Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hot Rum Coffee Morning

     Here is another idea for a wonderful coffee cocktail and you don’t have to make a pot of coffee to enjoy it.  Having just recently had the opportunity to work with the new Koloa Hawaiian Kaua’i Coffee rum, I’m developing some ideas on how to use it.  Here is another way to make an enjoyable coffee cocktail.

Bahama Bob’s Cocoa Coffee Morning
  • 3 0z. Koloa Coffee Rum
  • ½ oz. Vanilla Syrup
  • ½ oz. Crème de Cocoa
  • 2 0z. Half and Half

Place all ingredients except into a coffee cup that can go into the microwave and heat for about 1 minute and 30 sec.  Stir in the half and half and top with fresh ground nutmeg.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Why Do Distillers Make a Stripping Run?

     When distilling rum, the stripping run is often the first distillation of the wash.  The goal of this first distilling run is to strip as much alcohol from the wash as possible. This distilled alcohol is often referred to as “low wines” and what’s left over in the boiler is the bulk of the water, sediment and yeast from the fermentation process which can be discarded.  A pot still is often used for this distillation process and is run hot and fast, with no cuts made during the run so the separation between fractions is bad.  It’s common to see a stripping run alcohol by volume or "abv" range between 40% – 60% abv.
     The chart shows what’s going on during a pot still stripping run. Notice as the alcohol by volume (abv) drops the water increases as the distillation proceeds.  Most distillers stop the stripping run around 20% abv or 40 proof it’s simply not worth distilling the ethanol gain does not warrant the cost.

    Yellow is Ethanol   Blue is Water  Red is Heads and Foreshots  Purple is Tails
     Why should I do a stripping run before a refining run?  The stripping run allows you to significantly reduce the volume of product that needs to be distilled during the spirit or refining run,  significantly reducing distillation time.   It will also produce a better tasting alcohol.   For example, if we start with 300 Gallons of Wash we can strip this down to 60 Gallons of “high wines” and then run a single spirit run this will take much less time.

     Stripping Run temperatures are very different from Refining Run Temperature.  In practice, most distillers collect high wines until the stripping run temperature reaches 208 F or 98 C. Remember you don’t make any cuts during this distillation the primary goal is to strip off the water, yeast and other solids that are a part of the wash.   

Monday, January 29, 2018

Is There a Difference Between Sugarcane Juice, Syrup and Molasses?

Sugarcane Juice
     What is the difference between molasses and cane syrup?  Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar making process. The syrupy residue is left behind after the sugar crystals are extracted from sugarcane juice during the boiling process. On the other hand, cane syrup is made from sugarcane juice that is boiled down and evaporated to create cane syrup in much the same way as maple syrup is produced.

Barbados Molasses
     In Richard Seale’s Facebook page, he talked about spending the morning tasting their pot distilled rums created from cane syrup that was sourced from the St Nicholas Abbey Estate in Barbados. The first batch is from Oct 2016, about 14 months ago and the second from June 2017, about 6 months ago.  The results are pleasing but the rums are of course far too young for release. I say this thinking of a few rum geeks who I know would be just as happy to drink them now !  I could not help but think of them when tasting. 

Barbados Sugarcane Syrup
     Remarkably similar to Foursquare molasses rums and little in common with rum from fresh juice. This should not be surprising considering, Both rums are distilled in a pot still by the same distiller seeking to cut what he likes.   Rhum agricole the most well known rums from juice is a sum of its parts and the creole column still is a key part of its signature.

     Cane syrup is a form of molasses and certainly has a lot more in common with molasses than fresh cane juice.  Cane syrup is “purer", with a higher sugar concentration per total solids concentration, so in theory a stronger, less diluted wine can be made, that puts less stress on the yeast.   This makes a lovely rum, but so does molasses.

Sugarcane Cutters
     Richard Seale is a great source of information on all aspects of rum and rum making, Watching his Facebook pages is a very enlightening read most any day you take the time to read it.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Crossing The North Coast of Cuba

     One of the coolest parts of flying to Havana last Monday was the crossing the north coastline of Cuba heading for the Jose Marti Airport.  It was such a beautiful morning with the angle of the sun and the beautiful skies as the ocean meets the land.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

An Interesting Facebook Discussion with Richard Seale of Foursquare Distillery

Richard Seale - Foursquare Distillery
     Here are some excerpts of a Facebook with Richard Seale.  It has a lot of very interesting information and is a great discussion of the working of these three types of stills.  I hope you find this to be as interesting and I have.

Here is a distilling question:
I have made some fermented molasses wine and I have three stills.
(1) the common pot still - French or Scottish
(2) the Caribbean pot still with retorts and some plates
(3) the Caribbean Creole 'single' column continuous still (say 24 plates, 15+9 strip+rect)

Which rum that I distill will have the highest amount of congeners?

Mathilde de Ramel Congeners are produced during fermentation...
Richard Seale yes, but after distillation which rum will have the most left
Roger Morenc All 3 can extract the same amount. It's a question of how well compressed/ isolated they are as they come off the still and then what the distiller chooses to keep.
Richard Seale yes they can but in practice will they? does the distiller have the same choice in all 3?
Christian De Tomate Should be easier to isolate congeners with 1 and 2 as it's discontinuous and you're covering a wider range of molecules
Richard Seale yes, and which of 1 or 2 will give the greatest control over selection?
Roger Morenc Is it really greater control or the opposite of control? The congeners just spill over the still top with less discrimination than with plates. I just go back to the idea that if you completely run out all the alcohol of a ferment then you're going to get the same congeners. It's only a question of what you want to keep and what level of precision capability you have to keep/discard.
Brian Rolls Hmm. The Savanna French column has a pretty high congener count, as does the modern Jamaican pot and the amateur Haitian homebrew. So all three types can do it.
I would guess that the still that has the most likely rich congener counts would be the one with the least ability to control the output. So a simple pot still with a short neck for the least separation.
Richard Seale Indeed it is the one with the "least ability to control" that has the highest congeners, but you have chosen the wrong one - hint - it is the column still with the least control

You can find this discussion in its totality on Richard Seale's Facebook page.  Here is Richard"s summary of the discussion.

Richard Seale So answer time (well it is mostly above):

The question is really about the discussion and not the answer. The purpose is to clear up some generally held myths and misunderstandings.

The "correct" answer is (3). The single column will in practice have the most congeners. It is common to believe that anything from a column is "lighter", more "purified". This is not correct. Surely you do need a multi column to make neutral and the coffey double column will make a light spirit. But in this single column, the rectification i.e. the separation of the "undesirable" heads and tails is low and no cuts are taken. This gives a very "heavy" i.e. high congener spirit. Think Caroni. Think Rhum Agricole. 

Now if you took no cuts from the pots they too could make a very heavy spirit but in practice the distiller will find it very easy with the time driven output of the batch process to take some nice heads and tails cuts. The spirit will then have lower congeners compared to the single column. Now I have simplified a bit. High contact time with copper and heat will create and remove congeners versus the column but lets keep things simple.

But which of (2) and (3)?

Well in theory they can make the same level of congeners. The congeners are in the wine/beer and it is the cuts, not the plates that drive the nature of the distillate. See my earlier piece of plates. The plates cannot make the congeners vanish into thin air. It is very common again for people to believe once a column/plates is involved, somehow things will be more "pure". 

But that is to fundamentally misunderstand the difference between the column in continuous distillation and the column in batch distillation. Again, refer to my earlier piece on plates. In a continuous system, the column separates physically and given enough plates we can isolate and remove heads/tails with draws at physical positions. In the batch system, our plates only affect the timing of the heads/tails and so we can still choose to keep as much as we want. 

The Caribbean pot still with the retorts/plates will afford the distiller greater control over the timing of arrival of all congeners. The additional plates/retorts give greater separation by time over the arrival of the congeners. The distiller can then simply be more selective in what he takes and what he rejects. So IN PRACTICE a rum from the Caribbean pot still may have slightly lower congeners i.e. (2) lower than (1) because the distiller has been able to carefully extract more undesirable congeners. 

It is the best of all configurations.

Sean Nielsen Richard Seale Well put. Just like how American whiskey producers tout their proprietary yeast strains as a key component in their product, whereas most of the world outside of the US talks little about their yeast.

Richard Seale Precisely.

I hope that you take the time to go to Richard Seale's Facebook  Page and read the entire discussion, it is worth the time.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Gruppo - Campari and Appleton Estate Reopen their Remodeled Visitors Center

      The transformed Appleton Estate has reopened for visitors after a $7.2 million renovation and rebranding project.  The new Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in Siloah, Jamaica, is the brainchild of parent company Gruppo -

Campari.  It’s named after the rum’s legendary master blender, Joy Spence.  Already the biggest attraction on the south coast of Jamaica, the rebranded experience aims to welcome more than 200,000 visitors each year.   “Attractions like the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience contribute significantly to our efforts to develop Jamaica into a gastronomy center of excellence, as visitors are taken on a journey through the history of rum and view first-hand the development of the spirits from cane to cup.”

     All agree that Gruppo Campari's US$7.2-million investment in expanding the popular tourist attraction Appleton Estate Rum Tour, now renamed Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience, will boost earnings from tourism.  But it's not just about tourism. Listen to Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence, chairman of J Wray & Nephew Limited — parent company of Appleton Estate and subsidiary of Gruppo Campari and it soon becomes clear that the investment is also about further imaging of the prized Appleton rum.

     Even the very practical desire to restore rail service between Montego Bay and Appleton, to get visitors to the rum attraction quicker and more efficiently, is influenced by the immediate spin-offs in the promotion of Appleton products.   “The train would halve travel time of the three-hour bus ride and allow visitors to start the rum experience while travelling to their destination. So that is the hype and interest and how the railway will fit our business well,” Lawrence said.

     “I am a little disappointed we have not got further ahead with the re-establishment of the rail between Montego Bay and Appleton,” Samuda said.  He pledged to be an “emissary” on behalf of Appleton for the rail project.  The rail link was discontinued in the 1990s.   Recognizing that the rail service won't be ready prior to the opening of the new-look Appleton tour, attention to the potholed and bumpy roads from Montego Bay to the south coast, in order to make the journey more comfortable for all involved.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Koloa Rum Company Launches its First Three Year-Old Reserve Expression

     "We are thrilled to be launching our newest rum at the dawn of the new year," said Koloa Rum Company President and CEO Bob Gunter. "Kauai Reserve pours elegantly from the bottle, with a warm golden hue and a bouquet of mellow oak, orange peel and toasted vanilla. It's remarkably smooth with rich, complex flavors that linger long after the last sip." 
     Just like all of the new expressions that Koloa has introduced in the past few years, I expect this one to be exemplary as well.  Hopefully it will be available here in Florida very soon.  Coming from Hawaii, the west coast seems to be the first to be able to enjoy their new products.
     Each of Kauai Reserve's 12-barrel batches yields approximately 3,500 bottles that are carefully filled, inspected and numbered to meet the exacting standards for quality and taste that Koloa Rum Company is renown.   According to Gunter, the release of Kauai Reserve is the culmination of more than five years of intensive research and experimentation by Koloa Rum's distillery team as the protocols necessary for the proper aging of rum in Hawaii's tropical environment is not found in manuals, but rather learned by doing.  "Kauai Reserve is perfect to warm winter's chill and is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks," he added.

     Kauai Reserve Three-Year Aged Hawaiian Rum will be sold in California and other West Coast markets in February. In Hawaii, it is now being sold at the Koloa Rum Tasting Room and Company Store at Kilohana Plantation on Kauai and select retail outlets. Kauai Reserve retail price starts at $49.99 per 750ml bottle.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sunrise to Sunset, a Day Trip From Key West to Havana and Back

Farming in Northwesst Cuba 

     Monday's day trip to Havana from Key West was a really great experience.  We took-off from Key West International Airport at 8 am and by 9 we were touching down at Jose Marti International Airport just outside of Havana.   After a quick trip through customs and immigration, we were off to Old Havana and a day of visitation through Old Havana, a cigar rolling experience, local lunch and a rum tasting.

Old Havana Streets
Harbor Entrance from Prada
     Half of the excitement of the trip was the traveling through the neighborhoods of residential Havana.  Getting to walk through the narrow streets and seeing all of the shops, bars, restaurants, and other places.  We held out rum tasting on the veranda of a local family in


     The touring through Old Havana with Essence of Cuba, availed us of a great number of historic and quaint places.  Havana
Jose Marti Monument
El Capitolio
is filled with so much history that relates both the Cubans and the interaction of the United States with Cuba through the years.   Seeing
such places as the Jose Marti Memorial, Revolution Square, The entrance to the Havana Harbor all bring up how the Americans and the Cubans have related to each other for several centuries.

Suburban Hospital
Down the Runway to Home
     If you should get an opportunity to visit Cuba on one of these educational programs, they are very rewarding not to mention how much you can learn while you are in country.   It is an opportunity to see a grand overall picture of the Cuban lifestyles.  Coming from the airport you can see the agricultural
areas that turn to some industrial, urban and finally to the city living.  It is hard to believe that a city as large as Havana is just 90
or so miles from Key West.

Sunset as WE arrive at Key West Customs

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Three Unique Styles of Rum, Ron or Rhum, English, Spanish and French “Agricole”

     Much of the world’s rum is produced in the Caribbean and Latin/Central America but the rules and regulations of rum are very different in different parts of the world.   That makes rum a very diverse spirit from a historical point of view.   The Caribbean especially Barbados is the “birth place” of rum and the English style of rum making.  The Spanish also have a different style of rum that is found in the Latin and Central America.   The French however have the strictest set of rules for making rum.  Known as Agricole, it is found in the Caribbean Islands colonized by the French.   Each of these styles have uniquely different and palatable flavors in their own right.

English Style Rum
     English-speaking islands and countries are known for viscous darker rums with a full flavor retaining a greater amount of the underlying flavor of the molasses.   The English Rums are traditionally made in pot stills and blended with rums of different aging history and flavor profiles ageing and bottling with dark, rich and aromatic profile.   These rums come from places like Jamaica, Guyana, Bermuda, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia and Belize 

 Spanish Style Rum

     The Spanish-speaking islands traditionally have produced a smooth and lighter rums.  In general, they are column distilled.   You will find these rums to be of a lighter viscosity than the English, but still very flavorful.  The Spanish make a purer rum with most of the flavor being derived from the barrel rather than being influenced as much from fermentation methods.  You will find these rums produced on islands like Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Columbia, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

French “Agricole” Style Rhum
     French-speaking countries and territories are best known for their Rhum Agricole.  These rhums have a distinct grassy, floral and earthy flavor due to the fact that they are is distilled exclusively from freshly pressed blue cane juice, they also tend to retain a greater amount of the original flavor of the sugar cane.  The true French Rhums are made following a very strict set of laws.  They are also usually more expensive than molasses-based rums.  You will find these rhums being created on islands like Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Mauritius .

      No matter which style of rum you prefer, there is a style and expression of this widely diverse spirit out there to suit your palate.  Give some of them a try, I think you’ll be amazed what you discover.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Cuba for the Day, What a Cool Trip

National Theater in Havana
    The people to People program with Cuba is one of those unique programs that looks to be very exciting.  The people-to-people travel, which exists as part of the educational activities category, allows any American to legally travel to Cuba, provided they engage in a full-time schedule of activities.  

    The trip leaves Key West at 8 am and includes a Rum Tour, Art Tour and a Cigar Tour, they will include a nice lunch and be back in Key West by 8 pm.  It is hard to beat this trip.  So looking forward to the day today.

     I'll be taking lots of pictures and will have the whole story for you  on Wednesday.

Havana Harobor from Old Town Havana

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Havana People to People Monday

     For the first time since 2015 that I'll be in Havana.  I'm taking a day trip from Key West to Havana and back again that evening.   I'm so looking forward to get back and enjoy the city, the bars, and the rums.  This is such a very special city and it makes such a great day trip.  Watch for the story and pictures next week.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Industrial Waste to Rum is the True Beginning

St. Nicolas Abbey, 15th Century Barbados Sugar Plantation
     The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol.   Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island of Barbados.

     A viscous liquid would seep out of the pots, and sugar would be left behind.  That liquid was molasses. Today we know molasses as a delicious sweetener found in gingerbread, poured over pancakes and an ingredient in baked beans, but in the 17th century, planters in Barbados couldn’t give the sticky and messy liquid away.  Slaves and livestock ate some of the molasses, but for the most part, it was an annoying bit of industrial waste.   For every two pounds of sugar that was produced, there would be a pound of molasses.  Colonial planters were swimming in this sticky stuff.   There was no good use for the stuff nor was there an export market, so planters resorted to dumping most of the molasses into the ocean.

Sugar Factory at St. Nicholas Abbey
     Fortunately, someone eventually figured out a use for this molasses. By mixing the Molasses with water and adding some naturally occurring yeast found on the cut cane stocks left behind in the field, they found that this industrial waste would ferment.  This was the basis for what was in those days as Kill-Devil or rum.

     It is said that the first distillation of the fermented molasses occurred in the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean island of Barbados.  Later, distillation of these alcoholic byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first true rums. Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island ofBarbados, but in the area of 1620’s, rum production was recorded in Brazil.   A liquid identified as rum has been found in a tin bottle found on the Swedish warship Vasa, which sank in 1628.
Wind Driven Sugar Cane Crusher
     A 1651 document from Barbados stated, "The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, otherwise know as Kill-Devil.  “Kill-Devil is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor”  Time and distilling, fermentation and aging skills has brought rum a long way to what it is today.  It is one of the finest categories of brown spirits on the market today.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Recent Storms Have Meant Changes in How sand Where To and Not To Rebuild

Flood Plain Building Requirements
     Here in Florida, technology has helped people keep on top of disaster potentials for repeat flooding events.   A flood zone mapping app  created by MIT lets people use Twitter, Facebook or other media to source information about the depth of water and risks to specific areas, allowing people to avoid the most dangerous regions.

     Now that the waters have receded and highways accessible again, people will begin the slow process of returning to their homes.   6.3 million people were evacuated in Florida, some of which will never be able to return to their homes.  Some of those who find their homes and communities destroyed may decide to move away rather than face the risk of another disaster.

    Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans is still lower than its pre-Katrina levels.  Those who do returned home found themselves forced to live in flood-prone areas because they cannot afford to pay the higher rents in safer areas.  This will be a factor in a growing economic inequality occurring in many cities hit by Irma.    Long term effects from Irma could reshape how cities like Miami and others facing an extreme number of occurrences of rising sea levels will rebuild after these storms.

      There are some very hard questions that need to be asked as to which places should be returned to mother nature and which to rebuild upon.  In the past, things would just be rebuilt stronger, without any consideration of the real problem of the area. With the threat of climate change, it might be time to rethink that mindset, he says.

     Down here in the Florida Keys, these are questions that are having to be asked as well.  Much of the problem down here is handled by placing houses on 6 to 10 feet above the flood plain foundations on which the houses are built.  Looking around Key West, there was minimal damage to this type of structures.  Many of the trailer parks that were destroyed by Irma are being replaced by this type of structures.   All of this has a price tag, but if you are going to stay in a flood plain, the price of this type of housing is higher, but not as high as the increasing flood in

Thursday, January 18, 2018

There Seems to be a Movement a foot toward "Mindful Drinking"

     One of the hot topics of the people is the concept of “mindful drinking”.    This is a concept of being aware of when and how much you are truly consuming.  It is all about still allowing yourself to consume alcoholic beverages, but limiting it to specific times and places and how much.  It is having the strength to say just water or club soda instead of another cocktail or other adult beverage.   Making sure that you are in control of yourself and not allowing the booze to make your decisions.

     "There are many shades of gray when it comes to alcohol addiction,"and perhaps there can be shades of gray when it comes to sobriety as well."   Off-and-on drinkers can fill their calendars with alcohol-free events.  Others use mindfulness-a focus on the present moment that recent research has found to be effective in helping heavy drinkers cut back-and similar strategies to booze when it suits still be able to say no when it doesn't.

     Groups like CLUB SÖDA are around and aren't necessarily helping people get sober. The founders are careful to state before each event that CLUB SÖDA is not an addiction recovery group, it is estimated that only 30% of attendees never drink. The group isn't even angling for people to drink less, though that's often the result. Instead, it's more about cultivating "mindfulness around drinking, and questioning what effort is actually being put toward bliss in their life.

     "I just got to a place where I wanted to stop having alcohol be such a presence in my life," say some members, that now typically limit drinking to Friday and Saturday nights. "I still like alcohol, but I wanted to bring more control to my life.
     Sarah Bowen, a clinical psychologist who has studied mindfulness and substance abuse at Oregon's Pacific University, says that mindfulness techniques-many of which are secularized interpretations of Buddhist traditions meant to boost internal awareness and clarity-can be tools for helping people avoid problem drinking. In one of Bowen's studies, published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2009, mindful exercises helped people with alcohol dependency avoid relapse longer than standard treatment practices.

      I feel like this is a good practice, because like most things in life, moderation is the real key.  Being aware of what you are doing really make sense, no matter what you are doing.   There is a lot more information out there on line, just Google "Mindful Drinking". 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Did the Rum Industry Survive the Deveistation August and September Storms?

Hurricane Irma
     When you think about the Caribbean you think about rum and all those famous rum cocktails.  Irma and Marie have put quite a hurtin” on the rum industry on many of the Caribbean Islands.   Places like the Soggy Dollar, Foxy’s, Ivan’s, Pusser’s Restaurants and ever=n the Willie were destroyed in August and September of last year. 
     Pusser’s Rum, which is now being distilled in Trinidad and Guyana escaped the devastation and they still have a strong supply of rum.  The bad part is they lost all three restaurants and thanks to the fact that their rum is being distilled in Trinidad and Guyana, escaped the devastation.   The BVI­-based Pusser’s Rum, where it was founded by Charles Tobias in 1980, suffered catastrophic damage, including its corporate office building and warehouse” members.”
     In St Croix, the US Virgin Islands, Cruzan Rum Distillery suffered some warehouse damage, but was back in production after three weeks, while Captain Morgan “experienced only minimal impact.
     Roberto Serrallés, sixth-generation distiller of Puerto Rico’s Don Q Rum, was desperate to get home from the US find out how his company and employees did during the storms.   “We’re a family distillery on the southern, Caribbean side of Puerto Rico.”   “We’ve been distilling for 152 years and have seen lots of strong storms. This was different. It took us four days just to get a message through and it took eight days to make sure all our employees were fine. Once everyone was accounted for, there was then the process of getting back to business.”   Destileria Serrallés was well prepared after the wake­up call of Hurricane Georges in 1998.  “We couldn’t let that happen again, as storms are getting stronger and more frequent,” we have ensured that over the past decade the distillery has not relied on city water, and can generate its own power.
     Puerto Rico is also home to Bacardi, the giant distillery on the north coast. Just outside of San Juan.  It produces 80% of all its rum. “The fact that they were up and running a week after the hurricanes passed through the island, because they were we were ready for them,” there was no damage to stocks, “Incredibly, we didn’t lose a single barrel,” he said.
     Cuba is a big market for Havana Club, whose modern distillery, built in 2007, was left undamaged. Irma, the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the island since 1937.   One senior official reportedly described the destruction of the island’s sugarcane crop as “incalculable”. I we look at the overall supply of sugarcane and molasses used in Caribbean rum, this year’s hurricane season won’t have much impact. “It’s a global commodity,” and is more affected by sugar prices rather than the storm.

     All in all the industry came back very quickly and rum production was back on line with very little disruption in the supply chain.  Glad to hear that so many are back up to full production and their employees are back on the job.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The First-Ever Caribbean Rum Awards

     The first yearof the  Caribbean Rum Awards was held in Saint Lucia this past weekend.  Here are the results of that competition.   The awards, created by Caribbean Journal and a team of nine judges, covered six categories, including white rum, white rhum agricole, best rum, best rhum agricole, spiced rum and gold rum, all judged in a blind tasting held at The Landings resort.
So who won?  Guyana’s El Dorado 12 took home the crown as the Best Rum, while Martinique’s Rhum

JM VO took home the top honors for Best Rhum Agricole.  Barbados’ Doorly’s Macaw won best white rum, while Florida’s Siesta Key won for best spiced rum and St. Lucia’s own Bounty Premium Gold won the award for best gold rum.

White Rum
Best White Rum: Doorly’s Macaw (Barbados)
Double Gold: Bounty Premium White Rum (Saint Lucia)
Gold: Brugal Special Extra Dry (Dominican Republic)
Best Rum 
Best Rum: El Dorado 12 (Guyana)
Double Gold: 1931 by St Lucia Distillers (Saint Lucia)
Gold: Chairman’s Reserve The Forgotten Casks (Saint Lucia)
Best White Rhum Agricole
Best: Rhum Neisson Bio 52.5 (Martinique)
Double Gold: Rhum Dillon Ti’ Fle’ Ble’ (Martinique)
Gold: Rhum Clement Canne Bleue (Martinique)
Best Rhum Agricole
Best: Rhum JM VO
Double Gold: Rhum Depaz XO
Gold: Rhum Clement 10 Ans
Best Spiced Rum
Best: Siesta Key Spiced Rum (Florida)
Double Gold: Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum (Saint Lucia)
Gold: Clifton Estate Rum (Nevis)
Best Gold Rum
Best: Bounty Premium Gold (Saint Lucia)
Double Gold: Island Company Rum (Trinidad)

Gold: Siesta Key Gold (Florida)