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
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.
With all eyes on the beautiful seaside city of Rio de Janeiro as Brazil hosts the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, it’s a fitting time to focus on the exotic style of sugar cane spirits from Yaguara Cachaça.
With the U.S. launch of their flagship organic blended expression now underway, the Yaguara Cachaça team is proud to showcase the Spirit of Brazil in time for summer sipping.
Yaguara Blended Cachaça from Brazil is distilled from organic sugar cane in traditional alambique copper stills and blended for perfect balance.
Even with its long history of more than five centuries, cachaça (ka-SHAH-sa) is a contemporary spirit. It’s synonymous with Brazil’s fashionable lifestyle and national cocktail. This summer’s hottest drink is the caipirinha.
Yaguara Blended Cachaça
Distilled from fresh sugar cane juice in traditional alambique copper stills, Yaguara uses a sustainable process and a century-old family recipe. Each batch is supervised and certified by Yaguara’s master blender, Erwin Weimann, one of Brazil’s leading experts in the field of Cachaça.
“We have a rich flora in Brazil and cachaça’s production can only gain from all the possibilities of being aged in woods that no other country has,” explains Weimann. “We’re very happy to share this Brazilian biodiversity with the world.”
Yaguara Cachaça recently received a double gold medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Additionally, Yaguara received a score of 92 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, the highest ever awarded for a white cachaça.
A stunning bottle design by leading U.K.-based glass artist Brian Clarke reflects the quality of the product, bottled at 41.5 percent (83 proof). The cost of a 750ml bottle is $32.
Yaguara Blended Cachaça is distributed by Union Beer/Blueprint Spirits in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Florida. It’s available online from Astor Wines.
Yaguara Cachaça Cocktails
The Spirit of Brazil lends itself to delightful and refreshing cocktails. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Jag & Ginger
1.5 oz Yaguara Blended Cachaça 1.5 oz Ginger Ale Method: Build over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish: Lime wedge
1.5 oz Yaguara Blended Cachaça 5 oz Coconut Water 1 barspoon honey Method: Combine honey with coconut water in a highball glass and stir to melt. Add ice and Yaguara Cachaça. Garnish: Mint sprig.
The Plantation rum team based in Cognac, France, lead by master blender Alexandre Gabriel, recently revealed the results of a clandestine project.
The unveiling occurred during a tasting event at the annual Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans.
Plantation Old Fashioned Traditional Dark (O.F.T.D.) aged rum is a high proof expression developed in collaboration with leading rum experts.
This surreptitious collaboration with noted rum cocktail luminaries lead to the development of Plantation’s newest expression: O.F.T.D. (Old Fashioned Traditional Dark) aged rum. The new offering blends exquisite aged marques from Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados.
This dark colored overproof rum, bottled at 69% alcohol by volume (138 proof), will be available in a one liter bottles for a suggested retail price of $31.99. It’s expected to reach retail shelves in the U.S. in September 2016.
Alexandre Gabriel’s collaborators on the project are:
David Wondrich, spirits and cocktail historian and long-time Alexandre Gabriel collaborator
Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, proprietor of Latitude 29 in New Orleans
Martin Cate, proprietor of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco
Paul McFadyen, proprietor of Trailer Happiness in London
Paul McGee, proprietor of Lost Lake in Chicago
Scotty Schuder, proprietor of Dirty Dick in Paris
Tasting notes on the label declare, “Color: Rich Red Mahogany. Nose: Intense and very precice notes of coffee, orange, plum, jam and truffles. Taste: It bursts with caramel cream, chocolate and vanilla notes. It continues with cinnamon, raisins, nutmeg, oak and molases with smoky accents. Final: Long and lingering, with dark chocolate, clove and caramel. Empty glass: Rich Demerara molasses notes, oak and plum.”
This is not the first time Plantation revealed a secret rum project at the annual Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans. In 2014, a limited edition Pineapple rum was circulated among an elite cadre of rum professionals. The reaction was quick and intensely successful. The rum later went into full production to acclaimed success.
Plantation Old Fashioned Traditional Dark rum will appeal to serious rum enthusiasts, tiki fanatics and bartenders that understand how to incorporate rich, full-flavored, full-bodied, robust strength rums into fine cocktails.
Cocktail suggestion: How about an Old Fashioned Rum Old Fashioned?
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.
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 new aged rum, named for famed boxing champion Roberto Duran, was recently introduced to the U.S. market by Ekeko Fine Wines and Spirits of Houston Texas. Duran 12 year old aged rum, produced by Master Distiller and Blender Don “Pancho” Fernandez of Panama, was first shown at the Miami Rum Fest Trade Show in April.
Ron Duran is a fine aged rum produced in Panama by master blender Don Pancho Fernandez in honor of boxing legend Roberto Duran.
Ekeko today announced that Ron Duran 12 would soon be available widely in leading liquor retailers and venues throughout North America.
Roberto Durán Samaniego is a Panamanian former professional boxer, widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He retired in 2002 with a record of 120 fights, 104 wins and 69 KOs. The Associated Press voted Duran as the #1 lightweight boxer of the 20th century.
As a tribute to the master fighter, this Ron Duran 12 year old aged rum was specially crafted by Don Pancho for strength of character. This exquisite flavor profile is achieved by a blend of rum aged for 12 years in white oak whiskey barrels.
Ron Duran 12 rum uses the finest molasses from Panama and is distilled in copper columns using a proprietary yeast from the master blender. Don Pancho developed Duran rum to truly capture the essence of patience, passion, perseverance and triumph.
Aromas of buttery wet oak, cola nut and pistachio lead to creamy dry vanilla, orange blossom, dried fruits and toffee over creamy vanilla before a subtle hint of anise. On the palate, a well balanced coconut husk entry walks a fine line between sweet and dry as it cascades through cream soda, dark fruit, custard, toasted oak and coconut husk before dry toasted wood with hints of anise. Through the long finish, the palate remains well balanced.
Initially distributed in California and Nevada, SelvaRey has grown its network of distributors to include Southern Wine and Spirits in Florida, Hawaii and South Carolina; Savannah Distributing in Georgia; Fedway Associates in New Jersey; Empire Merchants in New York; Lipman Brothers in Tennessee; and Washington Wholesale in the nation’s capital. Availability in Ontario, Canada is scheduled for the fall season.
Selvarey White Rum offers a medium viscosity, suggesting it’s been well aged (up to five years) and filtered to remove most of the color. The nose reveals subtle hints of vanilla and mineral water with soft sweetness, buttered toast and a touch of fresh cane. The palate finds a delicate balance of grassy cane, vanilla and spices leading to a medium dry finish. At 80 proof, this is an exceptional white rum for fine cocktails and plays well as a sipper. SelvaRey’s aged white rum was a 2015 Double Gold Medal Winner and named best white rum by TheFiftyBest.com.
The cacao rum is a well-crafted five year old Bourbon cask blend, one of the few flavored rums that drinks like a sipping rum. On the rocks, Selvarey Cacao rum opens up with accentuated tones of creamy vanilla and toasted oak under semi-sweet chocolate. SelvaRey Cacao rum won the 2014 Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City and the Gold Medal at the 2014 Miami RumFest.
In addition, the rums were rated 94 and 95 respectively by The Tasting Panel Magazine, the highest ratings ever in their categories in the magazine’s history.
Selvarey rums are created by Master Distiller Don Pancho Fernandez in Panama using his antique copper stills. The rums are bottled and imported by Pacific Plate Spirits of California. The suggested list price of the white rum is $24.99 for the 750ml bottle; $28.99 for the cacao.
The iconic Appleton Estate brand of fine rums from Jamaica recently unveiled a new bottle and label design, an update that helps consumers better identify and classify these special blends.
Appleton Estate presents their iconic aged blended rums from Jamaica with new packaging, featuring the signature of master blender Joy Spence.
While the rums themselves remain unchanged, the packages reflect a more accurate description of the rums by name and presentation, starting with the Appleton Estate Signature Blend. This popular expression is a blend of 15 select pot still and column still rums that sets the standard for the Appleton Estate Rum series. Perfectly balanced complex citrus, fruity and sweet notes, the rum suggests subtle orange peel on the palate, with dried apricot, fresh peach and a hint of molasses and woody notes.
Next in line, the Appleton Estate Reserve Blend is a marvelous combination of 20 high quality marques skillfully integrated with complexity, depth and balance for those that prefer a premium blend. Full-bodied, smooth, and delicately-balanced spice and nutty notes on the palate are followed by oaky honey, subtle vanilla and a hint of hazelnut all wrapped in rich, dried orange peel. It is reminiscent of a spicy fruit cake.
Rare Blend 12 Year Old
As the name suggests, Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old is an upscale expression — containing rare sipping rums at least 12 years old aged in Number One Select American oak barrels — that defines the authentic Jamaican style known around the globe. With a constantly evolving taste experience — you’ll find deep oak, fruity and cocoa notes, followed by delicate molasses, vibrant orange peel, and subtle coffee, with a hint toasted oak and almond. The Rare Blend 12 Year Old at 43% ABV exemplifies the life work and accomplishments of Appleton Estate’s Master Blender Joy Spence.
Master Blender Joy Spence
The first female to be appointed Master Blender in the industry, Joy notes: “We wanted the new packaging to capture the craftsmanship and exceptional quality of our range and celebrate the uniqueness of the Appleton Estate including our heritage, our land, our process and our people.
“Although the names and packaging for our three core variants have changed, the award winning liquid inside the bottle remains the same. In addition, we have not changed the names, packaging or liquid for our luxury brands, Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum or Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum.”
The new packages have been refined to express the key elements that distinguish the brand. The cap now includes the signature of Master Blender Joy Spence to reinforce Appleton Estate’s crafted approach to producing rum. Estate Distilled and Jamaica Rum, are repeated at the base of the closure to highlight the brand’s Estate and Jamaican provenance. The name of the variants have been moved from the cartouche to the main label and Appleton Estate’s rich heritage as a rum producing establishment since 1749 is now highlighted on the cartouche. The new label features the lush landscape of the Appleton Estate and Jamaica’s world famous Cockpit Country where the Estate is located.
Crafted in the heart of Jamaica
The Appleton Estate logo has been updated. The words “Crafted in the heart of Jamaica” have been placed under the logo to speak to the care and passion that goes into making Appleton Estate rum, as well as the geographical location of the Appleton Estate in the heart of Jamaica.
The historic medals, which date back to the 1800s, are featured on the bottom left of the label. The Appleton Estate heart icon appears as a watermark on the bottom right of the label.
The Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum range is Jamaica’s leading premium rum and is exported to over 60 countries around the world.
Don Pancho Fernandez’s brand of Origenes luxury rum from Panama is now being distributed across the Unites States by the artisan spirits division of Terlato Wines.
Don Pancho Origenes rums are produced in Panama by the legendary Cuban master rum blender Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, who is globally recognized as one of the most experienced and respected rum blenders in the world. The brand marks Don Pancho’s first rum under his own name. The contents of each bottle reflect a lifetime of expertise and vision.
After learning the distilling craft from his father, Master Distiller Don Ramon Corrales Fernandez, Don Pancho was instrumental in modernizing Cuba’s rum industry in the 1970s.
The Panamanian Connection
After a global conglomerate acquired Cuba’s national brand, he relocated to Panama, where, in the 1990s, he discovered a neglected distillery in the Herrera region of Panama, which he built, with business partner Carlos Esquivel, into the Las Cabras Distillery.
At Las Cabras Don Pancho produced super-premium rums made with estate-grown, hand-harvested sugar cane in the Cuban tradition for many brands, while he watched and waited as the barrels of rum that he had been aging in Panama since the 1980s started showing some intriguing flavors and aromas. He soon realized that there was an opportunity to produce a blended aged rum under his own name — one that would be his own personal expression of aged rum.
Don Pancho Origenes is Born
Crafted in the classic “Cuban style,” Don Pancho Origenes rums are made with molasses from hand-harvested sugar cane and a proprietary yeast, are distilled in copper column stills and then aged in American Oak bourbon barrels of uniform size. Each barrel is hand selected by Don Pancho from his own private collection spanning decades. Renowned for his exacting standards, Don Pancho true-age-dates his rums by the age of the youngest rum in the blend, meaning the youngest rum in the 8-Year Old is 8 years old, and the same for the 18 and 30 year olds.
The 8-year is aromatic with hints of butterscotch and vanilla. Particularly smooth for its age, this rum makes for a perfect accent to cocktails or can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. The suggested retail price is $40.
The 18-year is characterized by a beautiful, cherry wood color. Filled with delicate aromas of sweet tea, honey, moist dates and figs, this rum is smooth with a rewarding finish. The elegant mouth-feel fades gently to expose dried fruits and notes of bourbon due to many years aging in American oak bourbon barrels. Additionally, the 18-year recently won the Gold Medal at the Berlin Rum Festival, the only rum to earn a perfect 100 out of 100 points by noted rum expert Robert Burr in a blind tasting. The suggested retail price is $90.
The 30-year is the most exclusive and luxurious of the series, with only 2,000 bottles available worldwide and 600 in the United States. This expression has a complex nose with wood, bourbon, orange peel and apricots. Remarkably creamy and full-bodied, its rich flavors of fudge and caramel melt into the fruity nose with a complex, long finish. Best enjoyed on its own, neat. The suggested retail price is $425.
“With Don Pancho Origenes, Don Pancho created the kind of artisan rum that he had always envisioned making. We instantly knew that Terlato’s Artisan Spirits division was the perfect place to build our brand in the marketplace,” said Carlos Esquivel, executive director of Don Pancho Origenes. “After decades of experience producing some of the world’s finest rums, we are excited to work with the Terlato family as we release such a high quality series of rum expressions for the first time under Don Pancho’s name.”
Don Pancho Origenes is imported from Panama by the Artisan Spirits division of Terlato Wines, the leading marketer of luxury wines in the United States, with a 20 percent market share of wines $20 and up in the U.S. The exceptional quality of the Terlato portfolio is underscored by more 90+ scores from leading wine publications than any other wine company.
A limited edition release, the Banks Rum Connoisseur’s Cut blend of robust aged rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Nicaragua is a noble expression that successfully balances big bold flavors from a multitude of rich authentic Caribbean marques.
This Limited Edition Connoisseur’s Cut expression from Banks Rum features an intriguing blend of fine aged rums from Jamaica, Guyana and Nicaragua.
These well chosen continuous and pot still aged rums were distilled in 2001 and 2012, then blended in 2007 before returning to oak casks for further aging.
The aroma begins with funky ripe banana over earthy toasted wood. A bouquet of rich dried fruit featuring apricot and citrus rinds leads to cashew and cigar box before resonating with gunpowder, oak and and bright pepper. On the palate, a big bold mouth feel presents initial sweet funky fruit on charred wood, then a delicious bananas foster over cedar plank that continues to evolve through the complex mid palate with notes of green banana and spices. The finish is long, woody and warm.
Founded by master blender Arnaud de Trabuc and R. John Pellaton, the Banks Rum brand is named for the 18th-century explorer Sir Joseph Banks, a noted English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He took part in Captain James Cook’s first great voyage (1768–1771) visiting Brazil, Tahiti and Australia. Approximately 80 species of plants bear the Banks name.
The Banks Rum brand distinguishes itself by creating unique blends of rum from around the world featuring complex and intriguing hybrid mixtures of spirits of many varieties. The unique skill of the master blender is in matching the qualities of various expressions in combinations that will pique the interest of seasoned rum enthusiasts.
Among the most popular Banks Rum products are the Banks 5 Island white rum and the Banks 7 Island gold rum. The Endeavour Limited Edition I is a release of only 1743 bottles featuring a sophisticated blend of two fine old rums individually selected from exclusive Banks reserves with a minimum of 16 years in the cask. Banks Connoisseur’s Cut Limited Edition rums are blends of specific styles of spirit from well known rum territories culled from the finest stocks in the Caribbean, then carefully blended to perfection in small quantities.