Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hemingway Rum Company Still Produced its First Output Yesterday

Steam in the Upper Windows
     It was an exciting day for all of us at the Hemingway Rum Company yesterday.  We fired up out still for the first time and heated water to the point where it passed through the rectifying tower and into the condensing tower and out into the collection bucket.   We spent most of the morning torquing the tower bolts and securing all of the water jackets clamps before we fired up the boiler and started making steam to heat up the 150 or so gallons of water in the in the pot.

Distilled Water Coming out the output pipe
     What was so rewarding is that there were no leaks from any of the connections in the system.  All of our systems operated like they should and we produced about 10 gallons of distilled water by the time that we shut down the boiler and let the still cool.

     Congratulations to Carlton Grooms, Shawn Martin and of course myself.  We worked so well as a team getting all of the systems operating without any problems.  The whole system powered up and made distilled water and shout down without any issues.  Fun, Fun, Fun, can't wait to do it again with beer in the belly of the pot and we start making real rum.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ruling in on Captain Morgan vs Admiral Nelson Trademark Dispute

     Heaven Hill’s Admiral Nelson’s rums “infringe” Diageo’s Captain Morgan trademark, this long-running case in Canada’s Federal Court has ruled.     In the June 12th ruling, the judge said that Heaven Hill has “directed public attention to its wares and business so as to cause confusion in Canada” the Admiral Nelson brand and Captain Morgan.
     This action was first brought against Heaven Hill in 2014, stating that the Admiral Nelson image was “clearly intended” to mimic Captain Morgan in an attempt to “trade upon the brand’s goodwill and create consumer confusion”.   The judge has ruled in favor of Diageo, with Heaven Hill being banned from selling, distributing or importing products bearing the Admiral Nelson’s character in Canada.   Heaven Hill was also ordered to pay damages to Diageo.

     A Diageo spokesman said that “we are pleased with the ruling in the trademark infringement case against Heaven Hill was overwhelmingly in our favor; clearly supporting our view that Admiral Nelson’s product labels infringes on the Captain Morgan trademark”.    “Diageo is a global leader owning a collection of well established brands, of which Captain Morgan is one of their most valued characters”.   Diageo is committed to defending our intellectual property throughout North America and around the world.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The House Looks Good with the Leaves and the Green Grass

     The new grass is grown in and the trees have their leaves back on them making the place look so much better.  The lake is full and the place is finally looking really good again.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kill Devil Colonial Cocktails

     Rum during the Colonial times here in America was still for the most part in the "Kill Devil" quality.   It really had to be mixed with something to be drinkable.  This was the birthplace of some very interesting cocktails from the era.  

Flip, The Cocktail
     Flip was a vastly popular drink, and continued to be so for a century and a half.  I find it spoken of as early as 1690. It was made of home-brewed beer sweetened with sugar, molasses, or dried pumpkin, and flavored with a liberal dash of rum.  It was stirred in a great mug or pitcher with a red-hot loggerhead or bottle or flip-dog, which made the liquor foam and gave it a burnt bitter flavor.

     Landlord May, of Canton, Mass., made a famous brew, he would mix four pounds of sugar, four eggs, and one pint of cream and let it stand for two days.   When a mug of flip was called for, he filled a quart mug two-thirds full of beer, placed add four great spoonfuls of the compound, then thrust in the seething loggerhead, and added a gill of rum to the creamy mixture.   If a fresh egg were beaten into the flip the drink was called "bellowstop," and the froth rose over the top of the mug. 

     "Stonewall" was a most intoxicating mixture of cider and rum. "Calibogus," or "bogus" was cold rum and beer unsweetened.  "Black-strap" was a mixture of rum and molasses. Casks of it stood in every country store, a salted and dried codfish slyly hung alongside, a free lunch to be stripped off and eaten, and thus tempt, through thirst, the purchase of another draught of black-strap.

     No one knows, or ever will know, what New England rum tasted like.  The generic roots of rum extends deep into the misty past before there were bottles and labels and such.   This is probably a blessing if some of the written descriptions of the early rums are even close to being true.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Copper Bottom Distillery of Holly Hill, Florida

     East Volusia County’s rum history dating back to the 1750’s. A historical marker at 715 W. Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach is the site of the Three Chimneys, home to the oldest British sugar plantation, sugar mill and rum distillery in the United States.   And in the early days of Prohibition that ran from 1920 to 1933, Bill McCoy used a Holly Hill boatyard as a base for his ships that ran rum and other spirits from the Bahamas up the U.S. east coast. According to New York Times articles, he was arrested in late 1923, pleaded guilty and served nine months in jail.   With East Volusia County’s history of rum, the Craig family wants to add their name to it.  The family has converted an old laundromat into the Copper Bottom Craft Distillery, located at the western base of the Seabreeze Boulevard bridge in Holly Hill, Florida.  It is the first licensed craft distillery in Volusia County.
     Copper Bottom Craft Distillery initially made vodka, several types of rum and also put up bourbon in charred oak casks to age the required two years.   “With this being Florida and the local history with rum, we have to have different rums,” said Jenni Craig,.
Copper Bottom Distillery
    The distillery has tours for tourists and locals that will end in the tasting room where bottles will also be sold, but not for consumption at the distillery.   To grow the business, the Craigs hope to contract with a distributor to sell their liquor in stores, restaurants and other retailers.  Those tales will be part of the story and d├ęcor at Copper Bottom Craft Distillery, said Jenni Craig.   “I think it will help bring people to that area and that’s what’s needed to spruce up that area for redevelopment,” Holly Hill City Manager Joe Forte said. “This could be another incentive there. It’s a step in the right direction.” 
     Their white rum is one that is an excellent example of craft rums that works very well as a base for the cocktail mixologists and I wish the well in their business.  I hope that I get the opportunity to tour the plant in the near future on a trip to the Daytona area.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Spirit that Carried Colonial America to a Revolution

Christopher Columbus Voyages
     Sugar culture in the Americas in turn began with Columbus who brought sugar cane to the Caribbean in 1493. where, it flourished.  The popular and profitable sugar refineries had two major problems: rats and molasses. Rats, whose sweet teeth could do in up to 5 percent of a given sugar crop per year, were variously dealt with by poison, ferrets, dogs, and slaves armed with clubs.   Molasses, though less damaging, was messier. It was a by-product of the sugar-making process: the boiled cane syrup was cooled and cured in clay pots with drainage holes in the bottom; as the syrup crystallized to form sugar, the leftovers–in the form of dark, caramelized goo that oozed out of the holes. 

Barbados Sugar Plantation Circa 1600"s
     On average, about one pound of molasses was made for every two pounds of sugar, and nobody knew what to do with it. Some was fed to slaves and livestock; some was mixed with lime and horsehair to make mortar; and some was used to concoct a very ineffective treatment for syphilis. Most, however, to the tune of millions of gallons a year, was simply tossed into the sea.     No one knows who first noticed that molasses could be fermented to generate alcohol, but the breakthrough may have occurred on Barbados, a tiny pear-shaped island at the tail end of the Lesser Antilles. There, in 1647, a chatty visitor named Richard Ligon attended a party at which he was treated to a feast that included suckling pig, pineapple, and a throat-searing drink known as “kill-devil,” an early moniker for rum.   Though undeniably alcoholic, “Kill Devil” doesn’t seem to have been tasty, even the perennially upbeat Ligon describes it as “not very pleasant.”   More forthright critics called it “rough and disagreeable” or “hot, hellish, and terrible.” Nevertheless, it sold like hotcakes.

Medford, Mass Ship Building and Rum Distillery of Colonial Times
    Pirates, traditionally, accounted for a lot of it; excavations at Port Royal, Jamaica, a famous pirate hideaway  that was once dubbed “the wickedest city in the world”, turned up hundreds of rum bottles.   Even more was sold to the North American colonies. In 1699, a British observer commented that rum was “much loved by the American English” as “the Comforter of their Souls, the Preserver of their Bodies, the Remover of their Cares, and Promoter of their Mirth.” It was also a sovereign remedy, he added, for “Grumbling of the Guts” and chilblains.      By the early 18th century, nearly all the rum exported from the West Indies went straight to North America, between 1726 and 1730, Barbados and Antigua alone shipped out over 900,000 gallons.    American colonists were not only importing rum; they were distilling their own.  As of 1770, there were over 150 rum distilleries in New England, and the colonists, collectively, were importing 6.5 million gallons of West Indian molasses, and turning it into five million gallons of rum. One estimate from the time of the Revolutionary War puts American rum consumption at nearly four gallons per person per year. Unfortunately, most of it wasn’t very good, but it did have the advantage of being cheap.
      The Molasses Act of 1763 had called for a tax of sixpence per gallon on non-British sugar and molasses imported into the North American colonies. This measure had been proposed by sugar growers in the British West Indies who wanted Parliament’s assistance to force the colonies to buy their produce, not the less expensive sugar of the competing Spanish and French islands. The sixpence tax was high and, if strictly enforced, would have caused severe hardship for the New England distilleries. Rum was a great social lubricant of the day and was much in demand throughout the colonies, but heavy taxation could put the beverage out of the reach of many in the lower reaches of society.  The problem with this Sugar Act was they could not really enforce it.  The colonists were smuggling the non-British molasses into the country.  Later, the Sugar Act of 1764 was passed.   The ever-frugal New Englanders worked their way around the tax by bribing customs officials.   British enforcement officers were aware of what was happening, but followed the “salutary neglect" of the colonies. Merchants on both sides of the Atlantic were prospering, so why rock the boat?  
     It would be these kind of taxes that would eventually lead the colonies to war with the British.  Even the start of the war began with rum.  Did you know that during his ride Revere made a little pit stop in Medford, Massachusetts at the home of Captain Isaac Hall. Captain Hall happened to be a distiller of rum, and Medford happened to be the rum capital of America at the time. Being a good host, Captain Hall started pouring flagons of rum, and the rest, as they say, is history.   By the time Revere saddled up again, he’d "sampled his fair share" of Captain
Paul Revere's Ride 1775
Hall’s hospitality and “he who came a silent horseman, departed a virile and vociferous crusader, with a cry of defiance and not of fear.” Not surprisingly, Revere was “pulled over” by the authorities (Redcoats) and detained for an hour before being released.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Atlantico Introduces a Bold New Look for the Line

      Atlantico Rum, from the Dominican Republic, is introducing a bold new look. It is inspired by classic ceramic tiles found throughout the Caribbean, creating a fresh, distinct design that clearly stands out from other rums. 
     "We love the Caribbean, particularly our home in the Dominican Republic. The people, food, culture and lifestyle are simply incredible. We wanted to find a way to capture the vibrancy and flavor of the Caribbean in our packaging while doing it in a classy way that is different than any other rum," said Brandon Lieb, Atlantico's Co-Founder. "With our new look, we are communicating Atlantico's hand-crafted credentials, unique process and flavor notes while transporting the imagination as much as the palate," adds fellow Co-Founder Aleco Azqueta.
     Atlantico sourced materials from all over the world to achieve its design goals.  The bottles, produced in France, are rounded with a heavy glass base. The wood and cork closures come from Portugal and are debossed with an updated Atlantico logo. All labels come from Northern California and include tasting notes, raw material information, barrel types used, individual bottle numbers and the signatures of the two founders. The designs are the work of Los Angeles-based luxury design firm M+.    "I couldn't be happier with the new design," adds singer Enrique Iglesiaswho is a partner in Atlantico. "It has a timeless, sexy look that captures the spirit of the Caribbean."