On September 29th, the Rum Lab.com held their 2nd annual rum festival in New York City. They have produced similar festivals in Puerto Rico, California, the Midwest and Seattle. The Rum Lab is “focused on becoming the official rum expo throughout the northern east coast.”
Rum is made around the world but most associated with the Caribbean. Generally, there are three principle styles of rum in the Caribbean that reflect the terroir, climate and who colonized the country. There is the Spanish style ron which is molasses based and are generally lighter in body, the English style rum which are also molasses based and tend to be bolder, and the French style rhum agricole which are based on sugar cane juice and have many of the place of origin rules that wine have, they tend to taste of herbs and the earth.
The event was held at Sounds of Brazil, a music venue located at 204 Varick Street in lower Manhattan. There were a good selection of rum from around the world and since I enjoy aged rum, I began the tasting by trying whatever was the oldest rum at the table.
Some of what I sampled:
Montanya (Colorado): Oro, Exclusiva, Anniversaria.
Owney’s (New York City) Distiller’s Reserve, Superior Quality.
English Harbor Reserve (Antigua): 5yr, 10yr, port cask finish, sherry cask finish.
Chairmans’ Reserve (St. Lucia): The forgotten cask, 1931.
Ron Barcelo (Dominican Republic): 30yr Anniversary Reserve, Imperial.
J Bally (Martinique): 2002.
Clairin (Haiti): Sajous, Vaval, Casimir.
Diplomatico (Venezuela): Single vineyard 2002, Ambassador.
Plantation Rum (Barbados): XO 20th Anniversary.
Clement Rhum (Martinique) VSOP, XO.
Flor de Cana (Nicaragua): 18yr, 25yr.
Rhum JM (Martinique): 1999 Reserve.
Denizen (Jamaica): 3yr, 8yr.
Barcardi (Puerto Rico): Limitada.
Boukman (Haiti): Botanical Rhum.