The 2018 UK RumFest, back for its 12 iteration, once again brought together a stellar array of rum brands, industry leaders and hyper-enthusiasts to celebrate all things rum.
I’ve off to more rum adventures in a few hours, so this post’s narrative is a little lighter than usual. But be sure to check the captions for names and details! (You can click each gallery to see the thumbnails at full size.)
This RumFest was special in that it was preceded by nearly a week of rum and Tiki-related events. On Wednesday night (10/17/2018), five rum and Tiki centric bars (Mai-Kai, Dirty Dick, Laki Kane, The Liars Club and Trailer Happiness) came together in the visually stunning TT Liquor Shop for a night of cocktails and rum tastings.
Thursday night had both a rum tasting on the Golden Hinde (a dry docked galleon from the 1500s), as well as the Hampden Estate Rum launch party at Usain Bolt’s new restaurant Tracks & Records. Alas, they were going on concurrently, so Mrs. Wonk and I had to pick one – the Hampden Launch event. Unfortunately it was too dark for any good photos of the rum luminaries within, but I did get a nice shot of the outside.
Friday started out with Rum Experience University: Behind the scenes talks by Karine Lasalle, the new master blender of Rhum J.M; Jeff Murphy, master blend of Bayou Rum, and Richard Seale of Foursquare.
Following the university was the Boutique RumFest, a trade show oriented towards industry professionals. Think of it as a smaller, quieter version of the main RumFest the following two days.
Saturday and Sunday were the main RumFest days, with dozens of brands representing and attended by thousands of people. During both days, classes and tastings were held by rum luminaries like Luca Gargano, Richard Seale, Ian Burrell, and Alexandre Gabriel.
The weekend drew to a close with the Golden Rum Barrel Awards. Among the winners:
- Rum Master of the Year – Richard Seale (Foursquare Rums)
- Rum Brand Ambassador of the Year – Peter Holland (Doorly’s Rum)
- UK Rum Bar of the Year – Trailer Happiness (London)
- International Rum Advocate of The Year – Luca Gargano (La Maison/Velier)
- Rum Writer/Website of the Year – Rum Diaries Blog
- International Craft Rum of the Year – Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve
All in all, another fantastic rum festival in the books. I can wait to return in 2019!