National Rum Examiner

Here's a fresh rum update we'd like to pass along.

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National Rum Examiner Robert A. Burr




Robert A. Burr

Robert Burr is the National Rum Examiner. He travels the world in search of the finest rums.

Together with his wife Robin and son Robert they publish Rob's Rum Guide with notes on hundreds of fine rums.

Rob's Rum Guide

They also host the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and The Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

Miami Rum Fest
April 25-27, 2014
Rum Examiner
the insider source for rum
International Rum Expert Panel
Legends of Rum
The Great Master Blenders and Distillers
Rum Cruise
Visiting Caribbean Distilleries

Black Tuesday cocktail marks Tax Day

March 4, 2014 at 3:15pm

April 15th is a day fraught with frantic, last minute trips to the post office, long hours spent digging through personal files and sometimes, big hits to the checking account. But this year, don't give into the hassle and stress. Celebrate tax day with The Real McCoy Rum, because of the role it played in abolishing one of the darkest periods in American history: Prohibition.

When the Great Depression hit, income tax no longer provided the government with enough revenue, leaving Uncle Sam searching for money elsewhere. That other source became the taxation on the sale of liquor, which spurred the end of Prohibition, filling the federal reserves and delighting American imbibers.

This year's looming Tax Day falls on a Tuesday -- giving double meaning to mixologist Brian van Flandern's cocktail The Black Tuesday, named for the infamous Stock Market Crash on Tuesday, October 29, 1929. This Prohibition-style cocktail tops the smooth finish of The Real McCoy 12-Year-Aged Rum with a splash of champagne...

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New package for Appleton Estate 21 Rum from Jamaica

March 4, 2014 at 3:15pm

One of Jamaica's finest rums, Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum recently received an upgraded bottle and package, reflecting the unique stature of this legacy estate rum.

According to Andrea Conzonato, Chief Marketing Officer of Gruppo Campari, this evolutionary upgrade is in keeping with the Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum's luxury credentials. "This is an evolutionary upgrade which underpins Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum's luxury credentials. We felt that the packaging of this exceptional luxury rum from one of the world's most respected rum distillers should include a proprietary canister."

The new bottle is reminiscent of several very rare limited edition expressions released in recent years, such as the 30 and 50 year old collector's issues.

Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum is a rare blend of the finest aged rums, a smooth sipping luxury rum that will please the palate of even the most discerning liquor connoisseur. The rums that make up Appleton Estate 21 Year Old were carefully selected for the unique character, flavor and bouquet that they bring to this exquisite rum. Each component in the blend has been aged for a minimum of 21 years in oak barrels.

The result is a powerful yet delicate rum with remarkable finesse and aromatic complexity, offering hints of mellow orange peel, deep vanilla, rich nutmeg, almond, warm coffee and cocoa notes.

Each bottle of Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum is numbered and also comes with a certificate of age signed by Master Blender Joy Spence...

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Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum from California

March 1, 2014 at 4:15pm

Lost Spirits Distillery in Monterey, California today announced the newest addition to their family of intense spirits, a cask-strength high ester Navy style rum bottled at 68% ABV.

This 136 proof expression opens with bold, rich aromas of dark caramel and tropical fruit.

Master distiller and Blender Bryan Davis built a reputation for developing absinthe and whiskey using old-fashioned authentic fermentation and distillation methods. Now he has turned his attention to rum.

Bryan's spirits have earned him a gold medal from the Beverage Testing Institute, a silver medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Awards, a coveted mention in the Wine Enthusiast best of 2008 issue, a best-in-class rank for the absinthe in Imbibe Magazine, and 92 points from Anthony Dias Blue.

His 100% pot still rum is designed to make the rum enthusiast reconsider how one might define rum and challenge the convention of modern rums.

Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum is fermented from 100% Grade A baking molasses and evaporate sugar cane juice. This initial expression of his dunder series is made using a tropical fruit dunder of overripe banana, much the same way it might have been created for the British Navy hundreds of years ago. No additives, no sweeteners, and no coloring have adulterated this product.

The final distillate is matured in Sherry seasoned, virgin American Oak barrels, then bottled at cask strength.

The result is a rum like no other, with deep mahogany color, aromas of dark ripe fruit, a sweet earthiness, treacle and baking spice. On the palate, this overproof spirit expands boldly with robust complexity...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

Selvarey white and cacao rums from Panama

February 7, 2014 at 4:15pm

From the central regions of Panama -- via Hollywood, California -- Selvarey rums present outstanding profiles designed to be delightful and accessible to the growing legions of rum enthusiasts in the United States. Based on the Spanish translation of Jungle King (Selva Rey) these fine aged spirits are crafted by a master distiller and blender of great renown -- a king of rum in his own right.

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.

The cacao rum is most surprising. Before you can assume this flavored rum might rely on a gimmick or chintzy flavor agent layered on a cheap rum substrate, think again. Here is a well-crafted five year old Bourbon cask blend with a hauntingly familiar infusion of cocoa that will trigger a comfort food memory from your past.

This is one of the few flavored rums that drinks like a sipping rum. While your palate expects sweetness, Selvarey Cacao rum delivers a rich aged rum profile at 70 proof with a highly compatible chocolate note that delights the senses, leading to a warm, medium dry finish. On the rocks, Selvarey Cacao rum opens up with accentuated tones of creamy vanilla and toasted oak, again without the expected sweetness.

Master Blender Don Pancho Fernandez took two decades to perfect his method for successfully infusing a fine aged rum with cacao. You might well agree the results were worth waiting for when you sample this delightful spirit.

Selvarey rums are created by Don Pancho 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.

Tiburon double aged rum from Belize

February 7, 2014 at 2:15pm

A double barreled aged rum from the Central American country of Belize, Tiburon is a small batch hand crafted spirit made from molasses at an old family owned distillery near the shores of the Caribbean Sea.

After initial time resting in American Oak whiskey barrels, the rum is re-casked by master blenders into Kentucky Oak Bourbon barrels for the second maturation to allow the natural tannins to give the rum a rich golden color.

Tiburon double aged rum was developed by Basil DeStefano in his quest to bring the finest aged rum from Traveller's Liquors of Belize to the United States. The extra attention to detail in the aging process delivers subtle hints of vanilla and salty caramel with ripe banana, butterscotch and toasted oak, followed by a semi-dry smooth finish.

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.

The bottle includes a shark tooth around the neck and an image of the shark placed dominantly on the label. The 750ml bottle carries a suggested retail price of $34.99.

Captain Morgan white rum expression announced

February 5, 2014 at 7:15pm

Known world-wide for their Captain Morgan spiced rum, Diageo has announced a new clear expression which is five times distilled with a goal to deliver a clean, slightly sweet and creamy spirit with hints of lush fruit and green apple. Captain Morgan White Rum was developed and produced in the U.S. Virgin Islands to be remarkably crisp and carry a smooth finish.

"Captain Henry Morgan was a world-renowned privateer who paved the way for countless adventurers," said Tom Herbst, Vice President of Marketing, Rums for Diageo North America. "It's with that same spirit that we developed Captain Morgan White Rum, the first-ever white rum from a brand that people know and love. It's a superior, quality rum that possesses a much smoother taste, and we aim to stake our claim in this category in an explosive way."

At 80 proof (40% ABV), Captain Morgan White Rum will be available widely across the Unites States for a suggested retail price of...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

Emilio Estefan declared new face of Botran Rum

February 5, 2014 at 6:15pm

Veteran music producer Emilio Estefan of Miami recently announced his intention to promote Guatemala's Botran Rum with the mantra "The Night Begins with Botran" based on his belief that this iconic brand shares his core values and traditions of excellence.

"Personally, I understand what it means to take great pride in what you produce, I have the utmost respect for the product that Botran creates. This relationship provides a platform for me to introduce a product that I truly enjoy to everyone around the world," says Emilio Estefan. "Initially, I was drawn in by the distinctive flavors found in this aged rum. I feel it complements our most exciting moments. Once I learned about the brand's history and their unique production method, I was convinced this would be a great alliance."

The Botran family has been the first family of Guatemala rum production since 1939 with a unique process that utilizes pure cane honey, efficient distillation and sophisticated aging facilities located above the clouds in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

"As a premiere Latin artist, tastemaker and global icon, Emilio embodies what our brand stands for...

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Rum cruises to Caribbean islands announced

January 27, 2014 at 2:15pm

Hosts of the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival today announced a series of special Caribbean voyages in November dedicated to the enjoyment and discovery of fine rums of the Eastern Caribbean.

The 2014 Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Jewel Of The Seas takes place November 22-28, 2014 during the week of Thanksgiving.

Departing from Puerto Rico, the itinerary includes stops in the British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Martinique and Barbados before returning to Puerto Rico.

Robin Burr and her husband Robert are organizing the tour, featuring visits to distilleries, rum tasting sessions, shopping for rare and exclusive rums and unique opportunities to appreciate Caribbean rum culture along the way.

Jewel of the Seas, a dazzling Radiance-class ship, combines sleek swiftness, panoramic vistas, and wide-open spaces for a delightful cruise getaway.

Members of the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXPs) will be onboard offering insight and expert advice for rum enthusiast passengers.

Another similar itinerary in early November -- The Rum Journey Caribbean Cruise -- will be lead by RumXP member Paul Senft.

This unique eight day repositioning cruise aboard the Carnival Splendor departs San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 1, 2014 and visits five rum-rich islands. The Splendor will visit St. Croix, Martinique, Dominica, Grenada, and Grand Turk...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

New reports declare Renaissance of Rum

January 25, 2014 at 2:15pm

The first annual report from (a website offering drinks inspiration and education from the UK's favorite alcohol brands) reveals tastes have changed with consumers now buying and drinking more rum than ever before. The trend of mixing together sour, bitter flavored cocktails is also on the rise.

The Wall Street Journal reports that recent sales figures indicate rum is moving to the forefront of consumers' interest. In some regions, rum is now more popular than Champagne. For example, the top 25 selling rums have increased in sales volumes in the U.K. by 6,247,800 liters in the past year.

The combination of increased rum sales and rising interest in fine cocktails has been predicted by leading exerts in the rum category for some years.

Ian Burrell is a global rum educator, ambassador, bartender and public speaker based in London. His Rum Experience University offers professional level master classes and his Rum Fest U.K. is the largest rum theme event in Europe.

"Consumers are discovering the magnificent range of great rums from tropical regions," said Burrell. "At the same time, the best bartenders and mixologists around the world are integrating these fascinating spirits into enchanting libations using fresh natural ingredients and classic techniques. The result is a grand renaissance of appreciation for fine rum and cocktails."

In the United States, the annual Rum Renaissance Festival was recently voted best festival in Miami.

Returning to the DoubleTree Miami Airport Convention Center April 25-27, 2014, the world's largest rum festival has steadily been placing more emphasis on great rum cocktails. After conferring with organizers of London Cocktail Week, festival organizers in Miami recently revealed plans to incorporate a series of VIP cocktail parties into the week-long spirits celebration under the banner of Miami Cocktail Week.

"Miami is enjoying a great revival of classic and innovative cocktail bars," said Robin Burr, festival organizer. "Five years ago there were merely a handful of notable cocktail venues in South Florida. The landscape has changed dramatically in the past few years with dozens of very high quality venues now offering world-class tipples to a growing legion of cocktail enthusiasts."

"It's time for Miami to shine a spotlight on the best cocktail venues, the best bartenders and the best spirits which are leading the way in this cocktail revival movement."

Wicked Dolphin announces new Florida Spiced Rum

January 8, 2014 at 5:15pm

Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits today announced the addition of a new expression to their portfolio of artisan spirits: Wicked Dolphin Florida Spiced Rum.

The company produces Wicked Dolphin rums in Cape Coral, Florida. The spiced rum is available now through Republic National Distributing Company, as well as at their visitor's center and distillery in Cape Coral.

Cape Spirits took their time to thoughtfully develop a Spiced Rum that is distinctively reminiscent of Florida. Made with premium Florida sugarcane, the new blend offers sultry notes of Florida oranges and honey, accented by a vanilla undertone and a fresh-ground baking spice finish. They also add some aged rum to give it a smoother and more mature flavor profile.

"We really take pride in using as many fresh Florida ingredients as possible," says JoAnn Elardo, owner of Wicked Dolphin Florida Rums.

"At the distillery, we enjoy a good Rum and Coke so, we are very happy to present our Florida Spiced Rum to our loyal fans because we know that it enhances the traditional Rum and Coke flavor. Our Florida Spiced Rum has a creamy, warm vanilla taste, along with a spicy citrus finish that creates the perfect combination for enhancing this time-honored beverage. We call it a "Wicked Coke."

Wicked Dolphin's hand-crafted white rum earned a gold award in the RumXP tasting competition...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

April 2014 Miami Rum Festival expands size and scope

December 30, 2013 at 7:15pm

The organizers of the Miami Rum Festival today announced plans for greatly expanding their annual gathering of rum producers, professionals and enthusiasts. Returning to the Doubletree Hotel Miami Airport Convention Center for three days of rum tastings and programs, the world's largest rum festival is set for April 25-27, 2014 with more than 50,000 square feet of exhibits.

The three days of grand tasting sessions allow participants to evaluate hundreds of notable rum brands and expressions from around the world, in addition to expert seminars, lively entertainment and laid-back island lifestyle products.

"We're expanding the size and scope of the festival again this year," said show manager Robin Burr. "Rum producers from many more countries will participate in the exhibition, bringing an exceptional selection of cane spirits to a larger audience of consumers that appreciate fine rums."

The admission price of $50 (or $75 for VIP access) allows participants to sample any of the rums on display Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27. The Friday, April 25 Trade Day grand tasting session is reserved for those in the spirits industry and VIPs, as well as members of the press.

"There is no better way to discover all the best rums in the world from so many different countries," said Burr. "We're excited to introduce many new upscale luxury rums to our friends that appreciate the finest quality."

"At the same time, we see that hand-made cocktails are all the rage in the best bars around the world so we'll also emphasize rums that make the best cocktails as we introduce Miami Cocktail Week during the rum festival."

Rum enthusiasts from all over the world are coming to Miami to experience the ultimate rum tasting experience. "We're seeing a great increase in travelers attending the rum festival from all the islands of the Caribbean, as well as Europe and Asia," said Burr.

Miami is the number one rum market in the world. Miami Rum Fest was voted best festival in Miami.

International Rum Expert Panel judges from across the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, England, Australia, Sweden and Holland will converge in Miami to judge rums for their annual tasting competition, awarding the best of the best with gold medals.

For more information call Robin Burr in Miami at 707-278-6736 or visit the web site: