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52 • Vacations

®

Fall 2017

Worldly Delights

A RUM FOR EVERY PALATE

Rum. It’s often portrayed as the stuff of contraband legends,

rationed to salty sailors and pirates at Caribbean ports of call.

And while some of the lore is true, rum is so much more.

By Mary Luz Mejia

Vacations® •

Fall 2017 • 53

MARTINIQUE

The Clément Canne Bleue from Martinique is hands-down our rum

expert’s favourite.

“It’s a 100 proof (50 per cent ABV) Rhum Agricole made with

freshly crushed heirloom sugarcane juice, and contains no added

sugar, caramel or glycerin. It is authentic according to its appellation

d’origine contrôlée (AOC),” says Bobrow. With flavours of fresh

meringue, cane stalk and powdered sugar, and a fruity-yet-dry

medium-full body finish, it’s no surprise that it’s an award winner.

You can visit the sugarcane plantation in Le Francois to get a

glimpse of the storied rum’s history.

THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Rums from this region, says Bobrow, tend to be caramel coloured and sugar-laced after distillation

to boost alcohol levels and overall sweetness. Some say this has to do with consumers’ preferences.

But one Dominican Republic-based company not afraid of putting rum on the market without these

additions is Brugal. Look for Brugal XV, a premium bottle combining rums aged for three to eight

years in white American oak casks with rums aged for two to three years in sherry casks. Faintly

fruity with a lingering, slightly sweet aftertaste, you’ll notice aromas of dried fruit and honey. The

Brugal rum factory is in Puerto Plata if you’re up for a tour.

CUBA

On a recent trip to Havana, a local guide introduces me to the wonders of Legendario Elixir de Cuba

(try the seven-year aged version), a rum liqueur that’s sweet on the finish and a perfect way to bookend

an evening, or enjoy with a Cuban puro or cigar. You might even want to pour a shot into a superb cup

of local Cafe O’Reilly’s serrano or mountain-grown coffee. Rum, coffee and cigars: Cuba’s triumvirate

and a great way to taste the island.

THE MIAMI RUM FESTIVAL

Looking to expand your rum knowledge? Head to the Miami Rum Festival. Tutored tastings of

rums from around the globe, samplings galore, workshops and a judging event all unfold over one

weekend every April. Dedicated rum enthusiasts might like to secure a VIP Tasting Bar ticket, offering

the opportunity to sample outstanding rums from Robert Burr’s (author of Rob’s Rum Guide and

the Rum Minute YouTube channel host) personal collection. The aim of the rum fest is to introduce

participants to some of the most interesting and exquisite rums from around the world.

Around much of Pan America, rum offers a taste of place and a

mini-history lesson in every sip. As U.S.-based rum expert and judge

Warren Bobrow says, “There is a rum for every island, for every meal,

and every dish. Rum is incredibly versatile: it speaks to Cognac and

brandy lovers.” There’s infinitely more to explore than “the captain.”

Here are some of the must-tries, should you be so lucky!

RUM TASTING AT THE MIAMI RUM FESTIVAL

©RUMSCOUT

RUM ON THE ROCKS

THE MIAMI RUM FESTIVAL ©RUMSCOUT

100 PROOF CLEMENT CANNE BLEUE