Thursday, August 31, 2017

Anheuser-Busch Pauses Beer Production to Send Water To Harvey Victims

     I don't usually talk about things other that rum, but once in a while I run across things like this.  Anheuser - Busch stepping up to the plate and producing 155,000 plus cans of water to be taken to the people of Texas that are in need of all of the help they can get.  Nice job Anheuser - Busch.

      Beer production was halted at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Cartersville, Georgia on Monday and trucks were sent out with emergency deliveries - truckloads of clean drinking water for Hurricane Harvey victims.  The first shipment arrived at the American Red Cross in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Monday, and two more shipments were sent to Arlington, Texas.  The cans of water - more than 155,000 of them in total - were sent courtesy of the Anheuser-Busch emergency drinking water program. "Putting our production and logistics strengths to work by providing safe, clean drinking water is the best way we can help in these situations," Bill Bradley, Anheuser-Busch's Vice President for Community Affairs, said in a statement.

     According to the statement, the brewery in Cartersville halts production as needed to prepare drinking water to help with community relief efforts.   Anheuser-Busch says it has provided over 76 million cans of clean emergency drinking water during disasters since 1988. In 2016 alone, the company sent water to Flint, Michigan, California communities plagued by wildfires, and victims of Hurricane Matthew.

     Harvey has caused widespread flooding affecting hundreds of thousands of people in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas. The storm has dumped unprecedented rainfall on the city for four consecutive days, and the worst may be yet to come.

Here's how you can join in to help the victims.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What is it that Yeast Really Does in Rum Making?

Filling the Fermenter with Molasses
     Water, a derivative of the sugar cane and yeast, one of the three raw materials needed to make

Rum, but can it have an impact on the flavor of the rum?   Function or flavor?  Yeast’s primary role in rum-making is to ferment sugar and produce alcohol. 
     It’s not as simple as who is right. You need yeast to make rum. It is one of the three elements permitted in rules to make rum. The question is does the yeast used have a direct effect on specific flavors in the new rum?  There are different opinions on this subject depending on where in the world and what type of spirit you are making.  American Bourbon producers and the Japanese will use strains unique to their distillery.

Fermentation Underway
     Yeast is a single-celled fungus which comes in a multitude of different species.  Distillers have been known to go to extremes when it comes to their yeasts, even to the point of guarding them and their strain as a proprietary part of their spirit.   Distillers have learned to utilize yeast’s ability to mutate and be bred in such a manner that will produce specific aromas.   In all cases, the yeast eats the sugar and produces alcohol, carbon dioxide and heat, but in this process flavors are created.
     “The species isolated and used by the industry are called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but there are many strains of this, all of which give different flavor profiles – a Champagne yeast will be different to a red wine yeast, while the multitude of yeasts used by brewers are key to the huge range of different flavors produced in beer and wine.  Yeast is also continually breaking down sugars and proteins into amino acids, these are the building blocks of flavors.  This chemical reaction is the basis of individual flavor, and yeasts can be bred to enhance specific elements that create these flavors.”
There is a very complete article on this subject that was very well written by the “Whiskey Professor at .   You might want to give this article a good look if you are interested in the subject.
Heavy Duty Fermentation as Yeast is in Action
     Richard Seale, a well known Rum producer, made the following comments about the subject.  “People are often surprised that we do not boast our very own ‘proprietary yeast strain’ like every other rum distiller does to stale effect.  Sorry to disappoint, our approach is more akin to our Scottish brethren.”   “I was visiting a Bourbon distillery in Kentucky recently and was told how important yeast was in the making of their flavor. But, when I asked the same question in Scotland, I was told that yeast didn’t make a difference at all. Who is right?”

     This is a subject that has been up for debate since the beginning of time when It comes to spirit production.  I personally feel like there might be something there, but there are things that make a bigger impact on how the finished product tastes and smells.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Vote Today for Your Favorite Craft Rum Distillery

     USA Today’s 10 Best travel and lifestyle events are very well known and always a good indication of what is going on around the United States.  We are right in the middle of the 10 Best Craft Rum Distillery Contest right now.  Look over the list of candidates and vote today at

     Sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean began distilling rum during the 17th century from molasses, an inexpensive byproduct of the sugar refining process. The spirit came to the U.S. in 1664 with the opening of the first rum distillery on Staten Island and continued to grow in popularity through the Revolutionary War. Rum has come a long way since those early days, and distilleries across the nation are experimenting with how to craft the finest variations. We asked a panel of American spirits experts to nominate 20 of the best craft rum distilleries in the USA. Many of these distilleries work in small batches using locally-sourced ingredients. Many are family-owned. Many painstakingly distill their spirits using a blend of traditional and modern techniques. All take pride in crafting unique rums worthy of sipping as well as mixing.  Which is your favorite? Vote once per day until polls close on Monday, September 11 at noon ET. The 10 winning distilleries determined by your vote will be announced on Friday, September 15. 

Here are the current leaders, but you can add your opinion by voting for your favorite.

     These are the distilleries chosen by the expert panel put together to nominate the twenty distilleries to compete in this year’s voting to be named as part of the “10 Best.  The panel charged with the job of nominating the candidates consists of Emily Arden Wells, Martin Cate, Brian Christensen, Laura Johnson and Arthur Shapiro. 

     Remember you only have until Noon, September 11, 2017 to place your votes.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How is Rum Dealing with the Sales Decline in the United States?

Rum's Future is Premium and Ultra-Premium Aged Rums
     2016 found the rum category in decline, 1.2% or 22.1 million nine-liter cases.  This is believed to be because of consumer interest shifting in the US to whiskey and tequila.  A decade ago the rum category added 2 million cases between 2006 and 2011.  This was its highest annual volume growth of all time.   Unfortunately, the last five years have brought on a reversing of that trend and the rum category has lost 0.9 million cases between 2011 and 2016.  This translates to a -0.8% compound annual growth rate.   The biggest losers are the front running brands like Bacardi and Captain Morgan with a 57% share of category volume are the biggest cause of this negative overall growth with a compound annual growth rate of -3.4% and -0.7% respectively.  If Bacardi and Captain Morgan were taken out of the rum category figures, rum would have grown at 1.2% compound annual growth rate between 2011 and 2016, which would translate last year to an increase of 2.5% last year.

     Smaller rum brands are thriving, this is thought to be driven by the strong interest in Tiki cocktails as well as the many classic rum cocktails that remain so popular in the bars and home cocktailers.  The mojito, daiquiri, Cuba-libre and other popular tropical cocktails aren’t showing any signs of slowing down, which further helps drive this cocktail demand.  This growth as appeared mostly among artisanal imports and domestic craft brands.    
     The biggest issue for the rum category is seasonality.  People on vacation find themselves enjoying tropical drinks that seem to be forgotten once they head home and the fall and winter set in.   Florida followed by California lead the United States for rum consumption.  This is believed to be thanks to their year-round summery climates and reputation as a year-round vacation destination.  

Both Bacardi and Captain Morgan have had difficulty remaining the sales giants they once were and caused category drag in the standard and value price quality segments.  The good news is that there is a big rum category, consumer interest in premium and ultra-premium expressions.   Rum premiumization is growing rapidly and is seen to be the segment to be the area where rum will see its biggest gains in the future.   Premium and ultra-premium rum segments are small, but drinkers are finding that high end rums are just as appealing and flavorful like the other dark spirits and a lot of growth is coming in this area.   The premium and ultra-premium expressions have gained a 3.3% sales gain since 2011, reaching 9% of total category sales volume.  This is ahead of the global pace, which could show well for the higher quality rum expressions in the United States in the coming years.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Good Sunday Morning to You

     The morning beauty of the sky and the water coming together in the marina at Bahia Honda Railroad Bridge State Park is so calming and just plain beautiful.  I'm so glad that I was able to finally return to the part this past week and hope to do it again soon.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bahama Bob's Lemoncello Dream

     The summer is rapidly coming to a conclusion, but there is time for a few more summer cocktails.  Here is a really refreshing idea using a number of unique ingredients that really work well together.  I love how the flavors play on your palate and linger long after the drink has been gone.  Try this one for an afternoon on the patio or on the aft deck of the boat.

Bahama Bob's Lemoncello Dream

  • 1 1/2 oz. Brugal Especial Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Bahama Bob's Lemoncello
  • 1 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz. Campari

Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled and pour into a tumbler and garnish to your taste.

Bahama Bob’s Homemade Limoncello
  • 5 Lemons
  • ½  Bottle Brugal Especial Rum ( 1 Liter)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 ½ Cups of Sugar in the Raw
     Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the rum over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the rum for 7 days at room temperature.
     Heat the water and sugar in a medium size saucepan over medium heat until the mixture boils and keep it at a slow boil for about 5 minutes.    Pour the sugar syrup over the rum mixture.   Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.   Strain the Rum Limoncello through a mesh strainer into bottles.    Dispose of the peels and seal the bottle, place in the refrigerator for about least 4 hours, it lasts for up to 1 month.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Flor de Cana Rum Opens Display at MIA

MIA "Volcano" Display
    If you are passing through the Miami Internatial Airport this month you might want to drop by the Flor de Cana display as you move between the gates in Terminal D.  Looks like a cool way to become acquainted with the Flor de Cana Rum line.
     Flor de Caña rum has installed a 10-foot high volcano-themed activation in Miami International Airport to communicate the brand’s 125-year history.  The installation was inspired by the San Cristobal volcano, which is the birthplace of Flor de Caña rum.

     During August, Flor de Caña has activated an elegant 10-feet high display inspired by the San Cristobal Volcano in Nicaragua, which incorporates large screens that create an incredible visual mosaic showing lava, volcano explosions in ultra-slow motion footage, the full story of Flor de Caña's 125-year family tradition and the brand's portfolio.

     The volcano is located in Terminal D, between gates D37 and D38, where millions of travelers from around the world will see the new brand communication and more than 60,000 people will be able to enjoy a tasting of Flor de Caña's super premium and ultra-premium rum collections, aged from 7 up to 25 years, and tour the display to learn about the brand's elements and the quality of Flor de Caña.  The volcano-booth is strategically located close to two Duty Free Americas (DFA) stores to facilitate product purchase after the tasting.

     Flor de Caña, Nicaragua's #1 exported brand, is present in over 40 countries worldwide and is one of the fastest growing premium rum brands in the United States. With more than 125 years and 5 generations of family tradition, Flor de Caña has been recognized as the world's best rum in prestigious international competitions in London, San Francisco and Chicago. Flor de Caña, the leading premium rum in Central America, is manufactured and distributed by Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua, S.A. (CLNSA). For more information, visit: .

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Back to Bahia Honda

Sundown and the Blue Lights are on

Morning Stillness
     Finally after many months of weather and scheduling issues, we have returned to Bahia Honda, for two days of kayaking, cocktailing and relaxation.  We have really missed our "weekend escape" trips here for too long and it is great to be back.  Had a great sunset cocktail hour on the kayak last night in addition to an evening of watching the lightning all around the area.   This is  one of nature's great shows, one I really enjoy watching.

   Waking up to the wonderful quietness of the
marina, along with the smell of the coffee brewing and the serenity of the water in the make it hard to get out of bed.  My morning rising at 5:30 am didn't happen until about 7:45 when the sun came through the porthole.   Pancake breakfast and a walk around the marina in the morning is always a very relaxing way to get the day started.

Don Quixote Key and Spotting Birds

   Kayaking is always a wonderful part of the Bahia Honda visit and today was no exception, we headed to the northwest about three miles to visit Don Quixote Key.  This is a bird and marine haven that is wonderful to glide quietly up to and see all of the life that makes up it's ecosystem.  A couple of laps around the tiny key will leave you in awe of all that you can see.

     A late lunch of Turkey wraps and a cool refreshing adult beverage helps the recovery from the kayak trip.  Then it is time for the real recovery of an afternoon nap.  This time of year with all of the children back in school there, the crowds are gone and we can enjoy the beach and really warm waters.  Wonderful to enjoy the quiet this time of year.  Even a little thunder storm in the late afternoon can not upset the vibe of the day.

     There is nothing better than escaping from paradise to another paradise to remind you of what a wonderful place that we are living.  Now we are good for a while until we get to go out again for another short adventure.  This sunset mad a perfect ending for a wonderful day.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Captain Morgan Introduces a New Label

     Captain Morgan is turning heads with a new bottle design set to start hitting shelves this month.  With updates made to the embossing, cap and label, the new bottles sport the same rum consumers know and love, but with a modern look.  The new embossing highlights the Captain Morgan logo, while the updated cap canvas design depicts more of the Captain’s adventure. The Captain himself has a revamped look on the label as well, standing proudly on the branded barrel. The label also features a cigar band, which is used to showcase the variant name. Lastly, gold foils are woven in throughout the label to give the bottle a more premium look.

     The full line of Captain Morgan products in all sizes received an updated design to fit within our more modern brand visual identity- making it easier for consumers to choose which Captain works for them. Captain Morgan is committed to bringing the fun with these new bottles to ignite responsible celebration among rum drinkers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Rum is Coming out of the Still at Hemingway Rum Company Distillery

Left To Right Bahama Bob Leonard, Shawn Martin and Carlton Grooms
   After eight days of the fermentation, the wash was transferred to the still and the fresh rum came pouring out from the end pipe of the condenser.  This is the big day for the entire crew that everyone has been waiting for when the fresh rum would start pouring out of the end pipe and put the distillery really in business.  The Rum will be passed through the solera for preparation before it is added the the rest of the aged blend and it becomes a part of the Papa's Pilar Rum.  We are still a little more than a week away from bottling the first batch.

The Rum Begins to flow out of the Still
     This first round of rum making has brought a lot of excitement to the crew here at the distillery and as each step unfolds for the first time the excitement rises again.  We all went through the first training session this week for the bottling line.  Everything is falling into place as we inch closer to putting our rum on the shelf for sale in the trading post.

     The four year journey to production is over and the Hemingway Rum Company is now underway and looking forward to all the new adventures that the future in rum making will be offering.   These are the "good ole days", and all the fun and excitement will be continuing for quite some time.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Myths, Facts and Fiction Behind Nature's Wild Event

No, a solar eclipse will not harm pregnant women, nor is it an event that brings on doom, eclipses aren't dangerous unless you stare at them with unprotected eyes.

Map of Projected Amount of the Eclipse
     "The biggest myth of them all is that eclipses are dangerous."  You would never look directly into the sun, an eclipse is not any different. Looking at the sun is always a bad idea and can create a scar on the retina of your eye and you won't even feel a thing.   "Even if 0.5 per cent of the sun's photosphere is visible, there is still a retinal hazard because the exposed photosphere is still producing the same amount of light as always."   "The only difference is, the scar is the shape of the exposed remaining crescent, instead of a circle."

2009 Eclipse over Indonesia
     This is going to be an annular solar eclipse like the one over Indonesia in 2009. These types of eclipses occur when the moon doesn't quite cover the entire face of the sun. Even though very little sunlight is visible, it's not safe to look at. There is only one time when you can look toward the sun during an eclipse: during totality, when the moon covers the entire disk of the sun.  For the Aug. 21 eclipse, so it's very important that you're equipped with approved solar eclipse glasses if you look at the partial eclipse.   Sunglasses won't cut it, not even those with extra-dark glass used by alpine skiers. They still allow too much sunlight to reach your eye.  Aside from proper eclipse glasses, there is only one other form of eye protection you can use: welder's glasses.   NASA recommends a Welder’s #14 Lenses to look directly at it.  There's been a lot of attention to eye safety during the lead-up to the Aug. 21 eclipse.  Back in the 1990s, there were a lot of people trying to use various things like aluminized Mylar gardening film, and CDs, most of those products aren't safe at all.
     There have been some fears about Unborn children, but each day our bodies are bombarded with solar radiation, like sunburns, which come from ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  The solar eclipse will not harm your baby if you're pregnant.  There are even difficult-to-detect subatomic particles emanating from the sun called neutrinos that start out in the sun's core. But they don't cause us any harm.  During the solar eclipse — total or partial, what's emanating from the sun doesn't change.

Throughout history, solar eclipses have been thought to be a harbinger of doom and associated with bad events.  In 763 BC there was an insurrection in the city of Ashur which happened to coincide with a solar eclipse.  Then there was the death of England's King Henry I in 1133, again during a solar eclipse.  In Greek mythology all the way through medieval history, eclipses of the sun have turned up at fortuitous times and scared the heck out of everybody.  These events were just the same kind of bad things happen all the time, that no one brings up except when there is an event they think that they can blame it on.  Enjoy the solar eclipse, but use some “common sense” when you are enjoying it.   By the way a little bit of rum helps you enjoy the eclipse a lot more, if you enjoy it smartly.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Old Town Panama City, Panama

     Old Town Panama City, Panama is an interesting place of the old and the view of the very modern.  It is like old town in other parts of the Caribbean, with it's narrow streets and views of the modern city across the way from it.   Old Town has its charms and its remnants of the of the war in that ousted Noriega in 1989.  Much of the old buildings are being restored and the charm is returning to Old Town Panama.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What is the Real Connection Between Alcohol and Weight Gain

      As a person that has to really be careful of how I eat, drinking my rum has to be watched also.  There are more studies out there that tell you that you can or cannot drink a lot if you want to lose of maintain your comfortable weight.  Is it a good idea to scale back on how much you drink when you are dieting?   But there's a difference between hearing your friend's cousin lost a bunch of weight after she stopped drinking beer and knowing the actual science around weight and alcohol.

     According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who drink heavily when they're younger have a higher risk of gaining excess weight and becoming overweight or obese when they're older.   People who were heavy drinkers (which is defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as having four or more drinks on any day or eight or more drinks per week for women) had a 41 percent higher risk of going from a normal weight BMI to an overweight BMI when compared with people who weren't heavy drinkers, and a 36 percent higher risk of going from an overweight BMI to an obese BMI by the time they hit their mid-twenties.   According to these findings, the researchers concluded that heavy drinking should be part of the discussion when it comes to talking about healthy eating and weight loss.

     "It's important to look at alcohol in terms of calories," says Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.   Alcohol definitely has calories: According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 12 ounces of regular beer can have about 150 calories, five ounces of wine might have about 120 calories, and a seven-ounce rum and Coke has about 155 calories. And, if you're drinking a lot of those in a week, it can add up.  People also tend to underestimate how much they're drinking.   A serving of wine, for example, is five ounces, but you probably pour more than that when you're having a glass at home.   It's not just about the calories from alcohol itself: Drinking can lower your inhibitions and sense of awareness, making you much more likely to mindlessly eat when you have a buzz according to Alissa Rumsey, R.D., owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness, "while you may be able to realize you are full and stop after one slice of pizza when you are sober, it's harder to read those fullness signals when you've had a few drinks.”   

     Taking all the factors into consideration, it's easy to see how drinking heavily can cause you to gain weight over time.  That doesn't mean you should totally swear off alcohol if you want to lose weight-you just need to be smart about drinking.  Moderate drinking of alcohol if it is something that is important to you, it would be best to reduce your drinking to try to lose weight, but this usually does not work.  Making better choices about what you drink and what you mix your spirits with works better, if you want to make lower your calorie intake from drinking.  You can drink and still lose weight-just keep it within moderate levels and you should be fine.   The real question is not "Whether alcohol calories do count" but "How much do alcohol calories count?". There seems to be a large individual variability according to the absolute amount of alcohol consumed, the drinking frequency as well as genetic factors. Presently it can be said that alcohol calories count more in moderate nondaily consumers than in daily (heavy) consumers. Further, they count more in combination with a high-fat diet and in overweight and obese subjects.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Defining Rum, The Same Issues Today as They Were in 1908.

     Richard Seale posted this on Facebook, the other day and I find it really interesting that the same ideas were being argued in 1908 that are still being argued today 109 years later.
     “The first time it was attempted to regulate the "trade identity" of spirits was the ROYAL COMMISSION ON WHISKY AND OTHER POTABLE SPIRITS in 1908.   Spirits such as rum and whisky had been made for over 400 years but this was at last an attempt to protect the consumer and decide what we mean we say something is whisky, brandy or rum.  The descriptions of the stills in being used in Guyana in 1908 perfectly reflect the Gargano classification we promote today”.
- distilleries with just pot stills including those 'modified pot stills' with retorts and rectifying plates - PURE SINGLE RUM
- distilleries with both pot stills and traditional column stills in general,. coffey stills - SINGLE BLENDED RUM
- distilleries with just column stills - TRADITIONAL RUM
     “In a response to 'imitation rum' being sold on the market, rum was defined as not only from sugar cane but from sugar cane producing countries. This was thought essential to identifying authentic rum as the 'imitation rum' was as you might guess not coming from sugar cane producing countries.  The conclusions on liqueurs make fascinating reading.  A liqueur is anything that "obscures our hydrometer" - that is to say just as we do today with our "hydrometer test" to discern the true rum from the rum liqueurs”.
     “Score another hit for the purists and woe to those  who deride this simple test because they refuse to understand it.   The 1908 Commission made it abundantly clear by it’s conclusion on liqueurs - labeled as a spirit means a pure spirit. For then, for now, for always.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

48 Years Ago Today Was the Original Woodstock Music and Art Festival

Note the List of Musicians
     48 Years ago some where in the area of 750,000 music loving "freaks" gathered together to celebrate great music and the freedom of the hippie lifestyle.  It was a music festival like no other and has never been matched since.  It was an epic event for those that were fortunate to have been there, and something that the rest of us can wish we were.  The poster tells it all, three days of the greatest musicians of the time in a concert that was suppose to be $6.00 per day, but the majority paid nothing as the slogged through the mud to get to the concert field.

     The Woodstock Music and Art Festival was a rock music festival at Max Yasgur's 600 acre dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York from 15–18 August 1969.   It is the most famous rock concert festival ever held. For many, it showed the counterculture of the 1960"s and the "hippie era".   Many of the most famous musicians at the time showed up during the rainy weekend, as can be seen in a 1970 movie, Woodstock.  Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock", about the event, also became a major hit song for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  In recent years, a number of attempts were made to recreate it, but the original Woodstock festival of 1969 has proven to be legendary.

     The festival was called "Woodstock", because the investment group that backed the concert was called "Woodstock Ventures." It was originally planned for Saugerties, and then the Town of Wallkill, in Orange County . People in the Town of Wallkill, meaning those on the Town Board, quickly passed a law that required a permit to hold any gathering for over 5,000 people.  A permit was applied for, but it was denied because the portable toilets proposed were considered to be inadequate. A Sullivan County farmer named Max Yasgur heard about the festival and the problems and offered his farm in the Town of Bethel. He was paid $10,000 for the three days.

     The municipalities were told there would be no more than 50,000, the organizers thought they would get as many as 150,000, and by best counts, there were more than three times that number over the three days. Most did not pay to get in, and the festival lost money as a result. The roads to the concert were jammed with traffic. People left their cars and walked for miles to get to the concert area. The weekend was rainy and overcrowded, and fans shared food, alcoholic drinks, and drugs. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today is National Rum Day

     Today is National Rum Day, so I decided to stick my neck out a little bit and let you know a little about some of my favorite rums that are available in America.  I get the opportunity to enjoy so many rums, but many of them are just not available here in the United states.  I thought for National Rum Day, I’d try to pick my top ten.  These are not in any particular order, but they are the ten that I tend to gravitate toward and enjoy on a regular basis.


Doorly’s XO is a blend of six to ten year old rums created and aged by Richard Seale at the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, Doorly's XO gets its final finishing in an Oloroso Sherry cask.   The rum has a deep copper bronze color with golden highlights.  In the mouth, the viscosity is somewhat light, This rum contains no additives of any kind.   There is an initial spiciness that dies down quickly revealing a fruitiness, that is coupled with oaky tannins that coat the palate and a hint of sweetness.  The long finish is primarily spice and oak, and finishes with just a slight bitterness.  Wonderful in a glass or mixed in premium cocktails.

Mount Gay Black Barrel is a small batch, handcrafted rum recently created by master distiller Allen Smith. It is a blend of both matured double pot distillates and aged column distillates which are finished in Bourbon oak barrels. This blend has a bold and balanced flavor, that is not to sweet as what the nose would have you think.  The flavor of the oak comes to the front over the palate, there are notes of orange, banana peel, almonds, baking spices and vanilla.  This is a good sipper or mixing expression

Abuelo Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish is their wonderful 12 year-old rum that has been rebarrelled in Oloroso Sherry casks for another 5 years.  This process adds to the already wonderful flavors of the original rum, yielding a brilliant copper color with complex aromas and flavors of polished wood, leather, sherry raisin cake, and dark roasted nuts.  This is a vibrant, fruity full bodied rum with a warm distinctive notes of fruit cake, spiced prunes and figs with some tea and tobacco in the finish.
This  one is a pure sipping rum.

Afrohead Premium Aged Dark Rum is born in the West Indies and authentically aged, sporting a silky smooth spirit with notes of toasty oak and a hint of honey. The rum has notes of molasses and Bourbon wood accents with a hint of vanilla with a smooth, warming, long finish. It is authentically crafted with blends of rum aged 7 years or older in once-used Bourbon barrels.  Also a rum that can be sipped or used in premium cocktails.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva has a heavy, rich, toasted sugar flavor, with a rich and buttery hint of spice.  Revealing a medley of flavors that include caramel, allspice, almonds and molasses, vanilla and leather that come together ins such a wonderful manner. It is a very viscous medium-bodied rum that the flavor seems like it will never end.   This is definitely a rum that is worth spending time with as a sipper especially great with a fine cigar.
Cartavio XO has a brilliant mahogany color with woody aromas furniture shop.  There are notes of tropical fruit, leather, cinnamon, tannins, crisp, caramelized nuts, mango, orange caramel with a vanilla bean and nutmeg finish.  This is a very rich aged rum that suits palates that prefer sweets rums.  Another that can be used as a sipper or for mixing premium cocktails.
Dzama Cuvee Noire is one of a very few that can boast such a balance of flavors that are achieved by this rum.  You will find the notes of orange, vanilla, coffee liqueur, citrus and bananas as you sniff and taste this unique rum from Madagascar.   This oak barrel aged rum is filled with character and flavor that are unique to this rum.  Sip it or mix it you will enjoy this one.

Damoiseau XO has a golden amber color, with a rich, complex, oaky aromas, with flavors of chocolate, dried banana and mango, and some notes of spices and fruitiness.  This Agricole Rhum has a light-medium body with a smooth, subtle, medium-length satisfying finish.   A very smooth and elegant sipping rum that is absolutely my favorite Agricole..

Plantation Barbados 5 Year Grande Reserve has a light sweetness in the mouth with hints of butterscotch, caramel and molasses initially across the palate with some sweetness followed by a sharp orange peel and baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla along with a leathery mustiness.  Other flavors like banana and marmalade, toasted almond, charred coconut and notes of marzipan.  This is a unique rum that can be enjoyed across the spectrum, it works well in anywhere.

Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum has an aroma of molasses, baking spices and hints of caramel.  The flavor is sweet initially, with lots of vanilla, caramel, and citrus that melt away to a pepperiness at the back of the tongue.  It finishes on the dry side, medium-long, and slightly astringent, with the influence of the Oloroso sherry finish coming to the forefront.   This is unique in that gets its flavors not only from the selection of fine rums, but also what is gained from the solera blending method.   Papa’s Pilar is bold and works well as a sipper or a a replacement for bourbon in many of the classic cocktails. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bahaama Bob's August Cooler

     These are the hot days here in Key West with temperatures in the 90's and the humidity right up there as well.  What these afternoons call for is a refreshing and tasty cocktail to put the chill on you.
Here is an idea with a few unusual suspects that I have brought together just for the occasion.  Enjoy this one soon, I know it really fills the bill on the aft deck this time of year.

Bahama Bob's August Cooler

1 1/2 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Agave Nectar

Place all ingredients in a shake filled with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled and strain into tumbler filled with fresh ice and garnish as you see fit.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Big Things Happening at the Hemingway Rum Company in Key West

Carlton Grooms Making Final Inspection
     After nearly four years of construction and planning rum production has begun at the Hemingway
Rum Company in Key West, Florida.  The dropping of the yeast into the first batch of molasses in the fermentation tank last Saturday rum making is underway.  Carlton Grooms, Shawn Martin and the rest of the crew ceremoniously dropped the yeast in the first batch Saturday the 12th of August and 2:00 pm to get the first batch started.

Shawn Martin Dropping the Yeast
   If the fermentation goes as planned the distillation will begin on Tuesday afternoon.  the wine will be pumped from the fermentation tank into the still to begin the extraction of the fresh rum.   At this point there should be approximately 10% of the by volume of the original of the distillation come out as rum.

     The ceremonial tasting of the first batch will follow and hopefully it will bring smiles to the faces of all of us that are involved.  The rum will then pass through the solera and mixed with the other components of the sourced  blend of aged rums and bottle.  This is a huge event that has been in the making for nearly four years and I'm so glad to see it finally getting underway for everyone in the company.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Santiago de Cuba

The City of Santiago de Cuba houses some of the most interesting history in Cuba.  There Spanish American war history with San Juan Hill and Daiquiri Beach to the spirits history of the Bacardi Family there, you can not begin to see all of the things here even in a week.  Don't overlook this wonderful city when you plan your Cuban trips.