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10th Anniversary UK RumFest 2016 is a Sell Out Success Oct 29

The RumFest 2016

Sell Out Success for RumFest 10
Thousands of Rum Lovers Join the UK’s Leading Rum Festival for Tastings, Masterclasses & 10th Anniversary Celebrations

Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd October 2016
London’s ILEC, Earl’s Court
rumfest.co.uk

Ian Burrell Presenting at UK RumFest 2016Over 400 rums were on offer at this year’s RumFest, presented by distillers and blenders from all corners of the globe and all available to sip, savour, buy and take home. Well-known brands like Bacardi, St Nicholas Abbey, Diplomático and Mount Gay showcased some of their lesser known gems while ticket-holders were given the chance to discover and sample newcomers like Cornwall’s own Dead Man’s Fingers and India’s Wild Tiger. Golden Tot tokens made a welcome return to give the more discerning drinker access to ultra-premium and rare rums, some of which retail for over £200 a bottle.

Those looking to heighten their knowledge of one of the most exciting spirits in the world, took part in intimate seminars and masterclasses over the weekend. Diplomático presented some its newest releases and Mount Gay’s master blender Allen Smith gave an exclusive UK first tasting of its limited edition pure pot still and column distillate rums. Sam Smallman of Rococo chocolates delved into Rum and Chocolate pairings in his third year at the festival, while newcomers were taught about rum tasting notes and vocabulary by Kim Lahiri to discover the key aromas in their favourite tipple.

On the main stage Saturday, RumFest founder Ian Burrell was on hand to take guests and bidders through rums on offer a the Rum Auction and a grand total of £4,000 was raised and all to donate to Max’s Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping detection of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other heart conditions in pre-adolescent children. Celebrity chef Hasan De Four made a RumFest return and cooked up a storm to demonstrate how to get rum in the kitchen, while Jeff ‘Beachbum’ Berry told the story of the founding father of Tiki, Don the beachcomber. Sunday’s main stage hosted a takeover of the famous Levi Roots as he showcased a tasting of his new restaurant Levi’s Caribbean Smokehouse. The revered master blender Joy Spence was interviewed by Ian Burrell with a tasting of Appleton Estate rums and bartenders competed for a trip to Barbados in the fierce Doorly’s Rum Competition.

Kicking off the rum-fuelled weekend on the Friday, the trade-only Boutique RumFest returned for a seventh year providing a platform for the industry’s newcomers and independent brands. Rum wholesalers, distributors, buyers, bar professionals and importers congregated from as far afield as Panama and Japan, presenting the perfect opportunity to sample the next big thing.

RumFest 2015 - Rum & Chocolate Pairing
Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador and RumFest founder says, “We could never have predicted how successful RumFest would become when we started out all those years ago and what a ride its been. It’s great to see so many old faces back to join us in celebrating rum culture but also the new comers who are getting to know the spirit properly for the very first time. A huge thanks to the brands, blenders, ambassadors, speakers and rum lovers who came over the weekend, here’s to the next 10 years!”

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.

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Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Oct 27

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016

With 2016 being the 10th annual UK RumFest and a landmark year for the “world’s oldest and most famous Rum festival”, Ian Burrell and the Rum Experience team decided to bring back the Golden Rum Barrel Awards, sponsored this year by Green Engineering and with it I was honoured to be asked to be involved in this year’s judging panel.

So imagine my surprise to learn that not only was I one of the collective of judges for the first time, but that Rum.Charlosa was also one of the five nominees in the category for the Best UK Rum Website 2016. Now I remember sitting at the 2013 Golden Rum Barrel Awards, which also happened to be the last awards ceremony, watching A Mountain of Crushed Ice receive that year’s Rum Blogger of the Year award and saying to RumwiththeMrs that I’d be over the moon, if I was just shortlisted to be a nominee.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Best UK Rum Website Nominees

Now, while I’ve been running this site for a number of years, I’d be lying if I tried to suggest that I’d been particularly prolific or even steady in putting out content of late, either on the site itself or over social media. However, I do try to keep abreast of my fellow bloggers and put out stuff were I can and express myself through my photography.

So I sat down with RumwiththeMrs and we voted accordingly, while trying to maintain a degree of impartiality by putting ourselves last, in our own category. So, bearing in mind the excellent company that we were keeping, with the other nominees:

I for one was content to know that we’d been nominated and that we’d simply have the opportunity to enjoy the evening, while mingling with the likes of Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence, Foursquare Rum’s Richard Seale, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Martin & Rebecca Cate of the Smuggler’s Cove over a 3 course meal with rum.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 - RumwiththeMrs with Appleton Estate's Joy Spence

As it happens, Rumbustious Times and The Fat Rum Pirate were unfortunately unable to attend the awards ceremony, but we did get to sit on the same table as our other friends, the Rum Diaries Blog and The Floating Rum Shack, along with the Brand Consultant for Spirits Elite and Bacardi’s UK Brand Ambassador Metinee Kongsrivilai. So all in all a good night as far as I was concerned.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Winners of Best UK Rum Website Award

Photo Courtesy of the Floating Rum Shack

So it’s fair to say that I wasn’t expecting what happened next when they announced the winner of the Best UK Rum Website 2016.

We won… And to top that, I was even presented with the award by the lovely Joy Spence.

Rum heaven… I’m still in shock several days later as I write this

Now the only problem with attending an awards ceremony, that you’ve been nominated in, but with no expectation of winning, is that you rarely practice any kind of speech. So you can only hope that you don’t make a fool of yourself when you do have to talk. As such I kept mine short – at least that seemed to go down well…

What wasn’t so great though in hindsight, was that I forgot to thank my lovely Wife for all her support and patience over the years with this hobby of mine. Therefore, I think it only fitting that I say a huge thank you to my RumwiththeMrs and what better way for a blogger to say it, than via a website available for everyone (of responsible drinking age) to see.

Despite forgetting to thank her though, RumwiththeMrs made it quite clear that she was proud as rum punch of the achievement- she shouted it from the top of Facebook. Thank you my Wife 😀

I’d also like to thank my fellow nominees for their graciousness and genuine congratulations – that’s among the reasons why I consider them such excellent people to know and spend time with as friends.

Lastly, I’d also like to thank both Ian Burrell for being such an amazing representative for rum and for giving us not only the UK RumFest, but also the Golden Rum Barrel Awards and also the entire judging panel for their votes. We’re aware it was a close run thing, but between which nominees we were unable to ascertain. And as corny as it might sound, simply being nominated made us all winners in my mind.

Golden Rum Barrel Awards 2016 Best UK Rum Website Award

The full list of category nominees and the respective winners for the 2016 Golden Rum Barrel Awards are:

Most Influential Rum Blender over the last 10 years
Joy Spence (Appleton Rums, Jamaica) – Winner
Alexandre Gabriel (Plantation Rum, France)
Juan Gavito Sanchez (Bacardi, México)
Tito Cordero (Diplomático Rum, Venezuela)
Nestor Ortega (Santa Teresa, Venezuela)

Distillery Ambassador over past 10 years 
John Georges (Angostura Distillery, Trinidad) – Winner
Jose Sanchez Gavito (Bacardi, Mexico)
Joy Spence (Appleton Estate, Jamaica)
Richard Seale (Foursquare Distillery, Barbados)
Roberto Serralles (Serralles Distillery, Puerto Rico)

Most Influential Rum bar in the UK over past 10 years 
Trailer Happiness (London) – Winner
Mahiki (London)
Mojo’s (Leeds)
Mojo’s (Manchester)
The Liars Club, Manchester

International Rum Brand Ambassador 2016 
Alexx Mouzouris (Don Q Rum) – Winner
Daniyel Jones (Angostura Rum)
Dickie Cullimore (Bacardi Rum)
Meimi Sanchez (Havana Club)
Miguel Smith (Mount Gay Rum)

UK Rum Brand Ambassador 2016 
George Frost (Duppy Share) – Winner
Jon Lister (Diplomatico Rum)
Jonathan Almonte (Botran Rum)
Metinee Kongsrivilai (Bacardi Rum portfolio)
Sean Duprey (House of Angostura)

Rum Bar Team of the year 2016 
Mahiki, London – Winner
Trailer Happiness, London
The Merchant House, London
Rum & Sugar, London
The Liars Club, Manchester

Best UK Rum Web Site 2016
Rum Charlosa – Winner
Rumbustious Times
Rum Diaries Blog
The Fat Rum Pirate
TheFloatingRumShack.com

Best New Rum Brand in the UK 2016
Foursquare 2006 Single Blended Rum – Winner
Don Q Signature release 2005
Nine Leaves Rum Angel’s Half French Oak Cask
Velier Hampden Jamaica 2010
Wild Tiger Rum
Foursquare 11 year Zinfandel Cask

Rum Influencer of the Year 2016
Luca Gargano (Velier Rums, and Ambassador of Pure rums) – Winner
Federico Hernandez (Midwest & California Rum Fests)
Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove voted Best bar in USA)
Richard Seale (Foursquare Distillery)
Jeff Beachbum Berry (Tiki Historian, Author and Latitude 29 Bar owner)

Rum Menu of the Year 2016
Cubana (Sheffield) – Winner
Rum & Sugar (London)
Rum Kitchen (London)
The Merchant House (London)

Boutique RumFest Brand of the Year
Nine Leaves – Japan – Winner

Consumer’s Favourite Rum
Diplomatico rums – Venezuela – Winner

And last but not least Ian Burrell was himself presented with an engraved glass hip flask by Richard Seale, in celebration of all that he has done for the category of rum. I believe that the engraved message read as “To the great ambassador and an even better friend”. It was a wonderfully fitting end to a great night.

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10th Anniversary UK RumFest 2016 Announced Aug 16

The RumFest 2016RumFest Celebrates National Rum Day & Announces 10th Anniversary Event
Tickets Available For UK’s
Largest Celebration of Rum Culture

Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd October 2016
London’s ILEC, Earl’s Court
rumfest.co.uk

RumFest 2015 - Rum & Chocolate Pairing

With the arrival of National Rum Day today, RumFest announces its return to the capital for the nation’s biggest celebration of rum and rum culture. Pulling out all the stops for an impressive 10th anniversary year, the event will host a myriad of rum-related offerings with the spirit’s leading brands and aficionados all jam-packed into two days at London’s ILEC, 22nd-23rd October.

Launched by Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, RumFest has become the main event of the rum calendar and the event’s 10th outing is set to be its strongest yet as it invites the nation to delve into the world of rum.

Over 400 rums from around the world will be on offer, with a myriad of exhibitors including Diplomatico, Havana Club, Don Q, Bacardi, Mount Gay, Pussers, St. Nicholas Abbey, Richland Rum and many more.

Seminars and workshops take place across the two days where brands, ambassadors and leading industry figures give an in-depth insight into the world of rum including rum and food pairings and the making of rums. Top blenders, mixologists and distillers will be on hand to teach ticket-holders the art of cocktail making as well as more ways to enjoy their favourite tipple. Highlights include a rare rum seminar with Ian Burrell himself, an Aroma Academy, a sit down with award-winning master distiller Richard Seale, chocolate and rum pairing plus an exciting look into the world of rum with author Dave Broom. Head to the RumFest website to book seminars in advance from September.

This year RumFest are going big on Sunday. Reggae Reggae Sauce’s Levi Roots will be taking over the main stage and sharing some of his incredible cooking secrets and bringing his newly open Caribbean Smokehouse restaurant to RumFest. Sunday’s RumFest will also team up with Sandals Resorts to offer the chance for two lucky ticket-holders to win an incredible seven day holiday to a Sandals Resort in the Caribbean to get even closer to rum’s roots. Rum & Roast will be introduced for Sunday ticket-holders, cooking up a Caribbean twist on the Sunday classic and VIPs will be treated to a roast option for their three course meal.

The Rum Auction sponsored by Christie’s returns to auction off yet more precious and rare rums for charity to the highest bidder while the action heats up with live stage demos showcasing rum pairings, cigar & rum pairing, cooking demos, cocktail competitions. On Saturday’s RumFest “the Indiana Jones of Tiki drinks” Beach Bum Berry will delve into the art of Tiki cocktail making. Rounding off each day, rum-lovers will be invited to party with RumFest for its famous carnival hour, celebrating the spirit of rum with live bands and dancers.

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.

Speaking about the 10th year, Ian Burrell says, “When we launched 10 years ago we could never have imagined how successful RumFest would become. For us rum has always been a way of life and we’re thrilled to still be spreading the word and celebrating the spirit a decade on. We’ve got something for everyone this year with even more rums, tastings and talks as we hope to make RumFest 2016 one to remember for rum-lovers up and down the country.”

RumFest takes place in London at the ILEC, 22nd to 23rd October 2016. Standard day tickets are now on sale from £39.50, which includes access to all areas of the the event and tastings from all exhibitors. VIP tickets are on sale from £69.50 and allow for early access of one hour ahead of standard ticket buyers along with a three course Caribbean lunch. Golden Tot Tokens are £5 each and allow for additional access to the more premium rums on offer. One token can be exchanged for rum retailing £80 – £100 and more expensive rums will be available for additional tokens. For full information on RumFest and to buy tickets head to rumfest.co.uk.

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