Subscribe RSS
The UK RumFest 2015 – Rum Experience Week Oct 07

Rum Experience Week London LogoFirst Ever Rum Experience Week is Less than One Week Away
Rum lovers invited to explore new ways with rum in a week-long series of tastings,
masterclasses, parties, music & fine dining


Monday 12th – Sunday 18th October 2015

The first ever Rum Experience Week lands in London from 12th – 18th October 2015. Headed up by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, the seven day series aims to raise awareness of the spirit like never before and welcomes both rum newcomers and the discerning drinker to embrace the vibrant culture of rum and explore new ways to enjoy a tipple.

The rum-fuelled action kicks off on the Monday with Lamb’s Navy Rum, where those lucky enough to get a ticket can sample the first limited edition batch of Lamb’s Single Cask in one of Alfred Lamb’s old stores under the Thames at Voltaire followed by the official launch party for Rum Experience Week. Joined by the biggest experts from the world of Rum, Bourne & Hollingsworth are delighted to invite guests to The Rum Masters Tasting & Dinner on Tuesday evening, sampling four unique and bespoke rums, specially created by master distillers for the first ever Rum Experience Week. The evening’s engaging hosts consist of some of the world’s most renowned ambassadors including David Morrison from Appleton Rum, Richard Seale from Foursquare, Luca Gargano from Velier Rums and Luis Figueroa from Pampero Rum.

Appleton Estate Rum Tasting at RumFest 2011

Rum tasting will be taken to new heights on the Tuesday as Appleton Estate Rum is offering over 400 lucky rum enthusiasts the chance to yet again take part in the ultimate ‘alternative night in’, as they present #AppletonLive the ‘Taste of Jamaica’ Appleton Estate Rum’s Twitter Tasting. Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell and Appleton Estate’s senior blender, David Morrison will host the live Twitter tasting, in which rum fans can follow online, from their very own homes, to unlock the true tastes and smells of Jamaican rum, with each tweet. Thursday welcomes rum lovers to jump aboard the Tiki Boat for Tiki On The Thames. Expect an afternoon of Tiki vibes, Tiki tunes, complementary Tiki cocktails and all things Tiki before voyagers disembark for a special after party at the famous Mahiki Club in Mayfair.

Friday sees the return of the Rum Experience University to offer rum lovers with even more of an education in rum and a recognised diploma, 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. The huge two day rum celebration is on course for its best year yet featuring tastings of over 400 rums, cocktail making competitions, seminars, workshops, a Christie’s rum auction, incredible food and the party atmosphere of Carnival Hour.

Cocktails at RumFestGerry’s Wine & Spirits will be the official Rum Shop for the Rum Experience Week featuring a RumFest Takeover from Monday 12th – Wednesday 14th October where customers will be able to sample a selection of the exclusive rums that will be hitting RumFest and Boutique RumFest later that week, as well as speak to representatives from the various brands. With daily themes visitors will also be honoured with 10% off all rum purchases during Rum Experience Week to anyone who produces a valid RumFest ticket.

The Rum Experience Week will also celebrate the classic cocktails by giving it a Rum twist; each day bars will celebrate a different Cocktail of the Day. Monday is all about the Mojito, Tuesday the sweet Daiquiri, Wednesday plays with Mai Tai, Thursday is the exotic Pina Colada and finally Friday is Planter’s Punch day. Rum fans visiting the Rum Week bars, which include: Artesian, Mahiki, Trailer Happiness, Merchant House, Rum & Sugar, Portside Parlour and London Cocktail Club will also be in with a chance of winning bottles of rum by posting a photo of themselves drinking the cocktail of the day across socials tagging #rumweek. Merchant House are also offering 50% of ALL rums across the week as hosting their weekly rum masterclass for only £20 rather than £65!

Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador and Rum Experience Week Founder comments, “We are less than a week away till 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. Rum is an incredibly versatile spirit and there will be no better way to celebrate this than at the first ever Rum Experience Week. See you there!”

RumFest Founder and Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell is the leading name in rum. Dedicating his life to promoting rum and rum culture around the world, over the years Burrell has been recognised with a number of industry awards as well as regularly appearing as a rum expert at events and on television shows like Sunday Brunch, the Alan Titchmarsh Show and more.

Rum Tasting at RumFest

Rum Experience Week Programme

Monday 13th October
Caribbean Hands on Cookery Class
Tickets available September | Website | Divertimenti Cookery School, South Kensington / Knightsbridge, 227-229 Brompton Road,  London, SW3 2EP

RumFest Takeover @ Gerry’s Wine & Spirits
1PM – 6PM | 74 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UW

Cigar & Rum Pairing
Sautters Knightsbridge: 106 Mount St, London, Mayfair W1K 2TW

Alfred Lamb’s Secret Store
VIP sampling session & Rum Experience Week Launch Party | Voltaire | From 7PM RSVPs

Rum Appreciation Masterclass with Peter Holland and Matugga Rum
Lounge at Library Private Members Club.

Tuesday 14th October
Cigar & Rum Pairing
1A St James’s: London SW1A 1EF

The Rum Masters Tasting & Dinner
Bourne & Hollingsworth | Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1JF | For tickets click here

Wednesday 14th October
RumFest Takeover @ Gerry’s Wine & Spirits
1PM – 6PM | 74 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UW

Cigar & Rum Pairing
La Casa Del Habano: 76 High St, Teddington TW11 8JD

Rum & Sugar Rum – Rum Cocktail Masterclass
Suitable for beginners | 6.30PM – 8PM | Rum & Sugar, Docklands

Thursday 15th October
Cigar & Rum Pairings
James J Fox: 19 St James’s St, London SW1A 1ES

Tiki on the Thames
Festival Pier departure 1.45PM – 6PM (stop off at 4PM) | £22 via Eventbrite

Rum & Sugar Live Music Gig
8PM – 11.30PM

Friday 16th October
The Rum Experience University
ILEC Conference Centre | Tickets announced soon

Boutique RumFest
ILEC Conference Centre | Trade only | Registration essential here

Rum & Rococo Chocolate Pairing
Two sittings: 5pm & 7:30pm | 3 Moxon Street, W1U 4EW | Tickets £25 & booked by contacting Sam 07469 853 957 /

Rum & Sugar Live Music Gig
8PM – 11.30PM

Saturday 17th October
RumFest 2015: the world’s premier rum festival
Tickets £49.95 / £75 (VIP) |

Sunday 19th October
RumFest 2015: the world’s premier rum festival
Tickets £49.95 / £75 (VIP) |

My Plantation Gran Añejo Rum Journey Oct 03

A few weeks ago I commented on a FB posting of a BBC article about a guy going off on a Rum Journey to track down a legendary Jamaican Rum. It appears that the author, Nick Davis, traipsed high and low around Jamaica like a Canadian Mountie to find his rum. And like any good Mountie, he found his Rum. Now I can appreciate the idea of an adventure, especially when it involves rum and therefore I finished my comment with:

 Personally I like the idea of going on a Rum Journey :-)

So move forward to last week when an oft-trodden trip to the Whisky Exchange in London to pick up some supplies, started my own Rum Journey.

Plantation Gran Añejo RumOf late in the Charlosa household, Plantation Gran Añejo Guatemala Rum had become the go-to rum for the other half of #RumwiththeMrs. Having all of the qualities of one of Mrs Charlosa’s favourite but somewhat more expensive rums from the same country, but for almost half the price, maintaining a supply of Gran Añejo has always been a bit of a no-brainer. So with the previously purchased bottle lasting no more than a few weeks, I set off to pick up a couple of replacement bottles.

To my surprise, they only had the one bottle left on the shelf. However an even bigger surprise was just around the corner, because when I asked when more stock would be due in, it was pointed out that the Plantation Gran Añejo had changed; that the bottle in my hand was the new blend and that the old “family favourite” had been discontinued with no stock left…

So here was a dilemma; was the last bottle that I’d bought and we’d enjoyed, like there was no tomorrow, the old blend or the new one. You’d think I’d know, but considering I was holding a bottle in my hands and I hadn’t even noticed the difference on the label, how could I remember about the bottle that we’d already put in the recycling bin and had been taken away the day before…

So now my challenge was to try and track down some old stock so at least I could do a taste comparison, both for my own blogging purposes, but also to know whether Mrs Charlosa was going to be happy with the new blend or whether we’d need to find her a new go-to rum for her Rum & Diet Coke’s. And so begun my own Adventurous Plantation Gran Añejo Rum Journey.Gerry's 4th Limited Edition Plantation Rum Guatemala Ice Wine Cask

Now I do wish that this adventure involved a trip to the home of Plantation Rum: Maison Ferrand’s Château de Bonbonnet in the Charentais region of France or even to Guatemala to visit the Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala which is where the rum is originally produced, but that’s not to say that this little adventure wasn’t without peril. So from the confines of my desk I surfed the web looking for alternative suppliers carrying stock.

Despite indicating that the Gran Añejo was out of stock at Gerry’s Wines and Spirits I figured what harm could come of phoning them to confirm. While I may not have lost life or limb, my wallet ended up being lighter following that call. See, it turned out that the Gerry’s 4th Limited Edition Plantation Rum had arrived in that day and it was rum from Guatemala that had been aged for nine months in an Ice Wine Cask. So with my arm twisted I made the perilous journey through the jungle that is the West End of London on a Thursday evening in search of the colourful region that is Old Compton Street. While I may not have found the MacGuffin of my quest, I had in the meantime found something equally valuable. The Gerry’s Limited Plantation Rum’s are highly sort after treasures and with it being Guatemalan Rum and only 450 bottles to the cask I’d struck gold with this find. But I still didn’t have my Plantation Gran Añejo Guatemala Rum…

However, there’s a part to this tale that hasn’t been told yet. Shortly after coming off the phone from Gerry’s I’d called The Drink Shop to check whether the stock that they had listed was the new or the old blend. So after taking a yonder through the warehouse to grab a bottle, the customer services maiden was able to confirm that it had only the word Guatemala written in the red strip on the bottle. So having indicated that I was after two bottles, it turned out that there were just three bottles left. How could I in good conciseness leave one of those little fellows by itself. So after the little ones faced the perils of the courier service, travelling thousands of metres from the depths of Kent to the City of London, it would appear that my adventure is nearly at an end.

I say nearly, because now that I have both the new and old blends of Plantation Gran Añejo Rum, I need to open them up and compare them. But that’s a bedtime story for another day…