Wednesday, January 21, 2015

World-Class Rum Tasting Auctioned Off to Benefit Children

Top row: Clement X.O. & Brugal 1888
Bottom row: Mount Gay 1703 & Angostura 1824
This holiday season began with a cocktail: goodwill mixed with rum. It started with a personal request from a friend, one of the Boyer Children's Clinic Board of Directors, to donate a rum tasting for their annual Inspiring Journeys Auction Gala.

I believe if you can share 10 of the best rums in the world (and a cocktail) to benefit children with neuromuscular diseases and developmental delays along with their families, then this was a tasting worth donating and that is what I did...

Ten of the finest rums available from around the world have been selected. This one-of-a-kind tasting is to take place in a breathtaking Capital Hill condo with sweeping views of downtown Seattle. The evening includes complimentary valet parking by Butler Valet, catered food by Mojito and a personally guided discussion through each of these world-class rums for 15 guests. If you have been to any of The Rum Collective's many educational events, you would know a greeting cocktail is compulsory. For this tasting, such a cocktail will be served as well. What to choose? A cocktail to begin an evening indulging in some of the most remarkable rums in the world must be of comparable quality. This cocktail, featuring Papa's Pilar Blonde Rum, is the perfect choice (see photo below).

May I interest you a Hemingway Daiquiri? 
Rest assured, it's made with only the finest ingredients...

Hemingway Daiquri featuting Papa's Pilar Blonde & Luxardo Maraschino
Oh yeah!

All of the rums selected for the tasting were chosen by the following order of criteria: quality, geographic representation and style, and availability in Washington State. Also, the rum must be donated by the brand. Well, guess what? "Big (and small) Rum" just gave back!! The list of rums in the tasting will include: Clement X.O. of Martinique, Brugal 1888 of the Dominican Republic, Mount Gay 1703 of Barbados and Angostura 1824 of Trinidad (see earlier photo). The other six selections in the tasting represent some of the most eminent rums out of Spain, Panama, France, Venezuela, Guatemala and Puerto Rico and are Ron Navazos Palazzi, Ron Abuelo Centuria, Plantation 20th Anniversary, Ron Diplomatico Ambassador, Ron Zacapa XO and DonQ Gran Anejo respectively. This intimate, guided educational experience will feature these rums in a select order and presented in snifters donated by Liberty Bar.

Behold some more of the most prized rums on the planet. 

The donated tasting was part of the live auction portion of the Gala. The bidding prices began at $500 and escalated rapidly. The tasting sold for $1600!! The winning bidder of the live auction was announced on stage and provided with a celebratory glass of Brugal 1888 to mark the occasion. Yum!!
"Proceeds will provide direct services, such as therapies, special education preschool classes, medical consultations, and family resources for the 750+ children and families Boyer Children's Clinic serves each year."

A sincere thank you to the owners of the condo, Butler Valet, Mojito, Liberty Bar and each of the brands who donated their product to create a first-rate rum tasting to benefit Boyer Children's Clinic!!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Rum Collective's Selection of the Season: Plantation Single Casks

Plantation Single Casks: Panama 8yr Old Reserve & Guatemala XO Extra Old Reserve

Plantation Rums intrigue almost every passer-by with their looks and shine of artisan craftsmanship in the glass; just give them the opportunity. These Rums not only stand out in their respective categories when compared to their peers in tasting competitions, they win. Cream rises, right? If you are in love with the C. Ferrand's unique rum expressions already, then what I am about to tell you, may give you a reason to propose and tie the knot with Alexandre Gabriel himself. Kidding...kind of.

It is a pleasure to announce that these two gorgeous Plantation Single Cask Rums are now available in Washington State!! (see photo above)

Such wonderful news is not only a beautiful beginning to this holiday season (more awesome Rum!!), but a long-awaited, perfect ending to our fourth rum-filled year here in Seattle. It was an honor to have been approached by Plantation for such an opportunity and needless to say, the longest running rum society in the USA accepted. These two Single Cask expressions were "selected by The Rum Collective" for there rich and remarkably complex flavor profiles. Wait, what? New Plantation Single Casks coming to Seattle in time for the holidays? Yep, that's right, but here's the caveat; they are a "Limited Edition" release, as in once they are gone, THEY ARE GONE. Interested? Keep reading...

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Plantation Single Cask: Panama 8yr Old Reserve / Cask 1/10; Bottle 394/450

She's gorgeous alright! 

Rums from Panama aged for 8 years in bourbon cask, then finished in Pineau Des Charentes Cask and bottled at 43% ABV. 

Now, feast your eyes upon this...

Plantation Single Cask: Guatemala XO Reserve / Cask 12/16; Bottle 301/450
Absolutely Stunning!

Old Reserve Rums from Guatemala, finished in Sauternes Cask and bottled at 40% ABV.


You may find these rare gems at a few rum loving bars, like Rumba and Tacoma Cabana. But don't wait too long...

However, if you want to buy a bottle (or four), they will be sold exclusively at Wine World & Spirits. The Rum Collective will be having a complimentary tasting at Wine World and all attendees will have an opportunity to buy them first at a discounted price. Buying is suggested! Please see the event below for details.


Don't miss it!!

Master of Malt's 2014 Advent Calendar: The Coming of Rum

The Rum Advent Calendar (2014 Edition)
Advent calendars, for many, give a sense of excitement of what is or is not to come. They often bring forth fond memories of childhood, filled with special surprises to keep you calm (or calmer) as the countdown to Christmas, although numbered, seemed like an endless period of time. The idea is perfectly simple. A box, more or less rectangle-shaped, made of cardboard, decorated with images of Christmas lore shrouding a series of small numbered demarcations which are opened to reveal something special. Inside you find an uncertain present, like a wrapped piece of chocolate or toy to open each day until December 25th. Fun, right? Don't you miss it?? Well, now, you don't have to; and we are not talking about chocolate here folks. Behold an adult-only calendar. Nice! No, not with nude photos or sex toys; come on now, keep it clean. We are talking about adult beverages, specifically, the sugar cane spirits kind. Oh yeah!! Master of Malt has done it alright...and they did it right. Their 2014 Rum Advent Calendar featuring their very cool Drinks by the Dram concept has captured that innocent childhood-like fun and increased the proof. Naughty! That's right rum lovers, each day you can look forward to a new dram of quality rum (not to worry all you whiskey, tequila, cognac and difficult to understand vodka types, they have you covered too). Hmm, what will today have in store, Jamaican or perhaps Bajan? Is tomorrow going to be filled with Demerara dreams or hot night in Trinidad? You never know what the next numbered box might have in store. Instead of reindeer, wrapped presents and elves in snow on its front, you get a member of the British Royal Navy, or perhaps a pirate-gone-privateer enjoying his latest rum booty with his faithful dog by his side. Check out the view of the sea and a bounty of rum bottles on the shelves. Seriously, how fun is that!? Well, after learning of this temptation last year, the opportunity to experience it this holiday season could not be missed. The holiday season just got better. Time to set a course for 24 days of rum and fun, so let the countdown begin!!

Starting December 1st, follow along each day on The Rum Collective Facebook page as we journey through each offering from the 2014 Rum Advent Calendar!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Rhum Clement X.O. - A Death in the Family

We all imagine the time will come when there will be no more time. Like an older relative or loved one, we understand there will be a point at which, their life will end, when we will receive a phone call from a family member, informing us of the expected, yet otherwise unimaginable. We attempt to understand what it may be like, but don't really want to know. Then, that point arrives and the seemingly infinite amount of time on Earth is suddenly fixed; you hang up the phone and are left with memories and a void. You cannot change what has happened, but notice an ache deep inside, knowing such times will no longer be. This is how I felt after hearing that Rhum Clement X.O. had died.

Composed of the best vintages (1952, 1970 and 1976) Martinique has ever seen, its aromas and flavors were well received and impacted many. These vintages, despite their most appealing qualities, were produced in limited quantities. We often take for granted those with so much meaning in our lives, and as a r(h)um lover, I am guilty of this as well. An amazing rhum comes along, however you don't fully appreciate it in the context of it never being readily available again. History repeats and this timeless story is told again. Its passing is a great loss to anyone who appreciates world-class spirits and it saddens me knowing the future of rhum agricole will no longer have one of its finest expressions at hand. In trying to relate what this rhum meant, I have requested comments from many of those in the rhum community about Clement X.O.'s passing.

Here are some of the comments from friends, family and those who have came to know and love this rhum agricole tres vieux:

It's sad because it was the first agricole that visually (X.O./Bottle) connected itself with French brandy making for me. I think Martinique could benefit from that connecting and pedigree more. I typically avoid r(h)ums that have spent more than 15 years in a barrel. I have never avoided Clement X.O.  
---Steve Livigni (La Descarga, Scopa Italian Roots, The Chestnut Club)

We will remember it as one of the best of all the french caribbean. The last tears of it have already been consumed and our tears won't replace the pleasure and feelings we had to enjoy the last sips of it. Let it rest in peace alongside the master, the Dr. Homere Clement, for now and eternity 
---Benoit Bail (Liqeuers et Spiritueux, Zwazo Rum)

So much more than a series of age statements, the X.O. straddled both brilliance and belligerence with sweet bright notes layered over a dense almost over charred, finish. 
---Chris Morales (Rhum Clement)

This won't be the last retired iconic spirit as demand for quality far exceeds the old stocks that exist to provide it. Drink the good stuff while you can! 
---Jim Romdall (Rumba)

I once traded a bottle of X.O. for an excellent bicycle. Now that bicycle makes me sad. 
---Wayne Curtis (Author - And a Bottle of  Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails)

Clement X.O. was my introduction to aged agricole and has remained a favorite for many years. I started with the best and have never found a worthy substitute. It will be a very sad day in the rum world when it is finally....Until then I'm hoarding every bottle I find.  
---Mike Streeter (Rum Connection, International Rum Council)

I just can't believe X.O. is gone. It seems like only yesterday I was drinking X.O. out of a bottle in New Orleans with Jeff Berry and Blair Reynolds...the times we had, they will carry me forward. 
---Matt "Rumdood" Robold (, 320 Main

Well, I'm sad to see it go. It was a lovely rum, very austere and agreeably dry. Despite the advanced aged of the component rums, it never presented as over-oaked. Fortunately, the Clement range continues to expand with fine new offerings that help soften the blow.
---Martin Cate (Smuggler's Cove)

You were my first top shelf premium rum. Although you were excellent to sip on, your true calling was being paired up with Appleton 21yr for the luxurious Fifty Dollar Mai Tai that so many people enjoyed on their birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and holiday celebrations. The Fifty Dollar Mai Tai will never be the same and for that, you will be truly missed. 
---Jason Alexander (Tacoma Cabana)

It belongs to the ages now... 
---Chris Carlsson (Spirits Review

It's the end of an era personally. The Clement X.O. was the first truly high end agricole I ever had and I will remember it always with its nod to Cognac.
---Rocky Yeh (American Northwest

It's with great sadness mixed with warm emotions that Clement X.O. has depleted its rare stocks and has departed our rum cabinet for the great cellars in the sky.
---Benjamin Jones (Family, Rhum Clement

X.O. we hardly knew ye, but your legacy lives on. Vive le Vieux!
---Paul Clarke (Imbibe

It says a lot for Clement's integrity if they discontinue X.O. for a missing ingredient: most brands would just fiddle the formula!
---Ian Williams (Author, Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776)

The bottle that effectively pushed a certain Controlee brandy (au revoir Cognac) off the tiny Sambar shelves and solidified our Rhum-centric nature. It was all Agricole after that. 
---Jay Kuehner, (Vessel, Sambar

There will be a void in my rhum cabinet after the death of the excellent Clement X.O.
---Ian "Rum-Ambassador" Burrell (The Rum Experience

It's not often one's compelled to write about a rums passing. Most rhums, even great ones, simply....disappear...News of Clement X.O.'s pending extinction --barrel aged stocks of the 1952 vintage essential to its DNA are depleted - caused a tear drop as large as the shapely bottle it's presented in. No ordinary rhum, X.O. combines that elusive and exclusive complexity of aromas and harmony of flavors that other master blenders aspire to achieve. They will fall short. Clement's estate grown sugarcane and distillates are available only to them and to you in these always collectible yet soon to be extinct bottles. Hoard now, enjoy at leisure, cry later.
---Dave Russell (Rum Gallery, International Rum Council)

Habitation Clement and Rhum Clement X.O.

Rest in Peace Clement X.O.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Snuff the Rooster: A Cocktail and Closer Look at Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum

Snuff the Rooster
The recently released Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum will not only capture your attention, but may ruffle a few feathers. Distilled on the isle of Barbados, it's the prodigy of good rum genes and the only other Bajan overproof rum contestant in the US. Considering the number of great overproof rums in the Caribbean, it's exciting and quite refreshing to see another one enter a category of rather scant selection. Oh yeah! Cockspur Rum has always had great brand appeal, from its uber fun logo and catchy marketing lines to those who have simply tasted and enjoy the Bajan style of rum. This isn't the first time mentioning this exciting brand here, for an article on touring the West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD), where their rums are born and raised, can be found by clicking here. In Washington State, where Cockspur Rums have had patchy availability during the transition from a state controlled to a privatized system, the news of its release was right on time. To celebrate its arrival, a cocktail was in order. Although simple mixers, such as coconut water work well and are delicious, something with more local appeal was desired. Seattle's burgeoning interest in r(h)um and focus on quality cocktails and ingredients encouraged my underlying interest; celebrate the cock on its label. Make it about the rooster! So, using egg was a must, certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO of course. This rum's forthcoming pot still aromas and flavors hold up nicely and are fully appreciated through the smooth merengue-like texture achieved by using an egg white. Having been attacked by a rooster as a young child (then seeing it put to death) and later witnessing cockfights in Mexico, I wanted the cocktail to be pleasantly intense; packing a bit of spicy heat for a memorable experience. Sriracha hot sauce, boasting a rooster on the front of its bottle was perfect. The spicy note would contrast well with chocolate. What chocolate you say? Aztec Chocolate Bitters!! Keeping with quality ingredients, Giffard makes a delicious grapefruit liqueur (nothing in their line is bad) and its recommendation by Andrew Bohrer (Vinum) was spot on, pairing nicely with the chocolate. Working and reworking the ratios amidst rounding out the flavors with Benedictine DOM and Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters completed the idea. Who doesn't like more bitters, right? But what about a name? If you know Seattle, then you know it has seen some talented musicians. Alice In Chains helped out with that one. If you're a fan, then Layne Staley's voice should be sounding inside your head right now. Please let me introduce...

Snuff the Rooster

1 1/2 oz Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum
1 egg white*
1/2 oz lemon juice* (fresh pressed)
Place 3 lines of Sriracha solution on top (1 part Sriracha: 3 parts water)

Preparation: Dry shake egg white only, then add all ingredients with ice (except Sriracha) and shake well. Strain into martini glass. Place 3 drops of Sriracha onto surface and make a rooster footprint (I used a toothpick).
*Organic and non-GMO 

Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum


Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum: A Closer Look

Bottle - Reminiscent of the Cockspur Fine Rum in its shape, its sets itself apart by an eye opening red banner across the label. This Rum's proof isn't hiding here folks and it's underlined in black in case you missed it: 130 proof = 65% ABV! The design is simple, easily recognizable and filled with a "Product of Barbados" that we all love called Rum!

Appearance - Transparent clarity. After swirling in the glass, many very tiny droplets bead up, coalescing and escaping downward into thin, little chicken legs.

Aroma - Mildly sweet without overtly noxious alcohol aromas. Subtle notes of ripe banana, tropical fruits (guava and passion fruit), vanilla and anise are appreciated. A notable pot still aromatic "hogo" with hints of fresh marshmallows are also pleasant and become more noticeable as it opens up over time in the snifter.

Taste - It's entry into the mouth is heated up to mid-palate; no surprise here. The taste confirms the aromas detected earlier with less distinction. Notably, it still maintains the backbone flavor found in the rest of the line. It's light bodied with a pronounced astringent effect. Again, no surprises.  

Finish - Short and concise. The re-surfacing of that earlier heat in the mouth is noticed in the back of the throat as the dominant flavors fade from the palate.

Overall, the Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum has a surprisingly pleasant bouquet for its proof with flavors that hold up well in a cocktail. Its potential as a mixer is significant and it is a welcome addition to the Cockspur Rum line.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Introducing Admiral Rodney and The Forgotten Casks to Seattle: A Chairman's Education and Afterparty

Admiral Rodney and Chairman's Reserve Finest - The Forgotten Casks
The Rum Collective's launch party at Wine World & Spirits, September 2013
The time was long overdue and the patience of rum connoisseurs around the US ran aground years ago. In fact, many had simply given up on seeing Admiral Rodney stateside. Would the trademark trial over its comparison to Admiral Nelson be resolved? Would the US market hold enough interest to foster passage of The Forgotten Casks Rum? Last September, things done changed! Not only were they approved, (yes, the USPTO has officially accepted that there was more than one admiral in the British Royal Navy!) but these world class rums were launched in three cities in the US. Seattle, with its rum-loving community, was one the chosen few along with Washington, DC and New York. For those of you who attended the launch party, the following should stoke the fire of fond memories gained (or lost) that night. For those that missed it, you can now taste these rums, as bottles have just arrived and will be available (finally!) at select locations in Seattle later this week.

Admiral Rodney Box
The excitement and suspense surrounding the launch party events in Seattle complimented these two rums' turbulent history. First, legislation had just went into effect a week prior allowing liquor retailers to hold spirit tastings in Washington State. So, this launch was to be a Washington premiere, not only for these two gems of the rum world, but also of legally "sampling" rum in a retail liquor store in our now privatized state. Second, Clyde Davis Jr., the gentlemen largely responsible for their US entrance and success, was flying in for the events. Wine World, a liquor retailer with spacious event rooms and a solid selection of rum, was an ideal location. That evening, guests continually arrived even after the seats filled for a taste of what was coming. The invitation made clear to RSVP, but the love for rum overcame electronic formalities and many were content with standing, or should I say, sipping room only. Rumantic! The educational, guided tasting through the majority of St. Lucia Distiller's finest rums had begun...

We discussed the rum's early beginnings, originating in 1931 at the Barnard Family-owned distillery (Dennery Factory Co.) up until the recent passing of their Managing Director and 3rd Generation family member Laurie Barnard in 2012. Just as many of the Caribbean islands have gone, by the 1950's, the forces influencing the consolidation of rum producers were winning and only two distilleries, the Dennery Distillery (Barnard Family) and the Roseau Bay Distillery (Geest Family), remained. Today, rum making continues at the distillery in Roseau Bay only. As the majority of the cultivated land was converted to a banana from a sugarcane-based crop in the 1960's, the Dennery Factory Co. was forced to import molasses due to lack of availability on the island. Later in 1972, their merger with the Geest Family (Dutch Banana Co.) and formation of the St. Lucia Group consolidated the local distilleries, later branding their own rums, like Denros Bounty Rum. Chairman's Reserve was on the horizon.

Chairman's Reserve Finest - The Forgotten Casks Box
Today, the family directed process and vision hasn't changed. Their rums are made from molasses, which is imported from Guyana and fermented by a separated yeast process for 24-30 hours. To achieve the distinct flavor marques, they employ four stills in their distillation process: three pots (two John Dore and one Vendome) and one single continuous column still. It's a pleasure to taste through the entire line at once, beginning with the Chairman's Reserve Silver. The Silver is a blend of column and pot still rums aged 3-4 years and is charcoal filtered (don't let the transparency fool you!) revealing a medium bodied, dry mixing rum with a mild sweetness and subtle hints of banana. Chairman's Reserve Rum was next up. It was conceived by the late Laurie Barnard in 1999, also a pot and column still blend that shows off a bit more of its aged maturity (~5 yr) with balanced aromas of baking spices, light hints of cocoa and vanilla arising underneath a more aromatic pot still hogo and oakiness. Clyde has many stories to share and gives a important perspective on importing and raising a brand in the US. We then entered The Forgotten Casks, which is a similar blend of rums as the Reserve Rum, but unintentionally* aged an average of 7-12 years. The Forgotten Casks reveals, without much effort, some of those deeper passionate notes; boasting raisins, chocolate and tobacco with hints of citrus under the nose and silky mouth-feel resonating soft sultans and toffee on the palate. The Chairman's Reserve Spiced needs little introduction here. A leader in the spiced rum category that can be sipped or mixed. It stands up anyway you want it, with or without the help it's unique aphrodisiac-laden infusion of Bois Bande. Finally, we experience Admiral Rodney. It is also a blend of rums with an average of 12 years, however, in contrast to the others, it is from column still only. Well balanced and decorated with all the charms you would expect of a premium product. Needless to say, those who sipped it voiced their "oh, wows" and "yums" beckoning for more. While The Forgotten Casks won't let you soon forget what you've tasted, Admiral Rodney, will have you surrendering and quite possibly declaring it as your next favorite rum. I will state here, as I have stated about the Chairman's Reserve Rums before - they're undervalued and remain a great buy. Everyone knows the formula; high quality spirit divided by low cost equals great value. This is one of those rums where you can do the math and feel good knowing the answer!

*So what is the story behind the name, The Forgotten Casks?

On May 2nd, 2007, a devastating fire set by arsonists, destroyed the blending, laboratory and administrative buildings on site. The cellar master, Cyril Mangal, had problems finding storage places for safeguarding the rums. Many of the once-used bourbon casks, held a blend of pot and column still rums. Some of the casks were placed in locations where they would be forgotten about for some time before being discovered.
Hence, the name The Forgotten Casks...

After tasting it, you'll want St. Lucia Distiller's to keep forgetting them!

Where did Chairman's Reserve get its name? 

Instead of re-writing it here, get the full story from our good friends at Uncommon Caribbean!

Onward to....

The Afterparty at Rob Roy!

If you have been to Rob Roy, one of Seattle's favorite cocktail bars or have witnessed the talent of the owner, Anu Apte, then you are aware of the enjoyment that follows after ordering there. An exclusive menu of cocktails featuring Chairman's Reserve Rums was created for the event. Let's have a look!

Gunpowder Punch
Chairman's Reserve Rum
Turbinado Sugar 
Old World Spices

Rummin' with the Devil
Chairman's Reserve Finest - The Forgotten Casks
Orange Bitters

Islands in the Stream
Chairman's Reserve Rum
Dry Vermouth
Creme de Cassis
Orange Blossom Flower Water

St. Lucia Oriole
Chairman's Reserve Finest - The Forgotten Casks
Apricot Liquer


 If you want to buy The Forgotten Casks and/or Admiral Rodney, they are now available in limited quantities at Wine World & Spirits.

A big thank you to Wine World for their support and providing the event space!

Cheers to Anu Apte and the barstaff at Rob Roy for a brilliant menu of delicious rum cocktails!! 

Finally, thank you to everyone who attended to make this one of The Rum Collective's most historic events!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Angostura Global Cocktail Competition 2014 Highlights

Angostura Global Cocktail Competition 2014
The memories remain fresh in my mind after witnessing one of finest, if not the ultimate, rum cocktail competition known. Just over a week ago, 11 finalists, each representing the finest in their craft, from around the world, descended upon Trinidad. Their purpose? To compete in the highly acclaimed Angostura Global Cocktail Competition for $10,000 USD and a two year contract as Angostura's Global Brand Ambassador. Their showmanship and cocktail mastery may be best captured in their cocktail's aromas and flavors while experiencing the show from behind the bar. While this is not always possible, a series of photos highlighting the play-by-play action offers a teaser to and recap of the amount of awesome that went down, quite literally at Aria. Let's take a look!

First up is James 'Sugarfoot' Goggin of New Zealand!

Not an easy position being first, but this was an impressive start for sure. 

Left to Right: Down the Islands (Rum) & Elementary (Freestyle) 

Each competitor had to present two original cocktails containing Angostura Bitters. One cocktail may include a base spirit of choice (Freestyle) while the second required use of an Angostura Rum (Rum). Additionally, two of each cocktail had to be prepared for submission to the panel of judges within seven minutes! 

 Next up, Rohan Hackshaw of Barbados!

How about that beautiful zest?!

Passionate Thyme (Freestyle)

Third in line, was Mike Tomasic of Australia!

Muscatel clusters & tobacco leaves oh my!

Olympia (Freestyle)

Big Bird (Rum)

How about a look at the Judges!

Left to Right: Daniyel Jones, Ian Burrell, Julie Reiner, Philip Duff & Carol Homer-Caesar

Next up, Nazar Makarov of Russia!

A brilliant performance set to music with flair bartending and more...

Rum Story (Rum) ristretto coffee, marchpan syrup and 100% cocoa. Yum!

Tiramisu (Freestyle)

5th in line and representing the USA was Yani M Frye!

He actually made four different cocktails representing sequential stages of attraction between two people; shaking four all at once! Oh, and this was under the seven minute limit!!

The Morning After, The Room Key, Lasting Impression (Freestyle) & A Kiss Goodbye (Rum)

Getting thirsty yet?

Next up, Barbaro Giraldes Portieles of Cuba!

Don Portieles (Freestyle) & Trinidad Farandula (Rum)

Admittedly, I was not able to taste all of them, but I did happen to taste a few in between some amazing appetizers compliments of Aria. Delicious!

Next up was Panagiotis Giovanis of Greece!

Fire it up!

Left to Right: Safe House (Rum) & Scarlet Ibis (Freestyle)

Next up, Shane Mulvany of Canada!

Elegant presentation with a butterfly garnish...

Kiss of the Butterfly (Rum)

Mate Csaltos of the UK!

Artistic style and charisma!

Beautiful Year (Rum)

Next up, Denzel Heath of South Africa!

Wolverine? Perhaps, and a finely dressed one I will add.

Ribe's Cobbler (Rum)

 It is amazing listening to the stories behind the ingredients used, let alone the attention to detail that goes into executing the elements of each cocktail. What a show!

Last up, Kester Blake of Trinidad and Tobago!

This guy can shake it!

Calypso Rose (Freestyle)

The judges carefully deliberated and winners were announced. The professionalism and comradeship of the competitors were admirable. 

And the winners are....

Left to Right: Mate Csaltos, Michael Tomasic and Nazar Makarov

Grand Prize: Michael Tomasic - Freestyle Cocktail "Olympia" winner
2nd Place: Nazar Makarov - Rum Cocktail  "Rum Story" winner
3rd Place: Mate Csaltos

Congratulations to all the winners!!!
Angostura CEO Mr. Robert Wong & Grand Prize Winner Michael Tomasic


All 11 Finalists and the lovely Giselle Laronde-West