Thursday, March 31, 2016

South Florida Distillers Releases First Batch of Single Barrel Aged Fwaygo

     South Florida Distillers, makers of Fwaygo white rum, has marked its one-year anniversary with a special bottling.   Starting this week, founding partners Joe Durkin and Avi Eisenberg will begin selling their first batch of aged Fwayo, an award-winning white rum aged in virgin white American oak barrels.   Aging since February 22, 2015, the limited-edition rum, dubbed simply "single barrel Fwaygo," is twice-distilled, producing a deep, toffee-hued liquor.
     "The flavor we've arrived at is very unique and almost fools you into thinking you're drinking a bourbon," says Durkin. "It's got a really strong, smoky front end that moves into rum-like notes of sweet toffee, caramel, and vanilla on the back end. We like to think of it as getting the best of both worlds."
     True rum enthusiasts can geek it up by visiting the South Florida Distillers website, where they can find the distiller's notes for each bottle; in other words, you can look up how your rum was aged, including what barrel it was aged in, the char level of the barrel, when it was filled, when it was emptied, and at what proof it was aged.
     If you're interested in getting your hands on a bottle of single-barrel Fwaygo, act fast. The distillery's first special-edition bottle, a Grilled Pineapple Fwaygo made from locally harvested fruit that went on sale last October, sold out in record time.   Bottles will go on sale at the distillery at noon Thursday, March 24. Priced at $60 each, bottles of single-barrel Fwaygo will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Burlock Coast's  Rum Shop (inside the Fort Lauderdale Ritz-Carlton, 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.) is the only retail market carrying the specialty release.
South Florida Distillers is located at 1110 NE Eighth Ave., Unit 3C, Fort Lauderdale. Visit

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"2016 World's Best Rums Announced

      The World’s Best Rums for 2016 were recently announced and shockingly no Caribbean rum made the winners’ list.   The best rum for 2016, just announced last week by The 2016 World Rum Awards, went to an Australian company you may not have heard of.   Bundaberg Rum Master Distillers’ Collection – Blenders Edition 2015 was named “World’s Best Rum 2016.” It is produced by the Bundaberg Distilling Company and has a “polished oak notes, rich fruit cake and treacle aromas.”   Bundaberg Rum also was named Best Dark Rum for 2016 while the distillery also took home the title of “Best Gold Rum 2016” for its Bundaberg Rum Master Distillers’ Collection Small Batch.

     Meanwhile, the “Best Flavored Rum 2016” honor went to Spirits of Old Man Rum Project One, produced by a German company named Spirits of Old Man GmbH Germany while the “Best Overproof Rum 2016” went to the St Vincent Distillers Sunset Very Strong Rum.   But don’t be fooled by the name – the producers are Sunset Rum UK and not from the island of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

     The “Best Spiced Rum 2016” award went to Bayou Spiced, produced by Louisiana Spirits LLC of the USA which also took the award for “Best White Rum 2016” for its Bayou Silver.

     The Awards are part of the World Drinks Awards program, launched in 2007 with the World Whiskies Awards and World Beer Awards. Presented by .   The World Rum Awards selects, rewards and promotes the best Rum Taste and Design to consumers and trade across the globe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sailor Jerry Unveils Flash Art Bottle Wraps

William Grant & Sons is set to launch a series of limited edition flash art bottle wraps and cups for its Sailor Jerry rum brand.
     Based on flash designs from the “undisputed father” of old school tattoos, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, each of the four new designs – the homeward bound ship, an American eagle, a pin-up girl and a Gypsy – holds a specific meaning.
     The range itself is said to be “inspired by brotherhood, embodying freedom of expression and showcasing the craft of old school tattooing”.
     The gypsy design represents “good fortune”, while the ship is “practical, patriotic and metaphorical” – tattooed on sailors as a reminder of home.
     The eagle is a symbol for America, and represents “honor, prowess and intelligence”, while the pin-up girl design – arguably Sailor Jerry’s most iconic – represents the “ideal and extremes of femininity”.
     Dave Hort, senior brand manager of Sailor Jerry, said: “We wanted to provide our consumers with a collectible run of new bottle wraps based on the great, iconic works of our founding father Norman Collins.
     “These new wraps showcase some of the highest quality flash art that has spanned generations, and we’re proud to continue spreading the word of Norman Collins through this limited edition packaging.”

Released exclusively in the UK and Australia, the first two designs will hit shelves from April, with the second two designs to follow later in the year.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Bacardi's of Santiago de Cuba

Bacardi Mansion in Santiago de Cuba
     Havana has its charm, but for pure Cuban history and colorful people it is hard to beat Santiago de Cuba.   From the battle of the Spanish Cuban and American War to what I want to talk about today, The Bacardi Family.   Emilio Bacardi Moreau, son of Facundo and Amalia, fought for independence from Spain, was exiled and jailed, once for four years. Eventually he became the first freely elected mayor of Santiago de Cuba. 

Facundo Bacardi Masso
          Facundo Bacardi Masso, youngest of four sons of a Catalonian stonemason. Masso emigrated to Cuba in 1830.   He set up his shop and worked it diligently , he became known as "Don Facundo," owing to his serious, Don-like manner.   Bacardi's wife, Amalia Moreau, and her wealth would end up helping Bacardi fund his business ventures over the years including the Bacardi Factory.    

     An earthquake almost destroyed Bacardi before it began.  In the summer of 1852, earthquakes hit Santiago de Cuba.  The city was nearly destroyed, along with it the aspirations of Bacardi.    The Caribbean experienced waves of cholera pandemics in the 19th Century, and Cuba was among the suffering countries. One such wave, which lasted from 1850 to 1856 and took two of their children, gave the Bacardi family an incentive to leave Cuba.   Not permanently, clearly, but after the earthquake and cholera outbreaks, Facundo thought it wise to return home to Catalonia for a time.

Bacardi Rum Factory Early Days
    They returned after a few years, at which point Facundo started toying with distillation.   Initially his rum was pretty rough stuff.   That  shouldn't surprise anyone, since it was basically developed as a "trash" product-in the sense that 17th Century sugar producers were beset with the problem their leftover molasses from the processing of the sugar  . In fact, they used to dump it in the ocean before somebody figured out how to ferment it and turn it into rum..

     Facundo Bacardi wasn't originally a distiller by trade.   A businessman looking for a hook, Bacardi and partner José León Boutellier toyed around with the process of rum distillation, incorporating the use of new white oak barrels for aging, charcoal filtering  and a proprietary yeast strain that Bacardi uses to this day.

Bacardi Daughter's Home on the Grounds of the Mansion
     The Bacardi Family lived a life of opulence in Santiago de Cuba.  Their home was massive and very beautiful.  Today you can tour the grounds and see the mansion that is being used as a school that Castro use to tech about the government of Cuba.   The daughter's house was also there on the grounds and just as spectacular.  They lived in a area that is nothing but huge beautiful mansions on the hills overlooking Santiago de Cuba. 

The Hatuey brand originated in Cuba and was owned by the Bacardi family.
     The Factory and the brewery are also still in full operation down next to the railway in the downtown area.  They still produce the finest rums in Cuba at this distillery.   The brewery, located just up the street from the rum factory is producing beers for local consumption only.  Even though the Bacardi's have been gone from Santiago de Cuba since 1959, their presents can still be felt.
Bacardy Rum Factory Today in Santiago de Cuba

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cloudy and Rainy Easter Morning here in Key West

     Happy Easter Everyone, just wish that the weather could have been brighter.  I guess that it follows the season, in that the days were grey leading up to Jesus's arising, and things were much brighter afterward,   Sadly it looks like another mostly cloudy day today.

     The high humidity and the cool weather has left us in Key West with quite a few grey days in a row.  Most of us are ready for the sun shine and the young spring to turn to the customary sunny and warm days,  The prognosticators tell us that it is on the way, but I guess that it has gotten lost this year.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Showrum 2016 Happens October 2 and 3 in Rome

     Save the date!   Showrum 2016 is 2 AND 3 October, in Rome!  This is the biggest rum event in all of Italy!

     Keep up to date and get all of the rest of the needed information at #‎showrum .  

     Leonardo Pinto and his associates promise that this will be another really fun show.  Get your time off planned so you can make this event this fall.

Friday, March 25, 2016

There Are Many More Rums Coming from Cuba Soon

     With the doors to Cuba looking like they are going to be opening finally, the question of Cuban
rum is coming to the fore front.  There are huge battles going on between Bacardi and Havana Club over the "Havana Club" Trademark, but there is a lot more great rum in Cuba that just Havana Club.

     One of my favorites is Santiago de Cuba rum, a wonderful rum made at the old Bacardi Factory in
the town of Santiago de Cuba.  Having first tasted this fine expression 5 years ago when I first visited Havana, this is a really nice full bodied and flavorful rum.

     What I like about Santiago de Cuba Rum is that the entire line is clean smooth and a good sipper.   I still enjoy the Anejo, the and the Extra Anejo to this day.   There are a lot of opinions as to which is really the best of the line.  This is one opinion out of the Cuba Journal last week.   Santiago de Cuba 11 Años.  And it isn’t just the favorite of bartenders around Havana — it’s the favorite of in ­the ­know connoisseurs, too. It’s not as well known as its 12­year old sibling, Santiago de Cuba 12 Años — indeed, its label is unique among the brand’s range. But that’s because it’s something special. It is a wonderfully aged rum, sweet with notes of candied fruit, caramel and a lovely, semi­ dry finish.

      The really important thing is that there are a lot more rums that will be arriving on our shores from Cuba soon and  much more than just Havana Club.  Look for brands from all over the island including Ron Veradero, Cubay, and Ron Arechabala.    The time is really getting close, so get to know that there are a lot of really good rums made in Cuba.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Frozen Colada Time in the Tropics

     The season for frozen cocktails is rapidly coming upon us, especially down in the tropics.   I'm getting tired of the conventional frozen stuff, so here is a new idea that will put a bit of a twist on the conventional Pina Colada.

Coconut Peach Colada
·         1 oz. Peachtree Schnapps
·         1 oz. Siesta Key Toasted Coconut Rum
·         1 oz. Chocolate Syrup
·         3 oz. Half and Half

Pour the Chocolate, Half and Half, Schnapps and Rum into a Blender filled half full of ice.   Blend until smooth and top with fresh ground nutmeg, whipped cream and a cherry

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Aroma of Alcohol Eases Your Inhibitions

New research has revealed that the smell of alcohol makes it harder for people to control their behavior.
     Here is another of the interesting studies on how alcohol effects us.  This time it is the smell of alcohol.  I know that when I visit a distillery the smell of alcohol makes me very happy, but I love the smell of rum anyway.   This is an interesting read.
     Researchers at Lancashire’s Edge Hill University found that during a computer-based study the smell of alcohol interfered with people’s ability to refrain from a particular behavior.  Participants wore face masks that were pre-treated with either alcohol or a non-alcoholic citrus solution.
They were then presented with two picture sets – one containing the alphabet, the other made up of bar-related images – and were asked to press a button when either the letter K or a picture of a beer bottle appeared on their screen.   The scientists measured the amount of times the participants incorrectly pressed a button, raising a ‘false alarm’, which indicated a decrease in the person’s ability to inhibit their behavior.
The number of false alarms were “significantly higher” in participants who were wearing the alcohol treated mask, and the effect was the same for both alcohol and non-alcohol-related visual cues.   A statement from the study reads: “The current findings support the findings of previous research that exposure to alcohol-related stimuli results in reduced accuracy in tasks requiring inhibitory control.
“Overall, this research offers an original insight into the importance of acknowledging olfactory alcohol cues in developing a comprehensive understanding of alcohol-related behavior. Context-related reductions in inhibitory control may lead to increases in consumption, or to relapse in abstinence users”
The study, called Smells like inhibition: The effects of olfactory and visual alcohol cues on inhibitory control was published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Owner of St. Lucia Distillers

PRESS RELEASE –  Saint Lucia Distillers Group of Companies (SLD) has been acquired by Martinique conglomerate
Group Bernard Hayot (GBH).  Founded in 1960, GBH has a number of businesses through the French overseas departments including Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Reunion and New Caledonia, as well as other enterprises based in Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic, West Africa, China, Morocco and Algeria.
The group currently employs in excess of 8,500 people and is concentrated in three divisions: automotive distribution, retail/wholesale distribution and industrial production.
(GBH) owns two successful distilleries in Martinique – Rhum Clément and Rhum J.M.  The acquisition of SLD brings together two established traditions of rum making – Rhum Agricole and molasses based – into one portfolio. GBH intends to put in place a comprehensive investment program for St Lucia Distiller’s production and warehousing facilities.
SLD’s commitment to traditional artisanal rum, made to the highest possible standards, will remain at the center of its philosophy and will therefore mirror the same ethos employed by Rhum Clément and Rhum J.M.
The management and staff of St Lucia Distillers will all be retained under the new ownership and the management structure will remain unchanged. SLD will continue to use its existing export market distributors, but will also tap into the distribution network of GBH’s other brands, which will facilitate the continued expansion of Chairman’s Reserve, Admiral Rodney and 1931 into the global markets.
St Lucia Distillers’ Managing Director, Mrs. Margaret Monplaisir, expressed her delight at the acquisition: “I am excited and very happy that St Lucia Distillers has a new owner committed to further investment in our distillery and helping us build our brands both locally and internationally. It is a tribute to the hard work of our 150 staff members, that such a major Caribbean company has seen the potential of our operation. We certainly have a bright future ahead and we are keen to begin working with our new owners.  GBH also intends to use its considerable expertise to develop our tour at St Lucia Distillers making it a “must see” for visitors to St. Lucia, like they have done at Habitation Clement in Martinique’.
GBH Spirit Division’s Director Gregoire Gueden described the acquisition as “a natural progression given the close proximity of Martinique to St. Lucia and the similarity of our heritage and cultures. We admire the rums of St Lucia Distillers and believe we can build Chairman’s Reserve into a major global brand. It is our intention to invest in the distillery, warehousing and SLD’s work force so that we can continue to make some of the greatest rums in the world”.


Monday, March 21, 2016

The Battle for "Havana Club" Heads to Court in the United States

Bacardi "Havana Club"
     Well the next round of the battle in the United States for the use of the "Havana Club" brand is headed to court.   "Bacardi has upped its battle with Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government, calling on a US court to strike their joint venture’s Havana Club rum brand from the register."   

     In its latest court filing, Bacardi argues that Pernod Ricard and the Cuban agency Cubaexport engaged in “elaborate, misleading, fraudulent and deceptive activities concerning the obtaining, maintenance and renewal of the Havana Club trademark in the US”.   A senior Bacardi official has also alleged that Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest spirits producer, “intentionally and knowingly” hid “pertinent facts” that undermine its claim to the Havana Club trademark in the US.   It is the latest move taken by Bacardi since US officials in January extended Pernod Ricard and Cubaexport’s trademark over Havana Club to 2026, forcing the brand dispute into the courts.
Cuban "Havana Club"
     "The litigation has its origins in Bacardi's effort to seek cancellation of Cubaexport's trademark registration for Havana Club. In 2004, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled that Cubaexport was the owner of the Havana Club trademark registration.  Bacardi appealed that decision to the courts.  The case was stayed pending the renewal of the trademark registration.   "In February of this year, Cubaexport renewed its registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) through 2026.  This means that the courts will now decide the dispute over the ownership of the Havana Club trademark on the merits."

     "Havana Club is the reference when it comes to Cuban rum around the world. It has earned its stellar reputation over the years for its quality and the image it conveys. Havana Club is 100% made in Cuba and benefits from its rich soil, warm weather, quality sugar canes, know-how of the Maestros del Ron Cubano and also the Cuban culture.

     This issue is not going to just to away.  I feel like it is something that is going to be a stubborn issue that is going to be tough to resolve.  I will keep you filled in as more information comes available.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spectacular Springtime Days in the Keys

     The skies in the tropics never cease to amaze me.  The light up in the morning and ar afire in the evening.  Then during the day the wind , clouds and the sun put on a totally different show for us.  Today the clouds were whipped by the winds aloft into a really spectacular display of blue sky and white wispy clouds.  Just plain awesome.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ron Zacapa Announces a New Global Travel Expression

     The slow-aged rum is described as a “true expression of Guatemalan heritage and culture” and takes inspiration from traditional Mayan rituals.   Zacapa Edicíon Negra has been aged in double charred, American oak casks, said to result in a dark rum with a “smoky intensity”.   The no-age-statement blend is intended to showcase a different Zacapa palette from Zacapa 23, the expression created from rums aged between six and 23 years.
     Zacapa Edicíon Negra was produced by master blender Lorena Vasquez, who is known for developing the brand’s Sisterna solera ageing system.   Given nosing and tasting notes include caramelized fruits, plums, raisins chocolate, dried fruit and a “smooth smoky” element.
     Peter Fairbrother, marketing director, Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME), said: “In our quest to provide travel retail customers and shoppers with new and different drinking experiences, the Diageo GTME team is thrilled to introduce Zacapa Edicíon Negra – a truly exciting innovation in the luxury rum category.

     “Delivering a bolder, new flavor inspired by the powerful, natural landscape of Guatemala, Zacapa Edicíon Negra is the perfect choice for the rum connoisseur, as well as those travelers looking for something very special.”   The rum is presented in a slender bottle featuring the Zacapa Petate band, encased in a canister.   Zacapa Edicíon Negra is available in global travel retail now. The expression is bottled at 43% abv and retails at €70 for a 70cl format.   
You can read more at 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Kayaking Bahia Honda

     Well, the confidence is high and it is time to really start enjoying the kayak.   Off we go on three different cruises. the first was out to the island in the Atlantic just about a mile off of the beach.  We started peddling and away we went on about a 45 minute cruise to see this little island that is surrounded by shoals.  It is impossible to get near it in a boat of any size, but the kayak just cruises up to it easy as can be.  It looks nice and sandy from afar, but upon arrival we discover it is a beach of broken sea shells that are very sharp and nearly impossible to walk on.  It was cool anyway to just cruise up there and see what it was really about.  After leaving the island we cruised a bit to the east along the Atlantic side beach until we decided to turn around and head back to the marina for a rest and a little bit of lunch.

    OK, confidence really high to this time we head north into the Gulf of Mexico and follow the coastline along the mangroves and enjoy all of the bird life and really got a serious workout this trip.   The trip took us an hour and we traveled nearly 5 miles round trip.  The legs felt like rubber by the time we got back.  It was seriously time for a rest, "it is hell getting old".   Anyway it was time for the afternoon cocktails on the aft deck of "Lil Sanity".   Of course, I for got the camera on the long run to the gulf, but it was probably for the best because we were worn out enough without chasing down the birds and other sights along the way.

     Well rested and a few cocktails to numb the legs is was time for cocktail kayaking.  Cocktails in the drink holders and camera in had we headed under the bridge and out into the Atlantic again to just make slow circles and enjoy the nice cold rum cocktails.   This is a great way to relax and bring a really fun day on the water to a close.  We cruised very slowly for about an hour took in all of the sights and when the glasses were empty we stared back in to enjoy the sunset from the aft deck.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

     This is a traditionally Beer and Irish Whiskey Day of Celebration, but today I am offering an idea for those who spend this day in the tropics.  In case you hadn't guessed it is a rum based cocktail.

     This is a cocktail that has some background in Irish Whiskey that I have reworked for Real McCoy 12 Year Old Rum.  The whole idea was to get a rum that has some of the notes of Irish Whiskey and go to work making it a really flavorful cocktail to share on St. Patrick's Day.   With the combination of the correct ingredients give you a really good "daiquiri style" cocktail to raise the spirits of St. Paddy's Day celebrations.

Modern Times

  • 1 1/2 Oz. Real McCoy 12 Year Old Rum
  • 1 Oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • 2 Drops of Agave Syrup
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients into a Shaker filled 2/3 full with ice and shake until well chilled.   Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Lemon or Orange twist and serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Never Drink Alone" with Don Pancho Fernandez

     I ran across this article that was published in SAVEUR Magazine in March of 2015. It has some very interesting points of view on rum what makes it so special to him.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Election Day Here in Key West

     It is time for all of the hoopla and confrontations to come to and end and cast our votes and see who gets the nod here in Florida for both parties.  It is time for the bars to be talking about Sex, Rum and Being out on the water instead of this constant banter about the politics.

      What is most important no matter what your point of view, is get to the polls and make your opinion known in the only way that really means anything.   This country is founded on the premise of free elections and selection of our Representatives.  Throughout history, there have been a lot of people that can complain like crazy, but many of these haven't voted.  Don't be one of these and take a little time to vote your opinion instead of just trash talking.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Four of the 10 Best Female Master Blenders Produce Rum

     The Spirit Industry has named the top ten female distillers and blenders of the world make rum.  The need for quality products and the use of blending especially in the production of rum takes seriously qualified people.  These four ladies measure up to the job exceptionally well.

Joy Spence from Appleton Rums

     Joy Spence’s “passion for the art of creating rum blends” shone through, and in 1997 she was appointed master blender at Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum. During her tenure, she has been responsible for a number of noted releases, including the limited edition Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum. She says blending rum is a combination of art and science, “bearing in mind the compatibility of the different marks, the effects of ageing, and the Chemistry profile”.   In 2005, Spence was honored by the Government of Jamaica who awarded her the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer, (OD) for her service to industry.

Lorena Vasquez from Ron Zacapa Rum

     Lorena Vásquez says being a master blender is not a profession but a way of life.   Almost 25 years on, and in her role as master blender, Vásquez is credited with improving the brand’s Sisterna solera ageing system, and has developed and released an array of rums, including Zacapa 23 and Zacapa XO.   “As I have a true passion for rum making and I am a perfectionist at heart, nothing gives me greater pleasure than meeting those who appreciate and enjoy Zacapa,” she says.

Bridget Firtle from The Noble Experiment

     Bridget Firtle got her first taste of the drinks industry working at hedge fund Knott Partners as a global alcoholic beverages analyst. Then, in 2012, Firtle quit her job and branched out into production, founding The Noble Experiment rum distillery in Brooklyn, and resurrecting New York’s long history of spirits manufacture.   The resulting product is Owney’s NYC Rum a “distinctive, complex, dry white rum” made from all-natural, non-GMO molasses, with infusions and barrel-aged expressions in the works.   According to Firtle’s website, the ambition is “to bring native rum back to the US”.

Jassil Villanueva Quintana from Brugal

     Fifth generation descendant Jassil Villanueva Quintana had joined the maestros roneros line-up. Not only was she the youngest to hold the title, she was also the first woman. With the promotion came the shift from logistics to liquid production, and the pressure to “live up to the expectations of the older Maestros Roneros”, she said at the time of her appointment.   There was no need to worry: her first release was Papá Andrés Alegría, or ‘Joy’, a well-received luxurious expression celebrating the brand’s founding father, Don Andrés Brugal Montaner.

     Congratulations to all ten of the women that were named as the world's best, and especially to the women of rum.   ;o)

Read More at 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Santiago de Cuba Bacardi Factory Then and Now

     One of the most interesting stops in Santiago de Cuba was at the Original Bacardi Factory.

    In 1862, Facundo Bacardi, began attempting to "tame" rum by isolating a proprietary strain of yeast still used in the production of Bacardi Rum. This yeast gave Bacardi Rum its flavor profile.   After some experimentation with different techniques he found that filtering the rum through charcoal would remove impurities.  Facundo also aged the rum in white oak barrels, which had the effect of mellowing the spirit.  The final product was the first clear or "white" rum in the world.

     Emilio Bacardi opened the distillery in Santiago de Cuba in 1922, the distillery that is still standing and producing rum today.  It is still discernible what it looked like when you look and the picture from the past as well as the one from today.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Ahead!!!!!

     Tonight we move our clocks ahead 1 hour here in most of the United States.  This in my mind marks the beginning of Spring.   It is a great day, because I'm getting to enjoy more water time in the evenings and less stress returning to the boat after the Hurricane Hole evenings.

     This is a custom that first appeared in Germany.   They became the first to introduce Daylight Savings Time when clocks were turned ahead 1 hour on April 30, 1913.  Their rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting in order to save fuel for the war effort.   The idea was quickly followed by the United Kingdom and many other countries, including France. Many countries reverted back to standard time after World War I, and it wasn’t until World War II that Daylight Savings Time made its return in most of Europe.

     Here in the United States, Daylight Savings Time or “Fast Time” as it was called then, was first introduced in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I. The initiative was sparked by Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who had encountered the idea in the UK. Today he is often called the “Father of Daylight Saving”.   Only seven months, later the seasonal time change was repealed. However, some cities, including Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York, continued to use it until President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Savings Time in the United States in 1942.

     The US Congress extended Daylight Savings Time to a period of ten months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo. The trial period showed that Daylight Savings Time saved the energy equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil each day, but Daylight Savings Time still proved to be controversial. Many complained that the dark winter mornings endangered the lives of children going to school.

     Daylight Saving Time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another. In 1996, the European Union standardized an EU-wide Daylight Savings Time schedule, which runs from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

     There is talk here in Florida of Daylight Savings Time becoming the year round time, an idea that I could really get behind.  No matter, just remember if it applies n your local to move your clock ahead tonight.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bahama Bob's Ten Best Rums for the Money

     Here are the ten best rums for the money that I have found readily available here in the United States.   Most of these are available in most states, but not all, but they are extremely good value.   If you are looking for quality rums at a bargain price, give some of these a try.

Afrohead Aged Rum: Rum from Trinidad blended for The Landing on Harbour Island.   It is for those brave enough to drink in the greatness of life without the need for pretense or justification. It is meticulously crafted for the storytellers, the rebels, the pioneers.  Priced around $30, it is a great premium rum.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva:  This Venezuelan rum is the creation of Tito Cordero.   One of the best known of the Diplomatico brand.   Distilled from molasses in a copper pot still before 12 years of ageing. Rich, sweet and fruity.    Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is one of the most awarded rums, with more than 20 awards to its name.    Price at around $36 making it a very popular premium rum value.

Doorly's XO:  Richard Seale's famous Barbados Rum can be a bit hard to find here in the states, but the effort is really worth the effort.   You can find fine rums out there, but to fine such a gem at this price is just plain great Doorly’s XO is simply the finest rum for the money, period.   Priced around $18 puts itno the super bargain catagory.

El Dorado 12 Year:  This is one of the famous Demerrera Rums from Guyana.   Demerara Distillers of Guyana produces El Dorado 12-year rum and is the country's last remaining distillery, with origins tracing back to 1670. The name ""El Dorado"" references the legendary city of gold that is said to be in the country's Rupununi region.  Price right around $30 another of the perfect premium rums for the money.

Flor De Cana 4 Year Gold:  Flor de Cana Rum as the "single malt" of the rum category. Genuinely aged the number of years stated on the label, the term "Slow-Aged" embodies the essence of the brand, which results in some of the finest premium rums available today.  Priced at $22 it is perfect for those premium cocktails without a premium price tag.

Matusalem Platino:   Dominican Republic produced from a family owned producer originally based in Santiago de Cuba.   This is a premium white rum that is triple distilled and filtered for a perfect clean taste with very subtle notes that make your daiquiri perfect.  Priced at $15 per bottle, you won’t find a nicer white rum for the money.

Pampero Aniversario:   This is a delicious premium rum, column distilled golden rum from Venezuela.    Full-bodied and highly fruity, with a terrifically smooth, persistent finish.  This is one of the wonderful sippers that sips like a high priced rum.   Priced at $37 this is a super-premium bargain.

Plantation Grande Reserve 5 Year:   This is a 5 year old Barbados rum from the Plantation range, aged in bourbon barrels before being transported to Cognac Ferrand in France for a finish in Cognac casks! This is a very good indeed both as a sipper or a mixer.   Priced at around $23 this is a solid rum for keeping on your bar.

Rhum Barbancourt 5 Star 8 Year Old:   Rhum Barbancourt is a superior premium dark rum distilled twice in copper pot stills.  It is barrel aged in white oak barrels.  Barbancourt is made directly from sugar cane juice, pressed from hand-cut locally grown cane.   Aged 8 years, a full bodied premium "Reserve Speciale" dark rum with a velvety quality.  Priced at around $25 it can be enjoyed straight on the rock as a mixer, it will enhance any rum drink.

Zafra Master Reserve 21 Year Old:   This is an excellent Panamanian rum from the mind of Don Pancho Fernandez.   A 2010 RumXP Gold medal winner.   With rich toffee, exotic fruit, and spice, the Zafra 21 year has everything you're looking for in a sipping rum.  All rum lovers deserve to treat themselves to a bottle of this great expression!  Priced around $40 you won’t find another 21 year old super-premiun anywhere near this price.

These will make a great collection for your home or professional bar.  They are price right for the quality of the expressions.  Give them a try, you won't be disappointed.