Manchester Rum Festival

*Press Release*

RUM AT THE READY FOR MANCHESTER’S FIRST

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Manchester’s first ever rum festival is coming to town this year, thanks to freelance drinks curator Dave Marsland, aka the Drinks Enthusiast.

Located at Revolución De Cuba, the festival will be held on Saturday 3rd June, and will boast over 40 types of rum including Bacardi, Chairman’s Reserve, Diplomático, Sailor Jerry and Mezan. Brunches, afterparties and shenanigans galore will mean it’ll be a Caribbean affair from dusk ’til dawn.

Tickets cost £15 for the festival (brunches and afterparties not included) which runs from 12pm-5pm, and include a welcome drink by sponsor Coco Re’al, along with a taster from each of the 15 stalls as you work your way round exploring the top brands.

And if that’s not enough booze for you, a team of mixologists and brand ambassadors will be on hand at the cocktail bar serving up a selection of rum cocktail favourites.*

Dave Marsland said “Rum is a staple within the Manchester bar scene, especially with the popularity of venues such as Revolución De Cuba, so I wanted to celebrate it! There’s so many incredible rum brands I felt the best way to celebrate them would be with a festival.

The festival will host entertainment, themed food and drinks offers and gifts, so we really are going all out, plus there’ll be events running throughout the day to get everyone in Manchester involved. I’m just looking forward to meeting guests on the day and seeing how popular the already much-loved brands become.”

Details for brunches and after parties and further rum promotions will be announced soon, but here’s how to purchase your ticket to the main festival – http://www.manchesterrumfestival.com/whats-on

I’ve also been able to get a few images of the cocktails on offer at the festival….these include a Bacardi Mojito, Banks Swedish Rum Punch, Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai and Pusser’s & Re’al Painkiller.

Mojito using Bacardi

Mojito using Bacardi

Swedish Rum Punch using Banks 5 Island

Swedish Rum Punch using Banks 5 Island

Mai Tai using Chairmans Reserve

Mai Tai using Chairmans Reserve

Painkiller using Pussers

Painkiller using Pussers

*End*

So there we are…the venue has been announced. The list of exhibitors is growing and there is something in the line up for those new to the category and for those growing tired of the additive laden side of the market seeking something pure and refined. This coupled with cocktails and a host of other events in the city, it looks set to be pretty amazing. Being so close to us, we’d be foolish not to attend. See you there?

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2017. 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.

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Rumnaissance…..Rum Diaries Blog at Manchester Science Festival

msf-logoThis one is a little bit of a personal post asking (pleading) for your support as I take my first steps into talking to members of the public about the Rum in their glass.

It is worthwhile pointing out that the evening will be in its most basic form, a Rum tasting, but with added information about production and categorization. The event title is Rumnaissance and I have pieced together a little look at the breakdown of how I plan to structure the night:

Rums classifications have become somewhat outdated. Location based style classification is difficult as many rums straddle a line between styles. Colour based classification along with such horrific terms such as ‘Premium’ and ‘Super Premium’ give no indicators of true intrinsic value.  A new classification system proposed by Velier’s Luca Gargano and backed by Foursquare Distillery’s Richard Seale highlights a category of identification based upon the method of distillation employed in the Rums production.

During the evening we will discuss the proposed categorisation which from the top down is split into the distillation categories of batch and continuous, and then into further categories. We will look at the basic principles behind each distillation method, how they are used in Rum production and further explore how this relates to the proposed categories. We will also look at the effects that contact with wood has on a new spirit and also how Tropical age delivers a different result to European age.

To help you along during all of this we will be tasting Rums that demonstrate these categories as we discuss them. You’ll get to try Rum-Bar Aged and unaged “Pure Single Rum” from Worthy Park in Jamaica, Doorly’s “Single Blended Rum” from Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, Admiral Rodney “Traditional Rum” from St Lucia Distillers, “Agricole Rhum” from Martinique, and Ron Cubay “Rum” from Cuba. You’ll also get to try Glorious Revolution, an Unaged 100% Pot Distilled Rum made here in the UK by Spirit Masters. A few nibbles will be provided during the break, but even then, you’ll be tasting at least 6 or 7 Rums so it is advisable to fill up before you arrive.

The link to purchase tickets is here and it would be great to have your support if you can make it.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2016. 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.

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Boutique RumFest

rum experience no date

Firstly, a little aside. If you have read any content on this site previously, you will know how much we enjoy and respect the work of Foursquare Rum Distillery’s Richard Seale. At Boutique RumFest we got to meet him. The evening was destined to be enjoyable after that moment.

So, on to the Boutique RumFest.

The whole experience was our first chance to sample the delights of the weekend as events had previously conspired to keep us away. We were fortunate enough to be allowed access to the Boutique RumFest which started off proceedings at 3pm on the Friday. We arrived at Euston, jumped in a taxi, checked into the hotel, took on refreshments and undertook the arduous journey down the stairs to the ILEC Conference Centre. Once inside we were greeted by a whole host of brands that we had not previously heard of and a few that we were familiar with. First up was Gold of Mauritius, who through good fortune, we had prior knowledge of. Amazingly, the Rums producer, Frederic Bestel was in attendance. There were then a few brands that we had not previously heard of. Amrut’s Two Indies Rum, various Rums (flavoured and unflavoured) from Fiji courtesy of Paradise Beverages, Koval Rum from Chicago and Sippin from London. All unique and interesting products in their own right. Familiar brands were also present in Ron Cubay, The Duppy Share, Dos Maderas, Clarkes Court, Green Island, Ron Centenario, Seven Fathoms, Opthimus, The Real McCoy, English Harbour and St Nicholas Abbey.

So many brands in a confined area for us to speak to, the beauty of the Boutique RumFest lies in the fact that you can grab more time with the exhibitors to hear about the Rums and their plans.

20141010_160402Two Indies

Two Indies from Amrut, which should hopefully see a release in the UK pre-Christmas is a blend of younger Caribbean Rums from Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana blended with a 3-year-old Indian Rum made from Jaggery Goor which is palm sugar obtained from the Date palm Tree. We have plenty of experience with jaggery goor (one half of Rum Diaries just happens to be Bengali) and when poured over fresh Luchi (a Bengali flatbread) it is sublime! This Rum was a real treat and I hope to grab a bottle as soon as it sees a release.

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Paradise Beverages

Paradise Beverages has a vast array of their Fijian Rums. Flavoured Rums included Golden Honey, Coconut, Coffee, White Chocolate, Banana (very successful which is hard to execute), Rum Liqueur and they also had a White Rum.  Their range of Bounty Rums included a great Overproof Rum, Dark Rum, Spiced Rum and a White. Stepping things up they also had Ratu Spiced Rum, Ratu 5 Year Old Dark Rum and their limited release Lautoka 12 Year Old Solera Rum. We really need to reacquaint ourselves with these Rums as the range has a lot to offer.

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Sippin

Sippin had a very interesting pair of flavoured Rums. Both at 37.5% abv, there is a Mulled expression flavoured with Orange, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger amongst other things which is going to be just right for drinking in a month or so as the weather chills and a Spiced expression containing Lime, Honey and Ginger which is both refreshing and has a real kick of heat from the ginger. Both would be ideal served hot or cold. Good stuff.

20141010_181441Dos Maderas

Dos Maderas with their sherry cask finishing methods add a new dimension to the base Rums and we would like more time with all there expressions. They had three expressions. The 5 + 3, 5 + 5 PX and Luxus. All expressions utilise Rums aged in their countries of origin, Barbados and Guyana. They are then shipped over to Bodega Williams and Humbert and aged for a second period. The 5 + 3 utilises 5 Year Old Rums and has an additional 3 Year Solera ageing in their 20 Year Old Dos Cortados Sherry Casks. The 5 + 5 PX utilises the same process and base Rums but also has another 2 Year Solera ageing in their 20 Year Old Don Guido (Pedro Ximinez) casks. The Luxus utilises 10 Year Old Rums as a base and then undergoes an additional 5 Year Solera ageing in their 20 Year Old Don Guido (Pedro Ximinez) casks. Rancio is the key word here………

20141010_184308St Nicholas Abbey

St Nicholas Abbey is a brand that we are  familiar with. We own the White and 10 Year Old Expressions and really enjoy them both. We also got to try the 15 Year Old…unbelievable stuff. New to the line-up is the natural progression for St Nicholas Abbey, their own 5 Year Aged Rum. Made on their estate, in their still, and aged by them. Both the taste and aroma are wonderful and come it’s 2015 release, interest should be at hysteria levels for this Rum, and rightly so.

20141010_160514The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy is a brand that we’ve had our eye on for a while given that its origins can be found at Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. The Real McCoy is the Rum inspired by William McCoy, a Rum Runner who during prohibition times anchored off the coast of Long Island and supplied Rum to the knowledgeable few. We got to meet Bailey Pryor, company CEO and Emmy Award winning Director of The Real McCoy, a film about the life of William McCoy. We already had high expectations for these Rums and this was confirmed once we got to try them. The 3, 5 and 12 Year Old expressions are a great representation of Bajan Rum and once again, a real credit to Foursquare Distillery. They are not just repeats of Doorlys 3 and 5, they are their own animal and display their own characteristics whilst still belonging to the Foursquare stable.

2014-10-02 15.07.18Gold Of Mauritius

Gold of Mauritius is a brand that we have recently come to know as I was fortunate enough to meet a few weeks ago with Darius from Trilogy Beverages who are distributing the Rum in the UK. The Rum is an interesting one for sure and talking with Darius and Fred gave an insight into the processes involved and the essential barrel choice and barrel prep. The Rum has a pretty unique character that allows it to be unbelievably tasty on its own but also allows it to mix well. I also had the opportunity to try something that was pulled from beneath the counter.I REALLY need to try it again as it was another beautiful Rum.

20141010_193538Ron Cubay

Ron Cubay, a brand that we have believed in since their arrival in the UK had their new Extra Viejo expression available for tasting for the first time in UK. It is a blend of aged stock, both white and dark, which is then filtered before bottling in one of the most striking presentation bottles that we’ve ever seen, all accompanied by a beautiful display box. Look out for an update to the Ron Cubay article soon to including tasting notes for the Extra Viejo.

20141010_200454English Harbour

This then leads nicely onto what we believe was the truly defining moment of the whole evening. Antigua Distillery Ltd had brought along their English Harbour line of Rums. The 5 Year Old you can already read about on Rum Diaries Blog. We also got to sample the 10 Year Old which kicked things up a notch in terms of depth of flavour but still had that satisfying kick. They had also brought along the 25 Year Old English Harbour 1981. It was beautiful. Probably one of the more complex Rums that we have tasted up to this point. It was a discussion point all evening between us, so much so that whilst sitting in Euston Station on Monday morning awaiting the train home, we ordered a bottle.

 

We were also able to meet up with Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack, Ben Gane of Drink More Rum, Robert Burr of Rob’s Rum Guide, Helena Tiare Olsen of A Mountain Of Crushed Ice and numerous other Rum Royalty. We also had the opportunity to meet up with some wonderful distributors too. Maya and Francis from Distillnation, Jenny from Sip Or Mix, George and Jessica from The Westbourne Drinks Company and Darius from Trilogy Beverages to name a few. Boutique RumFest was a really great opportunity to experience new Rums and to get an insight into the processes involved in getting a new brand to market away from the noise of the main event……but of course the highlight for us was having a photograph taken with Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador. A real gent and a true champion of 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.

 

Ron Cubay

This is a new one for me and maybe for most of you…..unless of course you’ve visited Cuba, which means that you will be more than well versed with the delights that this range of rums has to offer! Cuban rums hold a special place for me as it was Havana Club Anejo Especial ( a rum that my wife had a fondness for and introduced me to ) that became one of my staple drinks and one of my entry points into the world of rum. Anyway, I digress. It is Ron Cubay that I’m talking about and please forgive me if ‘talking’ becomes ‘raving’.

Cubay Label

A little rum history to begin with. Rum production was first undertaken in Cuba in the 17th Century when sugarcane was used to create a crude molasses wine which would eventually be called Ron, or Rum. The sugarcane that was used was first introduced to Cuba in 1493 by Christopher Columbus on his return visit after discovering the Island on his first voyage to the Americas in 1492. The sugarcane, which had come from Spain from its origins in the Far East grew well in Cuba’s climate and soon became its main crop. In the 19th Century, rum production in Cuba really ramped up with places such as Havana, Cardenas and Santiago de Cuba beginning to produce large quantities of rum for export.

Fast forward to 1964 and Ron Cubay was founded in Santo Domingo, Villa Clara, which is centrally located in Cuba. The Cubay rums are produced by the distilleries of Cuba Ron S.A which also produce Havana Club. The Ron Cubay brand was only ever intended for domestic consumption, hence the reason that we are only just seeing it in the UK with it only having a presence in Europe since 2010. Distribution rights within the UK are held by a company called JBE Imports and it is thanks to Jonathan of JBE imports that I have the opportunity to sample and write about these rums.

Cubay Bottles

Although the Ron Cubay range consists of 5 rums……a 3-year-old Carta Blanca, a 4-year-old Carta Dorada, a 5-year-old Anejo Suave, a 7-year-old Anejo and a 10-year-old Anejo Reserva Especial, it is only the 3, 7 and 10-year-old expressions that will be marketed in the UK. As it has been making waves in Europe, particularly in The Netherlands, Ron Cubay has also been collecting awards with the Anejo winning Best Golden Rum at the 2012 Dutch Rum Awards and the Anejo Reserva Especial winning Best Premium Rum at the 2012 Dutch Rum Awards. All of which is nice, but what you really want to know is how it tastes…..so here goes.

Tasting Notes – Ron Cubay Carta Blanca

In the glass: The rum is clear but does display a slight golden hue. Immediately you get green sugarcane and a freshness. No harshness at all and a little sweetness.

In the mouth: There is a slight sugarcane on your tongue and a little fruity sweetness. The finish is medium length and leaves you with a grassy, fresh sugarcane taste. It’s clear that this rum will mix well.

I wanted to use the rum in a drink that would allow the rum to be at the fore, therefore I went for a daiquiri, or more specifically, a Hemingway Daiquiri. If you look online there are numerous recipes with varying quantities, some have sugar syrup as well as maraschino liqueur and others have an insane amount of lime. Truth is, as mentioned previously, you will find a combination that suits you, and you wont believe how different this tastes to a standard Daiquiri. I don’t like mine too sour so I opted for 10ml fresh lime juice, 10ml fresh ruby grapefruit juice, 10ml Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and 50ml Ron Cubay Carta Blanca. Put it all in a Boston Shaker with plenty of cubed ice and shake well for about 10 seconds so as not to dilute too much. Double strain into a pre-chilled glass of your choice, mine is a rocks glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry if you desire, I just dive straight in.

Cubay Carta Blanca

Tasting Notes – Ron Cubay Anejo

In the glass: The rum is a bright golden colour and there is an initial brown sugar and honeyed vanilla aroma. The rum smells quite light and doesn’t look to viscous in the glass but there is a nice light sweet fruit depth to the rum that I can’t quite put my finger on.

In the mouth: The rum tastes quite light and doesn’t coat your mouth too heavily but my word its tasty. The sweetness that I couldn’t put my finger on is displaying itself as an almost pineapple and peach mixture. I then get a wave of warming vanilla. The rum has a medium finish and ends with brown sugar and fruit. The glass, once empty, which happens far too quickly, displays the trademark leather and tobacco aromas and it is unbelievable. This rum is so easy to drink neat, I forgot to mix it with anything and continued to sip glass after glass, enjoying each one more than the last.

Cubay Anejo

Tasting Notes – Ron Cubay Reserva Especial

In the glass: The rum is a deep mahogany brown and shows itself to be more viscous than the Anejo. It hits you straight away with dark brown sugar and an almost treacle sweetness. You can smell warm honey drenched peaches and a little spiciness. This all leaves a lasting vanilla above the glass when you leave it to sit. It smells like it has more going on than the Anejo in terms of complexity.

In the mouth: Instant warming sweetness envelops your mouth and it leads with treacle and a liquorice feel. Almost bonfire toffee. Not chewy in any way but like you’re about to enjoy fireworks! This gives way to a warm but not bitter oakiness and a little spicy vanilla. There is a little kick on the back of the tongue and it just lets you know that its there. It has quite a long vanilla and toffee finish. Its amazing what another 3 years in the barrel can do over and above the Anejo. It also benefits from the additional 2% abv that it has over the Anejo with the Reserva Especial weighing in at 40%.

Cubay 10

 

So that pretty much sums up my experiences so far with Ron Cubay. It’s not as well-known ( in the UK ) as other Cuban Brands, but it has equally as much to offer and at the potential price point, could offer incredible value should demand lead to a presence with your favourite online retailer’s. I for one am sold on these rums, particularly the Anejo which I think it’s a very nice rum to sip at any time and now having tried the Reserva Especial to complete my tasting of the range, you can really tell that this is truly a family of rums and the Reserva Especial is that natural progression from the Anejo in terms of complexity and quality. It is my favourite rum in the range as far as sipping goes but there is something about the Anejo and its taste both neat and when mixed that makes me think that it could become the pouring rum in quite a few bars that are adventurous enough to break from the familiar.

If you are attending Rumfest this year, JBE Imports will be showcasing Ron Cubay and it should be available for purchase there. I wholeheartedly recommend that you grab a bottle of all 3 expressions because based on my experiences so far, you will not regret doing so.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2013. 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.