Over the past few years I have attended a number of rum festivals around the country. Large or small, each event has been enjoyable for a variety of reasons. As the Charleston Rum Runners Festival approached, my expectations were low and continued to fall with every “party like a pirate” ad I saw online. I had serious concerns that the festival would breakdown into a Jimmy Buffett-like drunk fest.
While there were plenty of pirate rummies being over-served, the evening was a pleasant surprise. Around the festival floor, one could find quite an interesting mix of premium expressions, locally-produced rums, and reliable cocktail rums. Beyond the rum offerings, the organizers arranged for a number of local restaurants to serve a variety of bite-sized food samplings. There were craps tables, a tarot card reader, and a pirate-themed dance party. There was also an ultra-premium tasting bar manned by some of the cities most knowledgeable bartenders. All of these things made for a fun filled evening.
Some of the rums presented included Appleton Estates, Plantation, Lost Spirits, Pussers, Papa’s Pilar, Don Q, Mount Gay, and Flor de Cana. There were also a few local rums including Red Harbor, Sea Island, Striped Pig, Daufuskie Island and Rational Spirits.
Check out scenes from the festival below.