National Rum Examiner

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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 Rum Renaissance Fest

Rum Wreck Dive Bar

2015 Articles

Caña Brava 7 year old aged rum from Panama

December 1, 2015 at 4:15pm

A long awaited addition to Caña Brava's line of fine spirits has arrived. The 86 Company today announced the release of Caña Brava 7-Year-Old Reserva Añeja Rum, the first dark aged spirit in their portfolio.

Like the award-winning Caña Brava white rum, it was distilled and blended by legendary master of rum Don Pancho J. Fernandez in Panama with input from the professional bartending community for a spirit designed to excel in classic and contemporary cocktails.

Caña Brava 7 begins with a selection of young and fresh rums handpicked by the Master Distiller. The rums are blended to create an age base which is then further aged in used bourbon casks for over seven years before being bottled. Caña Brava 7 is a true aged expression of its lighter and younger sibling, Caña Brava 3-Year-Old.

After creating the Caña Brava 3-Year-Old Carta Blanca Rum, a small amount stayed in casks for further aging. After seven years of total aging this rum is now ready for a one-time release. Caña Brava 7's character emphasizes the fresh cut sugarcane flavors associated with their style while the aging has added depth and richness you would expect from a rum with this age.

The surprisingly dry finish and higher than normal proof...

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Wicked Dolphin announces Gold Reserve Rum

November 12, 2015 at 11:15am

From Cape Coral, Florida, the Wicked Dolphin craft distillery today announced the release of a new rum expression: Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve.

This new aged rum was handcrafted from two distinct fermentation styles using both Florida sugarcane and Florida molasses. The rum is batch distilled in a copper pot still before resting in used Bourbon barrels for three years.

"We have worked on Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve since we started making rum in 2012. Our rum is aged for a full three years in Bourbon Barrels which gives us unique deep whiskey notes for one of the best gold rums on the market", stated Wicked Dolphin Rum Owner, JoAnn Elardo.

The heat and humidity in Florida play a large factor in Wicked Dolphin's rum making process. The South Florida climate leads to a rapid aging process which allows for a robust flavor profile.

Wicked Dolphin barrels are then blended and finished...

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Koloa announces Kaua'i Coffee Rum from Hawaii

October 28 18, 2015 at 2:15pm

Known for their award-winning line of artisanal rums, Kaua`i, Hawaii based producer Kōloa today announced a new expression. Kaua`i Coffee Rum -- a delightful new extension to their fine line of small batch rums -- is the result of a collaboration with Kauai Coffee Company.

Combining Kōloa White Rum and pure Hawaiian cane sugar with locally grown, dark-roasted Kauai Coffee results in a rich and robust new flavored rum bottled at 34% abv with bright notes of coffee and cocoa.

Released in time for the 2015 holiday season, the new expression is presented with a bold new bottle and label design.

Kōloa rums are well known to rum enthusiasts across the United States. In the Miami Rum Festival's annual RumXP blind tasting competition, they've consistently won awards in the dark and flavored rum categories.

"Kaua`i Coffee Rum is a true Kaua`i-made product that exemplifies the remarkable diversity of agriculture on Kaua`i and the potential for innovation in creating exceptional value-added products," said Kōloa Rum Company President and CEO Bob Gunter.

"Kaua`i Coffee Company, which operates the largest coffee plantation in the Islands, is at the leading edge of coffee production technology. They produce outstanding coffee grown on the sunny slopes of southern Kaua`i, where we also grow much of our sugar cane. Our collaboration in developing Kaua`i Coffee Rum demonstrates the ongoing engagement within our local diversified agricultural industry. We are proud to have this association with them," Gunter said.

Kōloa Rum Company produces artisanal, single-batch Hawaiian Rum and ready-to-drink cocktails at its distillery in Kalāheo, Kaua`i and operates Kaua`i's first and only distilled spirits Tasting Room and Company Store on the grounds of Kilohana Plantation, near Lihue. The Company's award-winning portfolio includes...

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Ron Duran 12 year old aged rum from Panama debuts

September 18, 2015 at 11:15am

A new aged rum, named for famed boxing champion Roberto Duran, was recently introduced to the U.S. market by Ekeko Fine Wines and Spirits of Houston Texas. Ron Duran 12 year old aged rum, produced by Master Distiller and Blender Don "Pancho" Fernandez of Panama, was first shown at the Miami Rum Fest Trade Show in April.

Ekeko today announced that Ron Duran would soon be available widely in leading liquor retailers and venues throughout North America.

Roberto Durán Samaniego is a Panamanian former professional boxer, widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He retired in 2002 with a record of 120 fights, 104 wins and 69 KOs. The Associated Press voted Duran as the #1 lightweight boxer of the 20th century.

As a tribute to the master fighter, this rum was specially crafted by Don Pancho for strength of character. This exquisite flavor profile is achieved by a blend of rum aged for 12 years in white oak whiskey barrels. Duran rum uses the finest molasses from Panama and is distilled in copper columns using a proprietary yeast from the master blender. Don Pancho developed Duran rum to truly capture the essence of patience, passion, perseverance and triumph.

Aromas of buttery wet oak, cola nut and pistachio lead to creamy dry vanilla, orange blossom, dried fruits and toffee before a subtle hint of anise. On the palate, a well balanced coconut husk entry walks a fine line between sweet and dry as it cascades through...

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Gubba flavored rums from Colorado

September 1, 2015 at 1:15pm

Steve Gubb is a passionate rum enthusiast with a penchant for making delicious flavored rums the old fashioned way -- in small batches by hand using organic ingredients. His Gubba Gold rum carries the smooth creamy flavor of natural vanilla and his Gubba Silver rum is infused with natural coconut for a decidedly tropical profile.

Gubba silver and gold small batch rums are made in a craft distillery in Colorado, using natural organic vanilla and coconut flavors.

Both of these unfiltered rums are produced at a craft distillery in Colorado, made with pure cane and the finest natural flavors available.

The result is delicious, unpretentious artisanal rums, finished with a touch of sweetness that makes them both quite smooth on the palate. Gubba rums can be enjoyed on the rocks, but also create a wonderful tropical base for cocktails.

For a luscious late summer libation, try these delightful recipes using the Gubba rums and Wild Hibiscus specialties.

"Into The Wild" cocktail
Recipe by Igor Zukowiec, Alchemiq NYC
makes 1 serving...

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Blue Chair Bay rum's Indian Summer cocktail

August 31, 2015 at 11:15am

Created at one of the oldest distilleries in the Caribbean, Blue Chair Bay White Rum makes a delightful base for classic and new aged cocktails. Developed by Kenny Chesney and marketed by his Fishbowl Spirits company, the rum has found an eager audience among the "No Shoes Nation" crowd.

Blue Chair Bay's acclaimed white rum from Barbados is a perfect base for a sultry late summer cocktail, such as the Indian Summer.This crystal clear spirit offers aromas of light golden sugar and tropical fruits, followed by subtle spice and beach-aged hints of vanilla, rum cake and gentle oak. It's a classic clean light Barbados rum with hints of golden sugar, tropical and dried fruits, mild spice, gentle vanilla and bread pudding, with a pleasant, refreshing and delicate finish.

When it debuted in 2013, this rum received a score of 90 (Highly Recommended) in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. It also won a Gold Medal in the 2015 RumXP International Tasting Competition at the MIami Rum Festival and Trade Expo.

As August turns to September, here's a simple recipe for a great late summer libation using Blue Chair Bay White Rum, aptly named the Indian Summer.

Indian Summer
1.5 oz. Blue Chair Bay White Rum
3/4 oz. Apple Cider
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. Agave Nectar
Apple slice for garnish

Shake ingredients very well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with apple slice.

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Cartavio rum from Peru expanding U.S. distribution

August 30, 2015 at 1:15pm

From the fertile valley of Cartavio in northern Peru, a modern distillery produces pot still and column still rums from local sugar cane, aged in a variety of woods to create a number of award-winning expressions. This is Ron Cartavio rum.

Ekeko Fine Wines and Spirits today announced expanded distribution for Rum Cartavio expressions into several new states.

Ron Cartavio aged rums from Peru are imported in the USA by Jim Driscoll of Ekeko Wine and Spirits in Houston, Texas.

Although Peru is not generally known for producing some of the world's best rums, U.S. importer Jim Driscoll of Ekeko Fine Wines and Spirits is hoping to change that perception and help Ron Cartavio rum earn the reputation he believes it deserves.

Ekeko has been importing pisco and wine from Peru for the past three years. On a recent trip to Lima, he and his wife Carole were amazed to discover the quality of this local Peruvian brand of rum.

"We first time we tasted Ron Cartavio, we knew we had to share this with our friends in the U.S.A.," said Jim. He went to work right away promoting the Cartavio Selecto five year old aged rum and the Solera 12 year old. But Jim believed the one rum that would surely turn heads -- that would truly amaze rum enthusiasts -- was the 18 year old Ron Cartavio XO, a special aged blend created by Master Distiller Federico Schulz to celebrate the company's 80th anniversary back in 2009.

One of Jim's first major presentations was at the Miami Rum Festival and Trade Expo. Thousands of consumers and members of the trade tasted the rum that weekend in April, with excellent results.

In the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP) tasting competition, Ron Cartavio XO earned the Best In Class Gold Medal in the premium rum category. And Ron Cartavio XO also took a Best In Class Gold Medal in the Consumer Rum Jury awards.

"For a rum to win both the rum expert's top award and the consumer jury's top award was unprecedented," said Jim. "These accolades and recognition...

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Ohana: Luau by the Sea debuts in Ft. Lauderdale

August 27, 2015 at 4:15am

The Fraternal Order of the Moai today announced the schedule for their upcoming event dubbed Ohana: Luau by the Sea.

The FOM is the premier fraternal organization and social network for all men and women interested in tiki culture and the Polynesian pop era. Famous for the annual "Ohana: Lua On The Lake" summer event at The Tiki Resort on Lake George in upstate New York, these perennial party people are setting their sights on creating this new tiki-tastic event in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the first weekend of October.

In Hawaiian culture, Ohana means family in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional.

Ohana: Luau by the Sea is a three-day charity event held in several locations in and around Fort Lauderdale for the great Moai tiki family to meet and enjoy quality time together. Locations include Kreepy Tiki rum bar, the famed Mai Kai Polynesian restaurant and the grand Ohana Luau located at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port Hotel.

If you enjoy classic tiki cocktails done the right way, live music, tiki vendors, great food, custom tiki carvings, poolside fun in the sun and a live Polynesian show, set your sails for Ft. Lauderdale on the first weekend in October.

The Ohana Luau by the Sea Kick-Off Party kicks off Thursday, October 1st at 7pm at the Kreepy Tiki Lounge, voted one of the best Tiki Bars in the US by Traveler Magazine. The theme of the party is Circus Sideshow and the bands and drinks will give new meaning to "The Greatest Show on Earth!"

Friday at the host hotel, the team from Miami Rum Festival will host the Great Rum Challenge, beginning with a short presentation on how to taste rum followed by a blind tasting competition...

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Bruno Mars' SelvaRey rum expands distribution

August 26, 2015 at 4:15am

From the wilds of Panama, SelvaRey (King of the Jungle) rum is flexing it's distribution muscle as this award-winning brand today announced its expansion into new territories across the USA.

Bruno Mars has announced expanded distribution of his acclaimed SelvaRey Rums, including the aged white rum and cacao flavored rum made by Don Pancho in Panama.Both the aged white rum and the delicious cacao flavored spirit drew critical acclaim from rum experts, reviewers and the public at the Miami Rum Fest and Trade Expo last year.

Initially distributed in California and Nevada, SelvaRey has grown its network of distributors to include Southern Wine and Spirits in Florida, Hawaii and South Carolina; Savannah Distributing in Georgia; Fedway Associates in New Jersey; Empire Merchants in New York; Lipman Brothers in Tennessee; and Washington Wholesale in the nation's capital. Availability in Ontario, Canada is scheduled for the fall season.

Selvarey White Rum offers a medium viscosity, suggesting it's been well aged (up to five years) and filtered to remove most of the color. The nose reveals subtle hints of vanilla and mineral water with soft sweetness, buttered toast and a touch of fresh cane. The palate finds a delicate balance of grassy cane, vanilla and spices leading to a medium dry finish. At 80 proof, this is an exceptional white rum for fine cocktails and plays well as a sipper. SelvaRey's aged white rum was a 2015 Double Gold Medal Winner and named best white rum by

The cacao rum is a well-crafted five year old Bourbon cask blend, one of the few flavored rums that drinks like a sipping rum. On the rocks, Selvarey Cacao rum opens up with accentuated tones of creamy vanilla and toasted oak under semi-sweet chocolate. SelvaRey Cacao rum won the 2014 Chairman's Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City and the Gold Medal at the 2014 Miami RumFest.

In addition, the rums were rated 94 and 95 respectively by...

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St. Augustine Rum debuts in Florida

August 24, 2015 at 6:15pm

The inaugural Discovery Series of rums will soon debut at Florida's St. Augustine Distillery. On Thursday, September 3rd, the public will be invited to purchase the first bottles of rum from the distillery's gift shop, located on Riberia Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.

A limited series of craft rum expressions will be released on the following schedule: Series 1 in September, Series 2 in October, Series 3 in November and Series 4 in December. The St. Augustine Distillery's flagship rum (or final recipe) is slated for a January 2016 release.

Each of these limited editions has been fermented and distilled on-site by Director of Production Brendan Wheatley from select regional sugarcane syrups and molasses in copper pot stills and then barrel-aged for a distinct flavor profile.

"We want our customers to have the unique chance to experience each of these different recipes as we refine our flagship rum," said co-founder and CEO Philip McDaniel. "This opportunity is very unique and only available at a craft distillery like ours."

The production facilities are located in the restored historic Ice Plant, featuring a gift shop, restaurant and bar. Large numbers of tourists flock to the facility daily for a presentation in the small theater, followed by tours of the distillery and...

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Two Indies and Old Port rums from India

August 21, 2015 at 4:15pm

Amrut Distilleries of Bangalore, India is the producer of many fine spirits, including two distinct rums -- Two Indies Rum and Old Port Rum.

Two Indies Rum is a blend of East Indian and West Indian rums produced by Amrut Distilleries of Bangalore, India. They also produce Old Port Rum.Two Indies takes it name from the fact that it's a combination of rums from the East Indies and West Indies, delivering an interesting fusion of characteristics to the blend.

The Indian rum is made from Jaggery, a traditional solidified reduction of cane juice popularly used to make candy across the sub-continent regions of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The spirit is distilled using a seven plate column, then aged for three years in oak barrels, producing an aromatic sweet rum.

The authentic Caribbean spirits from Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana are distilled in pot or double retort stills producing very robust, high-ester spirits. These tropical aged rums are sent to India for the final blend.

The result is a balance of the delicate and aromatic East with the robust and full flavored West. Amrut's stated goal is to bring the two historic cultures of India and Caribbean together and reflect upon their rich ancestral heritage.

With Two Indies Rum, initial aromas of butter and an earthy nuttiness lead to subtleties of apple and grape, then charred wood and pineapple, with a funky treacle and caramel note. On the palate, a big funky fruit basket of tropical delights evolves rapidly toward...

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Seven Day rum cruise visits Caribbean distilleries

August 8, 2015 at 4:15pm

It's a rum fanatic's dream. A luxury Caribbean cruise featuring VIP tours of rum distilleries -- from large industrial factories to small plantation-style artisanal operations -- spanning the week of November 15-22, 2015. Departing from San Juan, the 2015 Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise will visit Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Sint Maarten and St. Croix before returning to Puerto Rico.

Organized by Deborah Fogarty at Be Well Travel, the rum cruise offers a unique opportunity to visit six islands in seven days, with optional land tours visiting up to nine distilleries and visitor centers, plus rum seminars, special tasting events and visits to authentic island rum shops along the way.

The rum cruise takes place on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas, a dazzling Radiance-class ship which combines sleek swiftness, panoramic vistas, and wide-open spaces for maximum relaxation and comfort. All meals aboard the ship are included.

Departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday, November 15 at 8:30pm, the ship sets sail for Barbados, arriving Tuesday morning for a full-day adventure. The first stop is St. Nicholas Abbey, an old historic cane plantation where they create small batches of fresh rum from their own cane syrup in a copper pot still. After a stop for Bajan lunch, the group proceeds to another historic sugar plantation where Foursquare Distillery makes some of the very best rums in the Caribbean from both a traditional pot and a modern column still. The final stop in Barbados is the Mount Gay welcome center for a presentation of this iconic rum brand's history and a VIP tasting of their finest rums.

On Wednesday morning, rum enthusiasts awake in St. Lucia to embark on a breath-taking tour through the verdant hills near Roseau valley. The St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies produces world class rums and liqueurs in a process that has, like its environment, changed little in a hundred years. Several types of copper pot stills produce unique distillates...

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Muddy River Distillery rums from North Carolina

June 30, 2015 at 4:15pm

Muddy River Distillery became the first legal rum distillery in Belmont, North Carolina in February, 2012 and only seven months later, began selling their first product: Carolina Rum.

Muddy River Distillery of Belmont, North Carolina offer a fine white Carolina Rum, as well as an aged premium rum named Queen Charlotte's Reserve.Combining premium grade molasses and sugar, along with a special strain of yeast, master distiller Robbie Delaney prefers a slow, small batch fermentation for up to two weeks before moving the mash to their custom built hybrid reflux column stills, Freedom and Democracy.

Co-founder Caroline Delaney oversees the business and has the final say on tasting the finished product.

Muddy River Carolina Silver Rum offers aromas of green banana and a whiff of white pepper before rich caramel, hard candy, marshmallow, taffy and a bit of almond. On the palate a very soft entry of gentle cane leads to clean and subtle ripe banana, warming in the mid palate to reveal peppery notes on top of vegetal fresh cane, before a warm, lingering finish.

The company recently released an aged rum. Queen Charlotte's Reserve brings aromas of aromatic cedar and white oak, dried fruit, creamy butter and earthy wood, cane syrup, apricot, dates and white raisin. On the palate a smooth entry is dominated by big oak drying out with ripe butter and shortbread cookie. A surprisingly well balanced rum that's a pleasure to sip.

Another recent release is a coconut flavored rum.

Muddy River Distillery now has the capacity to deliver 300 bottles a day...

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Angostura announces 2016 American Rum Cocktail Champion

June 30, 2015 at 2:15pm

Three American finalists, along with dozens of industry professionals, gathered at the House of Blues in New Orleans recently for Angostura's U.S. Cocktail Challenge.

Elizabeth Mickiewicz from drumBAR in Chicago, Illinois was the winner of a $5,000 cash prize and a trip to Trinidad, where she will compete as the U.S. representative in The House of Angostura's Global Cocktail Challenge in February 2016.

Finalists had seven minutes to prepare their two unique cocktail creations for a prestigious group of judges. The first cocktail required at least five dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters; the second cocktail represented the rum category where the competitor needed five dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters along with at least one ounce of any of the Angostura International Rums.

The five judges, including Charlotte Voisey, Paul Clark, Philip Duff...

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Blue Water Ultra Premium rums from Dominican Republic

June 30, 2015 at 2:15pm

Blue Water Beverage Brands recently launched their first two products at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Trade Expo -- Blue Water Ultra Premium white rum and Blue Water Caribbean Gold Premium Spiced Rum.

The spiced rum took home a Gold Award in the 2015 RumXP international Tasting Competition.

The new brand, based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, expects to deliver a full line of white, spiced, aged, flavored and specialty rums in the near future.

Behind this private label brand is boutique rum manufacturer Oliver & Oliver International of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Originally from Cuba, Omar Vicente Ramirez is the Maestro Ronero who supervises the development of Blue Water's rums. Blue Water chose Omar for his decades of experience and worldly knowledge of rum.

Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum is a white 40% ABV distilled using a column still, then rested in a stainless steel vat leaving its color as pure as the blue waters of the Caribbean.

On the nose we find light alcohol with accents of sweet marshmallow and creamy vanilla over mineral water with vague cinnamon and aguardiente notes. On the palate, a very smooth entry builds up warmth in mid-palate, offering slightly sweet creamy vanilla marshmallow before building some warmth with echoes of...

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Wicked Dolphin releasing USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum

June24, 2015 at 1:15pm

Known for their outstanding craft spirits produced in Southwest Florida, Wicked Dolphin today announce they will release a limited edition rum expression benefiting the USS Mohawk Coast Guard Cutter Veterans Memorial Reef and Bionic Warriors program.

Wicked Dolphin Distillery of Cape Coral, Florida has announced the limited edition release of their new USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum, to benefit the Bionic Warriors program.
The rum will be available July 2, 2015 at Wicked Dolphin Distillery, based in Cape Coral, Florida. Wicked Dolphin will release only 200 signature bottles with the name "Sunken Barrel USS Mohawk CGC Reserve," a limited edition 750ml bottle priced at $39.99.

USS Mohawk CGC Reserve rum began with the sinking of five Wicked Dolphin Rum barrels filled with distilled water, sent 90 feet down to the USS Mohawk Veterans Memorial Reef last week, and then raised 72 hours later.

The ship was sunk to create an artificial reef environment that encourages coral growth, fish populations and a myriad of marine life.

Wicked Dolphin Rum and Lee Reefs have partnered to create the limited edition rum to benefit the Lee Reefs program and Special Operations Bionic Warriors -- a foundation that ensures wounded, injured or ill U.S. Special Operations veterans/athletes receive state-of-the art adaptive sports equipment, coaching and access to cutting-edge sports science that will ensure achievement of their athletic goals.

The barrel sinking at the Mohawk reef site comes just three years after the Mohawk was sunk for use as a veteran's memorial reef...

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Richland Single Estate Old Georgia Rum delivers rich flavor

June 17, 2015 at 1:15pm

From growing their own cane in Richland, Georgia, to reducing their fresh cane juice to syrup on the premises, implementing a unique fermentation and distillation process, and finally, aging their distillate in new oak barrels, the Richland Distilling Company produces an authentic, plantation style cane spirit from field to bottle.

Attention to every detail of production  -- from growing the cane, gentle pot distillation, and aging in new white oak barrels  -- gives hand-made Richland Single Estate Old Georgia Rum a bold flavor profile reminiscent of fine Bourbon.

Erik Vonk is a passionate and dedicated rum producer that goes to great lengths to control all aspects of his production process. Selecting only the most hearty varieties of cane grown on his property, harvesting with great care and crushing fresh juice, he takes a holistic approach to rum production nearly abandoned in the present day. Reducing his cane juice to a delightfully rich honey-like consistency -- a superb example of southern artisanal cane syrup -- provides a stable and full flavored base for his careful fermentation.

The pot still offers a gentle, rustic distillation that helps retain much of the cane flavor throughout the process, resulting in a fine, cane-forward distillate. The use of small white oak barrels for maturation lends a bourbon-like quality to the rum as it ages, taking on rich wood notes almost immediately.

Within 18 months, the spirit is turning a warm golden color and developing complex flavors. By 36 months, it's nearly ready to bottle, close to peaking in its interaction with the oak casks.

On the nose, we find big bourbon oak. Charred and toasted wood dominates with subtle aromas of butter, cherry/apricot dried fruit spice cake, vegetal cane notes and a hint of Chardonnay. On the palate, bold and rich bourbon style notes lead to...

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Rhum Saint James celebrates 250th anniversary with special edition

June 10, 2015 at 2:15pm

Celebrating 250 years of producing fine rhum on the island of Martinique, Rhum Saint James today announced they will release a commemorative limited edition bottling amidst a host of festivities scheduled for July 6 to 12, 2015.

Saint James Rum is one of the oldest rum brands from Martinique, first producing rum on its plantations in 1765. From the outset the brand was a pioneer in its category, being the first rum to create vintage specific blends, and designing an innovative square bottle in order to maximize storage and minimize breakage on the long sea-voyages to its original export markets.

When the French King, Louis XIV, banned the sale of rum in France, an enterprising priest moved to Martinique and founded Plantations Saint James, where he produced and sold his rum to the settlers in New England. Rhum Saint James was consumed from Williamsburg to Boston, and became the most popular West Indian rum in the American colonies before the American Revolution.

The week of July 6 to 12, which traditionally marks the end of the sugar harvest, is set to be a key moment during the 250th anniversary celebrations in Martinique. The program includes tours of the distillery, masterclasses and tastings, as well as a live show culminating in the release of a commemorative limited edition 250th anniversary Carafe: an ultra-premium blend of six of the best Saint James vintages, presented in a luxurious glass flagon with embossed metal neck.

To pay full tribute to Saint James rich history, other festivities will be taking place across the world including...

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Plantation revives classic recipe with Stiggin's Fancy Pineapple Rum

June 9, 2015 at 2:15pm

In Charles Dickens' immortal Pickwick Papers, pineapple rum -- a sipping spirit par excellence -- features prominently as the favored drink of the esteemed Reverend Stiggins.

Plantation Rum has released a limited edition of their Stiggin's Fancy Pineapple Rum, based on a character from a novel by Charles Dickens, aided by research from Cocktail Historian David Wondrich.As a study in recreating such fanciful classic libations, Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor of Cognac Ferrand, with help from the spirits and cocktail historian David Wondrich, set out to revive this forgotten nectar. The result was a small batch of delightful liquid named Stiggin's Fancy Pineapple Rum.

Gabriel and Wondrich relied on several ancient recipes to recreate it, and added a few traditional techniques from their own bag of tricks. The 1824 English Journal of Patent and Inventions and the 1844 Journal of Agricultural Society were their main sources of inspiration -- along, of course, with Mr. Dickens. They infused ripe Queen Victoria pineapples in rich, aged Plantation Original Dark Rum for three months. Meanwhile, they macerated, also in rum, the bare rind of the fruit (where the pineapple's essential oil chiefly resides) before distilling it, creating a bright pineapple essence to blend with the lushness of the infused Plantation rum. The result was stunning.

On the nose we experience ripe pineapple and Madagascar vanilla, a good measure of oak followed by green banana, toasted coconut and pineapple hard candy with a mixture of citrus peel and dried fruit. On the palate, a buttery and oaken entry leads to big fruit, dominated by pineapple, then toasted coconut and cherry/almond notes before drying out mid-palate as the well aged Trinidad rum begins to shine through the fade to authentic pineapple.

Although his original intention was to create only 1000 bottles to share with rum fanatics and enthusiasts at the annual Tales Of The Cocktail convention in New Orleans, the overwhelming reaction...

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4 Spirits Rum honors American servicemen

June 5, 2015 at 4:15pm

Dawson Officer established his 4 Spirits craft distillery in Adair Village, Oregon in 2010, creating hand-made spirits in honor of fallen comrades lost in Iraq. Now, his artisanal rums are gaining the attention of consumers and rum enthusiasts near and far.

Housed in a former U.S. Air Force building at Adair Village, the distillery also produces Webfoot and SlapTail vodkas for Ducks and Beavers fans.

Officer's 4 Spirits Silver Rum is the first of three small batch releases in his new signature rum series. Initial aromas of fresh bread and yeast with a suggestion of sourdough leads to ripe banana, then subtle cherry and almond before a complex juicy fruity bouquet. A super soft sweet entry develops into pleasant juicy fruit on the mid palate and a note of banana candy before drying out with hints of pepper, fading into a warm lingering green apple finish. The 4 Spirits Silver Rum at 40% ABV in a 750ml bottle retails for $27.95.

The 4 Spirits Spiced Rum, at 40% ABV, is a delightful expression. Initial aromas of vanilla, banana, nutmeg and baking spices lead to a comforting apple cinnamon pie. On the palate, the sweet but smooth entry suggests wonderful desserts like banana's foster with whipped cream, fruit cake and apple cinnamon tart. The 4 Spirits Spiced Rum in a 750ml bottle retails for $31.95...

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Brugal wins three Gold Medals at Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

May 21, 2015 at 5:15pm

On Tuesday, May 19, the Brugal brand of rum, an iconic spirit of the Dominican Republic, announced their three new gold medals from the RumXP International Tasting Competition held at the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

RumXP Gold Awards went to Brugal White Extra Dry in the white rum category, to Brugal Añejo in the gold rum category and to Brugal 1888 in the premium aged rum category. Brugal XV was also awarded a bronze medal from the Consumer Rum Jury at the same time.

The annual RumXP Tasting Competition forms part of the Rum Renaissance festival and is among the most prestigious events of its type in the world, bringing together an experienced panel of 12 rum judges who conducted blind taste tests to evaluate the finest cane spirits from every region, every style and every category of the rum world.

Assistant brand manager Sarah Knowles said: "Last year, at Rum Renaissance 2014, Brugal won the Ultra Premium Reserve Rum 'Best In Class' RumXP award for Brugal Papa Andres Family Reserve, starting an award trend.

"This year's RumXP awards continue to add prestigious accolades for our other expressions, which are more readily accessible to a larger consumer base. Brugal has produced a family of high quality rums distilled, aged and bottled in the Dominican Republic since 1888. We are very excited to receive these RumXP acknowledgments and honoured to garner this respect from the rum community."

With a current ad campaign promoting "Respeto!" Brugal certainly is gaining the respect of rum professionals and consumer worldwide. The company has been making fine rums in the Dominican Republic for more than 135 years...

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Plantation Rums score big at Miami Rum Festival

May 18, 2015 at 6:15pm

It has been another banner year for Plantation Rum, based in Cognac, France. The company announced today that their products were awarded four Gold and four Best In Category awards from the International Rum Expert Panel judges at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

This is the third year in a row that Plantation rums have received the most awards in this prestigious international RumXP blind tasting competition.

Receiving RumXP Best In Category awards were Plantation Original Dark, Plantation Original Dark Overproof, Plantation Jamaica 2001 and Plantation Pineapple. RumXP Gold awards went to Plantation 3 Stars White, Plantation 20th Anniversary XO, Plantation 5 Year Old Grande Reserve and Plantation Guyana 2005.

Once again, Alexandre Gabriel's Plantation Rums take the most Gold and Best In Class awards at the RumXP international blind tasting competition at the Miami Rum Festival.The Plantation 20th Anniversary XO aged rum also won a Gold award from the new Consumer Rum Jury in their premiere tasting competition, comprised of 20 well qualified rum enthusiast consumers, collectors and experienced rum travelers, offering the perspective of the active and engaged rum buyer in their evaluations.

This unique brand of rums is produced in France, headed by Alexandre Gabriel, Proprietor of Maison Ferrand and Master Blender for Plantation Rum. For the past two decades, Alexandre has been traveling to the Caribbean's best distilleries to acquire rums that he believes will benefit from further aging in Cognac barrels at his facility in France.

Each rum in the Plantation Rum portfolio is made according to its country's traditional technique and expresses the rum characteristics and flavor of its country of origin. While the rums are born in the traditional fashion, produced in rum distilleries and aged in barrels in the tropical sun, they undergo a unique aging process not used by any other rum producer in the industry...

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Bayou's new Select Aged Rum wins gold at Miami Rum Fest

May 12, 2015 at 2:15pm

Louisiana Spirits of Lacassine, Louisiana recently debuted their new Bayou Limited Edition Select Barrel Reserve at the Miami Rum Festival to great acclaim, earning a gold award from the Consumer Rum Jury. This new addition to their award-winning offerings is the first aged rum expression bottled under the Bayou brand.

We tasted batch 1501, the first bottling (2015). The golden amber color of this limited edition reserve is enticing. With initial aromas of buttery praline, rustic cinnamon and creamy vanilla, the nose leads to crisp apple over bread pudding with nuts, buttery croissant and toasted oak. First on the palate is cinnamon sugar and butter, building warmth in mid-palate as charred wood, maple and dark fruit notes develop before a warm finish with long lingering notes of dark wood.

Bayou Select Rum is another fine expression of these unique Louisiana sugarcane rums born from the rich soils of the mighty Mississippi river delta. Fermented with cane yeast, distilled in American copper pot stills and rested in American oak in the Louisiana heat, this flavorful dark rum is sure to be a favorite among those that appreciate sweet, delicious rums.

Each bottle is signed and numbered by the distiller and blender. The 750ml bottle of Bayou Limited Edition Select Barrel Reserve aged rum retails for $33.99.

This Bayou Rum Limited Edition Select Barrel Reserve is handmade in the largest privately-owned rum distillery in the USA, utilizing traditional methods with state-of-the-art technology for all four steps: fermentation, distillation, maturation, and bottling...

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Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade Rum makes cool summer cocktails

May 4, 2015 at 1:15pm

A new flavored expression from Cruzan Rum of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a delightful combination of ripe blueberries and lemonade to add the essence of fresh fruit to summer cocktails and punch recipes.

Like all Cruzan rums, Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade Rum is crafted by Cruzan Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp, whose family has been making rum on the island of St. Croix for generations. It is made from natural ingredients including cane molasses and tropical rainwater, using a unique five-column distillation process, staying true to Cruzan's goal of creating the cleanest-tasting, highest-quality rum on the market.

Here's a recipe that features the new rum -- perfect for sharing with friends while celebrating the summer season. Create singular cocktails or make a punch for your next gathering. This simple 8/3 ratio of rum to grapefruit juice is easy and delicious...

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Appleton reveals new packaging for Estate Blend Rums

April 24, 2015 at 2:15pm

The iconic Appleton Estate brand of fine rums from Jamaica recently unveiled a new bottle and label design, an update that helps consumers better identify and classify these special blends.

While the rums themselves remain unchanged, the packages reflect a more accurate description of the rums by name and presentation, starting with the Appleton Estate Signature Blend. This popular expression is a blend of 15 select pot still and column still rums that sets the standard for the Appleton Estate Rum series. Perfectly balanced complex citrus, fruity and sweet notes, the rum suggests subtle orange peel on the palate, with dried apricot, fresh peach and a hint of molasses and woody notes.

Next in line, the Appleton Estate Reserve Blend is a marvelous combination of 20 high quality marques skillfully integrated with complexity, depth and balance for those that prefer a premium blend. Full-bodied, smooth, and delicately-balanced spice and nutty notes on the palate are followed by oaky honey, subtle vanilla and a hint of hazelnut all wrapped in rich, dried orange peel. It is reminiscent of a spicy fruit cake.

Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old, as the name suggests, is an upscale expression -- containing rare sipping rums at least 12 years old aged in Number One Select American oak barrels -- that defines the authentic Jamaican style known around the globe. With a constantly evolving taste experience -- you'll find deep oak, fruity and cocoa notes, followed by delicate molasses, vibrant orange peel, and subtle coffee, with a hint toasted oak and almond. The Rare Blend 12 Year Old at 43% ABV exemplifies the life work and accomplishments of Appleton Estate's Master Blender Joy Spence...

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Mai-Kai Restaurant joins National Register of Historic Places

March 10, 2015 at 6:15pm

Certainly an iconic stand-out venue from the heyday of Polynesian themed restaurants and bars that thrived across America from the 1930s to the 1960s, The Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale was recently recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as a worthy addition to its esteemed list of historic locations.

Some 58 years ago, this Polynesian bar and restaurant opened -- on December 28, 1956 -- in what the National Register describes as an undeveloped area with no other buildings nearby. This dream come true cost about $400,000 -- a small fortune at the time. But the restaurant, decorated with thousands of authentic artifacts collected from Polynesia, made a profit in its first year for forward thinking investors Bob and Jack Thornton.

Over the years, as other Polynesian theme restaurants and tiki bars came and went, the Mai Kai and its dedicated staff remained intact -- steadily and enthusiastically provided an adventurous dining, drinking and showplace environment for tourists and locals.

In the 1960s, the famous Fire Dance tropical review was initiated with the utmost care and research to develop authentic dance routines for each of the featured Polynesian cultures integrated into the show.

With a resurgence in the popularity of tiki cocktails and culture, the Mai Kai is once again thriving while being recognized as one of the great authentic venues of its genre left in the world.

On November 18, 2014, Mai-Kai was officially entered into the National Register as a property associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history, stating:

"The Mai-Kai Restaurant is locally significant under Criteria A in the areas of Commerce and Entertainment/Recreation...

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On Founder's Day Bacardi Rum reveals new packaging

February 4, 2015 at 4:15pm

In celebration of the 153rd anniversary of the founding of the company, Bacardí today announced a bold new packaging design for their principal rum expressions, influenced by the art deco movement, reflecting the brand's unique heritage.

The new bottles, designed with deliberation from some of the world's leading bartenders, have been updated and improved to ensure they are well balanced in order to produce the perfect pour. Taller, slimmer and more cylindrical, the new bottles feature bold shoulders reminiscent of vessels from a bygone era.

They are also packed with finely crafted touches. The iconic Bacardí bat logo, representing good fortune, good health and family unity, was inspired by hand-drawn Bacardi bat designs from the early 1900s. It crowns a label of hand-cut fonts inspired by those adorning the Art Deco El Edificio Bacardí, the brand's former sales office and iconic bar in Havana, Cuba.

The bottles contain an imprint of the year 1862, and the lower label prominently declares the company was established in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba.

Each new bottle from the portfolio of light and dark rums also features its own unique printers ornament, a brief story from the Bacardi family's history and a simple taste description and drinks serve on the back. In addition, all paper labels are made from recycled cane fiber, a by-product of rum making.

More than 150 years of heritage and awards adorn the pack: the Royal Spanish coat of arms awarded for quality in 1888, a selection of medals won since 1862 (Bacardí rum is the most awarded spirit in the world) and the signature of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder of the company. To this day, the Bacardí company remains family owned...

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AfroHead Caribbean rums launch in Florida

February 3, 2015 at 3:15pm

Currently available in the Bahamas, the Harbour Island Rum Company today announced the Florida launch of its AfroHead 7 year old aged dark rum, as well as an XO 15 year old premium rum.

Produced from high quality Dominican molasses and fermented with Trinidadian yeast, the rums are distilled and aged in used bourbon barrels in Trinidad. Master Blender Toby Tyler creates the final expressions which are then bottled in Barbados.

Originally created by proprietor Joe Farrell at The Landing Guest House and Restaurant in Harbour Island, the rum began as a house brand at this well known Bahamian restaurant and intimate boutique hotel. On the label, he used a simple graphic he had designed for the restaurant's house wine -- a stylized image that paid tribute to the island's culture, Bahamian women and the first Miss Bahamas from 1963.

Over the years, locals and visitors from around the world came to Harbour Island to enjoy the rum with the "afrohead" on it, and so AfroHead Premium Aged Dark Rum earned its moniker.

Today, the bottle's new powerful icon continues to pay tribute to its original inspiration by incorporating six symbols representing the rum's rich West Indies culture. The Crown, Junkanoo, Mind's Eye, Rising Sun, Creation and Sea Shell are all subliminally hidden within the icon bringing genuine meaning to its stunning beauty.

Artfully crafted with a smooth finish, the 7-year blend ($34.95) can be appreciated in mixed drinks, neat or on ice. The 15-year XO ($59.95) deserves the respect of being enjoyed straight up.

Vintage Liquor announced it has the AfroHead rums in stock at their Florida locations.

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Guy Harvey Spiced Rum debuts in Florida

January 20, 2015 at 4:15pm

The iconic lifestyle guru most often associated with the ocean, beaches, fishing, boating and scuba diving -- Guy Harvey -- today announced a new spiced rum expression developed with Shaw-Ross International.

Initial distribution of the new product is scheduled to begin in Florida immediately.

This renowned marine wildlife artist, scientist and conservationist visited the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival last April to study the expanding market for flavorful expressions among the burgeoning population of rum enthusiasts.

"Given the rich heritage of rum with sailors, boaters and fishermen, adding a quality rum product is a logical extension of my lifestyle brand," said Guy Harvey.

Distilled in Puerto Rico, Guy Harvey Spiced Rum is an amber colored rum that contains spices and warm flavors of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon at 35 abv (70 proof). The 750ml bottle will retail at approximately $15.

"The Guy Harvey name is a perfect fit for spiced rum," notes Bruce Hunter, Managing Director of Shaw-Ross International Importers. "Additionally, rum is a growing category and spiced rum in particular is the driving force behind this growth so the timing is right for the launch of Guy Harvey Spiced Rum. We are very excited."

Plans to take the product to markets outside of Florida in 2015 are currently in the works. A second Guy Harvey branded rum offering -- an aged blended Jamaican rum -- is in development, expected to be introduced in the spring of 2015.

Guy Harvey's depictions of marine life, especially of sportfish such as marlin, are very popular with sport fishermen and have been reproduced in prints, posters, t-shirts, jewelry, clothing and other consumer items.

A significant portion of the net proceeds from Guy Harvey Spiced Rum will be used to fund...

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