I missed the New York Rum Fest & Congress which was held on June 18th of this year. It’s the biggest rum festival in the city. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) it was held on the same day as the Decanter Wine Encounter which was too good of a tasting to miss.
So, I was happy to see that the Brooklyn Rum Festival would be held on August 13th. The event was held at the Brooklyn Monarch, an event space in the outer reaches of Bushwick at 23 Meadow Street.
The great thing about rum is the shear diversity of the styles available. There are white rums, dark rums, flavored rums and rums of various ages. While the industry is concentrated in the Caribbean, rum is made throughout the world, and they were represented here as well.
Every producer poured several versions of their rums and even the mass producers such as Bacardi poured some limited production aged rums.
The event space is a huge warehouse with an outdoor area in the back which had a DJ spinning tunes. There was definitely a “Caribbean” vibe to the event which had about half the number of producers present than in the New York Rum Fest, but there were till more than enough rums to sample that afternoon.
Some of the rums I sample, every producer poured several different.
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.