In the southwest region of Panama, northwest of the town of David, the Hacienda Carta Vieja is surrounded by miles of sugar cane fields which thrive in the rich soil near the Pacific Ocean. Here we find the distillery that produces the legacy Carta Vieja rum, and their newest expression — 8 Años Double Cask.
After traditional fermentation, Carta Vieja distillates are refined in a modern five-column still made of copper and stainless steel. The distinction that makes this rum unique is the double maturation in American Oak and French Oak barrels in two locations.
Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask from Panama is aged in both American and French Oak.
This 8 Años Double Cask spirit is aged for seven years in the warm and humid Solera 1915 aging warehouse near sea level using only American ex-Bourbon White Oak barrels. The final stage of maturation takes place in French Limousin Oak barrels for one year in the temperate mile-high Solera House of Rum in Boquete at 1668 meters above sea level.
The result is a spirit that exhibits far more complexity and nuance than other expressions in the product line. Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask spirit transcends the traditional flavor and aroma profiles, setting a new standard for intricacy and balance.
Aromas of caramel and coffee lead to vanilla, treacle, pecan wood, raisin and earthy peat.
On the palate, a dry entry suggests dark stone fruit with touch of cinnamon toast mid-palate before toasted oak, vanilla, marzipan and baking spices. The many layers of complexity are tempered by a smooth and pleasant mouth feel. The finish is long and well balanced — notes of smoky vanilla, pecan and prune wine contrast and balance a bitter wood tannin in the late finish.
This double cask rum makes a fine sipper neat in a proper tasting glass, or with a single good cube of ice. It excels in a high quality cocktail such as the Rum Old Fashioned, complimented by aromatic bitters and a touch of sweetness.
Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask aged rum is bottled at 40% ABV. The 750ml bottle costs about $28.
A single batch pure cane rhum aged in the tropical climate of Martinique, Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve is bottled at 51.3% ABV. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this vintage 2015 expression is the maturation in first-fill Bourbon barrels, rather than the traditional loose grain French Limousin Oak.
More than 1,000 acres of sugarcane plantations surround the distillery, located in the North East section of the island, facilitating the rapid transport from cane field to cane crush.
Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve is a single batch pure cane overproof rhum aged in first-fill Bourbon barrels.
A traditional fast fermentation (less than 72 hours) in open vats precedes a traditional single pass distillation at low ABV using legacy creole columns.
All of the rhum from this single batch of Cellar Reserve was matured in America Oak — once used Bourbon Barrels — to impart a unique profile not found in other Rhum Agricole spirits.
This Cellar Reserve expression is produced under the strict standards of the Martinique AOC geographical indication, adhering under French law to the appellation d’origine contrôlée regulations.
Initial aromas of toasted oak notes mingled with mellow vanilla are followed by baking spices and butter before a whiff of figs and prunes, a hint of bread pudding, oaked Chardonnay and orange blossom.
On the palate, a mellow entry of toasted oak and vanilla expands mid-palette with big warm tones of buttered toast, dark fruit compote, cassia bark, almond and cacao. The finish continues with fading notes of toasted oak, praline, tobacco leaf and citrus rind.
Produced under the direction of Master of Rum Marc Sassier, this unique 2015 vintage rhum manages to faithfully adhere to the traditions of the region and the distillery, while presenting a delightfully bold and impressive accent from the white oak Bourbon barrels, which sets it apart from other Rhum Agricole expressions.
Legacy of Saint James
Rhum Saint James is an AOC certified brand from Martinique — the oldest brand on the island and the third oldest rum brand in the world.
Les Plantations Rhum Saint James visitors center and museum
The facility in the coastal region of Saint Marie holds the most important stock of old rhums in the Agricole world with more than 15,000 casks.
Barrel Warehouse at Rhum Saint James
It’s also the most popular distillery in Martinique with more than 120,000 visitors annually.
The Cane Plantation Train at Rhum Saint James Distillery
The Rhum Saint James brand is owned by La Martiniquaise, one of the world’s largest international spirit companies. The entire production facility is energy-independent, designed and operated in the most efficient manner to minimize the impact on the environment through every step of the process.
historic water wheel cane crush
Imported by 375 Park Avenue Spirits in Kentucky (a division of the Sazerac Company), this single batch aged Rhum Agricole expression is limited to 3,835 bottles. Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve at 51.3% ABV, carries a suggested retail price of $50 in the USA for the 750ml bottle.
From the central regions of Panama — via Hollywood, California — here is a limited edition aged rum worthy of its title: Selvarey Owner’s Reserve.
The name Selva Rey is based on the Spanish translation of Jungle King. This fine aged owner’s reserve edition was conceived and developed by international super-star performer Bruno Mars, in collaboration with legendary master distiller and blender “Don Pancho” Fernandez — a king of rum in his own right.
Selvarey Owner’s Reserve aged rum was created by famed master blender “Don Pancho” Fernandez in Panama under the direction of international super-star Bruno Mars.
It’s obvious this product is meant to impress rum aficionados and collectors, as well as anyone who appreciates luxury spirts, with a decidedly sophisticated approach and elegant presentation.
The distillery at Las Cabras makes a point of sustainable practices, using the disposed crushed cane to operate their steam boiler, driving a centrifugue that generates about seven megawatts, so the distillery runs on its own clean energy. Waste from the distillation process is used to fertilize the cane fields. They sow, cultivate and harvest their own sugar cane, controlling all aspects of the process.
Selvarey Owner’s Reserve is created by Don Pancho in Panama using his antique copper column stills. After aging in used American Oak Bourbon and Whiskey casks — using wood management techniques developed over decades in Cuba — the most outstanding marques for this owner’s reserve are masterfully selected and blended for near-perfect balance.
The resulting fine rum is bottled in limited edition for this special owner’s reserve release in a stunning package designed by Bruno Mars, featuring a tall statuesque elegant bottle enclosed in an artful box that faithfully reflects the unique nature and quality of the product.
Initial aromas of rich toasted oak, smokey honey, dark fruit and cocoa nibs are followed by suggestions of creamy vanilla and bread pudding. On the palate, a smooth entry of rich caramel, raisin and prune leads to treacle, hazelnut and vanilla custard with baking spices and toffee, before hints of old oak tannins and a bitter cacao note adds balance. The very long luxurious finish echoes the notes of charred oak, caramel, vanilla bean and cocoa.
Bruno Mars proudly presents his Selvarey Owner’s Reserve aged rum from Panama
Selvarey Owner’s Reserve is an exquisite example of the best of Panama’s rum, available in limited supply at select retailers in the USA as well as several online sources. It’s best enjoyed neat or with just a single cube of clear ice in a generous tumbler or proper tasting glass.
The 750ml bottle of SelvaRey Owner’s Reserve, bottled at 40% abv, sells for about $150.
Designed as an homage to the exotic Fijian Islands, Plantation Isle Of Fiji aged rum presents a beautiful and alluring package featuring exotic flora and fauna of the region. The rum is made using traditional techniques and local sugar cane, then double aged in tropical and continental climates.
Fijian sugar cane is grown in rich volcanic soils by 22,000 local farmers, sun ripened to perfection before being cut by hand and transported to the cane crush. A vital economic crop, sugar cane and related industries are responsible for 9% of the country’s annual GDP.
Chairman’s Trophy Winner in the annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge tasting competition
Plantation Isle Of Fiji is sourced from the Rum Company of Fiji under the direction of Master Distiller Liam Costello on the island of Viti Levu. The rum begins with a rather long and warm molasses fermentation of four to five days. It’s then distilled in both modern column stills for floral, light, fruity character, and traditional pot stills offering heavier flavors and richer aromatics.
These rums are aged for two to three years in Bourbon casks in the tropical climate before a second maturation in French oak casks in the Southwest region of France. The resulting aged blend brilliantly assimilates the traditional Fijian style with the fine finishes reminiscent of the Cognac regions.
Awards and Accolades
Plantation Isle Of Fiji was the Chairman’s Trophy Winner in the annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge tasting competition held in Hawthorne, New York. With a score of 98 points, Isle Of Fiji was awarded the “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation.”
Aromas of jackfruit and banana, molasses and yeasty bread precede hints of soft green apple, vanilla bean, tart berries and toasted oak. On the palate, a sweet entry of creamy vanilla custard and honey quickly leads to ripe exotic fruit and spices. The mixed fruit compote and spicy notes linger in the medium long finish.
This rum represents a good value, excelling as an exotic component in tropical cocktails and punch recipes — similar to a fruity, funky high ester Jamaican rum.
The 750ml bottle of Plantation Isle Of Fiji aged rum, bottled at 40% abv, sells for about $25.
This classic, full bodied and flavorful Barbancourt Five Star aged rhum, made from fresh sugar cane juice, sets the standard for fine rhums from Haiti. Distillate is produced during the cane harvest season in a two column still at a high proof, then aged in Bourbon Barrels and French Limousin oak vats at least eight years before being bottled at 86 proof.
The well-honed process renders cane juice into a complex and flavorful distillate that ages quite well. After eight years in oak, the rhum develops a generous medium-bodied, magnificent well-balanced palate.
Rhum Barbancourt Five Star 8 year old rhum from Haiti
In 1862, Dupré Barbancourt, a native of Charente (Cognac) in France, developed a recipe for rhum using the French double distillation pot still method normally reserved for the very finest cognacs. Barbancourt rhums are produced by Société du Rhum Barbancourt in Haiti. CEO Delphine Gardère is the fifth generation of the family to lead the company.
Aromas of toasted oak, vanilla and tannins lead to butter cookie and vegetal cane. On the palate, a dry entry of rich complexity includes vanilla, dark caramel and grassy cane before pepper and baking spices. The finish lingers with notes of dried fruits, old oak and echoes of citrus.
Sips and Cocktails
Barbancourt Five Star aged rhum can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks with a slice of orange or lime. It also brings rich and luxurious flavor to fine cocktails that call for a high quality rhum component.
In addition to this eight year old rhum, the company is well known for their Estate Reserve 15 year old rhum, their Three Star four year old rhum, their white rhum and the tropical spiced Pango (pineapple and mango) rhum.
The Barbancourt Legend
The Barbancourt Five Star label contains an iconic image — the small figure of a woman dressed in a light blue dress holding a staff before a shining blue star. Believed by some to represent a goddess of the cane fields, in fact, she is likely a depiction of Dupré Barbancourt’s first wife, Nathalie Gardere who’s family continued the tradition and made the distillery what it is today.
Barbancourt rhums are imported and marketed in the U.S. by Crillon Importers of Paramus, New Jersey.
A boutique craft distillery in Sandy, Oregon is producing a small batch fresh cane rum of note for rum enthusiasts and collectors — Just Rum Maple Wood Rested aged rum.
Fresh Costa Rican cane juice is fermented with a legacy strain of yeast from the Caribbean in a lengthy cycle, averaging 14 days. With a simple electric-fired kettle distillation, they begin collecting the heart of the batch at 174 degrees which produces distillate at 145 proof. When the proof falls to 82, the distillation is complete.
This process delivers a distillate reminiscent of traditional estate rums of the early colonial era. The true essence of cane is not lost in this rum base with amusingly complex aromas and a robust flavor profile that is surprisingly smooth for a high proof American rum.
Just Rum Maple Wood Rested fresh cane rum from Oregon
No Flavorings Added
Just Rum Maple Wood Rested is not maple flavored, but rather rested with toasted maple wood to instill the essence and distinct influence of its interaction over time.
Matured at 61%, the resulting unfiltered, unsweetened rum is proofed down to 51% for bottling. This expression presents delightful toasted wood elements, a hint of natural sweetness, and a unique flavor profile not found in other American rums.
Aromas of caramel and cigar box over grassy cane, apple cider and a funky fruit note precede a hint of white wine. On the palate, a dry opening with fresh yeast bread leads to toasted wood and grassy cane before suggestions of maple sugar candy, mixed fruit pastry, apple fritter and cedar plank, ending with a long finish of delightful wood notes.
Fresh Cane Rum
This Oregon craft rum stands alone with this combination of fresh cane juice, a robust yeast fermentation, simple distillation and maple wood influence, created by an American distiller with a penchant for authenticity and bygone traditional estate methods.
One of master blender Trudiann Branker’s first projects at Mount Gay was the release of the limited edition Master Blender Collection Pot Still Rum, with only 4,920 bottles. This expression was well received among rum enthusiasts almost immediately and earned some notable awards soon after release.
The Mount Gay Legacy
The distillery for Mount Gay has a storied reputation for producing fine rum using a collection of traditional McMillan and Fragasa double retort copper pot stills — along with more efficient column stills installed a century ago.
traditional McMillan and Fragasa double retort copper pot stills
a Pure Pot Still rum from Mount Gay, aged ten years in whiskey oak barrels
These distillates are artfully combined with expertise to balance their respective best qualities. The vast majority of Mount Gay rums are blends of these two types of stills, matured in oak barrels in the aging warehouses at the distillery.
Two unique aspects of the their legacy production techniques are the indigenous yeasts of Barbados and the supply of fresh artesian water from a deep well on the property.
A Unique Pot Still Product
This boutique Master Blender Collection pot still-only product was distilled in 2009 and aged for ten years before a second maturation of six months in ex-whiskey casks, emphasizing the rich and more rustic flavor profiles of these traditional copper pots in comparison to the tall column stills.
Mount Gay master blender Trudiann Branker’s first release is the Pot Still Rum
This is not the first time Mount Gay has released a pure pot still rum, — and hopefully it won’t be the last. But, it’s the first time they claim an age statement on the label of a pure pot still rum, and its the first signature release by master blender Trudiann Branker.
The Mount Gay distillery has a large stock of aged pot still rums to use in their blends. Eclipse, Black Barrel, XO and the elite 1703 expression have seen increases in the percentage of these well aged pot still components as they inch these expressions forward in the plan for premiumization.
Initial aromas of bold dried fruit, chocolate and musty oak dominate before herbal and floral notes, palm blossoms, damp earth and snuffed candle. On the palate, a very dry entry heats up fast, lead by charred oak, bitter vanillin and burnt sugar before a long lasting bitter cacao note in the finish.
This rum is reminiscent of the rustic and hearty rums from the old Caroni distillery in Trinidad.
Mount Gay’s limited edition Pot Still Rum from master blender Trudiann Branker was aged for ten years in American Whiskey casks before bottling at a robust 48% abv. The 750ml bottle sells for about $150, available mainly on the island of Barbados and a few select markets.
Located in the historic Ybor City neighborhood, a visit to Tampa Bay Rum Company is a delight, both for the rustic, festive atmosphere and to taste some fine rum samples. Your first stop is the appropriately decorated Buccaneer Bar, where proprietor Sam Meyers and master distiller Brad Bunn welcome visitors to their charming craft distillery.
entrance to the tasting room
tasting the rums in the Buccaneer Bar
The Rum Distillery Tour
The tour continues behind the scenes, with a walk through the barreling area into an immaculate production space where we find large fermenting tanks and their big copper pot still with rectifying columns.
barrels of rum resting
the copper pot still
Tampa Bay Rum Company uses top-grade molasses from Okeelanta Sugar Mills in South Florida for their seven day fermentation. Brad specifies different types of yeast for each fermentation at different temperatures to achieve the proper variations. The reserve rum is distilled at a lower proof for a slightly heavier bodied distillate.
Award Winning Rum
Brad has earned a reputation as a masterful rum maker. His premium Gasparilla Reserve — aged exclusively in 57 liter Maple Syrup Rye Whiskey Barrels — won Best In Class Craft Rum in the 2020 American Distillers Institute competition.
The 80 proof spiced rum ($29.99) made with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, clove and allspice is delicious. The rums that sell best in the tasting room are Coconut, followed by Scurvy Lime ($29.99) which really captures the essence of the local Florida citrus crop. The 80 proof white rum ($27.99) is a delightful expression which shows off Brad’s rum-making skills. A newer edition is a Butterscotch ($29.99), based on the spiced rum base with the addition of two types of butterscotch extract to emulate the taste profile of butterscotch candy.
The award-winning Gasparilla Reserve aged rum ($39.95) bottled at 92% is available only at the distillery.
Visit Tampa Bay Rum Company
Drop in to the distillery and tasting room for tours ($12 includes Gaspar’s insignia glass) and rum tastings from 2 to 6pm, Wednesday through Saturday, or Sunday from noon to 4pm at 2102 East 4th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605. No reservations are required.
Consumers can purchase Tampa Bay Rum Company’s Gaspar Rums direct from the distillery or at select ABC Liquors, Total wine and other liquors stores in the Tampa Bay area. They also have online distribution through B21.
Don Q’s Signature Release Single Barrel 2009 was hand selected by the master distiller from a selection of the Serrallés family’s private rum stocks, then laid to rest in charred American oak casks before bottling in 2019.
This limited edition light bodied aged rum is an expertly crafted noble spirit — a fine example of the Puerto Rican style.
It was designed following the trend of Don Q’s Signature Release Single Barrel Collection — after the 2005 and 2007 editions — as a light rum, distilled in a multi-column alembic still and then aged at 150 proof for a decade in single-use white oak barrels, previously used for Bourbon whiskey.
The medium amber color suggests a long resting period in oak. Aromas of fruit and spice with smokey oak dominate, before honey butter and vanilla over fruit cake and compote, with just a hint of molasses. On the palate, a bold entry of toasted oak leads to a creamy mouthfeel with butter cookie, accented by vanillin and Crème brûlée, before hints of bitter cocoa and charred oak linger in the medium long finish.
Enjoying Single Barrel 2009
For upscale cocktails like a Rum Old Fashioned, this light bodied, well-aged spirit is a great choice, or enjoy sipping it slowly on the rocks in a generous tumbler.
This 750ml bottle of Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2009, bottled at 40% abv, sells for about $49.
A visit to Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery in Pittsburgh is an opportunity to experience the production of award-winning American rums. Master Distiller Tim Russell presents a successful philosophy and confident approach to his production techniques, delivering an array of fine rums with consistency.
a selection of Maggie’s Farm Rums at the tasting bar with copper pot stills in the background
Located just off the Allegheny River in the Strip District, the rum distillery features a large inviting open cocktail bar space with clear view of the two alembic copper pot stills, fermentation tanks and racks of aging barrels.
two alembic style copper pot stills produce the distillate for Maggie’s Farm Rums
Maggie’s Farm Rum Awards
At least a hundred awards are displayed on Maggie’s Farm Rum bottles, a testament to the positive feedback from professionals, rum judges and tasting events around the world. Numerous Best-In-Show, Double Gold and Best-In-Class awards — including eight from the International Rum Experts and the Rum Jury at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival — speak to the quality of the product from this young American rum company.
Maggie’s Farm Rums have earned many awards from prestigious tasting competitions
The first commercial craft rum operation in Pennsylvania since the era of prohibition began as a modest venture — without significant investment or bank loans — to create authentic, unadulterated spirits using the best available ingredients, including Caribbean-derived yeasts and Louisiana Turbinado raw cane products. Long fermentation times — up to three weeks — help deliver high esters and big flavor before careful, rustic distillation techniques serve to retain much of the spirit of cane.
The result is a delightful distillate that serves as the base for the white rums, the barrel aged dark rums and all the natural flavored rums in the lineup. It’s clear from the dry profile that modifiers, sweeteners and extraneous ingredients are not in the recipe for Maggie’s Farm Rums.
the fresh clear distillate from the pot still is the base for Maggie’s Farm Rums
The White Rum is a delight, offering soft notes of cane and vanilla, with a hint of butter in the finish. It’s a fine base for all of our favorite rum cocktails and makes a nice sipper with a couple of ice cubes.
Single Barrel Rum
In the Single Barrel Rum, we experience the distillate after the mellowing influence of two years in oak casks, picking up more pronounced notes of vanilla, caramel and toasted oak. This small batch aged rum is a sterling example of the craft distiller’s art form, well balanced and complex for a rum of its age.
Queen’s Share Overproof Reserve Series
Perhaps the most notable of the expressions in the Maggie’s Farm Rum lineup is the Queen’s Share Overproof Reserve series. The name refers to the technique of re-distilling the tails — the most flavorful and pungent portions of the distillate to come off the still late in the process — to refine and extract the very best of these components for special barrelings in used rye, Bourbon and sherry casks. The results are intensely rich, higher proof sipping rums that deliver a magnificent intensity, complexity and depth of flavor.
50/50 Dark Rum
An example of creative experimentation exists with the 50/50 Dark Rum, combining their own pot still aged spirits in equal measures with a well-aged molasses based, column-distilled rum from the Caribbean. The 50/50 blend is aged for an additional six to nine months to marry the flavors, resulting a a delightfully complex and well-balanced expression that manages to remain unpretentious and satisfying while offering good value.
Taking experimentation to the next level, Tim Russell has developed Maggie’s Farm Spiced Rum, an exceptional expression that wows the rum judges and consumers with its unique blend of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly grated orange zest.
Another variation on the 50/50 concept is the Pineapple Rum, derived by macerating fresh pineapple in dark rum, blended with a vapor distillation of their white rum through pineapple barks to capture the natural oils. These two components are combined to capture the full essence of the fruit in a rich rum base. It’s a complicated technique that delivers an exceptional product.
Old Fashioned Cocktail
A creative riff on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, Maggie’s Farm Old Fashioned starts with rum aged in rye whiskey barrels with additional oak cubes to accentuate the wood notes. A balanced addition of Louisiana turbinado sugar and aromatic bitters creates the base flavor profile for the MFOF bottled cocktail, ready to be poured over ice in a tumbler, accented with a wedge of orange peel.
Likewise, rum cocktail enthusiasts know that Falernum is an enticing and mysterious ingredient that makes classic cocktails like Corn and Oil, Three Dots and A Dash, and the Velvet Fog perennial favorites. Maggie’s Farm Falernum is created in small batches using fresh ginger, grated lime zest, toasted whole cloves and toasted allspice berries, added to the white rum. An exceptional ingredient made to the quality standards that defines Maggie’s Farm products.
Sourcing fresh roasted, fair-trade coffee beans locally, Maggie’s Farm Coffee Liqueur uses the cold-brew technique accented with house-made vanilla extract and a touch of dark brown sugar to achieve a perfect balance.
Hidden Harbor Special White Rum
A recent addition to the fine expressions is a purpose-derived blend for Hidden Harbor tiki bar located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill. The concept was to create a multi-layered white rum to serve as the base for a perfect Daiquiri cocktail, combining Maggie’s Farm white rum, Queen’s Share rum and carefully sourced distillates from Jamaica, Guyana, Martinique, Barbados and Trinidad. The result is distinctly flavorful and aromatic, with a molasses funk and a smooth grassiness that accentuates the true spirit of cane.
Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery Tours
Master Distiller Tim Russell presents an overview of production techniques for Maggie’s Farm Rums
For American Rum enthusiasts, a visit to Allegheny Distilling in Pittsburgh is a high-priority to experience the source of Maggie’s Farm Rums.
One hour distillery tours on Saturdays are $20, featuring an overview of the fermentation, distillation and aging processes before a tasting of rums and liqueurs at the bar. Guests receive a custom-branded Maggie’s Farm Rum tasting glass as a souvenir. RSVP online.
The Cocktail Bar is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 10pm, on Friday and Saturday from noon to 1pm, and on Sunday from noon to 6pm.
Allegheny Distillers, home of Maggie’s Farm Rum, is located at 3212A Smallman Street in Pittsburgh, PA 15201. Call 412-709-6480. https://www.maggiesfarmrum.com/
Spanning the globe in search of authentic expressions of rum, Alexandre Gabriel’s Plantation Rum brand celebrates the diversity of rum and brings a unique perspective to the marketing of sugar cane spirits.
Plantation’s myriad rum offerings celebrate the incredible range and richness of rum in both culture and taste, from points of origin to fermentation, distillation and barreling techniques.
Having spent countless days in the Caribbean in search of the best rums, Alexandre Gabriel’s dedication to understanding rum’s diversity is without equal. This decades-long obsession has effectively provided the enthusiastic consumer and rum collector with a global rum education on a silver platter.
Plantation Rum will present a seminar entitled “Exploring the Diversity of Rum,” at Miami Rum Festival on Friday, May 17 at 7pm. This seminar, lead by Rocky Yeh, will guide participants on a journey across rum’s broad landscape to explore that magnificent multiplicity of variety within the rum category.
The Miami Rum Festival takes place at the historic Coral Gables Woman’s Club on Friday, May 17 from 4 to 8pm, and on Saturday, May 18th from 4 to 10pm. VIP admission begins at 2pm each day.
The festival features rum producers from near and far exhibiting their products, along with seminars and master classes, cocktail demonstrations and a blind tasting competition by international judges.
The Plantation Rum brand will be highlighting some of their most outstanding expressions with tasting samples that explore the diversity of rum across many regions, including Xaymaca from Jamaica; Fiji Grand Terroir 2009; Jamaica Grand Terroir 2005; Barbados Grand Terroir 2005; Old Fashioned Traditional Dark Overproof; Original Dark Double Aged; 20th Anniversary XO from Barbados, 3 Stars White from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad; Barbados Five Years; and Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple rum.
The Diversity of Rum seminar takes the participants on a journey across rum’s broad landscape to explore that magnificent variety within the rum category.
Rums to be sampled at Miami Rum Fest include: Abuelo Centuria Reserva de la Familia; Abuelo XV Napoleon Cognac Cask Finish; Abuelo XV Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish; Abuelo XV Tawny Port Cask Finish; Admiral Rodney Extra Old; Appleton 21, Antelope Island Red; Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez 10; Barbancourt 15; Barceló Imperial; Barnacles 12 YO; Barnacles 8 YO; Bones Aged Butterscotch; Bones Aged Cinnamon; Bones Aged Dark; Bones Aged Spiced; Bones White; Botran 1893 Solera; Brugal 1888; Bumbu XO; Cachaca Paratiana Labareda; Cachaca Paratiana Ouro ; Cachaca Paratiana Prata; Cartavio XO; Cashcane Black Smoke 45%; Cashcane Saloon Cask; Copalli Barrel Rested; Copalli White; Cruzan Single Barrel; Diplomatico Mantuano; Diplomatico Planas; Diplomatico Exclusiva; Diplomatico Vintage; Don Pancho Origenes 18; DonQ Gran Añejo; Doorly’s XO; Dos Maderas 5+5; El Dorado 15 YO; El Dorado 21 YO; Facundo Exquisito, Flor de Caña 25; Foursquare Dominus; Foursquare Premise; Foursquare Zinfindel; Foursquare 2005 (12 year); Gordian Knot; Gubba Gold; Gubba Silver; Hamilton St. Lucia 10; Hamilton Jamaica Gold Pot Still; Hamilton Demerara 86; Hidden Harbor White; Islamorada Dark; Islamorada Reserve Single Barrel; Islamorada Select; Islamorada Spiced; Jan Stephenson Mango; Jan Stephenson Passion Fruit; Jan Stephenson Pineapple; Kavana Gold; Kavana Java; Kavana Silver; Lemon Hart 1804 Original; Lemon Hart Blackpool Spiced; Maggie’s Farm Dark; Maggie’s Farm Pineapple; Maggie’s Farm Queen Share; Maggie’s Farm Spiced; Maison La Mauny Acaia 50; Maison La Mauny Honey 35; Maison La Mauny Spiced 40; Maison La Mauny VSOP 40; Maison La Mauny XO 40; Matusalem Gran Reserva Solera 15; Medellín 12; Mezan Guyana; Monymusk Classic Gold; Monymusk Special Gold; Monymusk Special Reserve; Mount Gay 1703; Naked In Jamaica; Nativo Aged Special Reserve 15 YO; Nativo Overproof; Nativo Aged Special Reserve 20 YO; Neptune; Nine Leaves Almost Spring Cabernet Sauvignon Cask; Nine Leaves Angel’s Half American Oak Cask; Nine Leaves Angel’s Half French Oak Cask; Pampero Aniversario; Penny Blue XO; Plantation 3 Stars; Plantation 5 YO; Plantation Barbados 2005; Plantation Fiji 2009; Plantation Jamaica 2005; Plantation OFTD; Plantation Original Dark; Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy; Plantation Xaymaca; Plantation XO; Prichard’s Cranberry; Prichard’s Crystal; Prichard’s Fine; Prichard’s Key Lime; Prichard’s Peach Mango; Prichard’s Spiced; Puerto Angel Anejo; Puerto Angel Blanco; Real McCoy 10 year old Virgin Oak; Real McCoy 12 Lost Lake Edition; Richland Single Estate Old Georgia aged rum; Ron Centenario 18; RumJava Cacao’Mon; RumJava Caffe Con Horchata; RumJava Cinnamon’Bay; RumJava Expresso Rum Cream; RumJava Mahtini’Mon; RumJava Signature; Saint James Imperial Blanc; Saint James Rhum Paille; Saint James Rhum Vieux; Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera; Sebago Lake Coffee; Sebago Lake Original; Tanduay Cappuccino; Tanduay Coconut; Tanduay Double Barrel; Tanduay Gold; Tanduay Silver; Three Roll Estate Amber Rhum Agricole; Three Roll Estate Brazilian Style; Three Roll Estate Dark; Three Roll Estate White; Three Roll Estate White Rhum Agricole; TierraMonte Essential 8; Trois Rivieres Blanco Agricole 50; Trois Rivieres Cuvee de I’Ocean 42; Trois Rivieres Rhum Ambre Agricole 40; Trois Rivieres VO-Cuvee du Moulin,; Trois Rivieres VSOP Reserve Special; Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve; Zacapa XO; Zafra 30; Ziami Overproof; Ziami Platinum; Ziami Ruby Rush.
An iconic Navy Style rum brand has re-issued its limited edition luxury expression – Pussers 15 Year Old – which now contains only rums of Guyana, with a freshly updated bottle design, label and packaging.
Often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the product line, this prestige expression of the legacy British Royal Navy formula, sets a high standard for the category and is sure to become a collector’s item among connoisseurs.
18,000 bottles of Pussers 15 Year Old will be released worldwide, with 6,000 bottles destined for the United States.
“Pusser’s Rum ‘Crown Jewel’ is a true aged rum of 15 years and is crafted in small batches. Due to the rarity of true-aged wooden pot-stilled stocks, only 3,000 six-pack cases could be blended,” said Gary Rogalski, President/CEO Pussers Rum. “This new, improved blend is 100% Guyana origin. We replaced the column stilled portion of Trinidad origin which was no longer available for export. While blended to the exact time-tested and award-winning formula, connoisseurs and aficionados have found the new blend a tad less sweet and even more desirable from a sensory perspective. We also feel it is a superior product and deserves to be commemorated with a new bottle design, label and packaging. As with all our expressions, true-aged Pussers 15 Year Old is 100 percent rum with no added sugars, artificial flavors or colors.”
Pussers 15 Year Old Tasting Notes
Pusser’s 15 Year Old Rum is a luxury expression of authentic navy-style spirits from yesteryear.
Aromas of dark dried fruit, earthy molasses and big oak dominate the nose. On the palate, burnt sugar and dark dried fruits over charred oak lead to a pleasant creamy vanilla note with caramel shortbread cookie and baking spices. The rich, dark tones and old oak linger in the long warm finish.
This rich navy-style rum profile is a critical ingredient in some iconic tropical cocktails like the Pain Killer, the Hurricane, and the Zombie.
Pusser’s 15 Year Old Navy Style Rum is bottled at 40% abv and sells for about $80.
The Pusser’s Legacy
Re-creating the legendary naval blend of rich dark rums for the modern era was a distinct challenge that the founders of Pusser’s Rum managed to achieve. Evoking the spirit of centuries of life on the high seas, numerous battles and engagements, and the rituals of serving rums to sailors on the tall ships, Pusser’s succeeds at expressing a critical aspect of rum’s storied history.
The ship’s purser was the officer principally responsible for handling money and valuable cargo onboard, including the issue of the daily rum ration. The Pusser’s name is a slang derivation referring to this officer in charge of rum.
Pusser’s Rum Limited is a British Virgin Island Company with administrative offices in Charleston, South Carolina. Its products are imported into the United States by Shaw-Ross International Importers.
A new prestige expression from Goslings Rum of Bermuda — Goslings Papa Seal Single Barrel — sets the standard for luxury limited editions from this British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum is pot and column distilled from molasses, blended, and then aged in once-used bourbon barrels with a medium char. The humid, salty air of Bermuda provides an ideal environment for aging.
A Very Limited Edition
Goslings Papa Seal Single Barrel Aged Rum from Bermuda
Matured for over 15 years in twelve hand-selected bourbon barrels, only about 2,500 of these exclusive bottles will be released at a price of $199. Rum from each of the barrels, about 200 bottles each, is pre-destined for a specific geographic location.
At 41.5% abv, each bottle features the barrel number, bottle number, and bottling date hand-written on its label, while the name of the store it was acquired from is printed on the neck label. All bottles are housed in an elegant display box, complete with a slide-out tray, open view window, and satin finish foil label.
“Our obsession has always been with crafting the finest rums possible, not the most rums,” explains E. Malcolm Gosling, seventh-generation patriarch and CEO of Goslings International Limited. “With that mantra in mind, we proudly offer Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum — the father of all rums — to our celebrated product line. We hope that dedicated Goslings drinkers and newcomers to super premium rum will have the opportunity to enjoy this special spirit.”
Goslings Papa Seal Tasting Notes
Luscious aromas of treacle and butter cookie over wet oak precede a slightly musty earthiness and old leather. On the palate, dark banana, burnt sugar and butter notes turn slightly dry at mid palate leading to creamy vanilla and baking spices over big charred wood. Hints of balsamic, dark prune and leather fade slowly in the very long finish.
Barrel 1 will be distributed in Bermuda. Barrel 2 will go to Total Wine in Florida. Barrel 3 goes to ABC Wine & Spirits in Florida. Barrel 4 is for Crown Wine and Spirits in Florida. Barrel 5 is reserved for NH Liquor & Wine Outlets in New Hampshire. Barrel 6 goes to Blanchards Wines & Spirits in Massachusetts. Barrel 7 is for Total Wine and Spec’s in Texas. Barrel 9 goes to Bourbon Street Wine and Spirits, Phillipsburg, NJ. Barrel 10 will be sent to various retailers in New York State. Barrel 11 goes to PLCB Fine Wine and Good Spirits in Pennsylvania. Barrel 12 is reserved for Wally’s in Los Angeles, CA. The final destination of Barrel 8 is yet to be determined.
The Goslings Legacy
A family business for over 200 years, Goslings Rum is Bermuda’s largest export product and the only company that blends and bottles rum on the island. First exported to the United States in 1980, Goslings offers five distinctive, award-winning rums.
Goslings Black Seal Rum
Goslings Gold Seal Rum
Goslings 151 Proof Black Seal Rum
Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum
Goslings Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum
Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, crafted specifically for use in the trademarked Goslings Dark’n Stormy cocktail, is the number-one selling ginger beer in the United States. Goslings also markets a ready-to-drink Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail in a convenient 8.4 oz can.
Presenting an iconic flavor profile of legendary Jamaican pot stills, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum invokes local history and ancestral culture of the island – the Arawak’s land of wood and water.
The classic double-thumper pot stills of Jamaica, in concert with traditional long fermentation cycles, can produce high ester rums — with aromas and flavors of black banana and flambéed pineapple — often described as funky.
In particular, aged rums from the venerable John Dore pot still at Long Pond and the Vendôme pot still at Clarendon are among the most desirable and — until recently — the least available on the market.
Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry pot still blended rum from Jamaica
Lighter ester rums are blended with a dose of heavier rums from extended fermentations. The persistence of bold flavors remains notable in Xaymaca’s wide range blend, without being overpowering or intense.
Xaymaca Special Dry delivers just that — a well balanced blend of aged distillates from these legacy pot stills.
After resting in Bourbon barrels in Jamaica, the rum is rested for a second maturation of one year in Cognac barrels in Southwest France.
Initial aromas of ripe banana, vanilla and smokey oak lead to hints of pineapple, brandy and fine herbs. On the palate, mixed ripe fruit and orange water precede the baked banana notes at mid-palate, with sour dough bread pudding, baking spices and almond butter fading into the medium warm finish.
Xaymaca Mission Statement
Alexandre Gabriel, founder of Maison Ferrand, said: “With Xaymaca Special Dry, I wanted to dive into the iconic culture that is unique to Jamaican rum. I wanted to work with these complex flavours of overripe exotic fruits with an almost animal intensity.”
“We can still find certain white rums with this famous ‘rum funk.’ I think, however, that this great terroir expresses itself perfectly in an aged rum. That is why we launched Xaymaca Special Dry – a tribute to this ancestral culture of rum.”
Xaymaca brings genuine classic Jamaican flavor profiles to tropical cocktails. Unlike some special editions, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry rum is widely available and quite accessible in price.
At 43% abv, the 750ml bottle of Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum sells for about $25.
From a no-nonsense rum producer, the Mezan XO Jamaica blend is a delightful and approachable expression that faithfully reflects the characteristics of the island’s venerable boutique distilleries.
Each release is a blend of casks from various stills in Jamaica, artfully combined for complexity and balance in small batches of 5000 bottles. The blend contains a base of light and medium ester rums that may have originated at the legacy distilleries of Clarendon, Worthy Park, Long Pond and Hampden Estate, further aged together in oak casks to marry the components, without any additives, coloring or chill filtering.
Mezan XO Jamaica Tasting Notes
The pale straw color is your first clue that the rum remains unadulterated. Aromas of funky banana, juicy fruit, and old wood lead to a suggestion of baking spice, earthy musk and burnt sugar. On the palate, green banana and bitter almond precede cigar box over spiced cake before the funky notes of mixed ripe fruit decay in the medium long finish.
Mezan Extra Old Jamaica blended aged rum delivers an affordable and accessible boutique rum experience. Taste it neat to step back in time and experience old Jamaica, or use it in cocktails like the Mai Tai and Jamaican Mule to bring that distinctly pungent and funky cool island vibe to mixed drinks.