Whether forcibly dragged to it kicking and screaming or taking to it like a newborn fish to water, we’re all made to grow up at some point.
Blame the simple passage of time, life, and her attendant demands. Together they conspire to progressively make us more serious; more discerning; more desirous of substantive and authentic experiences, things, and people in place of the frivolous flash that may have enthralled us in our youth.
Such progress, such evolution, isn’t confined to us humans either, or so I discovered upon attending the 2015 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. The heretofore “World’s Sexiest Rum Party,” as designated by yours truly, took place last week at various venues across South Florida, culminating in the usually wild Grand Tasting last weekend.
Only this time, the tasting was more tame; the overall mood more earnest.
In short, The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival had grown up.
Still, the new, more mature nature of the event outshined the “party all the time” feel of previous years. There were less people, though they mostly appeared to be real connoisseurs, or folks keen on becoming so.
The number of distillers displaying their wares was lower too, but the quality and diversity of products remained high. Old favorites like Brugal, Diplomatico, Cockspur, and Plantation were joined by two exciting new rums – Duran and Yolo – from the master ronero, Don Pancho; a great new entrant called Mezan, and The Real McCoy, my personal “best in show” rums.
Even the rare (at least in the U.S.) and eagerly sought after Bristol Spirits rums were there, fulfilling for me a sipping experience YEARS in the making!
Smaller, more serious crowds meant more insightful conversations, both with other rum fans and the distillers, making for more rewarding tastings. Truly, it was impossible not to up your rum IQ here.
A little less sexy, a little more serious – The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival is maturing nicely, embodying many of the finer qualities of the rum industry she serves much like a great rum evolves and assumes the distinctive character of the barrel in which she’s aged over time.
For details on next year’s Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, keep an eye on the event website.