Friday, November 4, 2011

The 1st Anniversary Meeting: Celebrating Rum

The stars were aligned and all was right in the universe as The Rum Collective gathered for an evening marked with new friends and good spirits (pun intended) saturated by a special line of rums from Ron Abuelo. Liberty offers a perfect setting for such events, ambiance balanced by a devotion to thoughtful cocktails and the skill to craft them. And craft them for the masses they did. This sold out event found attendees from diverse backgrounds with varied imbibing experiences assimilating for one common purpose; to celebrate rum as Seattle's rum society turns one year old!

Those attending were in for a treat. Included in Ron Abuelo's complete line of rums to be tasted were Seco Herrerano and Ron Abuelo Añejo. The Seco Herrerano is made directly from fresh pressed sugar cane juice grown on the Varela Hermanos plantation, unlike Ron Abuelo Añejo, their youngest rum, which is molasses based. For more information, see the previous post on Varela Hermanos. Neither of these spirits are available locally at present, however this may change after exploring their utility in a couple of tasty cocktails. Oh yeah!

Keith Waldbauer, co-owner of Liberty, known for his impromptu-style cocktails that need no encore, provided another fitting example with his greeting cocktail, Isthmus. The selection of two absinthe fountains to fill glasses was fun to watch and gave a classic twist to this contemporary rum libation. Yum!

Isthmus Cocktail Dispensary
Isthmus

Ron Abuelo Añejo
Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Rhum Clément Créole Shrubb
The Bitter Truth - Creole Bitters
Angostura Bitters

by Keith Waldbauer






Jake Mutscheller brings out the Ron Abuelo Centuria
"Hell yeah we're having Centuria tonight!"
After a kind welcome by Keith, Jake Mutscheller begins discussing where Ron Abuelo comes from, how it is made and what makes it unique. The formal tasting commences with Ron Abuelo Añejo as snifters are raised, swirled, nosed and sipped. Yes, that simiple yet satisifying hand to mouth motion is repeated...again and again. It's a beautiful view. As the tasting sequentially moves from younger to more aged rums, discussion and commentary erupt from multiple areas of the room. Questions such as, "What aromas and flavors are changing in the rum as it spends more and more time in the oak cask?" prompt careful consideration. Preferences are voiced, some lean towards the Ron Abuelo 7yr, others, the 12yr, but the vote is not unanimous. Diversity in personal tastes and the diverse nature of rum itself is what makes this spirit great and unique. Despite the differences, there was a consensus on one thing; more rum and rum cocktails!

Andrew says "Liberty loves you" and he means it. The refined awareness of flavors he communicated into the second cocktail of the night, called Viva Panama! speaks for itself. Andrew Friedman, co-owner of Liberty, needs little introduction. His subtle charm spills over into this very sippable potation. Despite this cocktail's lush flavor profile, to say the least, Viva Panama! does not live very long in your glass. Rumtastic!

Viva Panama!
 Viva Panama!

Seco Herrerano
Leopold Bros Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur
Marolo Chamomile & Grappa Liqueur
Fresh lemon juice
Peychaud's Bitters
Salt

by Andrew Friedman






Ron Abuelo Centuria
There are very few ultra premium rums available today that capture the attention that Ron Abuelo Centuria has. Its awards are numerous, recently receiving Best New Rum at the UK Rumfest. F. Paul Pacult in his Spirit Journal, gave it 5 stars recommending one, "Do whatever it takes to buy a bottle". It premiered less than a year ago in the USA (see earlier post) and just recently in Seattle (see earlier post). This blend of rums, some aged up to 30 years, is poured and a toast to The Rum Collective is made. Pausing to consider what 100 years of rum making tastes like, I look into my glass of Ron Abuelo Centuria and take a long sip to coat my palate. It's enchanting taste is best described in the facial expressions of those who just tasted it and went to Rum Heaven.

Guests sip their Centuria as official t-shirts of The Rum Collective are unveiled for the first time. Each person present received a complimentary t-shirt in one of the three fashionable designs

"I'd tap that" t-shirt (back)
The Rum Collective
to take home. The t-shirts all have The Rum Collective's brand logo centered on the front but differ on the back side. If you weren't able to make it to the meeting or are interested in one, they will be available on the website soon. Here is a preview of the first design. (see photo)

Generally, meeting reviews do not include photos of guests. For the review of the 1st Anniversary, an exception has been made. Enjoy!








Lilly







Although The Rum Collective is intended for enhancing awareness and developing appreciation in humans, we do not discriminate against those with a highly acute sense of smell, such as Lilly, our first
canine guest.










 A round of applause to everyone who attended The Rum Collective meetings over the past year! 

Nathan Layman (Mistral Kitchen) and Evan Martin (Ba Bar)

The Rum Collective would like to thank Keith, Andrew and the staff at Liberty for an awesome event and their support over the last year!


Andrew Friedman (Liberty) holding Ron Abuelo Centuria

 A big "Thank you" to Ron Abuelo for their generosity and assistance in making the 1st Anniversary meeting a success!

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