Wild Geese Golden Rum

IMAG0011_1Relatively new to these shores, though released elsewhere in 2010, Wild Geese Rum is a range of three Rums, Golden, Premium and Caribbean Spiced. They are from the same stable as Wild Geese Irish Whiskey and I happened upon them whilst browsing for Rum online…..a pursuit that I often undertake. The marketing information spins a wonderful story………..

Voyages and Men

Ireland was torn by injustice and natural disaster. In the years leading up to the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, when The Exiles took the name the Wild Geese believing they would return, many had already been forced from their homes and transported to the Caribbean and Americas to work on plantations.

Hold Fast

Sent into darkness and exile they did not flinch when faced with this unimaginable horror. Many rebellions were to follow. Their story and courage has been largely untold until now.

Freedom

Determined to win freedom, those that escaped, blazed a trail across the endless blue as liberators and pirates of the Caribbean. Navigating their way across the featureless seas and against all odds their only option being to survive and succeed.

‘BY THE SWEAT OF OUR BROW AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR BACKS YOU WILL KNOW OUR COURAGE’ 

Peace

Wherever you are in the world, if you are of Irish descent you are part of this story and entitled to call yourself ‘Wild Geese’.

Wild Geese Golden Rum – 37.5% ABV

IMAG0008_1There is little to no information on the blend of Rums within Wild Geese Rum, therefore I decided to ask the question. I’ve been informed that Wild Geese Golden Rum is a blend of five Rums sourced from five distilleries. Again, similar to a recent post, the Rums are from Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, Angostura in Trinidad, Hampden in Jamaica, St Lucia Distillers in St Lucia and the excellent Foursquare in Barbados. The Rum from Guyana, St Lucia and Jamaica is pot distilled and the Rum from Barbados and Trinidad is column distilled. The constituent Rums are a mix of ages with the Rum from Barbados being 5 years old and the remaining 80% between 3 and 5 years old. Again they are blended, reduced to the bottling strength of 37.5% ABV, batched with caramel for colour only and then bottled. The Rum has gathered a host of awards over the past few years winning Rum XP Gold in 2013, Silver at the WSWA 2013, Bronze at the ISC 2013, Silver at the IWSC 2013, Gold from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2013 and was also rated 4.5/5 by Diffordsguide in 2013. Praise indeed but before moving onto my tasting notes, I have a few gripes. Firstly, the bottle label mentions that the Rum is ‘Part of the Internationally Acclaimed, Award Winning, Luxury Collection of Premium Spirits’…the term ‘Premium’ has lost its resonance with me now given it’s overuse of late. Is that where ‘Super Premium’ comes into play??? The ‘top of the range’ product from The Wild Geese Rum is actually called ‘Premium Rum’…..big shoes to fill. Secondly, the bottle label really confuses me. A Crystal Skull (we all know how that film turned out), a Pirate Ship against a moody moonlit backdrop and more text fonts and sizes than you can shake a stick at. I find it a little busy and confusing and quite unattractive. That aside, I’m not a treat for the eyes myself!  I do like the bottle shape though. As I keep telling people, ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’. Wild Geese Golden Rum is priced at around £19 a bottle which is right in line with Bacardi, Havana Club, Mount Gay, Appleton and Cockspur, so these will be the direct competitors if it makes it onto supermarket shelves, online is a different story.

IMAG0010_1Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a pale golden straw colour in the glass. Caramel, butterscotch and fudge lead the way. Vanilla then creeps up along with a light apricot syrup, the kind left over if you buy canned fruit. This is all rounded out by a little funkiness from the pot still Rums. It’s pretty pleasant stuff and bodes well for the tasting.

In the mouth: What strikes you immediately is how light a body this Rum has. The pot still element is the first thing that greets you alongside a mild spice. Vanilla and butterscotch follow with a little marzipan edge. It is, so far, totally consistent with the nose. The finish is quite short and is full of buttery fudge and that apricot syrup.

Mixed drinks pose another issue as the light body of the Rum requires something not too overpowering. With Coke, the pot still element shows through, but it’s the only thing that does. In a daiquiri, it works quite well as it is not overpowered by the citrus. It did work well in a little punch that I concocted using fresh lime juice, a passion fruit syrup and sugar syrup 50/50 mix, a good 60ml of Wild Geese Golden Rum and all topped up with peach nectar. Tasty stuff. There are several suggested cocktails on the Wild Geese Website here but in some, such as the Mai Tai, the Rum is overwhelmed by the other ingredients. For me, stick to simple and you won’t go far wrong.

This Rum is a good example of something that I think, on the visual front, is trying way too hard to stand out. So much so that what it actually does is mask what is clearly a decent, flavourful blend of Rums. You can hide behind crystal skulls and a marketing fanfare but put simply, this is a tasty, relatively inexpensive Rum, that is interesting due to the blend of Rums and the quality of the ingredients. The beauty of this issue is that if required, the label can be amended, and this is no way affects the product contained within. This is just my opinion though, so if you’ve tried it, if you love the presentation or have any other opinions, it’d be good to hear what you think.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Doorly’s XO

IMAG1183_1Stepping online and looking up into the £25 to £35 price bracket opens up a veritable feast of amazing Rums to those who are willing to look beyond the supermarket shelves (though some great Rums are available there too). One such Rum that makes you feel almost guilty of theft is Doorly’s XO. A Spanish Oloroso Sherry Cask finished blend of Rums from Barbados that offers incredible amounts of flavour and countless glasses of enjoyment. It’s a steal at £25 a bottle and can compete with other more expensive and also highly regarded Rums. It will come as no surprise then when I tell you that this is another Rum produced by Richard Seale at the amazing Foursquare Rum Distillery. You will have read about my love of all things Foursquare and Richard Seale in my article on R.L Seales 10 but if not, click here for some background information on the distillery and Rums.

Doorly’s XO – 40% ABV

IMAG1182_1Although there is no age statement on the bottle (there is on the 5 and 3), I have it on good authority that the minimum age of the Rum in the blend prior to the second maturation is 5 years old with the second maturation in seasoned Oloroso Sherry Casks is for a minimum of 1 year. This it seems is where the general consensus comes from that the youngest Rum in Doorly’s XO is 6 years old. There will be older Rums in the blend prior to the second maturation but the omission of an age statement gives Foursquare the flexibility in their control over the necessary time spent in casks of different ages at each maturation stage and it also allows them to emphasise the fact that the Rum is twice matured. This second maturation adds another level of interest to the Rum. Oloroso Sherry is a Dry Sherry with a nutty flavour profile. It is often used as a base to build upon to create sweeter sherries. In the case of a bottle of Matusalem Oloroso Sherry that I have, it is the addition of 25% Pedro Ximinez that sweetens the Oloroso Sherry and the flavours within that bottle really are something else. The bottle itself (although different in other territories) is a part of the family of Doorly’s Rums that sit on my shelf. The XO, 5 and 3 all have the same shape of bottle and all have the image of the Blue Hyacinth McCaw on them. The same label shape and size make for an attractive presentation when all lined up in their varying stages of emptiness…..at least at Rum Diaries HQ. A place which saw me finish and then re-purchase a bottle of Doorly’s XO whilst taking my tasting notes, such was my level of desire to get my notes correct…………..

Tasting Notes

IMAG1184_1In the glass: The Rum is a deep coppery orange in the glass and displays bountiful droplets with a slight reluctance to move. The Rum has deep caramel up front with aromas of orange oil and orange zest. There is a little spice tingle and a dark fruity oak. As the Rum warms up in the glass, coconut, peach, passion fruit and a little fudge reveal themselves.

In the mouth: The Rum is awash with peppery spice and heat initially, wrapped in a nutty sweetness. Orange zest and oak are also present. As the dominant spice subsides, the nutty, sherried oak comes to the fore with a little caramel sweetness. After time, the peach, passion fruit and coconut show up on the back-end. Further sips confirm the prominent spice but the sherried oak develops more quickly as your mouth acclimatises to it. This again develops into caramel, coconut and peach. The Rum has a beautiful character whereby it is the Rum, not the sherry that defines it. The sherry is the vehicle on which the other flavours are transported. There are no dead spots where you are left wanting for flavour. The Rum has a long finish that starts peppery and ends with toasted coconut, slight oaky bitterness and faint peach. Tobacco shows up as an after smell in the glass. An example of sherry maturation executed correctly. Never dominant and never defining the Rum, just allowing the right amount of influence to come through.

This Rum really does deserve a place on everyone’s shelf, not just those with a real interest in Rum. It sits at a very accessible price point and is equally at home neat, with a mixer, or in a drink such as the Corn ‘n Oil. It is a fine example of the craft of sherry maturation by a master of his craft. Wonderful, thought-provoking stuff and as a fanatic that buys a lot of Rum, it is an absolute steal for a Rum of this calibre.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Angostura Butterfly House

*Press Release*

FLUTTERING DRINKERS WITH THE HEART OF ANGOSTURA

The taste of Trinidad comes to London Cocktail Week as Angostura creates Butterfly House

Angostura Butterfly House 1

A truly unique experience will be coming to this year’s esteemed London Cocktail Week as Angostura rum brings tropical Trinidad to London’s Shoreditch. Open from Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th October, The Angostura Butterfly House will bring fluttering moments of joy to all who take a stroll within it.

When the butterflies dance, the sugar cane is ready for harvesting and at the Angostura Butterfly House an array of butterflies will be dancing to the tune of Trinidad’s legendary rum and bitters. Bringing to life the story of Angostura, the pop-up will offer visitors the chance to experience the sweet, sweet sights and tastes of the most treasured plantation fields.  Be embraced by friendly butterflies in the ethically created Butterfly House, press your own sugar cane juice and have it transformed into one of the delicious butterfly inspired Angostura rum cocktails on offer, sure to send you fluttering into the night.

A series of masterclasses and other events led by Angostura’s Master Distiller, John Georges and Global Ambassador, Mike Tomasic will also take place within this tropical paradise in the heart of Shoreditch at 31 New Inn Yard, including:

From Cane to Cocktail: all the way from Trinidad, House of Angostura’s Master Distiller, John Georges talks sugar cane and molasses while Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge winner and Global Brand Ambassador, Mike Tomasic leads a tasting of infused sugar cane juices v gomme syrups.  Thursday 9th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)

A Bitters Heart:  Angostura Aromatic Bitters is famed throughout the world for its ability to enhance flavours. Prepare to be surprised as Global Brand Ambassador, Mike Tomasic showcases an array of cocktails – each one of them including a whole shot of Dr Siegert’s classic creation.      Friday 10th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)

Nectar and Nous:  what would it be like to taste through your feet?  Imagine only being able to see green, yellow and red.  What an odd life you’d lead with no mouth to drink.  Be fascinated by the life of a butterfly as expert, Luke Brown (who has over 30 years experience in creating perfect environments for butterflies and has helped bring the Angostura Butterfly house to life) fires facts and figures while the guys at The Cocktail Lovers will create cocktails they’ll love to savour.  Saturday 11th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)

Float Like a Butterfly…:  No punches will be thrown, but the fight will fast and furious as reigning champion, Australia’s Mike Tomasic takes on Scotland’s Angostura City Sessions winners in a title defence of the House of Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge middleweight belt he won in March.  Three rounds, three drinks and plenty Ali-shuffles to some solid beats.  Sunday 12th October, 3.00pm – 5.00pm. Free entry.

Angostura Butterfly House 2THE ANGOSTURA BUTTERFLY HOUSE will be located at 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY

Opening times as follows:

Thursday 9th October 16:00 – 23:00

Friday 10th October 12:00 – 23:00

Saturday 11th October 12:00 – 23:00

Sunday 12th October 12:00 – 23:00

Masterclasses/Events:

From Cane to Cocktail: Thursday 9th October, 15.00 – 16.00.  £9 (16 places)

A Bitters Heart: Friday 10th October, 15.00 – 16.00.  £9 (16 places)

Nectar and Nous: Saturday 11th October, 15.00 – 16.00. £9 (16 places)

Float Like a Butterfly…: Sunday 12th October, 15.00 – 17.00. Entry Free

Everyone is welcome to enter the Angostura Butterfly House and entry is free. Tickets for the masterclasses are priced at £9 and can be purchased in advance via the London Cocktail Week website: http://www.londoncocktailweek.com/events

*End*

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

RumFest….One Month To Go….

*Press Release*

TOTS AT THE READY, IT’S RUM TIME

rum experience no date

JUST ONE MONTH TILL LONDON HOSTS THE WORLD’S PREMIER RUM CELEBRATION, THE RUMFEST

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th October 2014
London’s ILEC – Earl’s Court
rumfest.co.uk

JET_2763C

Fans rejoice as The RumFest returns to the UK on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October with a fresh look and a new venue. London’s ILEC Centre in Earl’s Court will play host to the eighth annual event, a celebration of rum and rum culture and in particular for 2014, a look at some of the most premium blends on the market. As a finale to the London Cocktail Week celebrations, attendees can sip and savour tipples from the vast variety of rums available from all over the world. Whether household and revered names like Bacardi, Havana Club, Diplomatico, Angostura and Mount Gay to discovering the industry’s best bourgeoning or spirits such as Duppy Share, Pusser’s and Abelha, there is no other place in the world to rejoice in a love of rum. Not only this, The Rumfest is a chance for both novices and discerning drinkers alike to delve deeper into this vibrant culture, with a variety of masterclasses and seminars including cocktail workshops, rum and marshmallow pairing and chef & cocktail demos. Complete with a very special charity auction hosted by Christie’s supporting WaterAid and a carnival atmosphere, The Rumfest is the perfect place to bring the warmth of summer into the autumn months, a truly ‘rum-derful’ thing indeed. Tickets are now on sale for £49.95 available with more information from the The RumFest website. To apply for press accreditation visit the online application form.

The RumFest embodies the heart and soul of the spirit and the passion of its founder Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador. Recognised worldwide as the go-to event in Europe for the rum category, it brings together the world’s biggest, smallest, established and up-and-coming brands for a weekend of celebration, discovery and community.

Now in its eighth year the two-day event attracts both consumer and trade professionals alike, succeeding in developing even the most educated rum fans knowledge whilst introducing the spirit to complete novices. 2014’s RumFest will take proceedings to the new heights with a focus on the premium brands and blends within the category. The all-new Golden Tot Tokens will give visitors the opportunity to take part in some exclusive tastings of ultra-premium blends that retail between £80 – £2000 a bottle. With limited amounts available, visitors are urged to get in quick before stocks of these exquisite blends run out fast.

Guests are invited to take part in Seminars, Masterclasses and Workshops taking place across the two days set to bring to light the delights of the category. Seminars hosted by prestigious brands including Angostura, Diplomatico, Mount Gay, Havana Club and Don Q who will take attendees on an intimate journey of rum discovery. A selection of the industry’s greatest ambassadors including Richard Seale of Foursquare rum and one of the world’s best distillers Michael Delevante, will share their wealth of knowledge with a captivated audience. Food will also play a big part in this year’s proceedings with chocolate and marshmallow pairings, plus live cooking demonstration on the main stage washed down with handmade cocktails from the Global Rum Ambassador himself. Finally, the floor will be filled with live bands, souk dancers and the spirit of rum fully embraced in the ultimate party hour finale each day. A truly ‘rum-derful’ thing indeed.

The RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC Conference Centre, Earl’s Court on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October 2014. Standard tickets are now on sale at £49.95 via the website, which include access to all areas of the event and single measure tastings from the majority of exhibitors. Golden Tot Tokens are £5 each and allow for additional access to the more premium rums on offer. One token can be exchanged for rum retailing £80 – £100 and more expensive rums will be available for additional tokens. This year as a precursor to The RumFest, Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell will host a very special world record attempt for the World’s Largest Rum Tasting on Thursday 9th October. Limited tickets are available and can be purchased for just £10 via the RumFest website.

*End*

I’d love to say that I wasn’t at all excited about RumFest…..but we all know that would be a lie……

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rumburra Orach

RB-logoYou can be forgiven for having never heard of this particular Rum brand as I most certainly had no idea of their existence until a chance Twitter based encounter made me very intrigued by the Rum. One thing led to another and I find myself in possession of a bottle of Rumburra Orach. Rumburra is a play on the Rums Edinburgh origins and Orach is the Gaelic way of saying Golden. I always like to find out the source of the Rums in a blend and I am keen to understand the origins and background of a brand.

Just over twelve months ago, Gregor Hutt, along with other family members, decided to start a project blending their own Rum. They sourced a contract distiller to blend the Rum and set about obtaining a selection of Caribbean Rum. The Rum itself is a blend of four overproof Rums that are aged in their country of origin prior to being blended, reduced to bottling strength and bottled in Scotland. Numerous attempts were made to adjust the quantities of each of the Rums in the blend to arrive at the current bottled product.

Rumburra Orach – 40% ABV

Rumburra Bottle 1

Rumburra Bottle 2The blend, composed entirely from Column Distilled Rums, comprises a 6-year-old Rum from Guyana’s Demerara Distillers Limited, a 3-year-old Rum from Jamaica’s Hampden Distillery, a 1-year-old Rum from Barbados’s Foursquare Distillery and a 1-year-old Rum from Trinidad’s Angostura Distillery. All rums are blended and left to marry for a short period prior to the 70% ABV Rum blend being reduced to its bottling strength of 40% ABV. Flavourless caramel colouring is added to the blend to stabilise the colour of the batches after the water has been added and it is bottled not too far from Edinburgh city centre. Gregor is quite keen to hammer home the point that aside from the Scottish Water and Caramel Colouring, nothing else is added to the blend. Good information to know.

The label is quite understated with only black and silver present. It should catch your eye on a shelf when placed next to a myriad of colourful labels so shouldn’t get lost. The rum is a nice dark golden colour in the bottle and it looks pretty inviting……so let me tell you how it tastes.

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The rum displays itself as a light, vibrant gold and swirling the glass releases long thin legs. The first aroma to spring from the glass is that of a fruity honey. There is absolutely no astringency at all with the rum. Slight Demerara notes come through alongside overripe banana and malted milk biscuits. Light caramel carries the banana further forward alongside subtle sugarcane notes and fresh mango. There is a light aroma of pink shrimp foam sweets and marshmallow. This is a very pleasant Rum to sit with and the blend really does bring character to it and it hints at a complexity within. I can’t wait to taste it.

In the mouth: The rum is very balanced on entry. It washes over your mouth with a light bite of pepper. This immediately subsides and leaves your mouth awash with fruit but this rapidly dries out. Peaches, and light but certainly present Demerara drag along caramel. Further sips reveal honey, a touch of leather and cherries. It has a medium body and on the way down it leaves your mouth with a peppery bite and a hint of the savoury. The finish is of a medium length and full of oak and peach loop sweets. Tobacco rounds out the aromas as you sniff the glass.

The rum is really well-balanced and the flavours aren’t clamouring for your attention. It is not as complex to taste as it is to smell but that is in no way a bad thing. It is quite an understated product that creates no fuss in its presentation yet provides way more depth and character than numerous other Rums that have high marketing budgets and have ad campaigns and labels full of words such as Premium.

I have also been informed of a few cocktail recipes that have been worked on by the folks at Rumburra. They have no names but one is a definite winter warmer whilst the other sounds like a very refreshing summery concoction. They can be found at the bottom of this article.

This Rum retails for around £25 a bottle and at that price, for me, you get a very tasty Rum. It isn’t available in many outlets at all which is a real shame as this deserves to be way more well-known than it is.

Cocktails

Ingredients:

37.5ml Rumburra Orach

50ml Cloudy Apple Juice

20ml Cabernet Sauvignon

20ml Ginger & Lemongrass Cordial

2 dashes of Chocolate Bitters

Method:

Mix all ingredients into a heat proof jug and steam using a coffee machine steaming wand. Serve in a Martini glass with a large orange tweel.

Ingredients:

50ml Rumburra Orach

25ml Lime Juice

50ml Clear Apple Juice

Half a Granny Smith Apple

Small bunch of Coriander

A pinch of Black Pepper

Method:

Muddle all ingredients in a Boston glass. Shake well with ice and strain into a Collins glass. Top with Ginger Ale.

Both sound great!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Don Papa Rum

Don Papa Text

*Edit – Countless amateur sugar and now lab tests have been carried out on this product. I can say with some confidence based on the data that this is not something that should be considered Rum. 2.4 g/L of glycerol and 29 g/L of added sugars were found in the result data. I simply cannot recommend such a product when it is masquerading as something that it is not. These are personal opinions remember, but I have my eyes opened on this product in particular*

Don-Papa-Rum

Don Papa Rum had been on my radar for a while as I’d seen the images from Rumfest and already thought that the label design was a real knockout…..it looks as though you could almost tear it off and use it as currency! I was very keen to get my hands on a bottle given the marketing of the product, its unique origins in the Philippines (as I’m only aware of one other brand from that location), and the buzz surrounding its imminent launch over here in the UK. I was fortunate enough to attend the Boutique Bar Show in Manchester in early May where I got to try a lot of spirits……including Don Papa. I think that there was maybe a little palate fatigue on the day, coupled with the fact that I’d just imbibed a drop of Brimstone which killed my sense of taste for a good half an hour or so, as I wasn’t fully able to make my mind up about my feelings on the rum beyond the initial heavy sweetness….I knew that I needed a little more time with it though to address it alone.
Anyhow, more about the brand. Don Papa Rum or The Don is a rum inspired by the actions and story of one of the unsung heroes of the Philippine Revolution: Dionisio Magbuelas, better known locally as ‘Papa’ Isio. Initially a foreman at a sugar plantation, Papa Isio, also a healer, shaman, seer, rebel and leader of a group of babaylanes, played a pivotal role during the late 19th Century Philippine Revolution. Papa Isio’s spirit and leadership played a critical part if freeing Negros from Spanish Rule, ultimately leading to independence for the Philippines, his beloved country. Don Papa Rum which was created in 2011 is said to embody Papa Isio’s spirit of independence, irreverence and sense of justice. That’s it for the flashy marketing anyway.

Don Papa Rum – 40 % ABV

2014-05-21 21.11.05-1

As for a little about the Rum, Don Papa is a ‘premium aged small batch rum’ from the isle of Negros Occidental in the Philippines which utilises locally sourced sugarcane. Negros Occidental is said to have an ideal climate and a rich, volcanic soil that is ideally suited to sugarcane production. Don Papa is aged at the foothills of Mount Kanalaon for 7 years prior to being blended. Bit of a strange one given the age of the company vs the age of the Rum…..also there is no mention of a distillery either…..things are not looking good. Right, onto the notes…………

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The rum displays itself a lot darker in the bottle but is dark gold and orange in the glass. Vanilla instantly billows out of the glass along with a little citrus. There is a ripe fruit note akin to a warm strawberry compote. Swirling the glass shows the rum to be very thick and almost syrupy. Orange oils are carried on the vanilla along with a synthetic apricot jelly sweetness being backed up with cinnamon and raisin spice. There is hint of something very similar to Tizer or Irn-Bru and it is all rounded out by warm custard. There is no trace of anything that I have come to know as Rum. From the aromas alone I am bracing myself for some real heavy sweetness.

In the mouth: The entry of this is very sweet and all vanilla. Raisins, syrup, candied citrus peel and Christmas cake. Dried apricots follow alongside sugary mango pieces. Cola is also very prominent as is custard and crème brulee both in flavour and in the mouth feel. Egg custard and nutmeg is another thing that is brought to mind. There is a backbone of citrus running through it and it is almost to the point of being orange liqueur like. It is a spiced Rum, even though it is not being marketed as such. The finish is of a medium length and starts off with orange sweetness and ends slightly dry with a tiny bit of oak at the end.

0-5-star

This ‘Rum’ sits on the sweeter end of the spectrum and will most certainly have its fans, I can see why. It is an easy way into the world of Rum for those who prefer bold, vanilla sweetness and it will tick the right boxes for a lot of people and bars. It also mixes well in the right drink. As with most things, I prefer to spread positive thoughts and honesty whilst always bearing in mind that the purpose of this whole venture for me is to get people drinking good quality Rum. I would see this as not meant for me. It would be an easy drinking introduction for anyone new to the category and would hopefully lead to further interest and a willingness to seek out some really amazing Rums moving forwards…..and this can happen. I have seen this play out in my own experiences. My tastes have developed and perhaps matured a little and whilst I have a pretty sweet tooth generally, (though not as much for my spirits these days) and I am a big fan of certain spiced Rums that have gained mixed opinions based on their sweetness, I just find this particular liquid too sweet for my personal tastes which is a real shame. On top of this, the flavour profile doesn’t sit well with me.

One thing that I would love to see is a lot more clarity. The label mentions the words ‘rich smooth taste, and just a touch of vanilla’ but not in a way that would make me entertain that the vanilla, or any other enhancement is added to the mix prior to tasting. If the rum were to label itself as spiced and it really does, for me, have a lot more in common with certain spiced rums, I think that I’d feel slightly more comfortable with the flavour profile and feel that it sits within a group where I would expect to find flavour adjustments. I do still think that it’d be too sweet for me though. Perhaps as a dessert accompaniment it would work well, in the right quantity it also adds a welcome flavour to a mixed drink and for those out there with a really sweet tooth, it’ll be a sure-fire hit.

As per usual, we would love to hear your experiences of Don Papa……We also love to share so feel free to pop in and sample the rum……

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Worlds Largest Rum Tasting

*Press Release*

GLOBAL RUM AMBASSADOR TO STAGE THE WORLD’S LARGEST RUM TASTING AS PRECURSOR TO EIGHTH ANNUAL RUMFEST

rum experience no date

Very limited spaces available to the Guiness World Record attempt and tickets available now on a first come first serve basis

Thursday 9th October 2014,
London’s ILEC, Earl’s Court

Tickets at £10, now on sale from rumfest.co.uk

JET_3588CGlobal Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell is inviting rum fans to become official record breakers as he bids to take the title of ‘World’s Largest Rum Tasting’ at what is set to be the biggest rum tasting experience ever to be staged. Taking place on Thursday 9th October as a precursor to the eighth annual The RumFest, rum enthusiasts will be treated to a tasting experience at London’s ILEC Conference Centre, Earl’s Court where they will be able to sample and discover rums from six prestigious rum brands. These brands have been hand-picked by Burrell especially for the event and reflect the diversity of blends, taste and style on offer across the rum category and will be presented by some of the industry’s leading names. From Appleton’s Jamaican-style Rum presented by esteemed Master Blender Joy Spence, to a Rum which bring a bit of history to the evening with Pusser’s Navy Rum presented by Peter Thornton and George Freegard, to Trinidadian-style Angostura presented by Master Distiller John  Georges, this will be a unique and one-off evening for rum lovers. Officially adjudicated by a Guinness World Records representative and hosted by Ian Burrell, tickets are available to buy now for only £10 and tables of 10 can be pre-booked for groups, all available with more information on all four days of events from The RumFest website.

JET_2654CFor the first time in history, RumFest invites guests to become part of a record-breaking attempt to host the world’s largest rum tasting, with hundreds of rum enthusiasts coming together to sample six esteemed rums from across the globe.

Representing Jamaica, Appleton’s Rum will be sipped and savoured with commentary from revered Master Blender, Joy Spence, whilst the Spanish style of rum, Don Q will be sipped and savoured with a yet to be announced speaker. For a historical twist Pusser’s Navy Rum will be presented by George Freegard and Peter Thornton. Angostura will bring a taste of Trinidad to the evening hosted by Master Distiller John Georges and the delights of Cuban’s classic Havana Club will be a part of the World Record Attempt with one final rum to be announced in the coming weeks.

Doors will open at 5pm where guests will be greeted with a welcome speech from Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest founder Ian Burrell, followed by an introduction to the rules and regulations of the Guinness World Records. From 6.30pm the world record attempt will begin as guests taste the six rums from some of the world’s most revered rum distilleries followed by an audience Q&A and the presentation of the Guinness World Records certificate.

Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest Founder Ian Burrell comments, “The possibility of hosting the World’s Largest Rum Tasting is incredibly exciting and we cannot wait to share the experience with so many rum lovers and it will be the perfect way to kick off what will be four days of superb rum celebrations. Rum is a spirit loved by many and to have the chance to taste six esteemed rums hosted by their top master blenders, ambassadors and distillers is an honour and a privilege. I cannot wait to share it with you all!”

The RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC on Friday 10th for press and trade and Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th October 2014 for trade and consumers. Standard tickets are now on sale at £49.95 for Saturday and Sunday, which include access to all areas of the the event and single measure tastings from the majority of exhibitors. The brand new Golden Tot Tokens are £5 each and allow for additional access to the more premium rums on offer. One token can be exchanged for rum retailing £80 – £100 and more expensive rums will be available for additional tokens. For full information please visit the RumFest website.

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