The Colonial Rum Classification – A Primer

The topic of Spanish, French and French style rums come up frequently in rum discussions. It’s confusing to many, especially newcomers trying to make sense of the vast world of rum. Section Three of my book, Minimalist Tiki, has a very lengthy and detailed overview on rum. What follows is an adaptation of a small... Continue Reading →

A (Non-)History of Jamaica in British Navy Rum

It’s common knowledge In the rum world from sheer repetition: The fabled British Navy rum, served to bluejackets for three centuries, is a blend of rums from the Four Horsemen of British Colonial  rum: Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad. It’s an appealing narrative. Who doesn’t love funky Jamaican rum? (Mrs. Wonk will come around eventually... Continue Reading →

Renegade Rum Ascends

Grenada has more sugar cane than it can handle, an unprecedented situation relative to the prior two centuries. From the south to the north, vibrantly green sugar cane stalks rise several meters into the deep blue January sky. The cane is ready to cut -- scratch that -- the cane is past prime time for... Continue Reading →

Rum Renegade Mark Reynier: On the Record

In January 2020 I visited the island of Grenada as a guest of Renegade Rum. Originally an independent bottler of rums, Renegade made a hard-left turn recently, building the first brand new, large scale Caribbean rum distillery in over 15 years. (I’ll have much more to say about this in a future story.) Leading Renegade’s... Continue Reading →

The Age of Angostura – Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of my look at Trinidadian Rum and Angostura, the last remaining rum producer on Trinidad. In Part One, I reviewed Trinidad’s background and role in Caribbean rum history. I also provided key details about Trinidad’s three primary 20th century rum producers: Caroni, Fernandes, and Angostura, and how Angostura became Trinidad’s sole... Continue Reading →

An Open Letter to Authors Writing About Rum

Hey there! I hear you're working on an article about rum for a beverage/food/lifestyle magazine/blog/podcast. Rum has certainly become one of the "it" things to cover, so welcome to the party! There are many folks who are passionate about rum, including a few of us rum-focused writers. We all love rum and are working in the... Continue Reading →

Important New US TTB Rule Changes (Notice 176)

The US TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) is the federal agent responsible for regulating alcoholic drinks, including distilled spirits, wine, beer. Among their many roles is regulating how these drinks are labeled. Every distilled spirit legally sold in the U.S. (imported or not) must get TTB approval for their label. The regulations... Continue Reading →

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