Hello Rum Bums –

Justin Sly here, and I just got back from the inaugural California Rum Fest in San Francisco, which was headed by Federico Hernandez and The Rum Lab. I can’t begin to talk about the numerous educational conversations I had with some of the most generous and humble personalities in the world of rum.

I’d like to, first and foremost, thank Federico and La Isla for providing me with this incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity! I saw the incredible amount of time and effort if took for Fede to get all these amazing rum brands, and ambassadors of rum together, under one venue. I’m truly awestruck by the entire experience.

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I’d love to write of all my neat and unique experiences…but I’d rather talk to all of you about them in person. Hope to see everyone at this month’s 80’s themed Rum Clubs (Redmond / Ballard). Dress up in your best 80’s outfits and hairdos, and lets drink some great rum!

Here’s a brief recap of the events leading up to the California Rum Fest…

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Thursday PM // 

Rhum Damoiseau Launch at Benjamin Cooper SF
I arrive to the familiar faces of Ben Jones and Indah Marcelly- I’m really happy to see them again. I order the Damoiseau VSOP neat and remember how much I like it. Next, I have the “Green Bananas Cocktail” ( Damoiseau 110 proof rum, melon, apple & alpine liquor). For my next cocktail, I go for the “Ricardo” (Damoiseau xo rhum, strawberry shrub, amaro, bonal & sarsaparilla bitters). I enjoyed the “Green Bananas” so much, I revisit it 2 more times. This cocktail is dangerously good, and dangerously potent. Realizing I’m running on two hours of sleep, and now I’m a little drunk, I tell Fede I’m catching a cab back to the hotel to get some rest.

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Friday AM //

Coco Reàl and Don Q Rum Colada Competition at Forbidden Island. The bar was closed to the public except for competitors, judges & photographers. The rules were simple, make the best Pina Colada using Don Q rum, Coco Reàl and whatever other ingredients you wanted to use. The talent on the competitors was undeniable, and their cocktails were like pieces of drinkable art.

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Friday PM // 

Rhum Damoiseau Launch at Longitude. I would have had some more Damoiseau on this evening but Longitude had such an impressive stock of rum, I had to try a few…

First drink: Angostura 1824
Second: Abuelo 12
Third: El Dorado Single Barrel EHP
Fourth: A random cocktail someone girl gave me…
Last: Revisited the Angostura 1824

Had a great time at Longitude! Thanks Suzanne Long!

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Saturday // 

Saturday was the day of Federico’s inaugural California Rum Fest. The day started with a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Federico, waking me up at 7:00am to begin the days events. I could go on all day about all my experiences and conversations on the day- instead, just let me say it’s a day filled with awe-inspiring experiences.

Here’s just a few of the players that were present at the California Rum Fest…
Don Q, Ron Cartavio, Plantation, Ron Duran, Diplomatico, Four Square, Richard Seale, Ian Burrell, Nicholas Ferris, Matt Pietrek & Robert Burr.

Another huge congrats goes out to Federico Hernandez and The Rum Lab for putting together a flawless event!

Special Thanks go out to:

Jason and Alfonso
Federico Hernandez
Benjamin Jones and Indah Marcelly (it’s always a pleasure to see the two of you!) JM Rhum, Rhum Clement & Rhum Damoiseau
Suzanne Long (You’re to sweet!)
Forrest Cokely (you are the man Forrest!)
William A. Hinkebein
Jim Driscoll (Importer of Ron Cartavio- and one hell of a guy)
Matt Pietrek
Marie King
Robert Burr (thanks for taking the time to talk rum!)
Ian Burrell
Nick Ferris

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