52 • Vacations
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
Fall 2017 • 53
The Clément Canne Bleue from Martinique is hands-down our rum
“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.
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
RUM ON THE ROCKS
THE MIAMI RUM FESTIVAL ©RUMSCOUT
100 PROOF CLEMENT CANNE BLEUE