Robs Rum Guide

your guide to the world's finest rums

Miami Rum Fest presents exquisite rum tasting

The venerable Miami Rum Renaissance Festival returns to the historic Coral Gables Woman’s Club for their twelfth annual rum tasting event, featuring a wide assortment of rums from around the globe. General admission on Sunday, November 14 is from 2 to 6pm.  VIP patrons and members of the spirits trade enjoy early admission at 12:30pm.

Once again, hundreds of rum connoisseurs, collectors, judges and enthusiastic rum lovers will mingle with producers, master distillers, importers, distributors, retailers and members of the spirits trade in Coral Gables.

So Many Rum Brands

Rum producers from across the USA, throughout the Caribbean and around the world will present more than 150 products, including newly released expressions just coming to market.

Rum Brands coming to the tasting: https://www.rumrenaissance.com/rum-brands/

South Florida is the number one rum market in the world, featuring hundreds of retailers well stocked with a wide variety of rums. Tasting events such as this offer consumers an unprecedented opportunity to sample, savor and discern the qualities of these sugar cane spirits.

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

“We’re excited that Miami Rum Fest is celebrating its twelfth anniversary of bringing the world of rum to South Florida,” said rum fest host Robert Burr. “We’ve been visiting rum producers to gather an incredible collection of fine rums to sample for this grand tasting event. It’s an opportunity for rum enthusiasts to enjoy their favorites and discover some delightful new expressions, gain a greater appreciation and share the enthusiasm of these fine spirits with friends.”

Rum Reputations Are Made Here

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival has always been a place where rum reputations are made, new products are released and the love of old favorites is rekindled.

Admission to the festival includes a branded tasting glass and unlimited rum samples. At the VIP Tasting Bar, a selection of rare, collectable, limited edition rums will be available to sample for a small fee, which benefits a local non-profit organization.

Discount Tickets Are Still Available

Advance general admission tickets are on sale through Thursday, November 11 for $39. VIP tickets are $49 online. After the deadline, the price of tickets increases to $49 and $59 at the door.

Link for discount advance tickets: https://bit.ly/RumRenTix

Visit the Miami Rum Fest web site for more information and online ticket sales. https://www.rumrenaissance.com


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Carta Vieja 8 Años Double Cask Rum from Panama

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.

Production Notes

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

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Website: https://cartaviejapa.com


Hacienda Carta Vieja
Hacienda Carta Vieja map of Panama


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Rhum Saint James Cellar Reserve from Martinique

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.

Production Notes

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 from Martinique

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Rhum Saint James

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

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

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

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.


Rhum Saint James web site: https://rhum-saintjames.com/


Master Distiller Marc Sassier shares a bottle of Rhum Saint James vintage 1885

Master Distiller Marc Sassier shares a bottle of Rhum Saint James vintage 1885


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?


 

Selvarey Owner’s Reserve aged rum from Panama

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 from Panama

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.

Sustainability Issues

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.

Production Notes

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.

Tasting Notes

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 - Selvarey Owner's Reserve aged rum from Panama

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.


Selvarey Rum web site
http://selvarey.com/


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Plantation Isle Of Fiji Double-Aged Rum

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.

Plantation Isle Of Fiji aged rum

Chairman’s Trophy Winner in the annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge tasting competition

Production Notes

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.”

Tasting Notes

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.


Plantation Isle Of Fiji web page
https://www.plantationrum.com/isle-of-fiji


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Tiburón White Tip Overproof Rum from Belize

The spanish word for shark, Tiburón evokes a sense of the majestic, untamed tropical spirit of Belize, known for its outstanding coral reefs, blue holes and pristine beaches. It’s only appropriate that every bottle of Tiburón White Tip Overproof Rum sold contributes to the Oceana conservation effort.

Tiburon White Tip Overproof Rum from Belize

Tiburón White Tip Overproof Rum

White Tip Production Notes

White Tip overproof rum starts with a base of molasses in open fermentation tanks before distillation in a modern column still to produce a very clean, crystal clear rum. For flavor enhancement, a small portion of the heads are added back to the final blend before a polishing filter is used to further refine the distillate.

Before bottling, it’s optimally proofed to 46% (92 proof) to balance the spirit’s strength with its flavor profile.

The result is a distinctive white overproof rum that can be used to upgrade basic cocktails and punch recipes to premium quality.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of sweet cane and subtle fresh cream precede a faint floral note. On the palate, butterscotch leads with a hint of sweetness before drying out mid-palate with suggestions of marshmallow. The heat of this 92 proof fresh distillate rum is surprisingly well controlled, even as the finish lingers longer than expected.

Tiburón White Tip Overproof Rum in the 750ml bottle sells for about $25.

http://www.tiburonrum.com/

About Oceana

Oceana is dedicated to achieving measurable change by conducting specific, science-based policy campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals. The non-profit was established by a group of leading foundations: The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), Sandler Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — after a 1999 study they commissioned discovered that less than 0.5 percent of all resources spent by environmental nonprofit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy. Since its founding, Oceana has won more than 225 victories and protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean. https://oceana.org

Rhum Barbancourt Five Star aged rhum from Haiti

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.

Barbancourt History

"Rhum

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Rum Barbancourt two column still

Rhum Barbancourt

Barbancourt web site (French)

Barbancourt web site (USA)

Wikipedia •FacebookInstagramYouTube

Crillon Importers


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Just Rum Maple Wood Rested aged rum from Oregon

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

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Award-Winners

Just Rum’s White and Maple expressions both won gold awards in the Rum Jury tasting competition held at Miami Rum Festival in May, 2019.

The 750ml bottle of Just Rum Maple Wood Rested, bottled at 102 proof, sells for about $39.

Distillery Tours and Tastings

Tasting tours and distillery visits are arranged by appointment with Just Rum at 34905 SE Gunderson Road in Sandy, Oregon, 97055. Call 808-443-6671. https://justrum.com

– – –

For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Mount Gay Master Blender Collection Pot Still Rum

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

traditional McMillan and Fragasa double retort copper pot stills

Mount Gay Master Blender Collection Pot Still Rum

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

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.

Premiumization

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Limited Availability

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.

https://www.mountgayrum.com/

read more about the Mount Gay copper pot and column still rums

visit the Mount Gay Rum Facebook page


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Tampa Bay Rum Company – Gaspar’s Rum

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 Tampa Bay Rum Company Tasting Rom

entrance to the tasting room

Tasting Room Bar at Tampa Bay Rum Company

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 at Tampa Bay Rum Company

barrels of rum resting

Copper Pot Still at Tampa Bay Rum Company

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.

Gasparilla Rums from Tampa Bay Rum Company

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.

Call 813-284-5485 or send an email to: [email protected]

Rum Sales

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.

https://www.gasparillarum.com/

Brad and Sam - Tampa Bay Rum Company

Brad Bunn and Sam Meyers

fermentation tanks at Tampa Bay Rum Company

fermentation tanks at Tampa Bay Rum Company

tanks of molasses for fermentation

tanks of molasses

barrels aging rum

the rum barrel aging room

Sam, Rob and Brad at the distillery

Sam Meyers, Robert Burr and Brad Bunn

Swag For Sale at Tampa Bay Rum Company

swag for sale at Tampa Bay Rum Company

Tampa Bay Rum Company building

Tampa Bay Rum Company in Ybor City


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Don Q Single Barrel 2009 from Puerto Rico

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.

Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2009 aged rumIt 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.

Tasting Notes

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.

https://donq.com/our-rums/


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Diplomático Distillery Collection Number 3 Pot Still Rum

The third expression in the Distillery CollectionDiplomático Pot Still Rum defines and delivers the rich essence of Diplomático’s signature style.

The distillery in La Miel, Venezuela has a long history of producing fine rums, using traditional copper pot stills, as well as batch and column stills. This expression highlights the classic John Dore copper pots — originally used in Scotland to produce whisky — that provide the heart of robust and delightful flavor in the various blends.

Here, isolated for reference, is the pot still component, made from sugar cane honey in a long fermentation cycle, before resting in small American white oak casks for eight years.

At 47% ABV, the rich, deep and complex flavor profile easily embodies this higher proof spirit with a fine balance. The resulting intensity earns Diplomático Pot Still Rum a reputation as a fine sipper or a potent component in any classic cocktail.

Tasting Notes

The deep amber color signals a well rested spirit. Diplomatico NUmber Three Pot Still Rum Flavor GraphAromas of sweet fruit cake and vanilla are accented by toasted oak, smoked honey, caramel and dark fruit. On the palate, a dry entry of charred oak, coffee and cocoa leads to a suggestion of burnt sugar and toffee before ripe dark fruits linger in the long, complex, warm finish.

This limited edition Diplomático Pot Still Rum — Number 3 in the Distillery Collection — bottled at 94 proof, is available throughout the USA with a list price of about $79.

http://rondiplomatico.com/


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery in Pittsburgh

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.

Maggie's Farm Rums on the bar at Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery

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.

Maggie's Farm Rum pot stills at Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery

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 Rum awards at Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery

Maggie’s Farm Rums have earned many awards from prestigious tasting competitions

Production Techniques

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.

distillate from pot still a Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery

the fresh clear distillate from the pot still is the base for Maggie’s Farm Rums

White Rum

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.

Spiced Rum

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.

Pineapple Rum

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.

Falernum

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.

Coffee Liqueur

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's tour at Maggie's Farm Rum Distillery

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/

Saturday tours at Maggie's Farm Rum Distillerythe tasting bar at Maggie's Farm Rum Distilleryalembic coper pot still at Maggie's Farm Rum distilleryaging barrels at Maggie's Farm Rum Distilleryrum resting in barrels

For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.
To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.
View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.
Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.
Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.
Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

Pusser’s Navy Rum on Black Tot Day

On the occasion of the last day in July, we celebrate British Royal Navy traditions with a remembrance of Black Tot Day — July 31, 1970 — the infamous day that British sailors were served their last daily ration of rum aboard the ships.

The End Of An Era

For more than 300 years, the navy had issued a ration of rum to their sailors daily, but it all ended on Black Tot Day. Nearly a decade later, the recipe was exhumed and the tradition of enjoying Navy style rum was rekindled with the first release of Pusser’s Navy Rum in 1979.

Pusser's Navy Rum - Black Tot Day

at 84 proof, Pusser’s Navy Rum is the key ingredient in the Painkiller cocktail

Pusser’s Navy Rum

The classic navy-style dark, rich, full-flavored rum, Pusser’s British Navy Rum Blue Label, at 84 proof, is the key ingredient in the famous Painkiller trademarked cocktail.

As with the original British Navy formula, principal marques in this blend are created in legacy wooden pot stills in Guyana, providing a rustic distillation process similar to those used centuries ago, producing a bold, rich flavor profile.

Tasting Notes

This medium bodied, deep orange amber rum offers heady aromas of citrus candy, molasses, vanilla, sassafras and smoked honey. On the palette, Pusser’s Navy Rum offers bold flavors of toasted oak, dark tropical fruit, burnt sugar, creamy caramel and sherry are presented before the warm, long lasting finish offers fading echoes of treacle and old wood.

Pusser’s Rum Expressions

Pusser’s also produces a 15 year old version of its Navy Rum, a spiced expression and a unique gunpowder edition, along with several collectable versions in elaborately decorated ceramic vessels.

A substantial donation from the sale of each bottle of Pusser’s Navy Rum benefits The Royal Navy Sailor’s Fund, a legacy charity more commonly called the “Tot Fund.”

Pusser’s rum is imported and marketed by Shaw-Ross International Importers in the United States. This navy rum is available in 50 states, and through select online outlets, for about $25.

More about Pusser’s Navy Rum on Back Tot Day: http://pussersrum.com/blacktotday/

Pusser’s Rum web site – http://www.pussersrum.com


For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

2019 Rum Jury Gold Awards Announced

The Rum Jury announced the winners of their 2019 Rum Jury Gold Awards at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival held in Coral Gables, Florida. Judges were sequestered for two days for blind tasting evaluation with 96 rum products submitted for judging. The results were analyzed and sorted by a seasoned team of statisticians. The top-ranked rums were identified for awards.

Rum Jury Gold Award

The 2019 Rum Jury Gold Awards were announced at Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

The Rum Jurors

Established in 2014, the Rum Jury offers the perspective and opinions of enthusiast rum consumers, especially those with large collections of rum. These super-consumers are important influencers among their own friends and associates and can accurately represent what the public might find most interesting.

Over time, their Rum Jury Gold Awards recommendations have offered rum consumers insightful guidance based on their real-world experience with many rums.

Judging Rum

Rum jurors evaluate rums within a specific set of guidelines established by the International Rum Experts team. Rather than judging rums by favoritism, the products are judged by attempting to discern the intent of the producer and evaluating the results of their efforts.

Rum Jury Gold Awards

The following products were judged superior in the blind tasting competition and earned their 2019 Rum Jury Gold Awards.

Autentico Nativo 15 – Panamá
Autentico Nativo Overproof – Panamá
Copalli White Rum – Belize
Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva – Venezuela
Diplomático Planas – Venezuela
Just Rum, Simple White – Oregon
Just Rum, Maple Rested – Oregon
Lemon Hart 1804 – Guyana
Lemon Hart Blackpool Spiced – Guyana
Maggie’s Farm Queen Share 55 – Pennsylvania
Maggie’s Farm Spiced – Pennsylvania
Maison La Mauny – Acacia 50° – Martinique
Maison La Mauny – Spiced 40° – Martinique
Maison La Mauny – XO 40° – Martinique
Naked in Jamaica – Florida
Paratiana Ouro Cachaça – Brazil
Paratiana Prata Cachaça – Brazil
Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof – various
Plantation Original Dark – various
Puerto Angel Añejo Uruapan – Mexico
Puerto Angel Blanco Uruapan – Mexico
Ron Caribu Spiced Black Strap – Venezuela
Ron Caribu Gold Superior – Venezuela
RumJava Cacao’Mon – Florida
RumJava Expresso Rum Cream – Florida
RumJava Mahtini’Mon – Florida
RumJava Signature – Florida
Saint James Rhum Blanc Agricole – Martinique
Tanduay Double – The Philippines
Tanduay Gold – The Philippines
Tanduay Silver – The Philippines
Three Roll Estate Brazilian Style – Louisiana
Three Roll Estate Premium Agricole – Louisiana
TierraMonte Essential Eight – various
Trois Rivières – Rhum Blanc Agricole 50° – Martinique
Trois Rivières – Cuvée de l’Océan 42° – Martinique
Trois Rivières – VO – Cuvée du Moulin – Martinique
Trois Rivières – VSOP Réserve Spéciale – Martinique

The winners received gold medals and certificates at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival at a ceremony before a gathering of the public, the spirits trade and rum producers.

http://www.rumjury.com/awards/


 

For more information about types of rum, see Rob’s Rum Guide tutorials.

To stay informed about news and updates in the world of rum, subscribe to Robs Rum Guide.

View insightful and succinct video rum reviews: Rum Minute YouTube Channel.

Taste The Best Rums: Miami Rum Festival and Rum Renaissance Tasting.

Experience the ultimate rum travel adventure: Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise.

Ask the Experts: What is the Best Rum In The World?

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