As part of RumWeek, on the Friday I attended the Rum University and in place of the final session the attendees were given the chance to enter the last few hours of ‘The Boutique RumFest’ 2015. The place was quite busy, including the dozen or so of us from the Rum University.
“The Boutique RumFest is a trade only event created specifically for new or boutique rums or cachaça brands. The target audience will be wholesalers, distributors, spirit buyers, bar professionals and importers from all over Europe.” – RumFest UK
It was really exciting to see a large number of rum brands that I had not seen, or even heard of previously. The event was held at the ILEC Conference Center in Earls Court, the same location where the RumFest 2015 was held. There were more than 20 stands, with a selection of different rums from all around the world, with one stand having as many as a dozen! There were a couple of traders who imported rums from one or more ‘rum’ countries, and then age them locally, in this instance these local places were England and Scotland. There were way too many rums to list them all (or that I could remember…). Those I do recall:
- The Real McCoy (got a DVD of the original story)
- Dark Matter (aged in Scotland, tasted like Christmas)
- Nine Leaves
- Wild Tiger
- Bristol Classic Rum (They have a Mauritius rum in the UK in a sherry cask, aged up to 5 years)
This is a very unique event as you are able to try rums that will otherwise not be available to the general public at RumFest. Some of the rums might not make it to ‘The Boutique RumFest’ and RumFest the next year! Many of the companies at this trade event are still looking for a UK distributor, and therefore having a stand at the RumFest weekend does not really make sense for them (unless they have a lot of money), as they are not ready to advertise to the general public just yet.
It was a shame I could not attend the event with my Rumming partner Rebecca, but I am happy to have taken a day off work to attend the Rum University, where I learnt more about the technical side of rum, but which also gave me the unexpected chance to attend ‘The Boutique RumFest’ event. We will definitely try to go to the next Rum University and ‘The Boutique RumFest’ next year. Until then, we will hopefully have tried a lot more new rums and had learned a bit more about the rum!
Until next time, we will be enjoying Rumming!