Monday, November 14, 2011
Today is a day at sea for the rum crew. We are enroute to Barbados for a day of distillery and rum shop visitation. We will start out with St Nicolas Abbey, then to the Foursquare Distillery, followed by Cockspur’s West Indies Rum Distillery. The rest of the shore time will be spent visiting some of the many rum shops on the island.
Today it was off to the gym at 6:30 this morning for an hour workout on some of the finest equipment that I’ve ever seen. This ship has great equipment throughout, and the gym is no exception. After a great workout and breakfast, I retired to the pool for some tanning and relaxation. After lunch it was time for the rum seminars.
The first one was a great lecture and tasting by Bacardi’s David Cid. David covered the beginnings of Bacardi in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso, and the his approach using the “scientific method” to bring rum out of the cellar as a spirit and how he was crucial in redefining the “Spirit of the Caribbean”. There was an opportunity to taste several of the Bacardi brand rums including the new Bacardi Oakheart Spiced rum. David’s discussion of yeast, and fermentation was very informative and will be the subject of another blog when I get back home.
Next was another seminar, this time by Esteban Ordonez from Don Q and the Serralles Family’s distillery in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Esteban spent a lot of time discussing the importance and the ins and out of aging and blending of the rum. It is the belief of the Don Q people that barrels need to be used for three different types of aging before they are ready for use in their rum aging method. They believe that they like most others that you need to start with American Oak Barrels use to age Bourbon, the Canadian Whiskey, Scotch Whiskey, before they are ready for Don Q to be aged in the barrels. He also discussed the “science of distillation” and the “art of blending’ rums. We were able to taste several of the Don Q Rums including their top of the line Solera aged Don Q Gran Anejo.
Finally was the cocktail contest by the Bacardi people after a discussion of the cocktail history of Bacardi and the late 1800”s and the early 1900’s in Cuba. After the discussion teams were chosen, off to our tables we went to create three cocktails. First one was the “Mojito”, then the” Daiquiri”, and finally the “Bacardi Cocktail”. When the results were compiled, and our team won the overall with our “Bacardi Cocktail”, yeah team!!! These events were very good and I did enjoy the seminars and the cocktail competition.
Watch for the next edition with pictures and stories from Barbados, home of great rums and the “Flying Fish Sandwich”. ;o)