Rummy! Winning at Miami’s Rum Renaissance Grand Tasting

Yesterday I attended the Miami Rum Renaissance Grand Tasting at the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach. Ed Roberts asked me to tag along, I suppose because of my radiant personality! I gladly accepted. Ed and I arrived right on time, a novelty for typical Miamians, and used most of the 6 hours allotted to work our way through the exhibits of dozens of rum makers.

What a fantastic event it was too! The vendors were enthusiastic, knowledgeable and offered a very engaging environment to spend the day. Most offered both straight rum product as well as some cocktail variations to choose from. It was fun trying many different rums from an extremely diverse group of distillers. There were rums from Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Spain, Trinidad, Madagascar, Jamaica, Haiti, Venezuela, French West Indies, United States, and probably a handful of others.

There were vendors selling clothes, hot sauces, books and drink-making gear. There was a live band and dancing. Some of my favorite exhibits were from Dos Maderas, which had ends of the barrels cut off so you could smell the wood. I felt right at home in the Brugal Lounge with the young ladies there to make us feel comfortable. Bacardi had a great display and served some of their rums directly from the barrel. And I will not forget the model who served me some Poesia, dressed as if she was on her way to Carnival. The whole day was very entertaining. I’m still going through hundreds of photos.

Now, I plan on doing a thorough review of the rum products (Update) on my (it used to be a beer blog) DailyBeerReview.com site. Should that be something you might want to check out, be sure to sign up so you don’t miss any posts. I did, however, want to mention some of my favorites from the day here.

Ed and I both loved the Dos Maderas PX 5+5 Rum, noting its awesome vanilla, sherry and richness. The Bohemio Honey offering was spectacular. One Barrel was really unique smelling and tasting. Siesta Key Spiced Rum was superb. Other notables were Zaya, Appleton 12, Centenario 25, Zafra 21, Rum Diplomatico 12 and Vizcaya 21. But honestly, the rums were across the board terrific!

Finally, though I had one eye open looking to see if Belkys might be in attendance, there were a few others I was hoping to meet. I bumped into one of the models that I knew from somewhere. After much discussion, she turned out to be a former employee of Total Wine. Surprise! OMG, I ran into my boss! No, not my real boss, silly. My boss from this site, Soul of Miami. Yep, I got to meet James and Annette, and James actually introduced me to the event host, Robert Burr. Rob is the author of Rob’s Rum Guide, a very handy little booklet about rum with hundreds of tasting notes.

I’ll definitely be back next year and I suggest you do the same!

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