Spirits of Americas – new event

IWSC Group launches Spirits of the Americas


The IWSC Group, the world leading event company specializing in wines and spirits has launched the Spirits of the Americas, an exciting new spirits competition based in Florida.
Catering to all spirits produced in North, Central and South American countries and the Caribbean, the competition is set to be the ultimate recognition of distilled products that use a variety of base materials from grain through agave to sugar cane and beyond.
IWSC Group Managing Director, Allen Gibbons comments: “We believe launching Spirits of the Americas will highlight the huge variety and quality of products produced across the Americas. We are excited to have an event that highlights the excitement and diversity of the region”.
Dori Bryant, IWSC Group Event Director commented: “the Americas have always had traditionally strong regional spirits whether it is the rums of the Caribbean, the tequilas of Mexico or the bourbons of Kentucky. However recent years have seen spirits being produced in the most surprising of places such as vodka from Maine and Argentina, gin from San Francisco and absinthe from Philadelphia.”
Products will be judged on a 100-point basis, concentrating on appearance, aromatics, flavor, mouth feel and finish. Each entry will be evaluated, [on its own merit] by a panel of highly qualified judges through a series of blind-tastings, ensuring impartial judgment of the spirits. All judging at the Spirits of the Americas is by region, area, variety, style, type, vintage and age.
Hosting the judging is Jack Robertiello, an expert in the fields of spirits and mixology, who commented: “the Americas are home to a great range of wonderful distillers, old and new, and I am thrilled to be a part of the recognition of that talent”.
Other judges include Robert Plotkin of Bar Media, Pat McCarthy of Bayway World of Liquors who each have 30 years plus experience in the spirits industry. Starwood Hotels N.A. Food & Beverage Director Thomas ‘Mac’ McFarland Gregory III, author along with award-winning sommelier Olie Berlic and Dean Hurst, Director of Sprits, Bern’s Steak House also join the judging team.
The competition will take place in quarter one 2013.

Tequila, agave’s answer to the cane!

My apologies to readers and visitors. I have been working on a book on Tequila, travelling, and suffering from a heart condition, but am now back in business. And this shows some of what I have been working on.

GP Libations No.1: TEQUILA

PERHAPS THE BEST PLACE TO START IS WITH THE DISTINCTIVELY RUGGED BOTTLE OF PATRÓN, which pioneered taking tequila upmarket. Made, of course, in Mexico, the company that owns it is registered in Switzerland and COO John McDonnell says, “If the tequila is no good, then no amount of packaging and marketing can make it up – and ours is fantastic. We only use the best agaves, we cook them in clay ovens for 72 hours; we use a tahona wheel along with a roller mill.”


Harvesting the Blue Agave “pina”

Patrón’s expansion was based on its existing customer base being affluent travelers, and, says McDonnell: “When they fly into major cities globally and can’t find Patrón, they might try something else and then we could end up losing them, so we made sure that Patrón was available at all the high-end restaurants, bars and hotels.” And of course, the locals have been getting the hint of “agavaciousness” as well expanding sales. For example affluent Russian women in particular are taking to tequila on a huge scale.

Premium is as premium does. Over the last decade, tequileros have refined their art to give premium tequilas the smoothly assured maturity of cask aged malts and cognacs without masking the subtle vegetal and spicy undertones that make the spirit of Mexico what it is. As with all luxury items, hands-on work and attention to details make the difference – which is reflected in the prices and sales of the premium tequilas that soared

Readying the pina for roasting

worldwide during the Crash.

The premium tequila makers point out that for tequila distillation – the genesis for most spirits – is merely the culmination of an eight-year process where they have planted and nurtured the long-lived agave pinas to maturity.

Each maker swears by their own methods:  the pinas are cut to different leaf stub lengths, cooked in different types of ovens, and then while some use the traditional  tahona, the stone mill to grind the Agave, others put them through a grinder.  Each swears by their own choice of yeast, some like Olmeca, using local culture they have selected, while Herradura claims to use natural yeast from the air around the courtly tree-shaded hacienda nestling at the core of their modern plant.

Tequila aging in Oak Barrels

Each bottle has the number of the distillery in which it is made and by international treaty tequila can be made only in Mexico, using only one species of agave grown in a designated area, like champagne or cognac. In fact, tequila is protected in the US as well, unlike champagne!

Casa Noble’s Jose “Pepe” Hermosilla joined with several local families and between them they took 20 years from buying the fields to bringing the product to market, earning the strictest all-organic certification.  “We grow our agave in the mountains, to stress them, and they take ten years to be ready.” They experimented with different woods for aging before settling on French oak in which Casa Noble’s latest offering is aged five years, which, Hermosillo points out, represents the equivalent of 15 years in other products. He considers its price of $130 a bottle to be very reasonable with all that care and capital invested in it – and hid appreciation is shared by superstar Carlos Santana who has bought into the company.

Ian WIlliams nosing a blanco

Hermosillo relishes “how many different notes and aromas it can have, based on the different contributions of the terroir where the agave is produced.” Casa Noble has, he says, “complex fruit notes, spices, white pepper, peppermint.”

But while, impelled by the success (and added value) of oak aged spirits, the tequileros point out, and many connoisseurs agree, that the rigorous attention to detail produces excellent white tequilas.

Also advancing rapidly on the luxury front is tequila’s stepbrother, Mezcal which now has its own marque. Artisinal mezcals each made and bottled in different Zapotec villages Oaxaca like Del Maguey Single Village Mezcals, which won Distiller of the Year Award at the San Francisco Spirits Festival last year,  or the varietals made from different types of agave  and aged for up to seven years by Scorpion are also claiming big prices from aficionados.

There’s liquid gold and silver in them thar’ hills down south of the border. IW







LOOK FOR Ian William’s (IW) forthcoming book, “Tequila: A Global History” from Reaktion Press later this year.

[Photos via Ian William + Respective Tequilas]

Rum, first love is best!

GP Libations No. 2: RUM


JAMES BEARD, THE RENOWNED CHEF, FOOD WRITER and seminal figure in advancing American gastronomy, whom Julia Child once accurately described as, “the quintessential American cook” said of rum, “Of all the spirits in your home, rum is the most romantic.”

And in many ways Mr. Beard was right. One of the pivotal characteristic that is supports the enduring interest in rum is that of all the spirits, it has the most exciting back story, one that includes: pirates, slavery, the British Navy and of course the Caribbean sun and sand of its original home to back it up.

While Bedouin tribes had apparently distilled alcohol from sugar products, and used it medicinally, its first explicitly recorded modern appearance as a beverage was in Barbados in the 1640’s, where it was variously called kill-devil, Barbadoes Waters, rumbullion, and finally rum, the name which, with some variations, Spanish (ron), French (rhum) and other languages adopted. While some writers claim that a Martinicans and Brazilians might have made a spirit from sugar earlier, it was certainly Barbadian planters who first made rum a commodity distilled in commercial quantities and traded. Regardless rum, irrespective of its spelling, has been around a long, long time…

And from its Caribbean origins, rum has expanded world wide with distinctive varieties produced almost everywhere sugar cane is grown. Today, India, Philippines and Brazil are now some of the world’s largest producers of rum, hosting between them six of the world’s top ten brands, but they are also among the world’s biggest consumers, and like Australia, another large market, they consume most of their production locally.

The Rum Sugarcane Field Harvest yesterday…

Rum comes in an infinite variety of colors and flavors. White rums, used for cocktails, are sometimes unaged, and in many Caribbean islands even aged white rums are subsequently charcoal filtered to remove the color they acquire from the oak barrels.

Each Caribbean island produces its own distinctive variation of rum; Cuba and Puerto Rico for example, sport a lighter style of rum for export. The demands of the French forces in World War One hugely boosted production in Martinique and Guadeloupe.   After the war they developed their distinctive rhums agricoles made from the full sugar cane, which they contrast with rhum industriel, made from molasses, which they shrewdly market as superior. In the English speaking Caribbean it is produced in relatively small quantities and often called sugar cane brandy

and today.

Some rums, especially those from “The Spanish Main” around the Caribbean are using the solera method, derived from sherry production, in which the rums are decanted into a variety of casks previously used for other drinks, such as port and sherry, and then blended. Aged rum based on these, from Venezuela, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua are increasingly penetrating global markets.

From its earliest days, rum has been a prime constituent of mixed drinks, beginning with punch (from the Hindi word for five, which was the number of ingredients) which are typically rum, water, sugar, spice and citrus. Variations on theme included the Cuban mohito, the mint julep, the Franco- Caribbean ‘tit ponche and the Brazilian Caiparinha.

Premium aged rums, also known as “sipping rums” are enjoyed unmixed and have seen a growing recognition among the world spirits elite connoisseurs, but no matter how rum aficionados might bridle, manufacturers are of course entirely happy with bars mixing premium rums into cocktails! IW



[All Photos by  Fredi Marcarini from his forthcoming book “Rum: A Journey”]

Age in Palate of Besniffer

GP Libations No. 3: Aging Spirits

A PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION: Given a choice between the Mona Lisa and an identical copy thereof, which would you prefer? Understandably, albeit perhaps illogically, most of us would select the original. In a similar vein, we prefer a fine spirit that has actually been aged a quarter-century over one that merely tastes as though it has been.

For generations, aging has improved, not lessened, the attractiveness of brown spirits. The oak barrels in which they’re stored transmute them, making them richer and smoother. Cognacs, dependent on judicious balancing of different years, are stuck with “VSOP” and other subjective designations to indicate their age. Whiskeys, though, stick to clearly defined rules and straightforward numbers. The general consensus: Older is better.

Well, maybe. Accepted industry wisdom used to be that anything that spent more than 25 years in a cask would be undrinkable. Then cellar masters at The Macallan discovered a cask that had been hiding in the back of a cold, damp warehouse for 53 years. It was, they discovered, very, very good. What’s more, collectors were eager to pay a premium for it. As such, Appleton has just introduced a 50-year-old at $5,000 a bottle. Island rum producers, meanwhile, have introduced a truth-in-labeling regulation that will require bottlers to list the youngest rum therein. Authenticity costs.

Other companies have been somewhat more cavalier about age — particularly those from the Spanish Main, who claimed anything up to 20-plus years. Havana Club, for example, has told me its ages are uno medio — an average. The rum producers’ labeling law seems to have shamed some of the Hispanic bottlers: Many of them still use numbers, but without “years” or “aged for” alongside.

I’m a firm believer in authenticity, so I can now stop denouncing consumer fraud and admit that these spirits are as good as, and often better than, those that are simply stored in barrels for a long time. The rums, for example, are made according to the solera method, in which the cellar master decants the rum into different barrels and blends it with different ages. It’s labor-intensive, but not especially time-consuming.

As ever, it all comes down to the consumer. You can purchase a spirit whose authentic age is listed on the bottle, but whose quality might not live up to its billing. Or you can seek out those that have benefited from true artistry and therefore hit all the notes of an aged spirit despite being relatively young. You need not wait decades to enjoy a superb spirit — and you can spend the extra time philosophizing as you sip. – IW

GP Libations No. 1: Tequila
GP Libations No. 2: Rum

[Opening photo + The Macallan Bottle photographs via The Macallan + The Macallan Masters of Photography photos by Albert Watson + Cognac photos via Sig]

Posted on October 29th, 2012

Rum Revolt!

Rumpundit has been advocating this for years. About time!

A few days ago the Caricom Secretary General, Irwin LaRoque, revealed in Washington that Cariforum nations had begun a process which if unresolved will lead to a full complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US Government in relation to rum—as David Jessop reports in this article for Stabroek News.

Following representations by the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA), the regional industry association, Caricom Governments last December formally expressed to the US their deep concern about measures being taken by the Governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to provide multinational rum producers with subsidies under a programme that makes use of excise taxes on rum received from the US Federal Government.

Caricom subsequently raised the issue at a meeting of the US-Caricom Trade and Investment Council in March in Georgetown. Then last week the Caricom Secretary General took the opportunity, during meetings with US officials in Washington, to stress the seriousness of the issue and its implications if left unresolved.

As a consequence a US Caricom technical meeting is expected to take place shortly. This is intended to lead to political exchanges with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) aimed at resolving the issue. At the same time Cariforum ambassadors in Washington have been meeting with others in the US administration and Congress to make clear the Caribbean’s concerns.

In a process that potentially sets David against Goliath, the Caribbean has initiated a dialogue with USTR that challenges an arrangement that enables the USVI to offer one of the world’s largest and wealthiest distilling groups, Diageo, huge subsidies.

The concern is that if the matter goes unchallenged it will result in Caribbean producers seeing their presently significant share of the US market wiped out by a subsidised product, and other large international distilling groups seeking to locate in the USVI and Puerto Rico to seek similar advantage.

As with most trade disputes the matter is complicated. The Caribbean’s case revolves around the fact that subsidies offered by the USVI to the multinational rum producers Diageo and Cruzan are inconsistent with WTO rules in as much as they involve prohibited export subsidies, make use of discriminatory taxation, and use such subsidies to cause adverse effects to the interests of other WTO members, in this case the countries of Cariforum.

Specifically the Caribbean’s case relates to the application by the US Government of a ‘cover-over’ programme which remits 98 per cent of all excise duties raised on rums sold in the US back to the US territories of Puerto Rico and the USVI.

In 2010, this amounted to approximately US$450M. In order to secure a greater amount of this ‘cover-over’ support the USVI and Puerto Rico have since 2008 entered into new contractual arrangements with major multinational producers offering extremely generous concessions, subsidies and long-term support, in exchange for them agreeing to site their distilleries and production facilities in their territories.

In the case of the USVI its government signed a contract in 2008 with Diageo that promised the company very large subsidies over a thirty year period in return for the company’s commitment to produce locally all Captain Morgan rum sold in the United States. Estimates suggest that in these new contracts the value of the operating subsidies alone exceeds the actual production cost per litre of bulk rum.

It is also believed that the combined new production capacity which is planned as part of the agreements will be equivalent to at least 80 per cent of current US rum consumption.

Unsurprisingly, rum producers in the anglophone Caribbean, Haiti and the Dominican Republic have viewed this development with alarm.

So too have Cariforum governments which have recognised the dangers for themselves and the region’s largest agriculture-based export industry which generates an estimated US$500M in foreign exchange and well over US$250M in tax revenues, which is to say nothing of the industry’s role as an important provider of employment or its close relationship to tourism.

While there is understanding of the economic problems facing the USVI, the reality is that the US Congress has allowed its USVI development programme to divert hundreds of millions to primarily provide a development programme for the largest distilled spirits company in the world. In this way the US is damaging one of the few competitive industries that Cariforum nations have and which helps underpin the economic viability of small and sometimes vulnerable Caribbean states. For this reason the dispute is at a government to government rather than an industry level.

There is also a sense that the manner in which the cover-over programme is being used raises serious questions about US consistency in relation to its international obligations under WTO rules.

The US has for many years taken a leadership role in promoting strong WTO disciplines on trade distorting subsidies, so it is surprising that it has allowed a situation of competitive harm to arise.

International distilling groups may have more political and economic muscle to flex in Washington, London and Brussels than do the countries of Cariforum, but the region has the facts and strict rules of world trade on its side.

This is therefore an instance where Caribbean governments and the people of Cariforum need to stand tall, draw the line in Washington and, if necessary, in Geneva , and fight to win.

Rum has a special place in the hearts and minds of Caribbean people.

It is a product that brings identity through small producers to the islands and countries of Cariforum from which it comes. Unlike the product of large multinational distilling groups the success of Cariforum producers does not result from artificial tax breaks, transfer pricing or subsidy.

Instead it is an industry dominated by small local distillers whose product is export oriented, brings much needed foreign exchange, adds value to primary agriculture and provides significant levels of tax and revenue to governments struggling to deliver social programmes.

That is why rum has always been a product worth fighting for, as Europe knows to its cost and the US is about to discover.

Previous columns can be found at www.caribbean-council.org

For the original report go to http://www.stabroeknews.com/2012/features/05/06/rum-is-a-product-worth-fighting-for/

Image of rum under a microscope by Michael Davidson from http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cocktails/pages/rum.html

Bacardi 150

David Cid tells me that this rum is not the same as the exquisite ones that Facundo Bacardi had us taste at his HQ during last year’s Rum Renaissance… they were indeed very very good by any standards.




For 150 years, Bacardi Rum has been celebrating the good life. Bacardi Limited will celebrate unlike ever before in 2012 with promises of innovation, special celebratory affairs, launch promotions and a special, limited-edition decanter of rare Bacardi rum. Of course, it’s that $2,000 rum we’re here to talk about.

Bacardi Rum has been a family business since 1862, so when it came time to developing a one-of-a-kind Bacardi that combined the expertise of 150 years of talent, Bacardi turned to eight Maestros of the Ron Bacardi family to create Ron BACARDÍ de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII®.

The limited edition blend combines the craftsmanship of more than a century of hard work with the perfection developed in several fine rums laid in oak barrels for 20 years. The Ron BACARDÍ de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII® was finished in 60 year old cognac barrels and will be presented in a hand-blown, 500ml crystal decanter swathed in a leather case. Only 400 are produced and available at various international airports around the globe.

150 years doesn’t just merely get a private bottle, but also a host of activities. Celebrity Cruises will help Bacardi celebrate February 4 with a trip through San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Bacardi tradition of a Legacy Cocktail Competition will shake things up as more than 25 countries compete for the prize on February 20th in Puerto Rico; National Geographic Channel’s “Ultimate Factories” plans to showcase the Puerto Rico Bacardi rum factory on February 11.

Cap’n Morgan launches in USVI

So, after all the noise and fury, it happened. Since Obama was blamed for it, will he take credit?



USVI Governor Accepts First Case of St Croix-Produced Captain Morgan Rum


By the Caribbean Journal staff

US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh accepted the first case of locally-produced Captain Morgan Rum, following Diageo’s decision to build a distillery in St Croix which opened in 2010.

Captain Morgan had for some time been produced at a third-party distillery in Puerto Rico. The decision to move to St Croix did not escape controversy in Puerto Rico.

“More than three years ago, we overcame an unprecedented amount of opposition from elements within our territory, and those outside our shores, to succeed in creating this public partnership,” de Jongh said. “I am proud my administration and the leadership of Diageo stayed the course through the process, and now the landmark deal is beginning to bear fruit, or, more specifically, spiced rum.”

The Captain Morgan brand is the second-highest-selling rum in the world. It signed a 30-year commitment to St Croix in a deal negotiated by de Jongh.

“In this difficult economic time for the people of the Virgin Islands and St Croix, in particular, this first case of locally-produced Captain Morgan Rum represents some sorely-needed good news for this territory’s economy, and is a reassurance to all Virgin Islanders that even as we face the impact of the global economic downturn, we have laid the groundwork for our future prosperity,” de Jongh said.

David Gosnell, parent company Diageo’s president of Global Supply, told de Jongh that production was now in full swing at the distillery, and a million cases of Captain Morgan would be ready for distribution by the end of the month.

The distillery has a production capacity of 20 million proof gallons of rum each year — all the bulk rum used to make Captain Morgan-branded products in the US.

Angostura in Carnival Mode

Laronde-West: Take pride in locally-produced rum
Sunday, February 12, 2012
2011 Angostura Global Cocktail challenge winner Andy Griffiths in action.

As T&T gears up to celebrate its 50th year of Independence (August 31), Angostura’s manager–corporate communications Giselle Laronde-West feels T&T can take immense pride in its locally-produced rums. Interviewed recently at Angostura House, Laventille, Laronde-West, who also has the distinction of copping the prestigious Miss World 1986 title in London, England, said: “For Carnival, mixologists are converging on T&T for the Angostura Cocktail Challenge. The event spans a week, from February 15 to 23, at Trotters, Maraval Road. “As T&T approaches its 50th anniversary, it is doing well. We (Angostura) are a Trinidad company. We make every effort to help people understand it is a product which has been created in T&T; it is indigenous.” Laronde-West added: “It is made in Trinidad. These are our products. Over the years, it is an easily recognisable product that is made in T&T. Wherever we go, we market it. We want people to remember it is made in T&T. We want to enshrine pride and inculcate a sense of nationalism.” Seizing the opportunity, Laronde-West said the Angostura Global Cocktail challenge was a great opportunity to educate people on where these products (bitters and rum) originated. The rums are synonymous with T&T like icons Anya Ayoung-Chee, Brian Charles Lara and Tobago’s Dwight Yorke. She said: “The effort of the global cocktail challenge is to educate people on where they are made. It is made in my country. There is a sense of pride when you hear them comment on it.” Wherever Laronde-West marketed the products, she said there was a profound sense of pride and patriotism that surfaced. She said: “It makes makes me proud to hear people say how proud they are of the products made in my country. There is an overwhelming sense of pride when you get tremendous kudos for your rums.” It’s not surprising rum would figure prominently since it has been part of the Caribbean’s epicentre and has profoundly influenced the social, economic, political and religious development of the islands.

‘Trinidad is rum’
As the countdown to Carnival intensifies, Laronde-West said the visitors would get a first-hand experience of Trini multiculturalism—be it soca, pan, calypso and playing mas in Bliss. Among those visiting will be 2011 winner Australia’s Andy Griffiths. In the freestyle segment, he had created The Scarlet Ibis, after T&T’s national bird. She said: “It gives them that opportunity to experience the greatest show on earth. We are bringing people here to see what we’re about. They get to understand the culture…sample roti, doubles, bake and shark, and feel the excitement of T&T. They are getting everything. They are coming at a time when it is pulsating. They will even see masqueraders drinking strong rums.” Apart from enjoying the sites of the Magnificent Seven including Stollmeyer’s Castle, international guests would get a chance to tour Angostura’s facilities. “They get a chance to see where it is made; The fact Angostura has been around for almost 200 years. They get to speak to the people who make the rums. When they return to their respective countries, they would be able to understand our culture. When we sell our bitters and rum products, they would have a better understanding of where our products are coming from.” Laronde-West predicts uninhibited exposure to “babel, sun and Trini rums,” would augur well “for us in terms of selling the rum.” “And, of course, it would create some sales…and some profits.” But Laronde-West volunteered: “It’s great the people of T&T appreciate our rums. No matter what palate they have, we are able to provide a rum. That’s the pride we feel in our rums. “I think at the end of the day, Trinidad is rum. Rum is Trinidad.”

Distributors to share best practices
Buoyed by the interest, Laronde-West said there were distributors, distillers, rum enthusiasts and other stakeholders who were “even willing to pay their way.” She said: “We are happy to be able to bring them here. We have distributors who have heard about our products. They are paying their way. We have about 80 other people coming for the Distributors’ Conference. We have about 16 members of the media coming from different houses.” Among those who have expressed a keen interest in tete-a-tetes with master distiller John Georges are United States’ Tony Abu Ghanin and New Zealand’s Jacob Briars. She added: “It’s an opportunity for distributors to share their best practices in what they do… in promoting and selling Angostura. It is an opportunity to reach out… to network. They understand the culture and they appreciate where the products are made. It would give them a sense of connection and authenticity when they are speaking about it. We have bitters in Greece.” Rum appraisals are also on the itinerary. Rum has all the complexities of wine. Between swigs, they would determine whether the rum is robust, mellow, light and dark, new and aged, sweet and dry. They would determine if it has a trace of oak from its cask, the caramelisation and the hints of cherry and vanilla. During Angostura House tour, they would learn that the House of Angostura has been making fine spirits since 1824 and boasts almost 200 years experience of fermenting, distilling, ageing and blending. Rum paintings decorate its walls. A rum museum lures visitors. They might learn “rum” is possibly derived from a truncated version of rumbullion or rumbustion, British slang for tumult or uproar. Prior to the finalists being selected, Laronde-West said: “There is an interest for the Carnival and in our global cocktail challenge. In every region, they would have had competitions and they would have chosen a winner. “We have had hundreds competing. So think about the people who know about Angostura rums. Think how many people know it is ‘Made In T&T’.”

Alex Thomas comments: Senior manager–sales and marketing for the Americas Alex Thomas expressed similar sentiments—visitors would get a taste of local culture. He said: “People are coming to Trinidad. Many of them are not really sure where Trinidad and Tobago is. They are going to get a taste of Trinidad and Tobago culture. They will be coming for Carnival. They will be getting to take part in the competition as well. We have a local from Kapok.”

Lecture at Colonial Dames of NY. Rum, Cowboys, Indians and Loyalists.

NSCD NY + + Ian  Williams Lecturer

Reminder: Thursday, January 19th Historical Activities Lecture featuring
Ian Williams and a Rum Tasting

Rum Tasting by El Dorado and Favorite Lecturer
Ian Williams (of Rum fame) returns- Join US!

Ian Williams, one of our most INTERESTING guest lecturers,
a writer and historian on revolution- and on Rum, returns to speak on
The Loyalists of 1776

He will lead a riveting interactive discussion on the complex decision of picking political sides in 1776. Highlighted characters include loyalists Claudius Smith, the Ramapo Cowboy, & Joseph Brant, American Indian British Military Leader.
Rum tasting to follow his talk.

Cocktails from 6:00 to 6:30
El Dorado Will Serve a Signature Cocktail El Dorado Double Spice (Spiced Rum and Infused Cider) as well as Wine

Lecture and Discussion 6:30 to 7:30

Continuation of the cocktail reception including a Rum Tasting from 7:30 to 8:30
El Dorado Will treat us with a Rum Tasting of 3, 8 and 12 year aged Rum Member tickets $30.00 , Non-Member tickets $35.00 Member & non-member tickets at the door $45.
For Tickets call Penny 212-744-3572, Address- 215 E 71st St (off 3rd Ave)
Joseph Brant- 1785  Famous Loyalist

Finding El Dorado – in Western Pennsylvania!

Fun time in Scranton… nice audience at the Everhart Museum, for a talk on rum history. They  became even nicer after sampling some of El Dorado range, 3, 8, 12, cream and spiced. Good effects: one wine connoisseur rushed off to a cigar bar while the 12 yr taste lingered . And they bought”Rum”  books!

Stayed over for the Xmas parade and took IAN & Owain to Steamtown. All those years on British Rail and the iron horses are still magnetic!