban tradition. They use the family’s secret formula according to the same exacting standards established by the brand’s founders over a century ago. These rums are produced and bottled in the Dominican Republic under the strictest quality guidelines. Every batch is carefully analyzed before release.
Among their most popular expressions, the Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 year old aged rum is the winner of many awards and accolades by rum experts around the world.
The production team at Matusalem’s new manufacturing facility in Dominican Republic.
Appleton Rum Master Blender Joy Spence received a great honor recently.
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.
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 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.”
Appleton Rum Master Blender
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.
The Appleton Rum Master Blender 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.
Wild Turkey Master Blender
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.
A unique variety of orange is the key ingredient for this delicious flavored rum made by Louisiana Spirits. Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur is a craft spirit made from locally sourced Satsuma tangerines with barrel aged rum made from local sugar cane.
While there are numerous orange liqueurs available, this vibrant citrus spirit based on the delicate Satsuma delivers a delightful flavor profile that stands above the crowd and makes a great substitute for a traditional Orange Curaçao liqueur.
Produced by Louisiana Spirits, Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur offers delightful tones of bright tangerine and orange sorbet; a fine flavored rum made of local ingredients.
“Citrus unshiu” is a unique variety of tangerine from Japan, sometimes referred to as the Cold Hardy Mandarin or Christmas Orange for its ability to thrive in temperate climates. The first Satsuma citrus trees in the Americas were planted by Jesuits in the 18th century at their plantation upriver from New Orleans.
As a testament to the popularity of this fruit with growers, there are towns named Satsuma located in Alabama, Florida, Texas and Louisiana.
Alluring aromas of tangerine slice candy and orange peel dominate the nose. On the palate, the taste is true to the fruit with bright tones of orange sorbet and tangerine peel over a bit of creamy vanilla.
Trey Litel is the president of Louisiana Spirits, LLC. “Biting into a freshly peeled Louisiana Satsuma is hard to beat. The complex, sweet citrus flavor and vibrant color combine with the smooth flavor of our barrel aged Bayou Select Rum to create a taste like no other.”
The exact production method, recipe, and sources from the Satsuma liqueur remain a company secret.
Bayou rums are hand-crafted from local Louisiana sugar cane at the distillery in Lacassine, Louisiana. Distribution is growing significantly in 2016 courtesy of a distribution agreement with Stoli USA.
This list price of a 750ml bottle of Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur is $21.95.
From the legendary Long Pond Distillery in Trelawny, Jamaica, this vintage Mezan Jamaica 2000 expression delivers the classic fruity and funky profile we’ve come to expect from legacy Jamaican distillers.
Mezan has built a reputation for bottling authentic, unadulterated spirits from notable producers in select destinations, and this Jamaica 2000 is no exception.
Mezan’s authentic Jamaica 2000 vintage rum comes from the legendary Long Pond distillery’s traditional double thumper pot still.
Long Pond is known for their long, slow fermentation cycles, allowing natural yeast to convert sugar to alcohol over a long period in the traditional manner. The addition of dunder from previous fermentations is an old technique long lost at modern distilleries.
This slow fermentation process builds rich and complex high ester flavor profiles, which are refined by a double distillation process in their traditional double retort pot still.
The result of this uniquely rich fermentation and rustic distillation is big rum flavor — Mezan Jamaica 2000 offers a reflection of style that made Jamaican rums famous the world over for centuries.
Aromas of sweet butter and charred oak, then big banana lead to subtle chardonnay with a hint of green apple before traces of pineapple, then a vegetal bouquet of fruit and dank earthiness over bread dough. On the palate, Mezan Jamaica 2000 presents a smooth entry of rich buttery toffee gives way to a very interesting briny, earthy leather and complex fruit notes tempered by a woody finish.
The 750ml bottle of Mezan Jamaica 2000 sells for $54.95.