Rum Fest 2021

RumLab is a website dedicate to rum and to the people involved with it. They sponsor a travelling Rum festival stopping in San Juan, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami Beach and after a year hiatus, in New York City on August 21st.

It was a tasting that featured 100+ rums from several countries in all styles. There were also several seminars throughout the afternoon.

The event was held at the popular event space, the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan.

Rum is made from molasses or free run sugar cane juice which is then fermented and distilled in either a column still or a pot still. Not surprisingly, production is centered in the Caribbean countries though it’s made worldwide as well. The rum comes out of the still clear and aging (or adding additives like caramel color) adds color to the rum. The various styles of rum include light rum, gold rum, dark rum, black rum and spiced rum.

Personally, I save the white rums for the pina coladas and rum and Coke while I believe that aged rum is one of the most underrated spirits in the world. It’s something you sip neat while watching the sun go down with bonus points if you are smoking a good cigar.

I particularly enjoy the Rum Agricole that are produced in the French West Indies. They generally have more character with earthy and grassy notes and a lighter texture than rums made from molasses.

Last years tour was another victim of the pandemic so a good crowd showed to the event to sample what was offered, though I did notice that there were fewer producers on hand this time around than in previous years.

Some rums I sampled:

El Dorado 15yr, 21yrClement 10yr, 15yr
Chairman’s Reserve Legacy, 1931Bounty Officer’s Release, Dark Rum
Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican Ron Abuelo 7yr, 12yr
Maggie’s Farm Single BarrelRhum JM 2002, VSOP
Montanya Oro, ExclusivaBarcelo Imperial
Long Pond 15yr Single MaltClement Canne Bleue, XO
Holme’s Cay Guyana 2005, Belize 2006, Barbados 2005Plantation Jamaica, Australia, Trinidad
Don Q Anejo, XO

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