Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rum is Not Just For Cocktails: It is Great for Sipping as Well

     In any number of cocktails are the most popular way to drink rum.  That’s perfectly acceptable, but why are you are just limiting yourself to a mixed cocktails?   Great rum is like other great brown liquors, they need to be sipped.  Aged rum like aged whiskey, needs to be sipped to appreciate all the nuances it offers. But navigating the category and all its different expressions can sometimes be as complex like a premium aged rum’s flavor profile.

     Keep it simple by starting with a product that sums up everything there is to love about aged rum.  You don’t need to start out with a $100 bottle of premium rum.  There are several  fine rums for $15 to $25 that are great to begin you journey through premium rums.  Brands like Doorly’s, Mount Gay, Abuelo, Flor de Cana or Diplomatico  are good starting places .  These are very different tasting, and you will be able to take a direction for your palate.  

     These aged rums have a subtle and luxurious flavor profile, with a perfect balance of caramelized vanilla, oak and fruits, in every sip.   That alone is not what makes it an ideal sipping rum.

     Caribbean Aged rums are a great place to start, they get their irresistible flavor from being aged under the tropical sun for 5 to 10 years. That may not seem all that long, but aging happens more rapidly in the tropics.  Location and climate influence rum’s maturation process as much as time does. The warm tropical climate speeds up evaporation, resulting in 8 to 10 percent of the liquid being lost to the angel share every year. By comparison, that number would hover around 2 or 3 percent if the same rum were aged in colder climates.
     Rum experts aren’t satisfied with knowing how long a rum has been aged. They need to know where it’s aged to really understand its true maturation level. The investigation continues from there, examining what kind of wood is used in the barrels and whether or not the aging process was continuous.  These rums are a great place to start your journey, because they are not expensive, you will have the opportunity to try different expressions and find where your palate takes you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Virgin Island Governor Says No To any More Rum Deals Like the Diageo and Cruzan Ones

Cruzan Plant on St. Croix

     U.S. Virgin Islands Governor, Kenneth Mapp said on Wednesday night that he refused to do business with two rum companies, because the companies wanted an agreement similar to Diageo USVI’s and Cruzan Rum’s, and that was something the governor said he was not willing to do.  The response to Mr. Johnson’s revelation that Mr. Mapp had turned down rum companies came during the governor’s Virgin Islands Political Consortium interview on Wednesday, held at Government House, where the governor fielded questions on a number of matters of importance to the Virgin Islands.

     “We don’t have any interest because we’re not in the business of giving away the revenues of the treasury and then putting the burden on the citizens that live and work in the Virgin Islands and conduct business here”.   Mr. Mapp, though expressing no intention of revisiting the deal, has nonetheless spoken vehemently against the agreement, contending that the administration of John de Jongh gave up too many concessions, which he contends has cost the local government dearly.

     Internal Revenue Matching Fund, known as the rum cover-over funds that the territory receives annually from the U.S. Treasury, hover between $225 million to $250 million, most of which go towards paying the territory’s bondholders. Of the remaining funds, Diageo USVI and Cruzan Rum receive the lion’s share for promotional fees and molasses subsidies, as per the government’s agreement with the companies.   That does not benefit the USVI, and he would not offer any other rum company a deal that mirrors the current. He also reminded that the local government paid $250 million to build the Diageo plant.

Diageo Plant on St. Croix
     This year, the governor said the rum-cover funds to be received from the federal government jumped from $227 million to $251 million. He said the rum revenues to the general fund this year will be $24 million, $20 million of which will go to the rum companies, while $4 million will remain with the local government.  
     “The molasses subsidy on rum is 16 cents a gallon by the rum company, and the people of the Virgin Islands pay the difference. It takes one gallon of molasses to produce one gallon of rum. When the Diageo deal was ratified in 2008, one gallon of molasses was $1.68, so when you took out the 16 cents, the people of the Virgin Islands paid $1.52 for molasses. You multiple that by Diageo’s 9 million gallons of rum, and that’s about $13 million a year in rum subsidy,” Mr. Mapp explained. “Today in 2018, a gallon of molasses on the spot market to produce one gallon of rum is $2.98. Diageo pays 16 cents, and the people of the Virgin Islands pay $2.82 for that gallon of rum… So when you bring rum companies to the territory under that regimen, we, with the rum companies that exist today, could find ourselves going to the general fund to take money out to pay to the rum companies.”

     I can understand his position, things are tight enough there in St. Croix and to add more negative cash flow to the territories is not something of a real benefit.  They have had some issues with Diageo as well during its tenure on the island.

Read More at 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Plantation Brings Back Jamaican Funk in Their Newest Rum

     The latest Plantation expression is being created using liquid distilled at Jamaica’s Long Pond and Clarendon distilleries, Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry has been ‘double-aged’ – first in Bourbon barrels in Jamaica and then in Cognac Ferrand casks in south-west France.   According to Maison Ferrand, Jamaica’s authentic pot still rum is famous for its aromas and flavors of black banana and flambĂ©ed pineapple, locally called “rum funk”.
    According to  Alexandre Gabriel, founder of Maison Ferrand, said: “With Xaymaca Special Dry, I wanted to dive into the iconic culture that is unique to Jamaican rum. I wanted to work with these complex flavors of overripe exotic fruits with an almost animal intensity.   “We can still find certain white rums with this famous ‘rum funk’. I think, however, that this great terroir expresses itself perfectly in an aged rum. That is why we are launching Xaymaca Special Dry – a tribute to this ancestral culture of rum.”
In 2017, Maison Ferrand acquired West Indies Rum distillery,  a Barbados distillery that became co-owner of National Rums of Jamaica, which owns the Clarendon and Long Pond distilleries.  “The access to these two emblematic distilleries, with their retort stills that look like ancient pachyderms, is the realization of a dream. It allowed me to dive into this ancestral tradition and create a rum that I had wanted for a long time.”
     Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry will launch in the US this month at an RRP of US$24.99.  Bottled at 43% abv with no added sugar, the expression’s Xaymaca name refers to the title Jamaica’s first inhabitants, the Arawaks, gave to the Caribbean island.  
     A fire at the Long Pond Distillery earlier this year destroyed 65,000 liters of newly made rum and 92  fermentation vats.   The distillery’s pot stills and muck pit had not been affected and that his team hopes to start distilling light pot still rums again very soon.  No one is sure when” distillation of high-ester rums will resume.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Bahia Honda, Still as Beautiful as Ever

     After a little more than a year,   It was a great though a rather short visit on Thursday and Friday, but looking forward to being able to keep visiting on a regular basis again.  It never ceases to amaze me how the evening never seems to be the same, but beautiful none the less.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bahia Honda Marina is back in Operation

     After a year of restoration, Bahia Honda Marina has it doors open to overnight boats.  All of the
amenities like electricity and water are back in operation and you can spend the night here in all of the comfort of the pre- Irma enjoyment.

      This week was the first time that we were able to return for for an overnight stay here since Irma a little over a year ago. The marina is in full operation with electricity and water for the first time since Irma hit a little over a year ago.

     The past day and a half has been so great fr Marta and I, because it was the first time that we have been able to be out on Lil Sanity since Irma.

     The sunset was awesome and we got a chance to take the kayak out for the first time in over a year.  Things are finally back to a somewhat normal for us.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Introducing Soggy Dollar Rums

     One visit and you get it.  There are few places in this world that are as freeing as White Bay.  Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, white sand beaches and palm fronds dancing in the tropical breeze.  Wake to the unmistakable beauty of the perfect sunrise.  Chart a course of worry-free sun-filled thoughts listening to the perfect song as the sun fades on another perfect day.  What a great idea to offer two rums that possess all the warmth and fun this island offers.

     Soggy Dollar Dark Rum is triple distilled with natural cane sugar molasses and aged in oak casks to bring you a smooth rich flavor and deep golden color with notes of vanilla and caramel.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Haitian Clairin: Haiti's Traditional Rhum

Commercial Clairin Vaval

     Clairin, a traditional rum made in Haiti, the spirit is beginning to appear in the United States.  Clairin is a regional spirit that is unregulated in its home country, Clairin occupies a distinct place the spectrum of rums   It even stands apart from other sugarcane distillates like rhum agricole or Brazilian Cachaca.    Caribbean rum culture is well known, but little is said about Haitian Clairin, despite the country housing more than 500 local distilleries. This booming doing it yourself distilling scene makes Haiti home to some of the most diverse rum production in the world. 

     To make Clairin, sugarcane is hand-harvested and carted to the press. The resulting juice is moved to tanks where it ferments for the most part spontaneously.  There is no certification for Clairin, but it is largely organic because there is commercial farming or pesticides used in these remote villages.  Natural inoculation of wild yeast from the plant requires longer fermentation than commercially produced yeasts.   Longer Fermentation time allows for more complex flavors and there are no two batches of Clairin that taste the same.

     Single distillation also helps, retaining flavors that would be lost from further refinement. Clairin is also an unaged spirit much like the Cachaca once was in its local origins in Brazil.
In this world of unlicensed distillers, unlike commercial bottling sold by regulated producers, raw material varies between Clairin distillers, as does the quality of the spirit.   Bad Clairin can simply lack character, though in extreme scenarios, if poorly made, could contain poisonous levels of methanol.  To be productive and make the leap to a commercially successful operation, many of the methods and facilities will have to be improved to get a consistency to the product.