National Rum Examiner

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

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National Rum Examiner Robert A. Burr

Robert A. Burr

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

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

Rob's Rum Guide

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

rob@rumexaminer.com

Miami Rum Fest
April 15-17, 2016

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The Rum Review Channel on YouTube
Rum Examiner
the insider source for rum
RumXP
International Rum Expert Panel
Rum Cruise
Visiting Caribbean Distilleries

The real Mai Tai: a classic Tiki cocktail

February 11, 2016 at 1:15pm

If you asked a layman to name a Tiki drink off the top of their head, a large percentage would answer Mai Tai. So, why is it so hard to find a proper one when you're anywhere near a beach?

Perhaps you've mastered your Martinis and Margaritas. Now it's time to mix the magical mystique of the Mai Tai. Don't get me wrong, rum is fun, you'll like what you like--but if something's worth doing, it's worth doing right--so put down that pre-mix or pineapple juice and prepare to understand the simple balance of rum, lime, almond and orange that makes the Mai Tai a true classic.

Back in 1944, when Tiki was but ten years young, Trader Vic put this tropical thing together and served it to friends from Tahiti visiting his bar, and so the story goes, they responded, "Mai tai roa ae!" which, allowing for aliteration, is translated as "Out of this world! The best!"

But the real star of the show was the Wray & Nephew 17-year-old Jamaican rum at the heart of it. It was only a couple of years before the entirety of the supply was exhausted with the help of Vic's thirsty audience. The 15-year-old version replaced it to fill demand, however, was similarly depleted by the 1950s. Vic then went in search of a new substitute and found it in the form of molasses based rhum from Martinique.

If you're not an expert, the important thing to take away from that is the guy who originally made it also re-made it when the rum ran out. If you know the difference between Agricole and Industriel, this is a breakthrough. Vic found elements of what made the original Jamaican rum so interesting, what he described as "rich pungent flavor," in the traditional molasses-based or "industrial" french style rhums.

Nothing will ever be 100% authentic again--at least not since the Merchant Hotel in Belfast ran out of the last publicly available bottle of Wray & Nephew 17. It has been popularized to mix Agricole and Jamaican together, what with the Rumdood's research and all, and I've seen at least one Martin Cate suggested recipe blending Guyana and Jamaica, but in the end we're all trying to recapture that rich-dark-and-funky-thing that both of Vic's choices had going on...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Miami Rum Renaissance Festival adds luxury VIP Tasting Bar

February 8, 2016 at 5:15am

The addition of select luxury, vintage and limited edition rums will offer a new level of excitement for serious rum enthusiasts at the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and International Trade Expo.The annual event, said to be the world's largest gathering of rum experts, trade and consumers, is scheduled for April 15-17, 2016 at the DoubleTree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center.

Miami Rum Festival and Trade Expo host Robert Burr today announced the addition of his VIP Tasting Bar at this popular rum event, featuring a selection of outstanding samples from his private collection.

From his private collection of more than 2000 rums, Robert Burr will share many of his vintage and limited edition samples at the new VIP Tasting Bar during the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival April 15-17.

"We want to share with rum fest participants some of the most interesting and exquisite rums that we've collected from our travels around the world. This is a splendid opportunity for rum enthusiasts to better understand and appreciate these limited edition, vintage and rare collectibles," said Robert Burr, author of Rob's Rum Guide, the National Rum Examiner blog and the Rum Minute YouTube channel.

The VIP Tasting Bar will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Rum Fest weekend from 1 to 6pm.

Both Robert Burr and his son Rob V. Burr will be on hand at the VIP Tasting Bar to share their knowledge and passion for these select expressions of the world's best rums.

"In the course of publishing Rob's Rum Guide and reporting for the National Rum Examiner, we are privileged to visit most of the great rum distilleries in the world," said Rob. V. Burr. "Along the way, we're collecting some very special bottles that represent the incredible range of high quality rums from Barbados and Jamaica to Guatemala and Panama; from Nicaragua and Haiti to Martinique and Guadeloupe; from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to Venezuela and Guyana -- and beyond. We invite our rum loving friends to stop by the VIP Tasting Bar to share some of our passion -- as well as a taste of these fine rums."

The event is also host to the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP) Tasting Competition and associated awards...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Game Day Libations: Rumming Back Rum Cocktail scores big

February 4, 2016 at 2:15pm

Sharing tasty food and fine drinks with good friends is a fundamental requisite for any good game day gathering. Set the tone for the big event with The Rumming Back, a delicious seasonal libation that echoes the mood of the day.

Here's a simple recipe using delicious tropical rum and All-American apple cider -- along with your favorite craft beer -- to satisfy, quench and satiate your guests.

The Rumming Back

  • 2 ounces of Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum
  • 2 ounces of unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic apple cider
  • your favorite beer

Method: Add the rum and cider to your favorite beer mug. Fill the mug with your favorite beer. Repeat as necessary. Garnishes are out of bounds for this drink.

The tropical tones of the rum bring fun and sun to a cold weather day, while the apple cider evokes long standing traditions of American culture, history and simple pleasures. Your favorite beer adds effervescence, while infusing the cocktail with the refreshing feeling of game day spirit, of sharing good times with good friends.

Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum is a delicious way to evoke that barefoot, sand-in-your-toes feeling in your favorite libations. Developed by country legend Kenny Chesney, the brand has quickly become a standard bearer for the easy-going, fun-loving lifestyle that Americans enjoy.

At the beginning of his performances, Chesney asks his audience to let his music take them to a special, carefree place for a bit of relaxation and fun. With Blue Chair Bay Rum, he is extending a similar invitation for those that wish to enjoy good times at home with good friends.

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur from Louisiana

February 2, 2016 at 9:15pm

A unique variety of orange is the key ingredient for this delicious flavored rum made by Louisiana Spirits. Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur is a craft spirit made from locally sourced Satsuma tangerines with barrel aged rum made from local sugar cane.

While there are numerous orange liqueurs available, this vibrant citrus spirit based on the delicate Satsuma delivers a delightful flavor profile that stands above the crowd and makes a great substitute for a traditional Orange Curaçao liqueur.

"Citrus unshiu" is a unique variety of tangerine from Japan, sometimes referred to as the Cold Hardy Mandarin or Christmas Orange for its ability to thrive in temperate climates. The first Satsuma citrus trees in the Americas were planted by Jesuits in the 18th century at their plantation upriver from New Orleans.

As a testament to the popularity of this fruit with growers, there are towns named Satsuma located in Alabama, Florida, Texas and Louisiana.

Alluring aromas of tangerine slice candy and orange peel dominate the nose. On the palate, the taste is true to the fruit with bright tones of orange sorbet and tangerine peel over a bit of creamy vanilla...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Wicked Dolphin announces new beer barrel rum

January 31, 2016 at 6:15pm

Florida craft distiller Cape Spirits today announced the addition of a new expression to their portfolio of artisan spirits: Wicked Dolphin Rum Brewer's Series in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing.

Cape Spirits produces Wicked Dolphin rums at their artisan distillery in Cape Coral, Florida.

This new release is the first in a series that partners Wicked Dolphin Rum with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa. Oak Barrels that once held premium American Bourbon -- before aging Wicked Dolphin Rum for two years -- were filled by Cigar City with a tropical style stout.

Noted by dark roasted grains, cacao nibs, citrus and dark fruit aromas, Da un Beso a la Bottela stout beer was available only to Cigar City's El Catador Club.

The barrels were then given back to Wicked Dolphin to be filled once more with their award winning rum, this time absorbing the residual stout notes from the barrel. The result is a delightful osmosis of flavors.

This Wicked Dolphin Brewer's Rum series with Cigar City is a wonderful aged rum offering a soft nose of cocoa and light bourbon wood over vanilla, with a bit of cocoa butter and a hint of sherry. On the palate, the big bright entry of this 46% ABV spirit is truly unique. Vanilla, butter and wood lead to a dry mid-palate when a subtle warmth delivers an echo of hops into a dry finish dominated by lightly charred wood...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Corn & Oil cocktail from Barbados

January 27, 2016 at 5:15am

The classic two ingredient cocktail of Barbados is the Corn & Oil, consisting of good aged Bajan rum and falernum liqueur.

Falernum is a local specialty in Barbados -- a unique combination of ingredients that reflect tropical flavors. Almond, lime, clove and ginger are the most common ingredients, however, varieties with allspice, vanilla, or even strawberries have been seen.

Examples of good aged Bajan rums include Mount Gay Black Barrel or XO, Cockspur VSOR, Doorly's XO and Real McCoy 12 year old rum. Today, we'll use Doorly's 12 year old rum from Foursquare distillery.

This island cocktail recipe uses Taylor's Velvet Falernum from Barbados, but you could easily find falernum syrups from brands like BG Reynolds and Fee Brothers.

If you can't find authentic falernum at a store near you, there's plenty of easy recipes and variations online. You might prefer to make your own falernum with your own favorite ingredients.

Classic Bajan Corn & Oil

  • 2 parts Doorly's 12 year old rum
  • 1 part Taylor's Velvet Falernum

Method: in a rocks glass, add cubed ice. Pour rum and falernum over ice and stir to combine and chill. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

After enjoying this delicious libation on island, the classic Bajan Corn & Oil always takes you right back to Barbados.

Falernum Recipes
http://www.artofdrink.com/recipes/ingredient/falernum
http://rumdood.com/2009/04/14/homemade-falernum/
http://www.killingtime.com/Pegu/2009/02/26/tiki-ingredient-falernum/


Mezan Jamaica 2000 vintage rum

January 26, 2016 at 5:15am

From the legendary Long Pond Distillery in Trelawny, Jamaica, this vintage Jamaica 2000 expression from Mezan delivers the classic fruity and funky profile we've come to expect from legacy Jamaican distillers.

Mezan has built a reputation for bottling authentic, unadulterated spirits from notable producers in select destinations, and this Jamaica 2000 is no exception.

Long Pond is known for their long, slow fermentation cycles, allowing natural yeast to convert sugar to alcohol over a long period in the traditional manner. The addition of dunder from previous fermentations is an old technique long lost at modern distilleries.

This slow fermentation process builds rich and complex high ester flavor profiles, which are refined by a double distillation process in their traditional double retort pot still.

The result of this uniquely rich fermentation and rustic distillation is big rum flavor -- a reflection of style that made Jamaican rums famous the world over for centuries.

Aromas of sweet butter and charred oak, then big banana lead to subtle chardonnay with a hint of...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Yolo Gold aged rum from Panama

January 20, 2016 at 6:15pm

"You only live once" is the motto of a person who enjoys a sociable and luxurious lifestyle, and the theme behind this delicious dark aged rum.

Produced in Panama by master of rum Don "Pancho" Fernandez, Yolo Gold aged rum rests for ten years in charred oak bourbon barrels, developing a complexity of flavor and a deep mahogany color.

Philip Guerin's enthusiasm for rum lead him to establish the brand along with his wife Jessica. With a lifetime of experience in marketing and brand development, they assimilated their talents, their passion and their love for quality rum into this savvy Colorado-based brand.

This dark amber aged rum offers aromas of charred wood and toffee before a hint of burnt sugar balanced by a vegetal sweetness over cigar box. On the palate, cinnamon brûlée leads then fades to reveal a cognac-like wet wood into the long dry vanilla finish, well balanced between sweet and dry, offering a subtle hint of raw cocoa in the aftertaste.

Yolo Gold aged rum is the winner of numerous medals, including a Gold Award at the International Rum Expert Panel Tasting Competition in 2015...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


2016 St. Croix Rum Festival set for May

January 15, 2016 at 1:15pm

The Flavor Of Rum is the theme of the 2016 St. Croix Rum Festival to be held at the historical Fort Frederik in Frederiksted, St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands on May 29 of this year, from 3pm to midnight.

The event overlooks the magnificent backdrop of the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility, the main cruise ship port in St. Croix, nearby to Frederiksted Beach.

Since the early 1800s, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been producing some of the world's most notable rums, including the popular Cruzan brand.

In addition to many fine rum samples to taste, the festival features the best local food from some of St. Croix's finest cooks and restaurants, with live music from local and international entertainers, a Bikini Contest, a BBQ Rum Contest and a Flair Bartender Show Competition. Also on hand will be artists displaying handmade crafts -- a celebration of Virgin Islands' unique lifestyle and culture.

According to event promoter Mr. George Moore, "the St. Croix Rum Festival is about the celebration and appreciation of numerous rums -- a treat for both tourists and locals."

In addition to the Sunday rum festival, a schedule of...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple flavored rum from Florida

January 12, 2016 at 8:15pm

South Florida Distillers, makers of the award-winning Fwaygo Rum, have recently released a unique limited edition expression based on grilled pineapple: Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple Rum.

Delicious notes of caramelized pineapple over a well-crafted rum base deliver delightful tropical tones in Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple Flavored Rum.

The small distillery is located close to the largest tropical fruit farms in the United States. Their repeated experiments with pomiculture products lead to the development of this new variation.

Master Distiller Joe Durkin's passion for produce is notable. "I searched forever to find locally grown -- and most importantly -- ripened on the plant pineapples. I sliced them and dusted in cinnamon and sugar so the pineapple didn't dehydrate on the grill. I grilled them to get a nice caramelization and char."

Joe soaked the grilled pineapples in overproof for three months. He also soaked the skins in overproof distillate, then redistilled the infusion to pull out more fresh pineapple flavor. Finally, it was strained and blended with double barreled rum to get some woody spicy notes and a little more smoke.

The result is delicious. Bright aromas of cane are complimented by the caramelized pineapple notes over a hint of cinnamon apple pie and charred wood. On the palate, the fresh pot still rum makes a fine base for the tropical fruit notes, well balanced with a hint of butter and spice before the medium dry finish slowly fades.

Fwaygo Grilled Pineapple Rum is available in limited supply at South Florida Distillers for $49.95.

Among Joe's current works in progress is a...

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner


Plantation 5 year old artisanal rum from Barbados

January 5, 2016 at 1:15pm

With a reputation for double aging fine Caribbean rums, the Plantation brand presents the latest expression of this superb blend of five year old rums from Barbados.

After optimal aging in the Caribbean, Plantation's Barbados 5 Year Old rum is brought to the Ferrand Estate in France where it is further refined for several more months in small Cognac barrels.

This popular 5 year old Barbados rum presents a medium golden amber color. A smooth and sweet entry leads to rich banana flambé with a hint of vanilla, ripe butter, coconut and dried fruit flavors. Lingering tones of banana fade into a medium dry, slightly spicy finish.

For a relatively young rum, this expression shows unusually rich flavor and complexity, a result of skillful barreling and blending. At about $20 a bottle, Plantation's Barbados 5 Year Old rum is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks. It also brings great tropical flavors to premium cocktails.

Plantation Barbados 5 year old rum from Barbados earned a Best In Class Gold Award in the RumXP International Tasting Competition at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

Cognac Ferrand is one of the world's premier boutique producers of fine spirits and a leading architect of the artisanal, vintage and double aged rum movement. They produce limited-edition vintage rums from numerous Caribbean territories including Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Guadeloupe, Panama and Trinidad.

Cognac Ferrand has offices and production premises at Château de Bonbonnet in Ars, France and its brands are distributed in more than 40 countries. The brands available in the U.S. include the award-winning: Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, Mathilde Liqueurs, Plantation Rum, Landy Cognac, Cerbois Armagnac and Daron Calvados.

read more --> Rob's Rum Guide

read more --> Rum Examiner

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