National Rum Examiner

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

Click on the links for more information.

National Rum Examiner Robert A. Burr





Robert A. Burr

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

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

Rob's Rum Guide

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

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

Miami Rum Fest
April 17-19, 2015
Rum Examiner
the insider source for rum
International Rum Expert Panel
Legends of Rum
The Great Master Blenders and Distillers
Rum Cruise
Visiting Caribbean Distilleries

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->


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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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.

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->

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...

read more at National Rum Examiner -->

read more at Rob's Rum Guide -->