San Francisco, June 27, 2012. Perhaps it’s a sign of how people’s awareness of Rum has matured in the past decade: people will actually attend a seminar about Rum. We are curious, and looking for interesting new cocktails. 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. Rum is 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. And there’s so much more, to appreciate about these fine sugarcane-derived liquors. That’s where Rum For All comes in.
Rum For All is a traveling road show preaching the gospel of fine rum to packed houses all over the USA. Led by a pair of luminaries: Paul Pacult, Spirits Journal maestro; and Sean Ludford, seasoned spirits, wine and beer consultant, judge and author – their advocacy team is sponsored by a more than a dozen distillers and covers a lot of ground – on the road and during their presentation. The discussion starts by guiding the audience through a discussion of What is rum? then delivers a concise history of rum through the centuries, different styles of rum are explained with a robust tasting included, and distillation and aging techniques are discussed as well. Finally, we get to the rums; 14 of them in fact, each one sniffed and sipped to the audience’s content, with stops for guiding tasting notes along the way.
Rum for All has done an excellent job of culling 14 different rums from all over the caribbean for tasting. There’s unaged white rums, aged whites, agricoles, heavy pot still rums, a variety of column still rums - colors range from crystal clear to dark brown, with ages ranging from months to 23 years..
Featured Rums (in order tasted)
1. Shellback Silver
2. Brugal Especial Extra Dry
4. 10 Cane
5. Bank’s 5 Island
7. DonQ Gran Añejo
8. Bacardi 8
9. Abuelo 7
10. Appleton Reserve
11. Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva
12. Flor de Caña 18 year old
13. Mt. Gay Extra Old
14. Zacapa 23 Sistema Solera
Additional rums, including Brugal 1888, Abuelo 12, Flor de Caña and others were available for sampling at the close of the ceremony, paired nicely with food.
Sure, I’ve sampled each of these rums at various tasting competitions and have posted reviews of most of them at The Rum Gallery. Still, it was interesting to see the order that another rum professional offered them, and their tasting notes as we progressed through the flavors. I learned something, as did the audience of (mostly) bartenders and mixologists.
That’s the beauty of Rum for All: whether you are new to rum or a seasoned aficionado, there’s knowledge – and pleasure – to be gained here.
Rum For All is scheduled to appear at the following events:
July 27 - Seminar at Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans
October 5 - Seminar at the Boston Cocktail Summit
October 16 - Rum For All event, Dallas-Ft Worth
November 10 - Consumer event in New York City at Astor Center