Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Florida House and Senate Bills Would Ease Restrictions on Craft Distillers

     Two weeks after a Florida Senate bill on craft distilleries was introduced, Rep. Cyndi Stevenson of St. Johns County filed a companion bill in the House, HB 141.  The goal of the two bills is to ease the restrictions on small distillers of spirits in the state.   Stevenson filed her bill at the end of December after state Sen. Greg Steube of Sarasota filed SB 166 earlier in the month.
     According to a release from Stevenson's office, the House bill would allow: A reduction in the annual license fee for craft distilleries.   Removal of individual container limits on sales in on-site gift shops or a local sales room.  Finally, an increase in the annual production limit allowed for qualification as a craft distillery from 75,000 gallons to 250,000 gallons.

     "This bill frees craft distilleries from unnecessary regulations and allows them to continue to grow," Stevenson said in a release. "Already we see the potential of craft distilleries in Florida's economy. They not only create good jobs, but also support Florida's farmers and invigorate historic districts. I look forward to working with Senator Steube on this bill."

     State law has changed several times in recent years in regard to craft distilleries.   A change first allowed customers to buy two bottles of liquor per year from a distillery, and then the law was further amended to allow customers to purchase two bottles per brand per year.   That means visitors to the Distillery can now buy two bottles each of the company's spirit brands. 

     HB 141 will give more freedom to Florida's craft distilleries, greater consumer choice and enable the growth of the industry.  The result will mean more jobs that will support manufacturing, agriculture and tourism, three of our state's leading industries. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mount Gay Day at the 30th Anniversary Quantum Key West Sailing Regatta

     2017 was 30th anniversary for the Quantum Key West regatta, the seas overall were good and the winds were with in a range that made for some really good sailing.  The races were close and the boat numbers were good.  There was some top notch talent that were on hand to make the races close and exciting through out the week.  I was lucky enough to be a guest of the Mount Gay people on the America 2, a replica of the original America's cup boat.  It is a 106 foot boat that rocketed along in Wednesday's winds between 6 and 19 knots.  It was a great vantage point from which to watch the races.  I'd like to thank the Mount Gay people for having me out on the boat and to the crew of the America 2 for making the cruise absolutely wonderful.

     Mount Gay Day,  Day 3 of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week  saw a softening of the breeze on the racecourse and a corresponding shakeup on the scoreboard in some classes.  After a windy and wavy start to the regatta today’s conditions were far more manageable. Depending on the racecourse the wind ranged anywhere from a high of 10 to 13 knots before dying away to 7 to 9 knots by the third race in the afternoon. The sea state, while calmer than the first two days was still lumpy.

     The Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day was awarded to J.D. Hill’s of Houston, TX sailing Second Star, a J/122 boat.   Competing in his first Quantum Key West Race Week, Hill’s crew won the first two races and finished tied for 2nd in the third. Second Star leads the ORC Class with 13.5 points and holds a 6-point lead over Alex Sastre’s (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m).

     The low point boat of the day in the class, however, was Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s  of Newport, RI  Interlodge V.   The newest boat in the class from the Botin design group, Interlodge V posted scores of 1-1-8 and holds fifth place overall with 39 points.  "We had a great day on the water," said Interlodge tactician Andy Horton (Shelburne, VT) "In the first race we led all the way around. In the second we led, got overtaken on the run, but then retook the lead for the win. It was probably our best race yet in the new boat. In the third race we got caught in a little inside-out shift that dropped us to 8th and we couldn't dig out of that. But we're in the hunt and happy for that."

     In the 52 Super Series Harm Müller Speers’ Platoon from Germany temporarily dropped out of the lead after placing 10th in Race 5, but then rebounded with a 2-5 in Races 6 and 7 to stand tied for the lead with Alberto and Pablo Roemmers’s (Buenos Aires, ARG) Azzurra, each with 31 points. Third place is held by Ergin Imre’s Provezza IX of Turkey with 32 points.
You can read more about the rest of the racing at 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 Taste of Cayman

Taste of Cayman

     The Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival is the Tourism Association’s biggest fundraiser. It began in the late ‘80s when a small number of restaurants from the Cayman Islands Restaurant Association met in a field to compete in a Chili Cook-Off. The event has grown to attract thousands, with more than 45 restaurants, bars and vendors participating. There are some new features this year, including a VIP area.

Seven Fathoms Cayman Rum Challenge
     Things are being shaken up at this year’s Seven Fathoms Cayman Rum Challenge at the 29th annual Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival. For the first time, international competitors are going to be a part of the event.  Three U.S. mixologists who each won preliminary rounds in New York, Chicago and Miami will compete against some of Cayman’s finest in the Seven Fathoms Cayman Rum Challenge at Taste of Cayman on Jan. 28 as a part of the Festival Green, Camana Bay.   The winner will be crowned Seven Fathoms Mixologist of the Year. This year marks the first time international contestants that wone preliminary rounds will compete against local mixologists.  The three preliminary winners are Sabrina Kudic of Chicago, Benny Hernandez of Miami, and Selma Slabiak of New York.
How Do I get Tickets

     For more information, contact or call 623-6700. Tickets can be bought online here. General admission tickets are $40 in advance; $50 at the gate; kids ages 5-13 are $20; and VIP tickets are $150, which includes entry to the VIP hospitality lounge, 25 food and drink tickets, one experience voucher, welcome drinks and canapes, express entry and a private cash bar.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Key West Police Question August Busch IV In Gun-Related Quarrel

August Busch IV
     Just think International news coming out of Key West, Florida.    August A. Busch IV, who was questioned by police Thursday after he pulled a gun during a confrontation at the Bank of America Office in Key West, FL.    No arrests were made, no charges were filed and no one was injured, according to the Key West Police Department report.   The incident occurred about 11 a.m. on the lot of a Bank of America branch, when a man in a pickup truck became angry with Busch for parking in a manner that blocked access to a bank door.  
     A witness to the confrontation said that while Busch walked to an ATM, the pickup driver got out of his vehicle, became confrontational by yelling at Busch and walked toward him.   The witness said Busch pulled out a handgun, but kept it pointed at the ground.   Busch, 52, was cooperative with the responding officer, he readily admitted to having a gun and then presented the officer with a valid driver's license and concealed-carry permit.   The former head of Anheuser-Busch Cos., who ran the brewing giant from 2006 until it was bought out two years later, has had several high-profile dealings with police in his high-profile past.

     Fortunately, this incident was nipped in the bud before it got out of hand.   Cooler heads finally prevailed before the incident turned violent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 Miami Rum Festival

      The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival has established a dedicated presence for Rums to spotlight the emergence of this spirit category and delivers a unique learning experience for festival participants.   While many of these rum products have widespread distribution across the United States, and the international markets, some are local and regional brands are not well known to the growing population of rum enthusiasts and collectors here and abroad.  The Miami Rum Festival is a place to learn more about the Rum Category from the people that make and promote it. You can experience rum at its best, April 22 and 23 at the 2017 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Convention Center.

     The American Rum Portfolio
     This portion of the event showcases the best American Rums at the venue and attracts the largest concentration of rum experts, professionals, consumers and press, establishing  greater awareness and appreciation for these emerging spirits.   There are distilleries now producing rum in the United States that are growing at an incredible rate, igniting what can only be described as a new American Rum Revolution.    “From Alabama to Wyoming, from California to Maine, from Florida to Washington, we’re reaching out to American Rum Producers at a time when the craft rum distilling movement is burgeoning, flourishing and expanding greatly.”

Miami Rum Festival Trade Expo

     International Trade Exposition for Rum, a trade-only industry exhibition that brings rum producers and spirits industry product manufacturers together with importers, distributors, retailers, buyers, brokers and spirits industry trade media.  This is an invitation to members of the spirits and beverage trade to visit the International Trade Exposition for Rum, running concurrently with the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.   This is an opportunity for professionals to sample, savor and evaluate wide-ranging brands from every rum region of the world.   Guests can engage with representatives of exhibiting brands who are eager to share their knowledge and discuss opportunities to secure and expand distribution of their brands.   The business of rum happens here, Thousands of rum producers, importers, distributors, retailers, food and beverage managers, buyers, brokers, consultants and members of the spirit press will gather in Miami for this international Rum Expo.

 “From the great sipping rums to the essential ingredients for creating fine cocktails, it’s important for professionals to know their rums and discover new expressions that may bring value to their business,” said Robert Burr. “We’re investing in the trade by traveling to the furthest reaches of the globe to bring the largest selection of rums together in one room.”

Rum Festival Schedule

Saturday, April 22 and 23 from 1 pm until 6 pm

  • Grand Tasting
  • Trade Expo
  • VIP Tasting Bar
  • American Rum Portfolio
  • Seminars
  • Show closed each day at 6 pm

You can get your tickets at the show either on line or by telephone.  Remember that there will be no tickets sold at the door, so make sure that you get your tickets in advance of arriving to the festival The tickets can be secured at or by phoning 877-855-3378.

Two-For-One Ticket Discount Code
     For our loyal rum friends and family, here's a 2-for-1 discount code you can use to purchase Weekend VIP tickets online for a limited time.
Enjoy the Rum Fest Grand Tasting events all weekend and bring a friend along — for free — to share the experience.

Two-For-One Discount Code: MRF17VIP241

Monday, January 16, 2017

Diplomatico Introduces Planas and Mantuano

     Diplomático Planas is still made the same way as the original Reserve Blanco, aged for six years, charcoal filtered, 50/50 pot and column still with one key difference, the abv has been upped from 40% to 47%.  ‘Now it’s very much a premium sipping rum, said Speciality Brands  Jon Lister.   It boasts a chewy texture, with great fruit character up front, some cappuccino flavors in the mid palate and a nutty, long finish.  Lister suggests mixing it as a rum Martini with Gancia Bianco, which he filters through milk powder, then adds 2.5ml of palo cortado sherry.
     Diplomático Mantuano is taking the place of the Reserva, and production has changed a bit: the rum is still predominantly eight years old and 40% abv, but the new variant is comprised of 40/60 pot to column still, as opposed to the previous 50/50 split.   Mantuano boasts a distinct caramel flavor, with some hints of stone fruit and vanilla, and a long, drying finish.   This has the flavor that will make it a great premium cocktail base.   ‘The changes have been brought in to give the rum more mixing capability, to move it away from the Reserva Exclusiva and to bring out the dry, tropical notes, rather than being the poor man’s Reserva Exclusiva.  It has got a tiki element to it, but it’s still a moody sipping rum, only it’s much more versatile.’

The bottles of the two new expressions are similar in shape to the Reserva Exclusiva, bringing the three rums in line with each other.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Keys are Bright and Beautiful for 2017

    The Florida Keys are blessed with so many beautiful days and afternoon every year and it looks as though this year will be no different.  I had the opportunity to cruise my favorite quiet place in the Keys this week and the afternoon was not disappointing.  I hope you enjoy my afternoon between the bridges at Bahia Honda State Park.