Rum & Cocktail News Of The Week 10/16/15

RumFest_Logo_Small_Featured This week has been the UK’s Rum Experience week leading up to this weekend’s UK RumFest. This writer must admit that he is jealous that many of his rum loving colleagues have made the journey across Europe for a series of rum events throughout the past month. The rum journey began in Rome and moved to Berlin, Belgium, and concludes Sunday in London. reports about all of the festivities to be found in London this week. Working with leading bars, chefs, distillers, rum brands and rum lovers the week-long Rum Experience festival promises to be exciting.

Each event at Rum Experience Week will be hosted by a different brand, promoting new ways to experience rum – including rum pairings with cigars and chocolate, rum-infused cooking classes and exclusive menus, interactive tastings, and a Thames Tiki rum cruise.

Ambassadors including David Morrison of Appleton Rum, Richard Seale of Foursquare, Luca Gargano of Velier Rums and Luis Figueroa of Pampero Rum will join global rum ambassador and RumFest founder Ian Burrell in educating newcomers and discerning drinkers alike in the culture of rum.

We are less that a week away until the first ever Rum Experience Week hits London and the excitement is building. We’ve paired up with some of the most pioneering and exciting partners and will be seeing events pop up all over the capital for the very special week of tastings, seminars, dinners, master classes, live twitter tasting and parties. – Ian Burrell, The Rum Ambassador

The week begins with an event hosted by Lamb’s Navy Rum, where the first limited edition batch of Lamb’s Single Cask will be available for tasting, followed by the official launch party for Rum Experience Week.

On Tuesday Bourne & Hollingsworth will host The Rum Masters Tasting & Dinner, sampling four unique and bespoke rums specially created for the occasion by master distillers, while Appleton Estate Rum will introduce #AppletonLive, the ‘Taste of Jamaica’ Appleton Estate Rum’s Twitter Tasting.

On Thursday, sea voyage Tiki On The Thames will take place followed by an afterparty at the Mahiki Club in Mayfair, and Friday sees the return of the Rum Experience University, while industry figures gather for the annual rum trade event Boutique RumFest to sample and meet new and emerging rum brands to the UK market.

Rounding off the week is the ninth annual RumFest, a two-day rum celebration featuring more than 400 rums, cocktail making competitions, seminars, workshops and more. Bars participating in Rum Experience Week will offer classic cocktails with a rum twist, with a themed Cocktail of the Day.

Launch for first rums distilled in UK from African sugar cane.
Launch for first rums distilled in UK from African sugar cane.

This week UK-based Matugga Beverages launched the first rums to be distilled in the UK using African sugar cane molasses. Their initial two expressions, Matugga Golden Rum and Matugga Spiced Rum, were crafted in small batches in Cambridgeshire.

Fermented for seven days, Ugandan molasses is triple-distilled in 200-litre copper pot stills.

Matugga Golden Rum is finished in uncharred English oak casks. Matugga Spiced Rum is infused with a uniquely East African mixed-spice tea blend featuring six fragrant botanicals – black tea, ginger, cloves, vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon. (

With Matugga Golden Rum, on the nose we have fine oaked deep fruit cake, with raisins and sultanas abounding. The palate is full of slightly honeyed cracked caramel with a hint of Szechuan peppers and bay, finishing with vanilla, strawberry and a rich treacle. …Matugga Spiced Rum. This is a truly mouth-watering rum. Honey and orange blossom are entwined with raisins on the nose. The palate is a flood of smooth, but warm, tangerine, liquorice and cracked black pepper before a honeyed Christmas pudding finish. – Dr. John Walters, Matugga Master Distiller

BlueChairBay_Header_2 The overall rum category has seen flat sales over the last few years but there have been a few lines that have acheived improving sales including premium lines, higher-proof expressions, and new flavor offerings. Fishbowl Spirits’ Blue Chair Bay, arrived in 2013 to solid sales. Within the past year, the Caribbean-produced rum saw sales growth of 58% moving from 36,000 cases to nearly 60,000 cases in the U.S.

Founded by country singer Kenny Chesney, Blue Chair Bay expressions retail for around $19/bottle. They recently added two new expressions to their lineup: Vanilla Rum (26.5% ABV) and Banana Rum Cream (15% ABV). These entries join their White, Coconut, Coconut Spiced, Banana, and Coconut Spiced Rum Cream. (

We had on-site activation on Kenny Chesney’s Big Revival tour across 40 cities this summer and events across the country, with a strong emphasis on both on- and off-premise sampling – David Farmer, President, Fishbowl Spirits (and former Kenny Chesney’s tour manager)

Ron-Prohibido-Rum Fraternity Spirits will showcase Ron Prohibido at this year’s TFWA World Exhibition. Ron Prohibido is a premium, artisan rum produced using sugar cane juice fermentation, or sugar cane wine, which is then column distilled. The rum is then blended with the solera 12 years to obtain its delicious aroma and flavor. It’s delivered in a classical Spanish glass bottle.

With a targeted consumer demographic aged 21-35, the Rum has enjoyed success in Germany and Spain and should be targeted at the rest of Europe.

This rum is for those who are searching to open their mind to new horizons and who are searching for soft tastes and flavours. We have targeted the rum at young drinkers, and so far it is proving extremely popular being available in the UK, Spain, French, Germany, Italy Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark and the Czech Republic. – Fraternity Spirits CEO Raffaele Berardi

2 Responses

  1. mike
    mike at |

    Hi ,
    Just came accross your site…its music to my ears..Im a Londoner living in Barcelona following my passion,intriducing Artisan Drinks to boutique hotels,cocktail bars,etc,,as well as runni9ng a Premium Cocktail service where we stage events at galleries,festivals,yachts…I am now looking to stage an Artisan Rum Tasting event at the Modern History of Art..Ive done it in the past with Craft Gins and been hugely succesful..gaining publicity and introducing to distributors…Please is it possible to gain an insight into UK companies producing small batch Rum and perhaps send me a list?
    Kind regards,


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