Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Virginia Distillers Association Advocates for SB803

If passed, Senate Bill 803 is set to breathe new life into Virginia's distilled spirits industry

     Senate Bill 803 proceeds through the Virginia General Assembly ranks as state legislators continue to evaluate whether or not they want to foster the Commonwealth's burgeoning distilled spirits industry. Virginia is a control state for distilled spirits, which requires the state's distilleries to operate as government ABC stores. This means Virginia distilleries must sell their products using the state-imposed markup structure while shouldering 100 percent of the operational costs for a distillery store. SB803 will allow Virginia distilleries to keep the state-imposed markup for product that they sell onsite at distilleries, and as a result never moves through the state fulfillment system.

     As of last week, the bill passed the full Senate floor, and will now proceed onward to the House for crossover. "Support from the Senate for commonsense legislation to advance fair policy for Virginia distillers, who are also Virginia farmers, Virginia employers in rural communities and drivers of Virginia's tourism has been tremendous," said Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) Government Affairs Director Curtis Coleburn.

     SB803 Patron Senator Bryce Reeves identifies with many of the unique and excessive challenges faced by Virginia distillers. "We should be doing everything we can to promote and reward small businesses and their operators in Virginia - SB803 does just that. It allows distilleries to keep more of their well-earned proceeds," explained Senator Reeves.

     Distilled spirits are the only consumer good where our state government is an active market participant. In addition to the state-imposed markup which averages 69 percent but can be as high as 93 percent, Virginia adds on a 20 percent excise tax to all distilled spirits sales. Virginia has the second highest excise tax for distilled spirits in the nation, at 20 percent of the retail shelf price ($30.88/gal for distilled spirits for a bottle that retails for $30.59 excluding Virginia sales tax). On a per gallon basis, this is more than 19 times greater than the state excise tax on table wine ($1.51/gal), and 117 times greater than the state excise tax on beer ($0.26/gal). To better understand the economics of distilling and selling spirits in the Commonwealth, CLICK HERE for an overview. SB803 will allow distilleries to keep the state-imposed markup (averaging 69 percent but as high as 93 percent) for all sales at their distilleries; allowing them to reinvest in their businesses.

    The markup formula how the state sells product is the same whether product is sold at distilleries, or at local ABC stores. Subsequently, distillery operators shoulder 100% percent of the expenses for operations (e.g. employees, overhead, credit card processing machines, etc.). In exchange, distillery store operators receive a commission of 8 percent of sales for product sold at distillery stores. That commission was formerly 15 percent, but was reduced to 0 percent, then 8 percent in 2015 by ABC. As a result, distillery stores render a higher rate of return to the Commonwealth at 40.52 percent vs. 35.03 percent for the state's own government ABC stores." See p. 34 of Virginia ABC's 2017 fiscal report for further information. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

In 1933 Congress Strikes the First Blow in The Fight to Kill Prohibition

     A lot of people feel that prohibition just appeared, it didn’t, it was a long time coming and it took a long time to appeal it.  I found this to be an interesting article worth reading.  How it came and went should be of interest to anyone that enjoys the freedom of choice here in America to have an alcoholic beverage.

     On January 20, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbade, "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors". It came into force exactly a year later, with the National Prohibition Act - usually known as the Volstead Act - setting out the detailed guidelines.  Prohibition had not come out of the blue. The Temperance Movement had been building strong support among the many churches since the early 1800s. Massachusetts was the first state to introduce anti-alcohol legislation in 1838, but it was short-lived. Maine did so more successfully in 1848.

     Prohibition was not a success.  Organized crime set up large smuggling operations across the Canadian and Mexican borders, as well as managing illegal shipping routes from the Caribbean. Domestic bootleggers began distilling vast quantities of homebrew, and medicinal and denatured alcohol were cut and washed for resale - sometimes with fatal consequences. All these products were pumped out through mob-controlled speakeasies and illicit drinking dens. In the space of only a few years, prohibition had given a new breed of gangsters undreamed of wealth and geographic reach. From this solid foundation, organized crime then diversified into narcotics, gambling, prostitution, and finance.

     Law enforcement agencies and organized crime gangs battled it out on the streets of American cities. The state's highpoint came in 1932 when Eliot Ness and his Untouchables from the Bureau of Prohibition succeeded in securing Al Capone's imprisonment for income tax offences. However, by this stage the tide had turned, and the whole violent experience of prohibition had killed off much popular support for the Temperance Movement.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What Kind of Drinker Are You?

     This is an interesting article that I ran across today.  I often question myself about this very question.  I seem to have different answers at different times in my life, but you need to read this article and see how it fits into your lifestyle.
     Emmanuel Kuntsche and Sarah Callinan are alcohol policy researchers at La Trobe University in Australia.   They explain even those who aren't dependent on alcohol should know their type.   Your reasons for drinking influence your physical and mental health generally.   It's easy to see alcohol consumption being a result of thousands of years of ritual and a lifetime of habit.   But have you ever stopped to consider why it is you choose to drink?   Knowing what motivates people to drink is important to better understanding their needs when it comes to encouraging them to drink less, or in a less harmful way. 
     Personally, everyone can come up with many reasons why he or she is drinking, which makes a scientific understanding of the reasons difficult.   But there is something called the motivational model of alcohol use, that argues we drink because we expect a change in how we feel after we do.   Originally developed to help treat alcohol dependence, the ideas described in the model led to a new understanding of what motivates people to drink.   More precisely, the model assumes people drink to increase positive feelings or decrease negative ones.   They're also motivated by internal rewards such as enhancement of a desired personal emotional state, or by external rewards such as social approval. 
      This results in all drinking motives falling into one of four categories: enhancement (because it's exciting), coping (to forget about my worries), social (to celebrate), and conformity (to fit in). Drinkers can be high or low in any number of drinking motives - people are not necessarily one type of drinker or the other.   All other factors - such as genetics, personality or environment - are just shaping our drinking motives, according to this model. So drinking motives are a final pathway to alcohol use. That is, they're the gateway through which all these other influences are channeled.

1. Social Drinking

To date, nearly all the research on drinking motives has been done on teens and young adults.   Across cultures and countries, social motives are the most common reason young people give for drinking alcohol.   In this model, social drinking may be about increasing the amount of fun you are having with your friends.   This fits in with the idea that drinking is mainly a social pastime. Drinking for social motives is associated with moderate alcohol use.

2. Drinking to Conform

When people only drink on social occasions because they want to fit in - not because it's a choice they would normally make - they drink less than those who drink mainly for other reasons.   These are the people who will sip a glass of champagne for a toast, or keep a wine in their hand to avoid feeling different from the drinkers around them.   In the last couple of years, programs like Hello Sunday Morning have been encouraging people to take a break from drinking.   And by making this more socially acceptable, they may also be decreasing the negative feedback some people receive for not drinking, although this is a theory that needs testing.

3. Drinking for Enhancement

Beyond simply drinking to socialize, there are two types of adolescents and young adults with a particular risky combination of personality and drinking motive preference.   First are those who drink for enhancement motives.   They are more likely to be extroverted, impulsive, and aggressive. These young people (often male) are more likely to actively seek to feel drunk - as well as other extreme sensations - and have a risk-taking personality.

4. Drinking to Cope

Second, those who drink mainly for coping motives have higher levels of neuroticism, low level of agreeableness and a negative view of the self. These drinkers may be using alcohol to cope with other problems in their life, particularly those related to anxiety and depression.   Coping drinkers are more likely to be female, drink more heavily and experience more alcohol-related problems than those who drink for other reasons.   While it may be effective in the short term, drinking to cope with problems leads to worse long-term consequences. This may be because the problems that led to the drinking in the first place are not being addressed.

Why It Matters

There is promising research that suggests knowing the motives of heavy drinkers can lead to interventions to reduce harmful drinking.   For instance, one study found that tailoring counselling sessions to drinking motives decreased consumption in young women, although there was no significant decrease in men.   This research stream is limited by the fact we really only know about the drinking motives of those in their teens and early 20s.   Our understanding of why adults are drinking is limited, something our research group is hoping to study in the future.

     Next time you have a drink, have a think about why you are choosing to do so. There are many people out there having a drink at night to relax. But if you're aiming to get drunk, you have a higher chance than most of experiencing harm.   Alternatively, if you are trying to drink your problems away, it's worth remembering those problems will still be there in the morning.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dos Maderas Luxus Rum Brand Renews Support to Help Save 3,000 Baby Turtles

Dos Maderas Rum Helping Baby Turtles

     Caribbean rum brand Ron Dos Maderas Luxus has renewed its collaboration with the Billion Baby Turtles campaign in a bid to help save 3,000 baby turtles from extinction.   Dos Maderas rum is supporting the Billion Baby Turtles campaign, a program by SEE Turtles, which has the support of SOS Nicaragua, works to protect baby turtles, which when fully grown play a fundamental role in the maintenance of the marine ecosystem of the Pacific coastal region, including coral reefs and seagrass meadows.

     The survival of the different species of turtle in these waters is in danger due to the poaching of their eggs, which are sold illegally on the black market, or the illegal use of their shells to make diverse objects.   Money donated to the campaign goes toward the protection of nesting beaches through organized beach patrols, ensuring that baby turtles are able to cross the sand and reach the sea without incident.

     Luxus, the top rum in the Dos Maderas range of rums produced by Williams & Humbert, is aged for 10 years in the Caribbean and five in the company’s Jerez winery in ex-20-year-old Don Guido Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.   The range also includes Dos Maderas 5+3, which spends five years aging in the Caribbean and five years in Jerez, and Dos Maderas Selección, a blend of rums from selected casks of Dos Maderas 5+5 and the Caribbean rums used for Luxus.
Luxus is also the name of the first turtle adopted by the brand in 2014 in collaboration with ICAPO (Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative) with a donation being made for the adoption of Hawksbill turtles in danger of extinction.
Hatchings Headed to the Sea

     “This collaboration with the campaign Billion Baby Turtles originates from the desire of Bodegas Williams & Humbert to create closer ties between the region from which its range of rums originates and in which these species, which play such an important role in conserving the environment, are in danger of extinction,” the producer stated.  So far, the Billion Baby Turtles campaign has saved over a million turtles in danger of extinction, with more than 500 volunteers participating in over 4,000 conservation patrols and over 10,000 students receiving training in the subject.   The Dos Maderas brand’s support will help support the protection of 3,000 baby turtles in danger of extinction.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yesterday We Had a Holiday, Presidents Day, or Was it?

George Washington

     Presidents’ Day, officially, GeorgWashington’s Birthday, in the United States, celebrated the third Monday in February, originally to celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincolns’ birthdays.   The day is sometimes these days is understood as a celebration of the birthdays and lives of all U.S. presidents.  The real question is what is this holiday officially?

     The origin of Presidents’ Day lies in the 1880s, when the birthday of Washington—commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and the first President of the United States was first celebrated as a federal holiday.  In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved many federal holidays to be celebrated on Mondays. The change was designed to schedule certain holidays so that workers had several long weekends throughout the year, but it has been opposed by those who believe that those holidays should be celebrated on the dates they actually happened.   During debate on the bill, it was proposed that Washington’s Birthday be renamed Presidents’ Day to honor the birthdays of both Washington, February 22 and Lincoln, February 12.  Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, it was never an official federal holiday.  Following much discussion, Congress rejected the name change. After the bill went into effect in 1971, however, Presidents’ Day became the commonly accepted name, due in part to retailers’ use of that name to promote sales and the holiday’s proximity to Lincoln’s birthday. Presidents’ Day is usually marked by public ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country.

Monday, February 19, 2018

2005 Finish Finition En Fût Du Château La Tour Blanche

     This wonderful expression, after spending 8 years aging in the traditions of  HSE Rhum, this 2005 vintage spends an additional 1 year maturing in Château la Tour Blanche casks.   One of HSE’s more unique expressions is particularly lovely, is the HSE Chateau La Tour Blanche Finish.   After eight years of aging in American oak barrels, it spent an additional year maturing in barrels that formerly housed Chateau La Tour Blanche, the famous Bommes-based dessert wine.

Master Taster’s Note

     The color is a classic golden amber, with a mild aroma of oak, caramel, brown sugar and a hint of dried apricot.   The flavor profile is marked by dried apricot, a hint of orange zest, black pepper, white wine, cane sugar, tropical fruit, even a hint of Moscato.   “the expressive bouquet delicately also projects acacia honey and passion fruit notes.   A few seconds of aeration awakens the scent of dried apricot and fig enhanced by a hint of gingerbread. The flavor has a captivating roundness and sublime sweet notes of dried fruit and Muscato.  Followed by an aromatic orange peel rounds it off beautifully. An extraordinary experience that lovers of unique products will adore.” This exquisite expression of AOC Martinique is Bottled at 41 % ABV.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dreaming of Getting Off or the Islands Again.

     It has been over a year since I've bee off of the island and basking in the Caribbean sun on a different tropical island.  I still have to wait until May, before we take off for a week in Grand Cayman and hanging out with so many friends there.  By the way, I don't count the day trip to Havana, it was over before I really knew that it had begun.  I had a great time, but it was a quick "wham - bam - thank you - ma'am" type of trip.   I can't wait to behanging out on those beautiful Beaches and feeding the Frigate Birds.