Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What is Your Window on the World?

      Yesterday afternoon as I sat in the dinghy waiting for a couple of friends to arrive at the dock I
got to think how different point of views can change things.   I sat looking at the same things, but from different points of view.  I looked at the boat behind through the twin hulls of a catamaran, or the highway through a bridge rail opening.

     This sort of set me thinking about how thing can be completely different depending on how you view them.   I was only there for a few minutes, but looking at things through the lens of a camera from a different perspective was really interesting.

     I guess that there are a lot of things in life if we would takes some time to look at with a"different set of eyes" as Gallagher would say we might have a better understanding of many other points of view and learn a little more from our experiences.

     Take a few extra seconds a you wander around and try to look at things from another side or through a different window on the world, you might be surprised what you see.  ;o)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Will the Concorde Fly Again?

   On September 26, 1973, an Air France Concorde flew non-stop from Washington, DC, to Paris.  This was the first nonstop supersonic flight flown by an airliner.   A few short years later, Air France and British Airways put the Concorde into full service, with daily flights from France and Great Britian to the United States.   Unfortunately times do change, The Concorde was retired following a much-publicized catastrophic crash in Paris in July 2000, after nearly 30 years, the Concorde became impractical to maintain.
     After ten years since the Concorde was retired, the jet, many still remember the spectacular experience of flying on the Concorde.   "The world’s only supersonic passenger plane could return to the skies, with a group of aviation enthusiasts raising more than $400 million to see the Concorde fly again."   A group of aviation fans in England have raised $400 million in a bid to see the aircraft fly again – however the plane, which once flew from Paris to New York in a record two hours and 52 minutes, is unlikely to be given the green light from aviation regulators.

     “The shape, and of course the performance of the aircraft – it’s an amazing aircraft, both inside and outside,” Nathalie Plan, from the Aeroscopia Museum.
However, Ms Plan said she did not believe the plane would ever fly again.
“No, unfortunately not – it’s not possible anymore.
The Concorde flew a maximum speed of twice the speed of sound.

     This is an important part of commercial aviation history, it would be excellent to see this bird fly again.  It fits right up there with the "Blackbird" as far as truly advanced technology in aviation.  If you should make it to Barbados, there is one of these planes in their museum on the airport.

     "In the Museum, you get the opportunity to fly the Concorde yourself. It is a simulation, of course, but so realistic it gives a tingle to your nerves as you guide the plane along the runway on the screen in front of you, pull back on the throttle and see it rise gradually and gracefully into the air and then guide it on its journey – to wherever you wish around Barbados. You can do with it things which most people have only been able to read about or imagine, making the plane dive, climb, loop and so on and, if you are careful enough and have not crashed it, you can have the immense pleasure of landing it on the same runway from which it had lifted off under your own guidance and piloting. It is an experience to be long remembered."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Think St. Maarten

     Just a little over a month away now, it is time to get your plans together to be in St. Maarten from November 6 and 7 and a part of the 5th Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival.   Looking forward to seeing so many of you enjoying the rum and all of the entertainment this year.

     On 6 - 7 November 2015 "Amazing St Maarten" will play host to this much loved and unique annual Festival, which includes the highly competitive 2015 CAB Taste Contest.
The venue for the Festival is the Banqueting Suite at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, this fabulous resort is also our partner hotel.
During the 2 days of the Festival, you will have the opportunity to sample a range of the finest rum and beer products produced in the world, and there is plenty of opportunities learn more about your favorite beverages.
Come experience the pleasure of the Festival and the beauty of St Maarten.
In addition to the opportunity to sample a selection of the world's best rum and beers, patrons at this years Festival can also look forward to;
  • Master classes from international rum and beer experts
  • Results of the Rum and Beer Competition
  • Live culinary displays of cooking with rum and beer
  • 'Rum Cocktail Wars' - The explosive bartender contest
  • Entertainment throughout both days including Steel pan music, African drumming, dance troupes and more
  • Live music on stage on both nights of the Festival
  • Rum cakes & Chocolates
  • Local arts & crafts
Get all of the Information you need at

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sights from the Gulf Side

     The Gulf side of the Keys is usually the calmer side, more protected from the effects of the wind and tide, it is ideal for drifting and taking some really fun photos.  This on was from Garrison Bight on the north side of Key West.  The clouds in the background with the mangroves and the boats in the foreground, I couldn't resist the shot.  It is the blend of all of the things tha nature has provided us with that makes my life so complete down here.  ;o)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Havana Club vs Havana Club: Looking for Authenticity

     As we become closer and closer to a settlement of the Cuban Embargo, the problems between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi over the Havana Club brand name become seriously larger.   There is a strong case on both sides for who is authentically representing the brand name to the world, but the politics between the US and Cuba have made the issue very cloudy.  It is interesting that the 15 year expression of Havana Club is being produced at the Santiago de Cuba rum factory that once belonged to Bacardi.

     I found an interesting article in the London Financial Times dealing with this subject and I'd like to share a portion of it with you today.

     "Would the 'real' brand please stand up?" That is a complicated question at the best of times. But when the brand is Cuban, it gets more complex still.   Cuba produced the most charismatic revolution of the 20th century. But, with the socialist island slowly re-embracing capitalism and seeking rapprochement with its arch-enemy, the US, the "real Cuba" is in a state of transition.   That transition, in turn, sets the stage for one of the most colorful marketing clashes of modern times, the battle for the "soul" of true Cuban rum, a contest that pits Bacardi, the Bermuda-based company, against Pernod Ricard, the French distiller.   Both drinks groups claim to purvey the "real" thing. But both, perforce, have taken different routes to buttress that claim.

     Bacardi, which has its roots in 19th century Cuba and is owned by an exiled family, extols its heritage and Cuba's pre-revolutionary days.   "Bacardi - untameable since 1862" runs the company slogan, a true enough comment.   Bacardi was Cuba's best-selling rum before the 1959 revolution and, in exile, has become the world's largest privately owned drinks company.

     Pernod Ricard, by contrast, is a relative newcomer. For two decades, it has produced Havana Club rum with its joint venture partner, state-owned Cuban rum, and sold it around the world, except in the US.   It calls Havana Club "the genuine, iconic Cuban rum".    "The brand is an icon," says Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne, chief executive of Pernod's Havana Club.   "It is an expression of Cuban culture."  

     That is half true. Before the revolution, Havana Club was only a minor brand.    But as it is now actually produced in Cuba, while Bacardi's rums are largely produced in Puerto Rico, the claim to authenticity is credible.   "In our experience, consumers are attracted to authentic brands," says Charlie Rudd, chief operating officer of BBH London, the advertising and creative agency. "That is why advertisers invest time and energy to demonstrate where they came from and what makes them special. With this in mind, it looks as though Pernod Ricard has a trump card."

     A further complication lies in the companies' battle over the "Havana Club" marque - which Pernod owns, except in the US, where Bacardi has the rights.  The contest will surely escalate should the US embargo finally end, and Pernod can then sell its "Havana Club" in the US, in competition with Bacardi rum and its own "Havana Club".   The brand battle for "authenticity" goes on, although there is no correct final answer - just as there is no "real Scotch" - and in the end it boils down to questions of personal taste and market access.     Still, the clash is a measure of changing times.   A revolution that once won international followers with its global image has now partly resolved down to the rival marketing strategies of two very capitalist companies.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Angostura No. 1 is Coming Back

Angostura No. 1 Once Used French Oak is the first Angostura rum finished in Cognac casks
     Angostura No. 1 Once Used French Oak is the second edition in The Cask Collection and is the brand’s first rum aged in French oak casks.   The rum is made up of liquid aged for a minimum of 10 years in American oak casks. This rum was then blended and matured for a further six years in French oak casks that once held Cognac.
     “The Cask Collection limited edition range is a celebration of the House of Angostura’s rich heritage and artistry in blending some of the world’s finest rums,” said the brand’s master distiller John Georges.   “We’re thrilled to share the second edition to the range – No. 1 Once Used French Oak – with rum aficionados and enthusiasts worldwide to show that the craft of rummaking has no boundaries.”
      Described as having a flavor of peach, candied apricot, almonds and oak, Angostura No. 1 Once Used French Oak has been bottled at 40% abv.   Around 15,000 bottles will be available in Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and the US this autumn.
     I'm really glad to see the Angostura No. 1 brand coming back.  The last edition was absolutely flavorful and a favorite of so many of my customers at the Rum Bar in Key West.  As soon as this one becomes available, It will be on the shelf for your enjoyment.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Vapor Cocktails Making a Come Back

     On my latest trip to Grand Cayman Distilling, I found a curious item in their gift shop.  It was a Vaportini Kit that caught my attention.   Of course I bought it and took it home to try this idea.   I found this to be an interesting experience sucking vapors through a straw and enjoying all of the flavors of some of my favorite rums and still enjoying the buzz without actually drinking the liquid.

     "Vaportini provides a revolutionary way of consuming alcohol.  It is inhaled rather than swallowed, smooth and flavorful, and the subtleties of the rum used are apparent.   It is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.   The advantage is there are no calories, no impurities and the effects are immediately felt; thus it is easier responsibly imbibe"

          Molecular mixology has fallen out of vogue lately, having been called overly flashy and and unavailable to the masses.   There seem to be signs that it might be seen again in the near future.   Vapor mixology reached its apex  during the era between 2012-2014, several elite bars trying it out with edible cotton clouds that evaporated when liquid was poured over them, to side portions of popping candy.  I find that if there was a way to pour your rum into a safely warmed globe and draw off the vapors orally to an instant flavorful buzz, this might be a cool thing to offer the customers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bacardi Reserva Limitada: Revisited After Several Years

     I had an opportunity to taste Bacardi Reserva Limitada  for the first time in several years yesterday.  It was a great reminder of how good the Bacardi Rum makers really are.  This experience sitting on a uninhabited island off of Key West make the exquisite flavors even more enjoyable.

     In an interview with Mike Streeter of Rum Connection, Joaquin Bacardi III, Bacardi family member and head of the company’s business operations in Puerto Rico where BACARDI Reserva Limitada was conceived and is produced, “BACARDI Reserva Limitada was created to commemorate the patriarch of our family.  Until now, to get a bottle, U.S. rum lovers had to travel to our distillery in Puerto Rico or one of just three other Caribbean islands.  It’s fulfilling we can now bring this truly exceptional spirit to rum connoisseurs in the United States.”

     The Rum itself is a beautiful golden with mahogany tones, the rum has an aroma of oak, dried tropical fruits and vanilla.  The classic Spanish style rum flavors lay on the palate giving you a rich full flavor leading to a silky smooth long lasting finish.

     This is one of the rums that are leading the category to new levels and people finally getting people to understand that rum is more than something to be mixed with cola.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Channel Marker 43: A Nautical Cocktail

     Channel Marker 43 is a very simple and flavorful cocktail from my latest book.  It is nautical in nature and only requires three ingredients.   Give this one a try, I think that you will be really surprised.

Channel Marker 43
  • 2 oz. Pilar Dark Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Liqueur 43
  • 2 oz. Barritt's Ginger Beer

Place the Pilar and the Liqueur 43 in a 12 oz. glass with ice, stir and top up with Barritt's Ginger Beer.   Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.

Give this cocktail a try along with all of the other fun cocktail in the new book, Bahama Bob's Cocktails and Tails Too.

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Rum Named for Panamanian Boxer Roberto Duran Coming to America

    Ron Duran was created as a tribute to one of the greatest boxers of all time, this rum was especially crafted by Don Pancho Fernandez, one of the greatest master distiller blender.  This is a dicodomy that brings a fine rum named for a really fine boxer.  The wonderful award winning flavor has been achieved with a blend of rum aged for 12 years in white oak whiskey barrels.  Ron Duran Rum has truly captured the essence of patience, passions, perseverance and triumph.

     Balanced with a complex profile that reveals aromas of oak, molasses, cinnamon, toffee and creamy vanilla. This incredibly smooth rum has a delightfully long finish accomplished by the most renowned master blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez.   Duran rum uses the best molasses from Panama and is distilled in copper columns using a proprietary yeast from the master blender.  Best served neat or on the rocks.

     It will be a pleasure to have Ron Duran be the guest of honor for today's "Rat Key Rum Taster's Association" tasting.   I am looking forward to the get together and seed what everyone feels about this wonderful expression.   

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Flying Dolphins

     One of the highlights of a visit to Grand Cayman is a visit to the dolphin experience on Seven Mile Beach.  These fabulous species interact with their trainers and show off their talents that they possess as the propel themselves and their guests through the water and even literally fly through the air as they leave the water.   I love to see the dolphins at play around the boats and even in a park like this one.  ;o)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Gosling and Pernod Ricard Square Off in Trademark Battle

     Another Trademark battle has arisen, this time between the Gosling Brothers and Pernod Ricard over the "Dark and Stormy" cocktail name.  Gosling's Dark 'N Stormy has just two ingredients: ginger beer and Gosling's Black Seal Rum. According to the complaint filed Tuesday, the concoction dates back to post-World War I Bermuda when Gosling's Black Seal Rum was combined with ginger beer to create a cocktail "the color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under."
      The Bermudan rum maker filed claims for trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, alleging Pernod is confusing consumers and capitalizing on Gosling's goodwill by promoting a recipe for Gosling's signature cocktail that calls for using Pernod's Malibu Island Spiced Rum instead of Gosling's brand.

     Gosling says Pernod ran afoul of trademark law in October 2014 when it started promoting online a "Dark 'N Stormy cocktail" and a "confusingly similar" recipe for a "Black Stormy" cocktail, both made with Malibu Island Spiced Rum. Gosling says Pernod's infringing use includes a video on Youtube and the Malibu Rum website that "purports to teach consumers how to mix one of the defendant's unauthorized Dark 'N Stormy drinks using Malibu Rum."

      There is a lot more legal manuvering over this going on that you can read more about at

There are so many cocktails that are made with Ginger Beer, but if you put the names "Dark, Storm, or Stormy" in the name,you are in trouble.  The vodka side of things has a "Moscow Mule" that is just vodka and ginger beer, and no troubles with anyone over the cocktail.  Gosling got Kraken Rum to drop its "Kraken Storm" cocktail name for similar reasons.  It will be interesting to see how this test comes out.

Friday, September 18, 2015

TTB Announces Social Media Rules for Advertising

     It seems that the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) have come to the realization that there has been a shift in advertising of distilled spirits.  The power and numbers of the social media has grown to the point that if you aren’t doing something there you are missing out on much of your sales potential.

  According to the TTB, a social network service is a service, platform, or site where users communicate with one another and share media, such as pictures, videos, music, and blogs, with other users.  Many industry members have created pages on social network services for their company and/or a particular brand.  These are sometimes referred to as “fan pages” or “pages,” and users of the social network service can become “fans” of the company or brand, creating a link between their own page and the fan page.  The purpose of fan pages is to increase brand awareness and loyalty by allowing industry members to communicate with consumers in an interactive manner.  TTB considers fan pages for alcohol beverage products or companies and any content regarding alcohol beverage products posted to the pages by the industry member to fall under the category of “any other media” in TTB’s regulatory definition of advertisement, and therefore the fan pages are subject to the provisions of the FAA Act and TTB regulations.
     The TTB considers industry member fan pages for alcohol beverages to be advertisements, all mandatory statements required by the must be included on them.  TTB views the entire fan page as one advertisement, so mandatory statements need only appear once on the fan page, either on the “home” page or on any sub or tabbed pages directly associated with the “home” page.  The regulations require that mandatory statements on alcohol beverage advertisements be: conspicuous and readily legible; clearly a part of the advertisement; and  readily apparent to the persons viewing the advertisement.  Thus, mandatory statements may not be hidden or buried in an obscure location on the fan page. 

Prohibited Practices

 What aadvertisement of distilled spirits shall not contain:
(1) Any statement that is false or untrue in any material particular, or that, irrespective of falsity, directly, or by ambiguity, omission, or inference, or by the addition of irrelevant, scientific or technical matter tends to create a misleading impression.
(2) Any statement that is disparaging of a competitor's product.
(3) Any statement, design, device, or representation which is obscene or indecent.
(4) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to analyses, standards or tests, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer.
(5) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to any guarantee, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer. Money-back guarantees are not prohibited.
(6) Any statement that the distilled spirits are distilled, blended, made, bottled, or sold under or in accordance with any municipal, State, Federal, or foreign authorization, law, or regulation, unless such statement appears in the manner authorized by labels of distilled spirits. If a municipal, State or Federal permit number is stated, such permit number shall not be accompanied by any additional statement relating thereto.
(7) The words “bond”, “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, “aged in bond”, or phrases containing these or synonymous terms, unless such words or phrases appear, on labels of the distilled spirits advertised, and are stated in the advertisement in the manner and form in which they are permitted to appear on the label.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pirates "Tasting " Rum on a Secret Island

     I'm finding that "The Rat Key Rum Taster's Association" meetings on Monday afternoon have been very good for all of us involved.  There seems to be a growing group of people in the Key West area that really enjoy rum and like to share some unusual examples.   This is a just for fun group that is growing by the week with the only rule is you have to enjoy rum.  The numbers of people stopping by has grown each week.

     We got a chance to try some unusual rums this week including a 1 year old expression from Panama and a new very young sample of what is to come out of Fwaygo.  The 1 year was right out of the barrel and at about 130 plus proof, but like so many other overproof expressions that are barrel aged the flavor was excellent and uncannily smooth.  The new Fwaygo  also in an overproof state was surprisingly smooth and had already started to pick up some woody flavor that really was enticing.  This has some real possibility at the completion of the aging process and cut to bottle proof.

     We shared some very nice rums from Martinique, Barbados, Dominica, and Trinidad on this day as well.  These all took us back to trips we have made to the distilleries and the people that are behind the making of so many expressions of the spirits of the sugarcane that we all enjoy so much,

     The starting of a rum tasting club was a good idea and the atmosphere of a small uninhabited key just off of Key West is the perfect place to gather and enjoy the spirits in their true domain.   A pirates dream of a island and sipping rather than guzzling rum, but the idea is there and the atmosphere is all there and the imagination does the rest.  ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Havana Club 15 Year

     Havana Club 15 Year old is a very unique member of the Havana Club family.  It is produced in
the former Bacardi Factory in Santiago de Cuba.   This is one of the finest tasting rums in the collection.  When I visited the "Museo de Ron" in Santiago de Cuba, I very surprised when I found it was no produced in Cardena or Santa Cruz.  

     Because all of the rum are produced by the government of Cuba, it is not surprising to find out that it was produced there.  Some of Cubas best rums, Santiago de Cuba 12 and 25 year old come out of the rum factory in Santiago de Cuba.  


      The Mahogany color is beautiful, like a fine finished table.   The rum possesses long legs that just seem endless.   .  The aroma hits you immediately, giving off notes of sweetness and light touches of leather and oak.   The complexity and lure of the aroma, you just can’t wait for that initial taste.    There is an initial sweetness balanced the spice and fruit of this medium bodied expression.    The finish is long and it lingering just long enough.   I found this rum to have the appeal that kept your nose in the glass and your palate ready for that next taste.

     I found some similarities to the 12 year Santiago de Cuba, but it was a definite stand alone expression really different from other Havana Club rums.   Given the opportunity to try this rum, don't miss it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Women Recommend Bacardi Rum Most Often in the United States

Women have chosen Bacardi Limited’s namesake rum brand among the “most recommended” spirits brands in the US.

     The 2015 Women’s Choice Awards has named a number of Bacardi products among the “most recommended” in America.   Consumer advocacy firm Women Certified named the brand as “America’s Most Recommended” rum, at the 2015 Women’s Choice Awards, based on a national survey of thousands of women across the US.   “The Women’s Choice Award’s mission is to identify which brands are most recommended by women,” said Delia Passi, CEO and founder of the awards.   
     “By carrying the Women’s Choice Award seal, the iconic brand of Bacardi, signify its commitment to empower women to make smart buying choices.   “When a woman is willing to recommend a brand or service to others, it means that business or brand has earned her loyalty. Those are the businesses and brands we wish to recognize for their efforts and commitment to the number one consumer – women.”   According to the 2015 Marketing to Women Conference, research shows that women are more likely to purchase a product if they have a recommendation from their family, friends or peers.   Women also make over 85% of consumer purchases in the US, according to research.
     “It’s truly an honor to have Bacardi Rum selected as the go-to rum beverage choices for consumption and entertaining by women all over the United States,” said Pete Carr, regional president for Bacardi in North America.

     “These recommended ratings take trust to a whole new level from some of the most discerning US consumers – women.”
     This is very important for Bacardi, they have spent a lot of time and money to have women be more aware of their products.  Their efforts are apparently working for them.   ;o)

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Rum Category is Set for Growth Over Next Three Years

   Rum has struggled against numerous challenges in the US and Europe over the past five years, but the category now has the opportunity to “regain its footing”.

    Having been around the rum industry for the past several years, I feel like this is something that has been afoot and just beginning to show its head in the premium and ultra-premium expressions that have been so badly needed by the category.

     Analysts predict that rum will return to growth in Europe and the United States following five years of decline.    According to Rabobank’s Spirits Quarterly Q4 2015report, European rum consumption declined from 175.5 million liters in 2009 to 174 million liters in 2014, while the category has been underperforming compared to the broader spirits market in the United States since 2009.  In Europe, the rum category’s decline has been predominantly attributed to rapidly falling volumes in Spain, where sales dropped 13 million liters during the period.
     Rabobank analysts believe that this is largely due to Spanish Millennials drinking less, since they are part of the demographic most impacted by the recession. However, when these consumers do drink alcohol, they are increasingly favoring shot formats.   Rum still suffers from a lack of “premium positioning” in Spain and maintains an image as a “party drink”.   However, Rabobank reports that suppliers are witnessing a “notable improvement” in Spanish consumer spending as super-premium brands become more popular in the market.
   “Assuming a slowdown in rum’s rate of decline in Spain, and ongoing growth in major markets such as France and Germany, we expect Western European rum sales to turn positive within three years,”
     In the US, rum is losing market share to both vodka and American whiskey and due its reputation as a “mixing spirit”, has also been knocked by a slowdown in the soft drinks market.  In 2014, US per capita consumption of soft drinks fell to levels not seen since 1986.  However, Rabobank argues that the US could receive a boost from the growing popularity of dark super-premium rums that can be consumed neat or on the rocks.  
     The restoration of diplomatic relations in the US and talk of lifting a long-held trade embargo between the two nations has the potential to “breathe new life” into the US rum market, but it is “premature” for producers to raise their hopes.   Furthermore, the report states that even if the trade embargo is lifted, Cuban rum producers will battle against those in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island, which benefit from subsidies.
     If US Congress decides to lift the embargo, Pernod Ricard could import its Havana Club rum into the US under the Havanista label. The group is unable to launch the rum under the Havana Club label in the US as the trademark is owned by Bermuda-based firm Bacardi, whose rum is produced in Puerto Rico. 

     I feel like the rum industry is moving in the right direction with more emphasis on the premium and the ultra-premium expressions.  Gathering the volumes of aged rum  necessary to introduce these much needed expressions.   Most of us that hang out around the rum category prefer the premium sipping rums.    I feel that with some time, this portion of the category will move it back into the main stream of the spirits world.   I feel like the days of artificially flavored and contrived young rums trying to pass themselves off as premium rum is rapidly slipping into the back ground of the cat

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On the Beach at Bahia Honda State Park

    Another beautiful day at Bahia Honda State Park, Hot and sunny, perfectfor boating and hanging out at the beach.  The tide is in and the colors of the water are fantastic as it covers the sandbar just off of the beach,   Viewing down the beach of across to the little island just off of the beach the colors of the water are straight off of an artist palate.   ;o)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum

     Denizen Rums are blended with rum from the Caribbean that have been selected by their master blenders in Amsterdam.  Handcrafting small-batch Caribbean style rums as far back as the early 1700s, a time when Netherlands colonized much of the Caribbean.
     Denizen Merchant's Reserve is a very pleasant experience.  Introduced to us at The Rat Key Rum Tasters Association last Monday, I felt that it was worthy of an article of its own.   The rum is a blend of rums from the Worthy Park Distillery in Jamaica and the Le Galion Distillery in Martinique.  It has a very fruity aroma with some wood present.   There is a funkiness to the expression that I find very wonderful on the palate and it fades to a lingering dry warm finish that is very satisfying.  The fruity flavor along with the wood carries over throughout the whole experience. 
     "One of the reasons they chose to include the molasses based rhum grande arome in the blend and not the more traditional rhum agricole from Martinique is because when they checked in with rum cocktail historians during the development process – they were told that Trader Vic likely blended this type of rum from Martinique with the 17 year Wray and Nephew in his original Mai Tai formula because it was cheapest rum available from Martinique at the time.   Having learned this, they tried to come up with a historically accurate classic amber rum that is unapologetically funky and would have made Trader Vic proud. The fact that it has been aged 8 years also makes it a fine sipping rum despite it being slightly higher proof at 43% ABV."
     Between the historical reasoning for what they have blended and the flavor this is one of those rums that will leave a lasting impression with you when you get the opportunity to try it.  ;o)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sandcastle / Soggy Dollar: Tina's Retirement Party


   For all of you who have ever visited the Soggy Dollar or Sandcastle, know the work and caring that has made this place so special.  If you are going to be in the area in October you should make an effort to attend this event.  Tina has put in so very much effort and passion into making the place a special one and every one our visits unforgettable.  Thanks for the memories.

 "Greetings from Jerry and Tish and Sandcastle and Soggy Dollar."

Many of you may already know, but after 16 years we are officially announcing the retirement of Martina (Tina) Chinnery , our General Manager, as of August 31, 2015.
There really aren't sufficient words to express the gratitude we feel for all the hard work and love Tina has demonstrated in her time here. Her genuine hospitality, expert leadership and fierce determination have propelled Sandcastle/Soggy Dollar to a place we could only have imagined.

The Sandcastle/Soggy Dollar Staff will be celebrating Tina's Retirement at an Octoberfest party on Tuesday, October 13 to show our gratitude for all she has contributed over the last 16 years to make Sandcastle and Soggy Dollar  an unforgettable and special place.

If you would like to send a note of congratulations or share a story for Tina, we will  be collecting them to present to her at the party.

Please send your email to Tish at or mail USPS Priority your sharing to:
Tish OConnell
5000  Estate Enighed PMB 505
St John , VI 00830

We look forward to seeing you soon on White Bay and thank you for all your continued support.

Jerry and Tish