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Old 05-27-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
The Rum Ambassador
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Default My mini Rum Tour.

Hi guys. I’ve just come back from an amazing rum tour of the Caribbean (This includes the Coral Gables, Miami as well...Thanks for looking after me Mr Burr. You're a legend, and I'm voting for you for MAYOR.)
I started in Jamaica with an interview with Master blender of Appleton Joy Spence. I twisted her arm to give me a quarter bottle of 30 year old. (YES).Then it was on to do the touristy Appleton Estate Tour. (Still an excellent experience. Next was Antigua Distilleries where they gave me the VIP tour, and a taste of their new 1981 distilled 25 year old. You'll be seeing that on the shelves any day now, but it's in VERY LIMITED SUPPLY. Then it was on to St. Lucia to interview Laurie Barnard of St. Lucia Distilleries. (Hey Ed. Laurie says Hi...) They have just launched all their rums in the UK. (FINALLY) Thanks to meetings with set up at RumFest London. After two days in the land of Bounty/Chairman’s/Elements 8, I flew to Grenada where I visited the blenders at Westerhall. (A real life rum museum) and the distillers at Clarke’s Court. (Managed to find a 1977 Jubilee bottle of Clarke’s Court white rum in a 1919 shaped bottle). Next was Trinidad. Didn’t get to meet up with John Georges, master distiller from Angostura, but was taken bar hopping by the Angostura reps. And finally, Puerto Rico where Bacardi opened my eyes and palate to total rum efficiency. Jose Gomez, process manager and blender for Bacardi has to be one of the most passionate men I’ve ever met in the industry. The Casa Bacardi is a must if you ever visit the island. You might not get to see some of the hidden secrets that I was shown, (Unless you’re name is ED) but the distillery tour is worth every penny…..Wait a minute. It’s free to visit.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:13 PM   #2
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So the folks at Westerhall are only blenders, not distillers? What's the source of their rum?

I'm still out to get this bottle, haven't purchased one yet...
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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They're buying rums from various diiferent sources. They're bringing in plastic barrels of rums from cane juice to blend and age to make Westerhall Plantation Rum. they also blend a rum called Grand Havana. Very Cuba-esque.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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"plastic barrels" sounds very unappealing... but I keep hearing their rum is quite nice!
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:15 PM   #5
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They are great blenders, most of their rum used to come from Trinidad. I'm not sure where they are buying their sugar cane juice rum from. Interesting place and worth a visit if you make it to Grenada. The other place you have to see in Grenada is River Antoine on the north east coast. That is a working distillery complete with a water wheel where they make their rum from sugar cane juice. It's one of the strongest in the islands and isn't aged at all. Not exactly the finest golden aged rum but certainly one of the most authentic in the islands.

Glad you got to see quite a few distilleries, you can now attest that visiting distilleries is tough work.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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That sounds like a fascinating tour, tough work nowithstanding. Enjoy the Appleton 30 year old, it is sure to be a grand classic.

The distilleries of Grenada are of particular interest as we've recently grown quite fond of Clarke's Court Old Grog and are just getting to know the Westerhall Plantation. All of us landbound rum lovers would find the whole tour exciting.

Can you compare the Grand Havana to some other Cuban style rums?
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:42 PM   #7
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I meant to ask whether you got to try the English Harbor 10 year old. Many of us will probably never taste the 1981, but the 10 year old should be more widely available and within reach.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:09 AM   #8
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Nice trip Mr Ambassador! Do you have tasting notes for the Appleton 30 year old?
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Silvio View Post
Nice trip Mr Ambassador! Do you have tasting notes for the Appleton 30 year old?
I was going to say the same thing...
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:31 AM   #10
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Is it as good as it sounds Ian?

We'll find out for ourselves next week, I really cannot wait! The wonderful Ms Spence has promised us a quarter sample bottle with which to whet our whistles.
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