Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breakfast with Roberto Serralles

Roberto Serralles
     This morning was the highlight of the festival thus far when Roberto Serralles of Serralles Distillery , Ponce, Puerto Rico, hosted the rum judges breakfast briefing.   He introduced us to a single vintage rum that will be available in September or October here in Florida.  The new 10year old rum is one of the most exciting new expression that I have tasted in some time.  It is going to be very exciting to have it on the shelves of the Rum Bar in Key West when it is released.  

     Don Q has introduced a new aged Don Q 151 that we tasted as well.  It is smooth and very flavorful.  This looks like it will be a great replacement for the no longer available Lemon Hart 151 for tropical and tiki cocktails.  

     Roberto Serralles talked to us about the methods that the Don Q rums are made, and how they rely on the blending of different age rums from the more than 150,000 barrels of rum they have aging in their bodegas.   Rums in Puerto Rico must spend at least 1 year in a barrel in order to be called "Puerto Rican Rum".   The process yield very clean and honest rums that work so well in cocktails and for sipping.  The consistency or the rums means that you can expect to taste the same flavors from one year to the next.

     It was a pleasure to listen to the passion that Roberto has for the rum that he is producing and for the new directions that the company is taking with the rums.  It is this passion the his family has for the rums that has kept the Don Q brand and the Serralles family of rums at the top of the game for nearly 150 years.   ;o)

Miami Rum Festival is Underway

Judges John Gibbons and Marie King

     The judges and friends have all arrived and the evaluation of the rums that were submitted for the competition has begun.  The first two of the six sessions are now completed with two more on Wednesday and the final 2 on Thursday.   We have looked at the Gold, Aged 5 to 8 years and the gold with no age statement. in the first session and the white and aged agricoles in the second session.

     We enjoyed getting back together and chatting at the welcome breakfast this morning, then it was into the judging rooms and handle the  job of tasting the rums that have been submitted for competition.   After lunch it was back at it for the second session.

     This evening many of the judges will be boarding a bus for Fort Lauderdale for an evening of dinner and a show at the Mai Kai.   This famous Polynesian restaurant has roots that go back to the days of the Tiki era.   First opened in 1956, it has run continuously, even through several renovations just as it does today.  The chef, bar manager, and many other staff members when it first opened were former employees of Don the Beachcomber.

     Tomorrow there will be two more judging sessions and several meetings with several rum producers.  The fun just keeps happening and happening.   ;o)