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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

rob@quantumleap.net

Miami Rum Fest

Rum Minute
The Rum Review Channel on YouTube
RumXP
International Rum Expert Panel
Rum Cruise
Visiting Caribbean Distilleries
2012 Articles

2013 Miami Rum Festival details announced

December 20 at 3:15pm

The fifth annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival -- the largest gathering of rum experts, professionals and enthusiasts in the world -- will span Monday, April 15 to Sunday, April 21, 2013 at the Doubletree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center.

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival - Miami Rum FestLast year, more than 8,000 rum enthusiasts attended the festival with 20,000 square feet of exhibit space. The new space spans 40,000 square feet, twice the size of last year's event.

In addition to a week-long series of VIP parties, tasting sessions and celebrity seminars, the rum festival brings together members of the esteemed International Rum Expert Panel (RumXPs) for their annual tasting competition.

Two full days of Grand Tasting events for the public will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21. More than 240 spirits from the Caribbean and beyond will be available for sampling, along with a selection of island-style cuisine...

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Naked Turtle white rum from U.S. Virgin Islands

December 17 at 3:15pm

With a tongue-in-cheek message about their new white cane spirit being a "naked rum" andThe Naked Turtle white rum from St. Croix a logo that features a turtle sans-shell resting in a hammock, the Naked Rum company presents The Naked Turtle Rum from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This light, clear rum is distilled from molasses in modern column stills five times for a very clean, smooth flavor profile. Initial aromas of butter and vanilla lead to subtle hints of citrus and cane. On the palate, the rum is sweet with a light viscosity. Flavors of vanilla and cream soda dominate before a suggestion of pepper and spice is revealed. The finish is quite smooth, perhaps surprising for a rum that has not aged in oak barrels.

The Naked Turtle mixes well with many popular ingredients from cola and ginger beer to fruit juices and lemonade. In a lime daiquiri, the creamy smooth vanilla tones offer a delightful accompaniment that is reminiscent of key lime pie....

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Botran Baktun commemorative rum from Guatemala

December 5 at 1:15pm

From the first family of fine rums of Guatemala, the new Ron Añejo Botran Baktun 12 year old rum is a collector's edition commemorating the end of the Mayan long calendar's 13th Baktun period.

Botran Baktun Añejo rum from GuatemalaA baktun is a span of 144,000 days (nearly 400 years), comprising 20 katun cycles. The Classic period of Maya civilization is believed to have occurred during the 8th and 9th baktuns. The 13th baktun will end on December 21, 2012, signaling the beginning of a new 14th baktun era of Mayan culture.

The rum is distilled at the sugar cane plantation at Tulula, Guatemala near the Pacific coast, then aged and blended in the high mountains above the clouds in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala at an altitude of more than 7,600 feet...

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Angostura's Single Barrel aged rum from Trinidad

November 26 at 3:15pm

An archetypical expression of the style of rums produced by Angostura in Trinidad, Angostura Single Barrel premium rum from Angostura in Trinidadthe Single Barrel Reserve limited edition rum is hand-drawn and aged in a single select Bourbon oak cask for a minimum of 5 years.

Angostura blends medium and heavy aged rums from their state-of-the-art five column still to create this exclusive blend, available only in Trinidad. A limited number of batches of this deep mahogany colored rum are produced each year for premium rum enthusiasts.

On the nose, Single Barrel leads with light wooden notes and creamy vanilla, leading to hints of chocolate, molasses, macchiato and baking spices. The palate begins with warm honey, dried tropical fruits, toffee and caramel, leading to chocolate, roasted almond and coffee flavors. The long warm finish suggests a fine maturation process....

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Master Blender Joy Spence receives honorary doctorate

November 22 at 3:15pm

J. Wray & Nephew Limited’s Master Blender, Joy Spence OD, was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from her Alma Mater, the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica on November 21, 2013.

Joy Spence of Appleton Estate receives honorary doctorateJoy, who has the distinction of being the first female master blender in the spirits industry, was awarded the honorary degree in recognition of this achievement. She graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry (with First Class Honours).

In September of this year Joy was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Loughborough University in England where she graduated with a Masters Degree in Analytical Chemistry (with honours) in 1978. That honorary degree was conferred on her for her contribution to the distilled spirits industry...

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Santa Teresa Gran Reserva Linaje from Venezuela

November 15 at 3:15pm

At a special event attended by 700 guests, Santa Teresa Rum celebrated the birth of Santa Teresa Linaje extra añejo premium rum, a new aspirational addition to the award-winning portfolio of the oldest producer of rum in Venezuela. Sanata Teresa Linaje Gran Reserva rumThe first package came off the bottling line on November 12, 2012.

The host of the party, Alberto C. Vollmer, President of Ron Santa Teresa, explained that the new Linaje (lin-AH-hay) expression represents another member in the lineage of the family's acclaimed 1796 flagship luxury rum portfolio. Linaje is a blend of heavy and light rums based on the heart of the brand's antique solera rum stocks, along with some younger aged rums.

"Linaje is a rum specially created to please the consumer of Santa Teresa Gran Reserva. It's a blend that emphasizes the distinctive features of our leading product, with new attributes, including more years of aging in oak barrels," said Vollmer...

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American Rum Association established to unite domestic manufacturers

November 13 at 3:15pm

As American rum companies are growing in number and stature, a new association has been formed to represent their common interests. The American Rum Association, founded by Kelly Railean of Railean Distillers in San Lean, Texas will endeavor to empower American distillers of cane spirits, according to a statement issued on November 12, 2012.

American Rum AssociationThe non-profit trade organization is open to all producers of rum in the United States, excluding the territories of Guam, USVI, Puerto Rico, etc.

North American history is rich with rum based enterprises, largely in New England, that made the finest spirits in the world before the American Revolution. Rum was the original American spirit before an egregious tax on molasses...

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Caña Brava white rum from Panama

October 30 at 3:15pm

With bright cane flavors and a genuine smooth finish, Caña Brava rum from Panama was designed to be an authentic old-style carta blanca for making great Daiquiris, Mojitos, Cuba Libres and other classic tropical libations.

Created for the 86 Company by master distiller and blender Don Pancho Fernandez, the grand master of rum from the golden era of Havana Club in Cuba, Caña Brava succeeds in its intention of great rum flavor for the right price.

This is a rum that bartenders will love. From the well-designed one liter bottle featuring measurement markings down the side to the ergonomic shape that fits so well in the hands and in the rack, here is a purpose-built rum that works.

On the nose, Caña Brava suggests aromas of grassy cane, a touch of sweetness and hints of vanilla. On the palate, the smoothness of this three year old blend is balanced by an unpretentious richness that could never be mistaken for vodka. The rum flavor plays through great cocktails, never getting lost in bold combinations of tropical ingredients.

Caña Brava represents a new era of great white rums coming to market, while reflecting of an old era of classic Caribbean spirits...

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La Grenade spiced rum from Grenada

October 26 at 4:15pm

On the "Spice Island" of Grenada, at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, they're known for production of high quality spices and authentic island-style rum.

The seven popular spices which thrive on the island -- cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice, orange/citrus peels, wild coffee used by the locals, and especially nutmeg -- provide up to 20% of the world supply. These exotic ingredients are the main exports from Grenada.

Here we find La Grenade Liqueur, perhaps the oldest and most exotic of the Caribbean liqueurs, manufactured by de La Grenade Industries from a secret family formula handed down from one generation of the La Grenade family to the next for more than 200 years.

Back in the 18th century, spice trader Captain Louis La Grenade, while sailing through the islands, received the recipe for this liqueur from a Dutch missionary...

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Monster Mash cocktail features Brinley Spiced Rum

October 26 at 3:15pm

He's a recipe for a delicious Halloween theme cocktail featuring the alluring Brinley's Gold Shipwreck rum from St. Kitts. The combination of apple cider, apple schnapps and fresh cinnamon, incorporated with the brilliant spice blend and well aged rum of the Brinley's Gold Shipwreck, will delight the taste buds and deliver a truly wonderful Halloween fall season theme libation

Brinley Gold Rum is hand crafted on the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Their stated mission is simple -- to make the best tasting flavored rum in the world, blending only the finest ingredients into their award-winning flavored rums -- Shipwreck Spiced, Vanilla, Coffee, Mango and Coconut....

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Zombie Punch for holiday libations

October 24 at 5:15pm

Are we sick of Zombies yet? I'm not sure yet, but I still fondly remember when they were firmly in the realm of cult status--an object of geeky affection. Who cares if George Romero only created the modern Zombie as we know it because he couldn't get the rights to (italics)I am legend(/i). Who cares if they have been drastically altered by today's modern "virus" Zombie. If you're not completely overrun by and sick of the undead yet, neither am I. Of course, my weapon of choice is a once secret libation that can knock any good party dead.

In case you didn't already know, it all started back in 1932 when Bela Lugosi starred in a little movie called (i)White Zombie(/i) as a voodoo practitioner. The term promptly got stuck in our lexicon's craw. A couple of years later, at the end of prohibition, Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt--who rechristened himself Don The Beachcomber--decided to serve one of his regulars a new concoction he came up with. The story goes that the guy liked it so much that he helped himself to three and promptly crawled away from the bar to catch his flight out from the nearby airport. The regular returned a couple of days later and loudly complained to Don that whatever he had given him had turned him into a "Zombie." Boom, the name stuck. And not only did it stick, but it became infamous. How else can you get men who drink two Martinis for lunch, and few Old Fashioneds for dinner, to drink a fruity concoction with cinnamon in it? You tell them you can only have two. That makes them look at you funny and attempt to prove you wrong immediately.

But in the end, just like White Zombie got bastardized into Night Of The Living Dead, which morphed into 28 Days Later, everything gets watered down...

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Brugal's exclusive Papá Andrés rum from Dominican Republic

October 24 at 3:15pm

A mere 500 bottles of an exceptional expression of fine Dominican rum is being released in select markets to celebrate the legacy of Don Andrés Brugal Montaner, founding father of the Brugal family rum empire. Papá Andrés Private Family Collection reserve rum, expected to retail at more than $1,200 a bottle, was launched at an exclusive event at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

Brugal Papá Andrés ultra-premium rum from Dominican RepublicBrugal Papá Andrés was originally created for and enjoyed by the Brugal family for five generations. This exclusive blend has never before been released for sale. Only a few bottles from the vaults have found their way into the hands of collectors over the years through charity auctions.

Since the founding of the company in 1888, each generation of the Brugal family has reserved its most outstanding rums in order to craft a small number of bottles of their most exclusive product to be enjoyed at family celebrations.

In the last decade, members of the fourth and fifth generations of the Brugal family have begun to evolve the profile of this family treasure by introducing top-quality rum aged in European oak barrels alongside that aged in traditional American white oak casks, learning from the experience of their friends at The Macallan...

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Hemingway cocktails deconstructed: To Have And Have Another

October 19 at 2:15pm

In his new book "To Have And Have Another," author and cocktail historian Philip Greene has compiled a notable collection of references to tipples enjoyed by Ernest Hemingway during his golden era.

To Have And Have Another, the Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Phil GreeneHis exhaustive and compelling research in this Hemingway Cocktail Companion unearths a treasure trove of authentic recipes, revealing well-founded context for a myriad of alcoholic pleasures mentioned in Papa's literature.

The result is a hybrid recipe cocktail reference guide and tone poem to a man of the world, one of literature's most iconic rugged individualists. Over a lifetime, this loquacious libertarian of libations gained insightful understanding of many cultures by observing their social drinking habits.

Although its tempting to see Hemingway as a man who drank heavily, the book quickly dispels this myth and reveals his clarity and delight in understanding the perfect setting and purpose of more than 4 dozen great cocktails...

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Golden Rum Barrel awards announced at RumFest UK

October 18 at 2:15pm

An elite gathering of rum industry experts and pundits gathered at the Grange Holborn Hotel in London recently to witness the 2012 Golden Rum Barrel Awards presented by UK Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, a highlight of the annual RumFest UK event.

2012 Golden Rum Barrel AwardsThe evening's guests were treated to an exclusive live acoustic performance from the breathtaking Delilah who has recently been nominated for Best Newcomer at this year's Mobo Awards. The star studded event saw the likes of industry favorite Peter Dorelli on hand to congratulate the winners, plus recent world record breaker for the world's most expensive cocktail, Salvatore Calabrese joined the four course sit down dinner and entertainment. International and ex-Manchester United footballer Mikael Silvestre also attended representing his increasingly popular rum brand, Rhum St. Barth.

The top nominees in each category were given to the judges, the celebrated glitterati of cane spirits. With the votes tabulated, the following winners were announced by Ian Burrell...

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Rum Chata delivers creamy rum flavor

October 1 at 2:15pm

Wisconsin dairy cream and five times distilled Caribbean rum are combined with natural cinnamon, vanilla and cane sugar to create a uniquely rich and flavorful rum cream, developed by RumChata Master Blender Tom Maas.

RumChata rum cream liqueurThe product derives from an ancient delicacy from Egypt, somewhat similar to the French orgeat, still popular in many Latin cultures. Rice based horchata is now served extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, where the family recipe is often passed down from generation to generation. RumChata improves on the classic by adding fine Caribbean rum.

With initial sales rising fast, RumChata earned the Beverage Information Group's 2011 and 2012 Rising Star Brand Growth Award. Since its introduction in 2009 more than 2 million RumChata 750ml bottles have been shipped. This includes over one million bottles in just the first six months of 2012.

RumChata's versatility is being enjoyed straight, as a mixer, and as a food recipe ingredient. Professional mixologists are calling it "The Bartender's Best Friend" making delicious drinks...

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Boutique RumFest UK features emerging luxury brands

September 25, at 2:15pm

Ian Burrell's popular RumFest UK is expanding their specialty trade portion of the world's largest rum festival by adding an additional day to the Boutique RumFest event October 13-14, 2012 at ExCeL Centre in London.

Boutique RumFest at LondonDesigned to highlight emerging new rum products for spirits trade and media participants, the Boutique RumFest celebrates the small and independent brands known for innovation in distilling, aging and blending luxury rum products.

Due to Rum’s growing popularity and a large rise in smaller brands available on the market, Boutique RumFest offers a platform for emerging distillers who would not necessarily have the opportunity otherwise to showcase their new products.

Brands appearing at this year's event will benefit from exposure to key industry figures including wholesalers, buyers, distributors and importers...

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Clement 6 and 10 year old aged rhums from Martinique

September 24, at 2:15pm

The fine line of Clément rhums from Martinique now includes six year old and ten year old expressions as components of their Grand Reserve Portfolio.

lemente 6 and 10 year old rhumsTo celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the brand and to honor its heritage and history, Rhum Clément has launched Clément 6 Year Old Grande Reserve Très Vieux and the Clément 10 Year Old Grande Reserve Très Vieux, certified under the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée of Martinique.

With a beautiful dark mahogany color, Clément 6 year old Rhum Agricole has been distilled from fresh pressed sugarcane juice and aged a minimum of six years in a combination of virgin and re-charred oak barrels...

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Master blender Joy Spence receives honorary doctorate

September 14, 2012 at 2:15pm

The well-known master blender of fine Jamaican rums, Joy Spence has been awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Loughborough University in England.

Appleton Master blender Joy Spence receives honorary doctorateThe first female blender in the spirits industry, Ms. Spence has set a high standard for Appleton branded products during her tenure since joining J. Wray and Nephew distillers more than 30 years ago. She was awarded the honorary degree in recognition of her contribution to the distilled spirits industry and the advancement of women in the field.

The ceremony took place on Thursday September 13, at Loughborough University, one of the United Kingdom’s leading universities. Joy graduated at the top of her class with a Masters Degree in Analytical Chemistry (with honors) from Loughborough in 1978.

Joy joined J. Wray & Nephew Limited as Chief Chemist in 1981, and held a series of key positions before she was appointed General Manager, Technical and Quality Services in 1996, a position she still holds along with the position of Master Blender, which she took up in 1997.

Joy has created a number of the exceptional products for which the Company is famous, including Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum; Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old; Appleton Estate Master Blenders’ Legacy...

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Ruth's Chris introduces vintage-inspired cocktails

September 11, 2012 at 2:15pm

Broad Street Hurricanes and French Quarter 75s mingle with Moscow Mules at the popular Ruth's Chris Steak House restaurants as vintage cocktails take center stage on the bar menu.

Ruth's Chris vintage-inspired cocktailsTaking inspiration from their New Orleans roots, in response to the resurgence in popularity of classic American cocktails, the new beverage program celebrates this heritage with timeless classics alongside old favorites to offer customers the ultimate experience in hand-crafted cocktails.

"What better time to celebrate the art of the cocktail than shortly after the 78th anniversary of prohibition?" mused Helen Mackey, Beverage Director for Ruth's Chris Steak House. "Staying true to our heritage, we are launching a vintage-inspired cocktail program with a focus on fresh juices and high quality ingredients that have a foundation in the classics with a Ruth's Chris twist."

Just like their culinary counterparts in the kitchen, Ruth's Chris bartenders are highly skilled at their craft, employing the same care and commitment to quality that go into its signature sizzling steaks and stellar food offerings. Samples of featured favorites and new classics include...

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Gallo announces Shellback Rums from Barbados

August 31, 2012 at 2:15pm

With growing success in the spirit categories, Gallo expands its product line with the addition of Shellback Rum, a fine rum produced in Barbados.

Shellback Silver and Spiced rumsOffering silver (white) and spiced expressions, Shellback presents rums that hearken naval tradition and Caribbean history at popular prices.

Shellback Silver features floral overtones layered with the suggestion of vanilla and tropical fruit, followed by a smooth, clean finish.

Shellback Spiced has no added sugar and features a combination of all natural spices from around the world including: cinnamon bark oil from Sri Lanka and Ceylon; ginger oil from China and Africa; clove oil from Madagascar and India; nutmeg from Indonesia; cassia from Vietnam and China; vanilla from Madagascar and allspice from the Caribbean.

Both expressions are a blend of continuous and pot still components featuring neutral, heavy and aged light rum. Adding further depth to the final Shellback Spiced blend, the aged light rum spends a minimum of 12 months in once-used American bourbon barrels resulting in a smooth, clean taste layered with notes of caramelized honey, dark roast and brown spice...

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Plantation 3 Stars premium white rum

August 20, 2012 at 2:15pm

The market for high quality white rum has expanded with a notable expression by Plantation brand. Presenting its first white rum, Plantation 3 Stars is named in honor of the three rum-producing stars of the Caribbean from which it is crafted: Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica.

Before it was released to the public, Plantation 3 Stars achieved one of the highest ratings in the history of the International Rum Expert Panel Competition held in Miami Beach in April, 2012.

With a solid reputation for hand-picking great spirits from outstanding rum producing regions of the world, Plantation has excelled at finishing their fine rums in Cognac barrels in France before releasing them to markets worldwide.

Almost every rum company offers a white rum. But Cognac Ferrand proprietor Alexandre Gabriel wanted to make one that stood out from the rest using aged and un-aged rums and the company's exceptional Cognac blending skills. Gabriel says "Most white rums on the market today are either too neutral and too vodka-like or too rough and rustic. We wanted a rum that shows character, elegance, complexity and a great finish -- the ideal rum for cocktails. Blending is not a science, it's an art because you are working with a product of nature. In Cognac, to become a great cellar master and blender it takes 20 years of practice and training. This is the know-how we bring to Plantation 3 Stars."

Keenly vibrant and well-balanced, Plantation 3 Stars displays the finesse and style of Trinidad and Barbados well integrated with the character and fuller flavors of Jamaica. On the nose it has delicate notes of tropical fruits intertwined with brown sugar and ripe banana. On the palate it displays subtle spices and floral notes with a finish of sugar cane and vanilla...

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Caribbean rum tasting competition announces judges

August 11, 2012 at 2:15pm

Organizers of the 2012 Caribbean Alcohol Beverage (CAB) Tasting Competition -- an integral part of the annual Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival -- have announced their all-star list of rum expert judges.

Caribbean Alcohol Beverage (CAB) Tasting CompetitionTen international rum aficionados will be jetting into the Spice Island of Grenada to take part in the blind tasting contest November 2-3, 2012.

The rum panel will consist of experienced rum professionals considered as key industry influencers. Most are members of the prestigious International Rum Expert Panel, recognized within the rum industry as the leading masters of rum judging. The line up includes:

RumXP Bob Davies, The Rumelier
RumXP Dave Russell, Rum Gallery
RumXPs Luis and Margaret Ayala, "Got Rum?" Magazine
RumXP Mike Streeter, Rum Connection
RumXP Nicholas Feris, Rum Collective
RumXP Robert Burr, Rob's Rum Guide and National Rum Examiner
RumXP John Gibbons, Glasgow Rum Club
Steve Bennett, Uncommon Caribbean
Lisette Davis, Rum Boat Retreat
Carl Kanto, rum professional

Festival Manager, Ms. Cheryl Collymore, explained: "When we announced that Grenada was to be the host country for 2012, we were overwhelmed by the response from rum experts...

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Satisfaction cocktail features pirate's spiced rum

August 9, 2012 at 2:15pm

Here's a simple cocktail with a sophisticated twist: spiced rum and cola with aromatic bitters. They call it satisfaction, named for the real-life Captain Henry Morgan’s flagship, believed to have been found off the coast of Panama last summer.

Captain Morgan Satisfaction cocktailThe world's most famous pirate amassed the largest fleet ever seen in the Caribbean. In 1671, Morgan's buccaneers set their sights on Panama City -- the richest municipality in the western hemisphere -- making history along the way.

His path to victory had him passing Fort San Lorenzo, guarding the mouth of the Chagres River, the sole waterway leading to Panama City. Disaster struck as his flagship Satisfaction, and four other ships ran aground on Lajas Reef at the base of fort.

Despite the setback, Morgan and his men overcame opposition at the fort, continued up the river to capture the treasures of Panama City, hacking their way through dense tropical rainforest.

You'll find making the drink quite a bit easier -- if only slightly less satisfying -- than sacking a great city...

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Wahine Piña Colada with spiced rum

August 8, 2012 at 2:15pm

Sailor Jerry Wahine Piña Colada cocktailThe ubiquitous Piña Colada tropical pineapple and coconut cocktail was said to have been created on August 16th, 1954 in Puerto Rico. It's popularity is nearly unmatched as a symbol of island culture and laid-back lifestyle.

Within years, drinks with similar flavor profiles earned their place on bar menus worldwide, on the heels of popular culture, architecture, and culinary trends that reflected the South Seas.

"Wahine" is the Hawaiian term for female goddess. Tikifiles escaping their reality and practicing the recreational Polynesian lifestyle refer to the wahine as a symbol of unconditional love...

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Kahlúa presents ready to drink cocktails

August 7, 2012 at 5:15pm

Known for their iconic coffee infused rum liqueur hand-crafted in Mexico since 1936, the Kahlua brand is expanding their offerings to include three delicious new ready-to-drink iced coffee cocktails, served in cans.

Kahlua brand iced coffee cocktails ready to drinkHere is a premium on-the-go offering for consumers seeking a refreshingly simple iced coffee treat with a hearty Kahlúa kick. Now available in three sophisticated, coffee-forward flavors for everyone to enjoy are Iced Espresso, Iced Mocha, and Iced Coffee with Cinnamon Spice.

Perfect for any gathering or a quick pick-me-up, these sleek and modern cans offer simple "grab and go" convenience in the form of pre-mixed Kahlúa cocktails. Bursting with flavor and only 150 calories...

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Angostura's Legacy aged rum auctioned for record sum

August 7, 2012 at 2:15pm

A rare decanter of Legacy aged rum produced in Trinidad by Angostura recently set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a bottle of rum. Angostura Legacy 50th anniversary aged rum from Angostura of TrinidadThe unique prize was auctioned during gala dinner and dance in celebration of the country's 50th Anniversary of Independence at the Hyatt Regency of Trinidad.

The custom-crafted 500ml crystal Legacy bottle sold for TT$260,000 (about $40,000 US dollars) making it the world's most expensive drinking rum ever purchased. The proceeds go to the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities in Trinidad.

The lucky person receiving the elegant decanter of precious rum is Sieunarine Coosal, executive chairman of Coosal Group of Companies...

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Key West bar crawl raises funds for Reef Relief

August 3, 2012 at 2:15pm

A group of rum-enthused fanatics will gather in Key West on Saturday, September 22 starting at 2pm to celebrate a plethora of fine drinking establishments while raising funds for the Reef Relief organization dedicated to protecting and preserving coral reefs in Florida.

Conched In Key West Bar Crawl, September 22, 2012

Organizer Lindsey Higgins of Team Cocktail lifestyle apparel says last year's inaugural event was a great success and she's expecting a larger turnout this time. "We'll be visiting some of Key West's best and most interesting venues, sharing some great rum cocktails and contributing to one of our favorite non-profit organizations this year. We're inviting all fun-loving people to join us in the southernmost city."

Participants will enjoy tropical libations while leisurely strolling along Key West's famed Duval Street, stopping at The Cork & Stogie, the Rum Bar at Speakeasy Inn, Pearl’s, Kelley’s, the Bottle Cap, Bogarts, Cowboy Bills, Willie T’s and Smokin' Tuna. The cost is $30 and includes a t-shirt, drink specials, a Cruzan Rum cup and a donation to the non-profit organization.

The prime sponsor of the event this year is Rob's Rum Guide, a noted publication spotlighting the best rums in the world, with tasting notes and product information on more than 300 cane spirits...

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Ron Fortuna Anejo 8 aged rum from Nicaragua

August 1, 2012 at 6:15pm

An award-winning medium-bodied aged rum, Fortuna Ron Reserva Exclusiva Añejo 8 Años takes its name from the Roman God of Fortune.

Fortuna 8 aged rum from NicaraguaThe color is straw gold with a hint of copper. On the tasting glass, Fortuna 8 exhibits thick, slow moving tears. Hints of white oak, pepper and bourbon dominate the aromas in this rum aged at least eight years, featuring a palate that balances sweet creaminess with smooth pepper and keeps on moving through exotic spices, ripe banana and dried fruit tones, finishing with a lingering semi-sweet warmth.

This rum scored 92 points with Beverage Testing Institute and was awarded Gold in the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The blend is well balanced by master of rum Don "Pancho" Fernandez of Panama, one of the leading master blenders in the world. It deftly manages to present bold, rich tones of prominent small batch Nicaraguan components while eliciting elegance and finesse in its presentation...

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Holey Dollar rums win medals in London

August 1, 2012 at 4:15pm

Holey Dollar rums win awards in LondonThe Holey Dollar Overproof Gold Coin three year old rum (57.2% abv) recently won the Silver Medal with the prestigious "Outstanding" distinction at International Wine and Spirit Competition of London, referred to as the "Oscars" of the Wine and Spirits trade.

Judges found the rum to be rich and full on the nose with dark coffee/toffee aromas. Spice filled mouth with raisins and lots of oak, featuring a clean, spirited character that underlines all the way with some treacle, bitter caramel and coffee that gives a somewhat tough grip. Lots of wood in full bodied, well controlled finish.

Holey Dollar Rum Premium Silver Coin three year old rum (40% abv) also was on the podium with a Silver Medal, while the Holey Dollar Rum Cask Strength Platinum Coin (75.9% abv) won the Bronze Medal making all three rums collecting medals for the hand-crafted rum.

This follows on debut in 2009, of the Holey Dollar Rum Distilling Company winning the extremely prestigious and exclusive title of International Distiller Of The Year...

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Summer drinks: DonQ skinny watermelon daiquiri

August 1, 2012 at 2:15pm

DonQ skinny watermelon daiquiriDonQ rums are among Puerto Rico's finest gifts to the spirits world. Famed mixologist Esteban Ordoñez has developed a series of low calorie libations based on this white rum mixed with fresh ingredients that deliver bright fresh fruit flavors without the guilt.

Summer watermelon is widely available, inexpensive and full of healthy and vibrant juice that brings a delightful tone and natural essence to this cocktail. Many people consider agave nectar to be the overall best natural sweetener on the market today with its low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without an unpleasant "sugar rush."

Make a single serving or mix up a batch for friends to share, then find a cool place in the shade to relax and enjoy a little quality time this summer...

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July 31 is Black Tot Day

July 31, 2012 at 6:15pm

It's a day of mourning. It's a day of celebration. It's a day to remember the retirement of a proud tradition, when the British Imperial Navy stopped serving rum "tots" to sailors onboard her ships.

Black Tot Day is celebrated on July 31 to commemorate the last consignment of the rum ration served aboard ships of the British Royal Navy.On July 31, 1970 a 300 year-old Royal Naval tradition ended at precisely six bells in the forenoon watch when the last rum ration was issued aboard ships of the British Royal Navy -- a day to be remembered forever as Black Tot Day.

Sailors lived a hard life in challenging conditions. The daily ration of rum was long considered a sacred benefit, a welcome ceremony and a fairly potent and invigorating staple of life in the Navy. A collective cry of "Up Spirits" resounded among the ranks before imbibing.

Long ago, the daily tot was one-half pint of rum which they drank neat, without water, until August 21, 1740. On that day, Admiral Vernon declared that all rum for the lower ratings would "be every day mixed with the proportion of a quart of water...

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Stroh 80 overproof spiced rum from Austria

July 16, 2012 at 1:15pm

An overproof rum at 80 percent alcohol, Stroh 80 owes its unique and distinctive profile to a blend of black tea, herbs, spices, and fruit flavors. In addition to being an iconic rum spirit, Stroh 80 is a popular ingredient in many cake and pastry recipes in Austria.

Stroh 80 overproof spiced rum from AustriaIn 1832, Sebastian Stroh began producing his cane based spirit in Klagenfurt. Since that time, the company has continued to evolve and develop some of the most popular rum products in the region.

In many parts of the world, this brand of rum -- proudly referred to as the Spirit of Austria -- is available in several other variants, such as Stroh 40 and Stroh 60; the names referring to the percentage of alcohol in the blend...

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The original rum ambassador from Venezuela

July 14, 2012 at 3:15pm

The familiar logo on the bottle of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum from Venezuela features a stamp with a distinctive portrait of a distinguished gentleman. Don Juancho Nieto Melendez of Hacienda Botucal, the original Spirits Ambassador of VenezuelaThe logo suggests a spirit of sophistication and elegance.

While many rum enthusiasts will recognize the logo, few might yet understand the story of the distinguished gentleman and the significant impact he had on the style and quality of rum in Venezuela.

This is Don Juancho Nieto Melendez of Hacienda Botucal, the original Spirits Ambassador of Venezuela...

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Pink Pigeon rum from Mauritius

July 10, 2012 at 3:15pm

Pink Pigeon rum from MauritiusA delicious 80 proof rum from the exotic destination of Mauritius -- known as the jewel of the Indian Ocean -- Pink Pigeon delivers flamboyant flavors of rare handpicked Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar and the Reunion Islands.

This fine rum is named after the rare species of pink pigeons that, like the rum, can only be found in Mauritius. In local culture, the pink pigeon in flight symbolizes peace, freedom and harmony, which matches the brand’s philosophy...

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Seasons 52 features Atlantico rum cocktails

July 9, 2012 at 3:15pm

Strawberry Euphoria - Seasons 52 features Atlantico rum cocktailsTwo new signature summer cocktails will be served at Seasons 52 restaurants around the country based on fresh ingredients paired with Reserva and Platino rums from Atlantico of Coral Gables, Florida.

The restaurant chain, well known for their fresh seasonal menu items, announced the new cocktails presented by Atlantico Rum partner and international music sensation, Enrique Iglesias...

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Tangerine rum cake with citrus caramel glaze

July 3, 2012 at 3:15pm

Summer gatherings with friends and family are a great excuse to share a special dessert recipe.

Tangerine rum cake with citrus caramel glazeWhen bright fresh citrus flavors are combined with the luscious richness of creamy caramel and the sophisticated bouquet of a rich Caribbean rum, you can't go wrong.

Here's a simple recipe for tangerine rum cake that anyone can make with a few simple components. It takes little effort to mix the batter, put the cake in the oven and melt a few ingredients together for the glaze...

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Rum: the true spirit of American Independence

July 2, 2012 at 3:15pm

American history teaches us that the Boston Tea Party was a seminal event in the cause of the American Revolution, but how many understand the critical importance which the true spirit of America -- rum -- played in the separation of the colonies from their British kingdom?

Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776Yes, taxation without representation was at the core of the riff between North American subjects and their colonial rulers, but it was the effort to restrict the free flow of molasses that most emboldened a revolutionary spirit among once loyal British subjects on American soil.

In his book, "Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776," Ian Williams tells the story in captivating detail of how American Rum and the Caribbean molasses from which it was made was, in the 18th century, what oil is today -- a critical element of world trade and the basis of our American economy...

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Best summer cocktails: Vizcaya Swizzle

June 29, 2012 at 2:15pm

From the Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn in Key West, world-renowned bartender "Bahama Bob" Leonard delivers the Vizcaya Swizzle, a tasty libation developed during his weekly Rum Lab experiments.

Vizcaya SwizzleBob was looking for an aged rum that might compliment the nutty flavor of Amaretto and mix well with his Velvet Falernum ingredient.

Just about that time, Vizcaya released their Cask 12 reserve rum. According to Bob, the sweetness of the Cask 12's rich palate combined with a semi-dry finish of this spirit produced the desired balance.

"My Vizcaya Swizzle works equally well as a cocktail or as a party punch, offering a delicious and refreshing tipple for friends to enjoy together," says Bob...

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Best Summer Cocktails: Sailor Jerry Backyard Tea

June 20, 2012 at 7:15pm

Warm weather is a great excuse to get together with friends and family for outdoor events. Sailor Jerry Backyard TeaWhen you're looking for the perfect fresh and lively summer cocktail to get everyone in the mood, you can't go wrong with the classic summertime themes.

Iced Tea and Lemonade, the classic Arnold Palmer style refreshment, goes down easy, quenches the thirst and delivers bright citrus and exotic tea flavors that compliment the tropical tones of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.

Make one cocktail or make a batch -- for a winning punch recipe that will enliven any gathering. In the backyard, at the pool, on a picnic, at a barbeque or lounging at the lake house, here's the recipe for a sure-fire summer cocktail classic...

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Diplomático rums shine in Spain

June 20, 2012 at 5:15pm

The first International Congress of Rum was held recently in Madrid, Spain with a focus on premium rum brands from around the world. Diplomatico awards in SpainMore than 140 expressions of rum and cane spirits were evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges.

Among the top scoring brands was Diplomático of Venezuela, earning two double gold awards and a silver medal. Both their Reserva Exclusiva (11 to 15 year old blend) and Reserva (6 to 10 year old blend) were endowed with top awards, while their Añejo (up to five years old) received the silver.

Diplomático proudly displays these awards, now totally 54 from international competitions, including...

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Pierre Ferrand new Dry Curaçao pays homage to classic liqueur

June 19, 2012 at 5:15pm

The popularity of orange flavored liqueurs remains strong, as a necessary ingredient in many classic and modern cocktail recipes.

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao Ancienne MéthodePierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao Ancienne Méthode is a new product that attempts to achieve a historical purpose -- to rekindle the authentic style of the once ubiquitous citrus liqueur infused with the peels of sour oranges from the Caribbean island of Curaçao (coo-re-sow).

Based on a 19th century recipe, here is a traditional French Orange Curaçao made with the addition of subtle spices, blended with brandy and Pierre Ferrand Cognac. This new take on a classic cocktail ingredient comes from Cognac Ferrand proprietor and spirits mastermind Alexandre Gabriel in consultation with spirits and cocktail historian David Wondrich.

It is a rich, complex and balanced liqueur that brings sophistication to punches, slings, fizzes and more. Available nationwide in the US, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao is 40% alcohol by volume, retailing for approximately $29.99 for a 750ml bottle.

"Back in the 19th century, when the art of mixing drinks as we know it came together, there were only a few liqueurs popular for cocktail use, and Curaçao was by far the most important of them, appearing in all sorts of drinks, from punches to cocktails to juleps and beyond," says David Wondrich. "Indeed, Jerry Thomas, the century's most famous bartender and the guy who literally wrote the book on the American way of drinking, even went so far as to include a dash of Curaçao in his basic cocktail recipe, as if to say that you couldn't make a proper cocktail without it. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, with its spicy, slightly bitter edge, makes me think for the first time that he may have had a point."

Among many classic cocktails depending on this authentic ingredient, the Brandy Crusta, The Side Car, the Margarita, the Pegu Club and the Curaçao Frappe require the perfect balance of bright orange flavor found in this liqueur.

The legendary Mai Tai tiki cocktail, for example, balances rich and flavorful Jamaican and Bajan rums with lime juice, orgeat almond syrup and orange Curaçao for a sublime combination. The original Mai Tai is largely believed to have been created by Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron, but his arch-tiki-rival Don The Beachcomber also claims to have invented a drink of the same name.

Here is a modern variation on Trader Vic's classic Mai Tai tiki cocktail by Julie Reiner, proprietor and beverage director of Lani Kai and Clover Club in New York City...

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Brugal Especial Extra Dry rum from Dominican Republic

June 19, 2012 at 5:15pm

The leading rum brand in Dominican Republic has announced a new cask-aged white rum that features a profile of dry, clean flavor to enhance popular cocktails.

Brugal Extra Dry white rumDecidedly less sweet than many popular rums on the market, the Brugal Especial Extra Dry is a unique blend of rums aged a minimum of two years -- some up to five years -- in White American Oak casks. The rum is triple filtered to achieve an exquisite clarity, which pairs beautifully with the added smoothness and velvety profile achieved from the rum's aging process.

This clean, light, dry rum works well in many cocktails, pairing well with sweet mixers often used in rum cocktails. In the mojito, daiquiri, and rum cola for example, this dry white rum mixes with the principal ingredients without a dominating sweet cane flavor.

Rum Maestro’s Fernando Ortega Brugal and Guillermo Abbott Brugal have succeeded in developing a clean, dry, activated charcoal filtered white rum that competes favorably with the best vodkas and London dry gins on the market.

Initial aromas of light cane and subtle hints of buttery oak lead to mild spice. The flavor is light cane -- not sweet, but well rounded and soft -- with a light body and very smooth finish that invites the rum connoisseur to taste it neat.

Here's a refreshing summer cocktail suggestion that highlights this fine rum's light bodied, dry profile...

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Rum makes a great gift for Father's Day

June 12, 2012 at 3:15pm

Here's some good advice for showing dad just how much you really care.

Rum Makes a Great Father's Day Gift - Rob's Rum GuideGreat rums of the world compare favorably with fine scotch, cognac, bourbon, tequila and whiskey, but can often be purchased for relatively lesser amounts of your hard earned money.

Rum is a broad category of cane spirits with a tremendous variety of styles, qualities and sub-categories -- as well as price ranges for every budget.

Here are a few expert recommendations from Rob's Rum Guide for those that might wish to explore fine rums from a variety of notable territories at various levels of sophistication -- all guaranteed to please your pop on his special day...

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Summer Rum Cocktail: Spanglish Brew by Freddy Diaz

June 9, 2012 at 3:15am

Freddy Diaz offers a refreshing Miami-style summer cocktail which artfully combines Caribbean, Latin, Asian and European flavors - the Spanglish Brew.As the sun sets slowly into the west, the moon begins to rise over Miami's famed oceanfront strip. Here, the cocktail scene celebrates the well crafted tipples of local mixologist Freddy Diaz of AlambiQ Mixology. His fresh new summer celebration libation is a lot like Miami -- it invites a cornucopia of Caribbean, Latin, Asian and European cultures in the mix for a refreshingly well sculpted rum cocktail.

The Spanglish Brew balances cool summer flavors of watermelon, grapefruit and local key limes with exotic ginger and green tea components, artfully blended with a triad of well-chosen premium spirits.

English Harbour five year old rum is distilled in a unique copper column still on the island of Antigua. Aged in small oaken barrels for at least five years, it presents initial aromas of cream sherry, dried fruit, butter and oak. The palate begins with sweet caramel, coconut, pear and cinnamon, leading to baking spices and smoky oak. The smooth finish, with a touch of sweetness, concludes with a medium long fade.

Dos Maderas 5+3 is a five year old Bajan and Guyanese rum blend, which enjoys a second barreling when moved to Jerez, Spain for another three years in renowned Dos Cortados palo cortado sherry casks. The result is delicate, complex layers of oak and caramel, spices and dried fruit which transcend the well-crafted base spirit.

A long aged Amontillado from Williams and Humbert of Jerez de la Frontera in Cádiz, the Jalifa 30 Year old Amontillado Sherry is aged for at least 8 years under yeast before an additional 22 years of natural ageing by oxidation until it reaches the solera. This old spirit delivers a lot of complexities with hints of roasted nuts, smoke, coffee ground and minerals, balanced by medium acidity.

Together, Freddy's unique Spanglish Brew ingredients combine to deliver a delicious and refreshing...

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Summer rum cocktail: Paul Monahan's Forward To The Past

June 6, 2012 at 5:15pm

Sailor Jerry Rum's Forward to the Future cocktailIn honor of the upcoming Sailor Jerry Day this Tuesday, June 12th, Sailor Jerry Brand Ambassador Paul Monahan developed a new Norman Collins inspired cocktail called Forward to the Past, a modern day celebration of the classic rum and coke with Amaro and homemade cola syrup.

Recognized as Sailor Jerry Day, June 12th is the date Collins passed away in 1973 and had he lived, he would have been 101 years old this year.

Sailor Jerry, the spiced rum brand that has taken the category by storm, will be hosting a celebration to commemorate the life of Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, the father of American tattooing and the inspiration behind the rum brand itself by offering 101 complimentary tattoos to the public featuring the original Norman Collins anchor design in NYC. In addition, they will be hosting an after party at Matchless Bar in Brooklyn, NY with free Sailor Jerry cocktails all night.

For those not in NYC, this cocktail would serve as a...

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Appleton releases 50 year old Jamaican rum

June 8, 2012 at 5:15pm

In honor of Jamaica's day of independence, the iconic Appleton Estate brand of rum will issue a very limited release of a 50 year old rum to commemorate the special occasion.

The Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum, known as Jamaica Independence Reserve, comprises rums which have been aged for a minimum of 50 years in oak barrels. The rums that make up this blend were specifically set down to age to celebrate this important occasion.

This very rare, limited edition rum was launched on June 7, 2012 at Jamaica House in Kingston, Jamaica and was attended by a number of dignitaries including the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Portia Simpson-Miller.

In preparation for the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence, Master Blender Joy Spence conducted extensive quality checks on each barrel of rum to ensure that it had achieved the smoothness, complexity and richness worthy of the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum 50 Year Old Independence Reserve.

Once Joy confirmed that the barrels had aged to perfection, each barrel was then individually rolled out of the warehouse to ensure that its cherished contents were protected.

Only 800 bottles of this rum have been created.

This stunning blend presents a dark mahogany color with rich coppery reflections and, upon careful inspection...

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Live broadcast with rum master Tito Cordero

June 6, 2012 at 5:15pm

Maestro Live with Tito CorderoHere's a unique interactive live video experience for rum enthusiasts the world over. On July 3rd, 2012, spend 45 minutes with legendary master blender Tito Cordero of Diplomatico rum in Venezuela -- along with fellow rum lovers across the globe -- as he answers questions regarding the distillation of premium spirits, aging and blending.

The broadcast will be available at www.rondiplomatico.com/maestrolive, where viewers can send questions directly to the master and have them voted upon by fellow participants, boosting your question's chances of being addressed during the show.

The broadcast hours are as follows:
Venezuela: 3:00pm...

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Summer rum cocktail: Montego Bay by Brian Miller

June 6, 2012 at 2:15pm

Montego Bay CocktailWarm weather demands delicious and refreshing libations.

Tiki cocktail zen master Brian Miller of New York City's Lani Kai bar and restaurant makes some of the best tropical concoctions this side of Port Royal, crafting the freshest ingredients with an assortment of legendary rums to achieve perfection.

Hearkening back to the original golden era of tiki culture, Brian resurrects the classic Montego Bay cocktail using a combination of Jamaican and Guyanese rums that evoke the style...

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St. Nicholas Abbey 12 year aged rum from Barbados

June 4, 2012 at 1:15pm

St. Nicholas Abbey 12 year old rumBarbados famous Cherry Tree Hill is home to a historic plantation with a unique micro-distillery that produces exceptional rum. The 12 year old bottling of St. Nicholas Abbey Single Cask Barbados Rum presents a luxury spirit in a collector's glass bottle custom engraved with a rendition of the old historic property.

Under the insightful supervision of proprietor Larry Warren, the family creates their own brand of rum from cane syrup which is aged, blended and bottled on the premises.

This light bodied, well aged 12 year old spirit opens with aromas of rich oak and bourbon, creamy caramel and buttery vanilla. Initial taste is a nicely balanced, medium-dry palate with...

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Brazilian Ypioca cachaça brand acquired by Diageo

May 28, 2012 at 2:15pm

Ypioca 160 cachaçaA leading premium cachaça brand from Brazil has been acquired by Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine.

Ypioca, with more than 160 years of experience producing sugar cane spirits in Brazil, markets a range of award-winning sugar cane distilled spirits. The acquisition includes a distillery in Paraipaba/Ceará, a bottling plant in Fortaleza/Ceará and a warehouse in Guarulhos/São Paulo.

Cachaça [ka-SHA-sa] is a traditional Brazilian cane spirit similar to rum, distilled at a lower proof to retain much of the flavor of its fermented cane juice. It is the largest spirit category in Brazil...

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Top ten finalists announced for Spirited Awards

May 22, 2012 at 4:15pm

Tales of the Cocktail Spirited AwardsThe best of the world's bars, bartenders, writers and experts have once again been recognized by their peers in the beverage industry as Tales Of The Cocktail festival in New Orleans announces the top ten nominees in their annual Spirited Awards.

For a complete list of nominees and categories, follow this link.

An international jury of notable and respected individuals selected the top ten finalists in the 17 award categories. The winners will be announced at the sixth annual gala dinner event in New Orleans on Saturday July 28 at the...

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New York's Experimental Cocktail Club

May 21, 2012 at 7:15pm

Beautiful decor, superb service and upscale cocktails made to perfection by talented bar staff define the Experimental Cocktail Club in New York's Lower East Side. As the name implies, custom infusions, home-made syrups and innovative -- often complex and intricate -- recipes are the norm in this French-inspired cozy venue established by Romée de Goriainoff, Olivier Bon, and Pierre-Charles Cros.

Experimental Cocktail Club of NYCBlack Heart, Curious Prescription, Kinkakuji are among the favorites on this limited menu of seasonal specialties designed by mixologist Nicolas de Soto -- all in the $14-16 range.

Jack O'Lantern begins with a butternut squash infused Plantation Barbados five year old rum combined with a fresh cinnamon bark syrup, coconut milk, egg and nutmeg. The mixture is shaken mightily to produce a flip-style cocktail that deserves a place at the Thanksgiving table.

Perhaps an obligation of nobility, the classic Cognac-based cocktail on the menu is the Noblesse Oblige, made with Grosperrin VSOP, Byrrh Quinquina, El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Bittermen Xocolatl Mole Bitters and orange oil.

The Artist presents a pomme-de-terre inspired libation with Drouin Calvados, Verjus (sour green apple juice), Pear and Apple Cider Shrub, Peychaud's Bitters, Didier Meuzart Ratafia de Bourgogne (red wine) Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe and Billecart-Salmon Champagne.

You'll find no wine on the list, but there is a very nice selection of...

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Tiki Mondays at Lani Kai NYC with Brian Miller

May 18, 2012 at 5:15pm

Brian Miller and Ryan Liloia of Lani Kai NYC Tiki TeamLike moths to the flame, tiki lovers and cocktail enthusiasts converge on Lani Kai restaurant and bar in New York City's SoHo district each Monday evening to imbibe on carefully crafted creations by a spirited champion of liquid leisure.

Brian Miller is a fan of Don The Beachcomber's infamous 1934 Zombie cocktail and his inspiration is infectious. He's also attracting a Who's Who list of great bartenders, mixologists and brand ambassadors from near and far, making these widely acclaimed Monday soirées THE place to be for a riotous fun time in the city.

Lani Kai is Julie Reiner's darling homage to her native Hawaii in the big city. The stately atmosphere is a splendid reflection of tasteful island decor, featuring a menu of inspired food and drink by one of the city's most successful operators. She manages to combine high standards and flawless service with a relaxed atmosphere that belies the underlying strict attention to details that defines her hallmark reputation.

And then there's Brian Miller. Downstairs at his Monday night rum bar from 6pm to 2am, he manages to make Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow look like a boy scout. When he's fully immersed in his element of rum-infused libations, Brian radiates all the bravado and gusto of a man who understands...

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Plantation Rums dominate recent international RumXP competition

May 9, 2012 at 11:15pm

Plantation XO Barbados RumThe judges have spoken, again. The irrepressible master blenders at Plantation Rum of Cognac, France have once again been honored by an esteemed group of international rum judges with a notable number of awards for their outstanding cane spirits.

Nine Plantation Rums walked away winners from the 2012 RumXP International Tasting Competition held on April 18-22, 2012 at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. Twenty-five members of the International Rum Expert Panel tasted and evaluated more than 100 rums in a blind tasting.

The judges bestowed more awards to Plantation Rum than any other brand in the entire competition. Four different Plantation Rums walked away with the competition's highest accolade, "Best In Class" -- the first time in the history of this prestigious competition that one brand has won so many Best in Class awards.

It was a striking endorsement of the superb quality of Plantation Rum, a brand of rum made like no other on earth -- born in the tropics, aged in its homeland and finished in Cognac casks in France at the Chateau de Bonbonnet.

Best In Class and Gold Medal went to...

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Captain Morgan unveils darker side of spiced rum

April 12, 2012 at 4:15pm

The legendary figure celebrated in countless stories of the golden age of pirates in the Caribbean, Captain Morgan now lends his moniker to a new version of spiced rum developed with deep, dark tones of molasses and charred oak.

Captain Morgan Black Spiced RumAt 94.6 proof, Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum was created to appeal to the whiskey drinker, someone who enjoys their drink of choice on the rocks and might have previously shied away from spiced rum, thinking it was not as refined or mature.

This new variant is a complete departure from the legendary Original Spiced Rum, bringing to life the darker, more mysterious side of the real-life brand icon, Captain Henry Morgan, through a bold new liquid.

The product is deep dark mahogany color in the glass. Initial aromas begin with hints of cinnamon, clove and dried fruit, leading to molasses, smoky oak and burnt sugar. The palate features dominant tones of spice and oak, dark dried fruits and vanilla, finishing with nuances of...

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New packages highlight Brinley rums of St. Kitts

April 11, 2012 at 4:15pm

The well-known line of high quality boutique spirits from the island of St. Kitts, Brinley Gold Rums has upgraded their packaging to reflect a uniform modern style encompassing the entire Shipwreck brand.

Brinley Gold Rums have uniform Shipwreck style

The new packaging for Vanilla, Coffee, Mango and Coconut rums follows the same aesthetic as their popular Shipwreck Spiced Rum -- clear bottle, low label design, and drink booklet. All four flavors will feature the name Brinley Gold Shipwreck and display a nautical ships wheel.

Silver cork tops and capsules embossed with the company logo were added to emphasize its premium look. Fruit images convey all natural flavors and the look of a hand crafted small batch product.

In keeping with the Shipwrecked theme, each new flavored label has a map of St. Kitts on the inside, revealing the location of the British troop ship which sunk...

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Rum For All taking rum category seriously

March 31, 2012 at 5:15pm

It seems that serious people are getting serious about rum.

A meeting of master bartenders and spirits professionals at Keens Steakhouse in New York City was hosted by industry leaders Paul Pacult and Sean Ludford to extol the virtues of rum and cane spirits. This was one of the first in a series of professional rum themed seminars presented by a new organization dedicated to promoting the entire category of rum.

Rum For All seminar at Keen's Steakhouse in New York City

This "Rum For All" event combined an enlightening presentation on rum distilling, maturing and blending with a moderated tasting session featuring eleven top-rated rums of the Caribbean region.

The message was simple. The audience was left with the distinct impression that Rum has arrived.

According to Paul Pacult, publisher and editor of F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal, fine rums compare favorably to the best single malt scotches, aged cognacs and luxury whiskeys he's sampled. He plans to take his Rum For All events around the country in the coming months.

"What distinguishes Rum For All from any other type of promotional program centered on Rum is the fact that we are independent journalists who happen to love Rum," said Pacult.

Along with his wife Sue and partner Sean, Paul is truly excited to bring the story of rum to professionals, offering sage advice and well-researched knowledge of his subjects. "Sean, Sue and I have all done our homework over the last twenty years...

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English Harbour 1981 vintage premium rum from Antigua

English Harbour 1981 vintage premium rumDistilled in 1981 and bottled in 2006, this is the oldest rum from Antigua Distillery Limited. This premium spirit is distilled in copper stills and aged in small 220 litre charred oak barrels to give it a uniquely silky and mellow flavour. The vintage 1981 rum was aged 25 years in used whisky and bourbon barrels.

March 8, 2012 at 2:15am

The product is named for the famous Antiguan naval port of English Harbour, an 18th century theatre of war for Britian and France as they battled for world power and Caribbean territories.

The color is deep copper hue of dark amber. The rich viscosity suggest a very long aging, producing thick, slow moving legs on the tasting glass. Smoky wood is evident in the first breath of the aroma followed by black cherry, vanilla, ripe banana and currants. The initial taste does not disappoint with more dry wood, caramelized dark fruit and roasted cashew in the body, followed by hints of burnt sugar, tobacco, leather, and baking spice. The medium long finish continues with the dominant smoky wood balanced with cinnamon and warm, soft nutmeg tones.

English Harbour 1981 is a sipping rum of the highest caliber. Bold and bright flavors are concentrated...

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Caliche super-premium white rum from Puerto Rico

March 7, 2012 at 3:15pm

Caliche super-premium white rum from Puerto RicoA new top shelf solera-style white rum from Puerto Rico, Caliche is said to be aged well, not well behaved.

A collaboration between famed nightlife industry tycoon Rande Gerber and Roberto Serrallés, maker of DonQ rums of Puerto Rico, the new blend is making waves in star-studded Hollywood circles with its recent glamorous debut.

Both men are equally passionate about crafting a super-premium white rum that remains loyal to their values and reflects their professional integrity. Crafted in the spirit of the founders’ pride in their products and commitment to a premium customer experience, Caliche Rum is blended with the age-old Solera process, giving it a depth and intricacy not found in ordinary oak-aged rum. Solera is a process for aging by fractional blending, resulting in an end product that is a mixture of ages.

Caliche Rum projects an extremely smooth, modern characteristic with a unique, crisp balance of vanilla and citrus flavor and a hint of oak.

The hand-crafted bottle suggests old world craftsmanship with its rough hewn glass, roped neck and wooden cork top. The color is nearly crystal clear.

In a tasting glass, Caliche presents a medium viscosity and fine, delicate legs. The initial aroms of cane and vanilla lead to warm caramel. The rum flavor is distinguished by...

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1931 super premium rum from Saint Lucia

March 5, 2012 at 4:15pm

St. Lucia 1931 super premium rumSt. Lucia Distillers produces an exceptional expression of their aged rum to celebrate the inauguration of their Mabouya Valley distillery, near Dennery, in 1931. The Distillery was founded by Denis Barnard and produced rum until 1972 when St. Lucia Distillers was formed out of the merging of the Dennery distillery and the Roseau Distillery.

Each bottle is individually numbered. The label is changed every year to indicate the number of years celebrated since 1931. The product quickly became a collectors' item among rum aficionados worldwide.

St. Lucia 1931 is a blend of a Coffey column and three copper pot still distillates from 1999 and 2004, ranging from seven to twelve years in age. The rums are matured in seven American white oak casks including...

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Storm Warning: ready to drink Dark 'n Stormy Cocktail

February 28, 2012 at 2:15am

Gosling's Black Seal Rum, long associated with it's home country of Bermuda, naval sailing traditions and their iconic libation, the Dark 'n Stormy cocktail, has recently announced a ready to drink version of this timeless classic tipple.

Gosling's Dark 'n Stormy ready to drink cocktail. Gosling's Rum, Black Seal Rum, Bermuda cocktail, Dark and Stormy, ginger beerThe venerable drink known 'round the world is simply a mixture of Gosling's famed Black Seal Rum and ginger beer, a favorite of Bermudians for centuries. The new RTD (ready to drink) version is premixed with their own Gosling's Stormy Ginger Beer and ready to enjoy right from the can, a great convenience for tailgate parties, outdoor events, family gatherings, boating adventures and other excuses to gather with friends.

Sales of the new ready to drink Dark 'n Stormy are already strong on the island of Bermuda where the most demanding Dark n' Stormy connoisseurs declared it an instant hit. "It was encouraging to hear my fellow Bermudians say that this tastes like a perfectly made Dark 'n Stormy," said Malcolm Gosling, 7th generation President/CEO of the renowned Bermuda rum maker. "Sales on island have been strong."

In the United States, the Dark 'n Stormy cocktail has gained rapid popularity and the new canned version will accelerate that trend. The new drink comes in attractive 4-packs of 8.4 oz./250 ml cans and is 9% alcohol by volume (18 proof).

To help gain attention at retail, special Storm Warning displays are being offered that signals "Things could get wild."

Gosling's plans to launch this new ready to drink canned product in a few select markets...

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Bacardí Global Legacy Cocktail Competition winner announced

February 22, 2012 at 2:15pm

Shingo Gokan of Angel's Share bar in New York wins the 2012 Bacardi Global Legacy Cocktail Competition with his "Speak Low" cocktailThe annual Bacardí Global Legacy Cocktail Competition brought together 26 winning bartenders and their legacy cocktails from around the globe to compete in the world finals in Puerto Rico recently.

The competitors met for a week of seminars, special events and training sessions in San Juan before engaging in the semi-final and final rounds. They were given special tours of the Bacardí distillery, learned advanced bar tending skills and studied philosophies from some of the industry's most influential tastemakers.

The competition was held in concert with the 150th anniversary of Bacardí rum, established by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba.

The winning drink is required to be balanced, refreshing, appealing and enduring, joining the ranks of Bacardí Legacy Cocktails such as the original Bacardí Cuba Libre, the original Bacardí Daiquirí and the authentic Bacardí Mojito cocktail.

Eight top competitors and their legacy cocktails emerged from the semi-finals to compete for the award of global winner.

Lukas Motejzik, Germany, 'Pop It!'
Zdenek Kastanek, UK, 'La Hermosa'
Hayden Scott Lambert, Ireland, ' The Colonial Cocktail'
Matteo Zamberlan, Italy, 'The Golden Mai Tai'
Anastasiya Gvak, Russia, 'A. Priori’
Boudewijn Mesritz, The Netherlands, 'What If?’
Jimmy Hult, Sweden, 'Sin Tiempo'
Shingo Gokan, USA, 'Speak Low'

The final event was held at the Bacardí Distillery near San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday, February 20, 2012. Each contestant had ten minutes to prepare and demonstrate their legacy cocktail for an esteemed panel of judges...

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Great Rum Challenge invites rum enthusiasts to test their skills

January 30, 2012 at 2:15pm

Great Rum Challenge of 2012 at Miami Rum Renaissance FestivalAre you a rum enthusiast? Are you able to pick out your favorite sipping rums in a blind tasting challenge? If so, you might be interested in assessing your rum tasting abilities in a new event at Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

The Great Rum Challenge of 2012 is a special event scheduled for Tuesday evening, April 17 at the Deauville Beach Resort on Miami Beach. Everyone is invited to test their knowledge of fine rums in a series of challenges that might reveal those qualified to be a judge in an international rum tasting competition.

According to Robert Burr, organizer of the event and promoter of the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, "The Great Rum Challenge of 2012 is a chance for rum lovers and those that have a discerning palate for sipping rums to participate in a very special test of their skills."

"We'll give each contestant unmarked samples of eight great rums of the Caribbean. Each of these rums will be on display. If you can correctly match each spirit...

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2012 Rum Renaissance Festival returns to Miami Beach

January 25, 2012 at 2:15pm

Miami Rum Renaissance FestivalThe fourth annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, the largest gathering of rum experts and professionals in the world, will commence April 16 to 22 in South Florida.

Rum judges from around the globe will convene to conduct their annual International Rum Expert Panel Tasting Competition while rum brands from the Caribbean and beyond assemble to promote their products at VIP parties and grand tasting events for the spirits trade. The event also draws eager rum enthusiast consumers from far and wide.

The week-long series of events begins on Monday, April 16 with the Bartender's Bash event hosted by...

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English Harbour Aged Rum from Antigua

January 10, 2012 at 2:15pm

English Harbour Five Year Old Aged RumAn iconic rum of the Caribbean, Antigua Distillery's English Harbour Aged Rum is a full flavored and smooth five year old spirit.

Among many awards, this rum received a Double Gold Medal Award for two consecutive years in the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The rum is distilled in a unique copper column still at English Harbour, Antigua, producing a very clean and pure distillate which is aged in small oaken barrels for at least five years. After maturing, various marques are expertly blended...

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DonQ Skinny Rum Cocktails for 2012

January 3, 2012 at 4:15pm

DonQ Skinny Piña Colada on the rocksThe party's over now. You've indulged, luxuriated and yielded to temptation for the past several weeks of holiday cheer. Perhaps it's time to consider some low calorie "skinny" cocktails to keep January interesting without going over budget on your diet.

With the help of DonQ's famed mixologist Esteban Ordoñez, let us suggest a few appropriately reasonable but decadent libations that are sure to satisfy without the slightest guilt...

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2011