Authentic Caribbean Rum Seminar

ACR logo

Elixir Saloon, San Francisco, February 10, 2015.  Anyone who’s visited knows I feel best when I’m anywhere the Caribbean, enjoying their rum and lively culture.  When a representative of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) invited me to a seminar about their Authentic Caribbean Rum marque, well, it didn’t take me long to accept. 

Perhaps it’s a sign of how much awareness of Rum has grown in the past decade:  many people actually attend a seminar about Rum.  We sugarcane spirits aficionados are a curious sort, looking for interesting new expressions of our favorite liquor and how to make cocktails with them.  Bartenders are on the front lines, fielding requests for rum-based libations they barely heard of before, many of which were invented 60-70 years ago.  Mixologists are pushing new creations, always on the lookout for new flavors to incorporate.  Rums a big, big category, and there’s lots to know.  In the Rum Gallery’s opinion; if you don’t like rum, give it time, you just haven’t come across the right type yet.  

H. holds court while guests take notes during ACR seminar at Elixir..007

ACR is reaching North to the States’ large and rapidly growing rum market with traveling road shows hosted by real spirits  professionals and accomplished bar owners.  WIRSPA represents over a dozen distillers producing a wide range of rum - and all of them are very good.  H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of Elixir Bar in San Francisco, preached the gospel of ACR rums in my seminar.  Contributors to the rums' diverse flavors – such as yeast, column and pot stills, aging etc – are presented in a fast paced four-hour format.   

H. and Neil Morris (WIRSPA Global Rum Ambassador) walked us through several different styles of rum and distilling, supplemented by a generous pour of nearly 20 rums, several not exported to the US, all served in appropriate stemware.

Rum for lunch and sipping all afternoon?  You get the idea.  Don’t miss it if you receive an invitation.

Perhaps a sneak preview of excellent Bajan rum coming the the USA?.007

ACR Country - Producer - Rum served (click for more)

1. Antigua - Antigua Distillers Ltd. - English Harbour 5 Year Old

2. Barbados  - St. Nicholas Abbey - White    
Mount Gay - Extra Old 
    - Foursquare - Doorly’s XO 
West Indies Rum Distillers - Cockspur Fine

3. Belize - Travellers - 5 Barrel

4. Dominican Republic - Barcelo - Imperial
    - Brugal - Extra Viejo (substitute for XV)

5. Grenada - Clarke’s Court - Old Grog
    - Westerhall Estate - Vintage Rum

6. Guyana - Demerara Distillers Ltd - El Dorado 15 Year Old

7. Haiti - Barbancourt - 8 Year Old  

8. Jamaica - Hampden Estate - Gold   
Wray & Nephew/Appleton - V/X   
    - National Rums of Jamaica Ltd - Monymusk Plantation Special Reserve 

9. Saint Lucia - Saint Lucia Distillers - Chairman's Reserve

10. Suriname - Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V. (SAB) - Borgoe 8 year Old

11. St. Vincent & the Grenadines - St. Vincent Distillers - Captain Bligh X.O.

12. Trinidad & Tobago - Angostura - 1919

Evangelizing the quality of Authentic Caribbean Rum..007Tasting Monymusk Jamaican rum and other delights during ACR Seminar in San Francisco.007

H. was visibly moved by his visits to the distilleries.  His knowledge of ACR rums amd where they fit in tjhe overall spirits world is highly valuable.  I learned to see these rums through new eyes, as did the audience of mostly bartenders and mixologists.  Thirsty for more information on these ACR rums?  Click on the green highlights.  The company names will to take you on a photo tour of the distillery, and the rums are linked to reviews at The Rum Gallery. 

ACR Marque Criteria-Med-RG3

The ACR Marque
The 15 country associations that constitute WIRSPA have agreed to a common set of production standards that define Authentic Caribbean Rum.  The key elements are:
• Rum must be fermented and distilled in one or more of these countries from product of sugar cane origin
• Additives are not permitted
• Where a statement of maturity and/or age is given:
    - It shall be that of the youngest distilled spirit in the product
    - The rum shall have been matured in wooden vats or barrels for not less than one year.

Beauty and knowledge await you at an ACR seminar. Newcomers are exposed to a wide diversity of quality rums, while seasoned mixologists and bloggers gain fresh insight.  A diploma recognizing their newfound insight is the official reward, and makes attendees eligible to compete for a trip to a Caribbean distillery.  Stay tuned for more Authentic Caribbean Rum seminars in San Francisco, Chicago and New York 2015.

© Dave Russell 2017