In September of 2018, I sat down with Luca Gargano in London
immediately prior to the Rum
Tasting of the Century, celebrating the launch of Hampden Estate’s aged rum.
We had a wide-ranging interview that covered many topics,
resulting in far too much material for a single interview piece. In my Bevvy Ruminations column, I excerpted two portions that cover topics of broad interest to the rum
audience. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part
However, there was plenty of material left over that’s manna
to the more hardcore rum wonks. Topics that are a bit more esoteric and inside
baseball. A lengthy bonus reel, so to speak. I’ve polished it a bit but haven’t added a ton
of explanatory comments to the numerous references Luca makes. In short, this
is raw, very lightly filtered Luca–and he has plenty to say.– Continue reading “The Gargano Files”
Every camera in the room is trained on a lone man struggling to open a rather plain brown glass bottle, unlabeled except for a paper tag around its neck. The red wax sealing the neck is not giving way easily to his run of the mill corkscrew. Sukhinder Singh, co-owner of The Whiskey Exchange, has opened countless rare and historic bottles in his time, but this bottle of obviously very old bottle is vexing him.
Continue reading “Two Centuries in a Bottle: Drinking the Harewood House 1780 Rum”
Call me biased, but at my fourth Tales of the Cocktail, the global rum family seemed front and center at the annual cocktail and spirits show. I didn’t do a rigorous analysis, but more than any other spirit, rum seemed to be on the rise–the most sessions, tasting rooms, and special events. As much as I wanted to attend every rum-related event, there were simply too many! So what follows are my personal highlights of rum-related events at Tales, with no slights intended to the events I missed.
Continue reading “A Very Rummy Tales of the Cocktail 2018”
Early on my path to rum wonkdom, after exhausting the rum selections at my pitiful state liquor stores, a certain set of elegant looking and pricey bottles caught my eye while scouring the shelves at an out-of-state liquor store. The labels read Berry Bros. & Rudd, and each bottle held rum from a different country. I quickly realized that these were somehow different from the big rum brands. I was fascinated and realized I had much to learn. However, the $120 price tags were prohibitive, especially so for someone not yet well informed on the nuances of different countries, much less different distilleries.
Continue reading “Independent Rum Bottlers: The Real Story”
After many years of impatient waiting, rums from Italy’s Velier S.p.A. have finally landed in the U.S. market. Long considered the premiere independent bottler of rum, the company has had massive success with European rum-wonks due to its near-legendary releases from distilleries like Hampden Estate, Foursquare, Demerara Distillers Limited, and Caroni. Meanwhile, American rum aficionados could only salivate over Facebook photos or, if they were lucky, squirrel away a few bottles in their suitcaes on European jaunts.
Continue reading “Velier’s U.S. Launch Event, in Photos”