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Old 11-03-2008, 12:27 PM   #1
leisure master
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Default Best Rum-stuff to do in Puerto Rico?

Hello all - I will be visiting PR soon and wanted to tap into the collective wisdom and experience of all of you to make sure I don't miss any good rum-related stuff.

I will have a car so I will be somewhat free to roam the island.

I am going to try and hit a few of the distilleries if I can, but would appreciate anyone's ranking of which ones I should make the most effort to see since I don't think I could hit them all (Bacardi, Castillo, Serralles, others?)

Also, any particular favorite rum shops where I can pick up anything unusual would be cool. Hell, why leave it rum - any advice on anything I should do or see would be greatly appreciated! Restaurants, bars, whatever!

I am sure we will spend some time lying around on the beach, but I am not really good at that when there's stuff to do...

Thanks everyone
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:50 PM   #2
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I think Rum Runner will give you the best advice as he lives there, but I'll throw my ideas in the ring.
The Bacardi distillery is fun if you are not with a large crowd and they have a good souvenir shop if you have lots of time to spare in line where you can buy a Limited Reserva that is only available there. Bacardi makes Castillo so it is the same tour. Don Q have a small museum in Old San Juan which is worth a quick visit and they stock all their rums and you can get more souvenirs. Barillito also is worth a visit, they don't distill rum anymore but it is worth finding. Seralles is on the south side of the island in Ponce, haven't been there yet but hope to see it in January during their Rumfest. There are old sugar and coffee plantations all over the island, some are now hotels and are great to stay at. Enjoy yourself and give us an update when you get back.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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Hey Leisure. That's good advice from Rumelier.

I think you could do Bacardi, Serralles and Barrilto all in a couple of days. Old San Juan is fun. The old Fort El Moro is really worth a visit. Cana Rum Bar and restaurant in El Convento Hotel in OSJ should be on your list. Koco Rum bar and restaurant in the El San Juan Hotel in suburb Isla Verde, and the newly opened Jams Rum bar and bistro at 1400 Calle Magdelena in suburb Condado should be on your list also.

For side trips , consider these. In the Northeast stay a night or two in Las Croabas at the El Conquistador Hotel. From there you can explore El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the US National Park system. Luquillo Beach is a short drive away and is lined with great shacks serving local food...Go on a weekend to get the most local flavor. A nice day trip is up into the Carite Forest to the town of Guavate for the BEST Lechon (whole spit roasted pig) with all the great side dishes.

In the Northwest the Horned Dorset Primavera hotel in Rincon is first class, and Villa Montana resort in Isabela is very nice. Great beaches at both locations.

In the central mountains is Casa Grande hotel in the town of Utuado. Located at Lake Dos Bocas, it's a more rustic but charming place offering cool night temps.

Not sure how much time you have, but the above could fill up a week or more pretty quick.

As to rum shops...they don't really exist here in a way that would compete with some locations in the Caribbean or some States for that matter.

Hope you have fun!
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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Holy crap!

Guys - thanks a lot for all the great ideas - and so fast! Much appreciated.

No large crowd, just Nicole and me. We'll be there for about 4 days starting this Friday. I was hoping there would be no issue with distilleries closing on the weekend to keep flexibility, but I did keep Friday and Monday available if it became an issue. Sounds like it's not an issue, though.

Thanks again and please fire along anything else you might think of!
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:10 PM   #5
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Visiting Barrilito on the weekend is going to be a problem. The public is welcome Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 11:45AM and from 1:00PM to 4:45PM. You may want to call 787-785-3490 and set up an appointment.

As your stay is short, one day trip is all you'll really be able to squeeze in...That being said, I've been on Island time for so long now that I tend to forget how you city people can compress time so efficiently.

I don't know what your dietary concerns are but, a day trip to Guavate will get you into the beautiful mountain countryside. And some great local comida criolla. It's the real deal on a Saturday and Sunday.

Those who are Kosher, Vegetarians, Vegans and PETA members need not check out this link.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:28 PM   #6
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Hi......speaking of the Old San Juan Hotel....stayed there last month. The rum bar is great. At that time they had:

Rhum Clement Blanc
Monte Cristo 12 year
Zacapa
Appleton 21 year

Also while there, go to the liquor store they have in their hotel shopping area. They had 6 bottles of the Cruzan 5 year rum (I picked up two for myself).

As for buying rum...you're probably going to have to go to the local supermarkets to gte any liquor selection. I was surprised to discover that there is isn't any liquor stores such as we have in Canada / USA.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMac View Post
Hi......speaking of the Old San Juan Hotel....stayed there last month.
Hey Jmac...Did you mean The EL San Juan Hotel? It's been around a long time and is still a vibrant center for nightlife in San Juan.

And you are right...For a city that has quite a number of excellent restaurants, it's curious that specialty shops for wine/spirits and/or fancy food are virtually non-existent here. There is one shop called "Bottles" which has a nice wine and decent spirit selection. It's in Condado area if I remember correctly. Otherwise it's the grocery stores or small Colmados where the trade takes place for off premise consumption.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:12 AM   #8
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ooops...it was the El San Juan Hotel and then we stayed in the El Convento in Old San Juan....absolutely loved old San Juan.

I was surprised about the lack of liquor stores. I found the best selection (and best prices!!) to be away from the tourist areas.

For example...the best price I found on Ron del Barrilito 3 star was at a little store called Mundo Taino @ Calle San Jose #151, Old San Juan, PR.

$19 US a bottle compared to nearly $30 US in other shops.

I was also surprised with the fact that the stores seemed to carry one brand of rum and very little of any other rum brand.


For example...I went to the Don Q Serrales in Old San Juan. Great selection and decent prices on Don Q products.

However rum shopping at other stores, I found some would have the Don Q (usually the blanco) but nothing else from the Don Q line. Still other stores would have nothing but Bacardi or Barrilito.

Has this been your experience as well RumRunner??

Last edited by JMac; 11-25-2008 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:21 AM   #9
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Hey JMac, if you are interested to know more about the Bacardi tour, Krustykrab wrote a nice article about how the tour goes down.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
ooops...it was the El San Juan Hotel and then we stayed in the El Convento in Old San Juan....absolutely loved old San Juan.
JMac. We love El Convento Hotel and OSJ too


Quote:
I was also surprised with the fact that the stores seemed to carry one brand of rum and very little of any other rum brand.
Many of the smaller shops align themselves with only one distributor, which limits their selection.
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