Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Rum is Coming out of the Still at Hemingway Rum Company Distillery

Left To Right Bahama Bob Leonard, Shawn Martin and Carlton Grooms
   After eight days of the fermentation, the wash was transferred to the still and the fresh rum came pouring out from the end pipe of the condenser.  This is the big day for the entire crew that everyone has been waiting for when the fresh rum would start pouring out of the end pipe and put the distillery really in business.  The Rum will be passed through the solera for preparation before it is added the the rest of the aged blend and it becomes a part of the Papa's Pilar Rum.  We are still a little more than a week away from bottling the first batch.

The Rum Begins to flow out of the Still
     This first round of rum making has brought a lot of excitement to the crew here at the distillery and as each step unfolds for the first time the excitement rises again.  We all went through the first training session this week for the bottling line.  Everything is falling into place as we inch closer to putting our rum on the shelf for sale in the trading post.

     The four year journey to production is over and the Hemingway Rum Company is now underway and looking forward to all the new adventures that the future in rum making will be offering.   These are the "good ole days", and all the fun and excitement will be continuing for quite some time.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Myths, Facts and Fiction Behind Nature's Wild Event

No, a solar eclipse will not harm pregnant women, nor is it an event that brings on doom, eclipses aren't dangerous unless you stare at them with unprotected eyes.

Map of Projected Amount of the Eclipse
     "The biggest myth of them all is that eclipses are dangerous."  You would never look directly into the sun, an eclipse is not any different. Looking at the sun is always a bad idea and can create a scar on the retina of your eye and you won't even feel a thing.   "Even if 0.5 per cent of the sun's photosphere is visible, there is still a retinal hazard because the exposed photosphere is still producing the same amount of light as always."   "The only difference is, the scar is the shape of the exposed remaining crescent, instead of a circle."

2009 Eclipse over Indonesia
     This is going to be an annular solar eclipse like the one over Indonesia in 2009. These types of eclipses occur when the moon doesn't quite cover the entire face of the sun. Even though very little sunlight is visible, it's not safe to look at. There is only one time when you can look toward the sun during an eclipse: during totality, when the moon covers the entire disk of the sun.  For the Aug. 21 eclipse, so it's very important that you're equipped with approved solar eclipse glasses if you look at the partial eclipse.   Sunglasses won't cut it, not even those with extra-dark glass used by alpine skiers. They still allow too much sunlight to reach your eye.  Aside from proper eclipse glasses, there is only one other form of eye protection you can use: welder's glasses.   NASA recommends a Welder’s #14 Lenses to look directly at it.  There's been a lot of attention to eye safety during the lead-up to the Aug. 21 eclipse.  Back in the 1990s, there were a lot of people trying to use various things like aluminized Mylar gardening film, and CDs, most of those products aren't safe at all.
     There have been some fears about Unborn children, but each day our bodies are bombarded with solar radiation, like sunburns, which come from ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  The solar eclipse will not harm your baby if you're pregnant.  There are even difficult-to-detect subatomic particles emanating from the sun called neutrinos that start out in the sun's core. But they don't cause us any harm.  During the solar eclipse — total or partial, what's emanating from the sun doesn't change.

Throughout history, solar eclipses have been thought to be a harbinger of doom and associated with bad events.  In 763 BC there was an insurrection in the city of Ashur which happened to coincide with a solar eclipse.  Then there was the death of England's King Henry I in 1133, again during a solar eclipse.  In Greek mythology all the way through medieval history, eclipses of the sun have turned up at fortuitous times and scared the heck out of everybody.  These events were just the same kind of bad things happen all the time, that no one brings up except when there is an event they think that they can blame it on.  Enjoy the solar eclipse, but use some “common sense” when you are enjoying it.   By the way a little bit of rum helps you enjoy the eclipse a lot more, if you enjoy it smartly.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Old Town Panama City, Panama

     Old Town Panama City, Panama is an interesting place of the old and the view of the very modern.  It is like old town in other parts of the Caribbean, with it's narrow streets and views of the modern city across the way from it.   Old Town has its charms and its remnants of the of the war in that ousted Noriega in 1989.  Much of the old buildings are being restored and the charm is returning to Old Town Panama.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What is the Real Connection Between Alcohol and Weight Gain

      As a person that has to really be careful of how I eat, drinking my rum has to be watched also.  There are more studies out there that tell you that you can or cannot drink a lot if you want to lose of maintain your comfortable weight.  Is it a good idea to scale back on how much you drink when you are dieting?   But there's a difference between hearing your friend's cousin lost a bunch of weight after she stopped drinking beer and knowing the actual science around weight and alcohol.

     According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, people who drink heavily when they're younger have a higher risk of gaining excess weight and becoming overweight or obese when they're older.   People who were heavy drinkers (which is defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as having four or more drinks on any day or eight or more drinks per week for women) had a 41 percent higher risk of going from a normal weight BMI to an overweight BMI when compared with people who weren't heavy drinkers, and a 36 percent higher risk of going from an overweight BMI to an obese BMI by the time they hit their mid-twenties.   According to these findings, the researchers concluded that heavy drinking should be part of the discussion when it comes to talking about healthy eating and weight loss.

     "It's important to look at alcohol in terms of calories," says Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.   Alcohol definitely has calories: According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 12 ounces of regular beer can have about 150 calories, five ounces of wine might have about 120 calories, and a seven-ounce rum and Coke has about 155 calories. And, if you're drinking a lot of those in a week, it can add up.  People also tend to underestimate how much they're drinking.   A serving of wine, for example, is five ounces, but you probably pour more than that when you're having a glass at home.   It's not just about the calories from alcohol itself: Drinking can lower your inhibitions and sense of awareness, making you much more likely to mindlessly eat when you have a buzz according to Alissa Rumsey, R.D., owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness, "while you may be able to realize you are full and stop after one slice of pizza when you are sober, it's harder to read those fullness signals when you've had a few drinks.”   

     Taking all the factors into consideration, it's easy to see how drinking heavily can cause you to gain weight over time.  That doesn't mean you should totally swear off alcohol if you want to lose weight-you just need to be smart about drinking.  Moderate drinking of alcohol if it is something that is important to you, it would be best to reduce your drinking to try to lose weight, but this usually does not work.  Making better choices about what you drink and what you mix your spirits with works better, if you want to make lower your calorie intake from drinking.  You can drink and still lose weight-just keep it within moderate levels and you should be fine.   The real question is not "Whether alcohol calories do count" but "How much do alcohol calories count?". There seems to be a large individual variability according to the absolute amount of alcohol consumed, the drinking frequency as well as genetic factors. Presently it can be said that alcohol calories count more in moderate nondaily consumers than in daily (heavy) consumers. Further, they count more in combination with a high-fat diet and in overweight and obese subjects.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Defining Rum, The Same Issues Today as They Were in 1908.

     Richard Seale posted this on Facebook, the other day and I find it really interesting that the same ideas were being argued in 1908 that are still being argued today 109 years later.
     “The first time it was attempted to regulate the "trade identity" of spirits was the ROYAL COMMISSION ON WHISKY AND OTHER POTABLE SPIRITS in 1908.   Spirits such as rum and whisky had been made for over 400 years but this was at last an attempt to protect the consumer and decide what we mean we say something is whisky, brandy or rum.  The descriptions of the stills in being used in Guyana in 1908 perfectly reflect the Gargano classification we promote today”.
- distilleries with just pot stills including those 'modified pot stills' with retorts and rectifying plates - PURE SINGLE RUM
- distilleries with both pot stills and traditional column stills in general,. coffey stills - SINGLE BLENDED RUM
- distilleries with just column stills - TRADITIONAL RUM
     “In a response to 'imitation rum' being sold on the market, rum was defined as not only from sugar cane but from sugar cane producing countries. This was thought essential to identifying authentic rum as the 'imitation rum' was as you might guess not coming from sugar cane producing countries.  The conclusions on liqueurs make fascinating reading.  A liqueur is anything that "obscures our hydrometer" - that is to say just as we do today with our "hydrometer test" to discern the true rum from the rum liqueurs”.
     “Score another hit for the purists and woe to those  who deride this simple test because they refuse to understand it.   The 1908 Commission made it abundantly clear by it’s conclusion on liqueurs - labeled as a spirit means a pure spirit. For then, for now, for always.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

48 Years Ago Today Was the Original Woodstock Music and Art Festival

Note the List of Musicians
     48 Years ago some where in the area of 750,000 music loving "freaks" gathered together to celebrate great music and the freedom of the hippie lifestyle.  It was a music festival like no other and has never been matched since.  It was an epic event for those that were fortunate to have been there, and something that the rest of us can wish we were.  The poster tells it all, three days of the greatest musicians of the time in a concert that was suppose to be $6.00 per day, but the majority paid nothing as the slogged through the mud to get to the concert field.

     The Woodstock Music and Art Festival was a rock music festival at Max Yasgur's 600 acre dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York from 15–18 August 1969.   It is the most famous rock concert festival ever held. For many, it showed the counterculture of the 1960"s and the "hippie era".   Many of the most famous musicians at the time showed up during the rainy weekend, as can be seen in a 1970 movie, Woodstock.  Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock", about the event, also became a major hit song for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  In recent years, a number of attempts were made to recreate it, but the original Woodstock festival of 1969 has proven to be legendary.

     The festival was called "Woodstock", because the investment group that backed the concert was called "Woodstock Ventures." It was originally planned for Saugerties, and then the Town of Wallkill, in Orange County . People in the Town of Wallkill, meaning those on the Town Board, quickly passed a law that required a permit to hold any gathering for over 5,000 people.  A permit was applied for, but it was denied because the portable toilets proposed were considered to be inadequate. A Sullivan County farmer named Max Yasgur heard about the festival and the problems and offered his farm in the Town of Bethel. He was paid $10,000 for the three days.

     The municipalities were told there would be no more than 50,000, the organizers thought they would get as many as 150,000, and by best counts, there were more than three times that number over the three days. Most did not pay to get in, and the festival lost money as a result. The roads to the concert were jammed with traffic. People left their cars and walked for miles to get to the concert area. The weekend was rainy and overcrowded, and fans shared food, alcoholic drinks, and drugs. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today is National Rum Day

     Today is National Rum Day, so I decided to stick my neck out a little bit and let you know a little about some of my favorite rums that are available in America.  I get the opportunity to enjoy so many rums, but many of them are just not available here in the United states.  I thought for National Rum Day, I’d try to pick my top ten.  These are not in any particular order, but they are the ten that I tend to gravitate toward and enjoy on a regular basis.


Doorly’s XO is a blend of six to ten year old rums created and aged by Richard Seale at the Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, Doorly's XO gets its final finishing in an Oloroso Sherry cask.   The rum has a deep copper bronze color with golden highlights.  In the mouth, the viscosity is somewhat light, This rum contains no additives of any kind.   There is an initial spiciness that dies down quickly revealing a fruitiness, that is coupled with oaky tannins that coat the palate and a hint of sweetness.  The long finish is primarily spice and oak, and finishes with just a slight bitterness.  Wonderful in a glass or mixed in premium cocktails.

Mount Gay Black Barrel is a small batch, handcrafted rum recently created by master distiller Allen Smith. It is a blend of both matured double pot distillates and aged column distillates which are finished in Bourbon oak barrels. This blend has a bold and balanced flavor, that is not to sweet as what the nose would have you think.  The flavor of the oak comes to the front over the palate, there are notes of orange, banana peel, almonds, baking spices and vanilla.  This is a good sipper or mixing expression

Abuelo Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish is their wonderful 12 year-old rum that has been rebarrelled in Oloroso Sherry casks for another 5 years.  This process adds to the already wonderful flavors of the original rum, yielding a brilliant copper color with complex aromas and flavors of polished wood, leather, sherry raisin cake, and dark roasted nuts.  This is a vibrant, fruity full bodied rum with a warm distinctive notes of fruit cake, spiced prunes and figs with some tea and tobacco in the finish.
This  one is a pure sipping rum.

Afrohead Premium Aged Dark Rum is born in the West Indies and authentically aged, sporting a silky smooth spirit with notes of toasty oak and a hint of honey. The rum has notes of molasses and Bourbon wood accents with a hint of vanilla with a smooth, warming, long finish. It is authentically crafted with blends of rum aged 7 years or older in once-used Bourbon barrels.  Also a rum that can be sipped or used in premium cocktails.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva has a heavy, rich, toasted sugar flavor, with a rich and buttery hint of spice.  Revealing a medley of flavors that include caramel, allspice, almonds and molasses, vanilla and leather that come together ins such a wonderful manner. It is a very viscous medium-bodied rum that the flavor seems like it will never end.   This is definitely a rum that is worth spending time with as a sipper especially great with a fine cigar.
Cartavio XO has a brilliant mahogany color with woody aromas furniture shop.  There are notes of tropical fruit, leather, cinnamon, tannins, crisp, caramelized nuts, mango, orange caramel with a vanilla bean and nutmeg finish.  This is a very rich aged rum that suits palates that prefer sweets rums.  Another that can be used as a sipper or for mixing premium cocktails.
Dzama Cuvee Noire is one of a very few that can boast such a balance of flavors that are achieved by this rum.  You will find the notes of orange, vanilla, coffee liqueur, citrus and bananas as you sniff and taste this unique rum from Madagascar.   This oak barrel aged rum is filled with character and flavor that are unique to this rum.  Sip it or mix it you will enjoy this one.

Damoiseau XO has a golden amber color, with a rich, complex, oaky aromas, with flavors of chocolate, dried banana and mango, and some notes of spices and fruitiness.  This Agricole Rhum has a light-medium body with a smooth, subtle, medium-length satisfying finish.   A very smooth and elegant sipping rum that is absolutely my favorite Agricole..

Plantation Barbados 5 Year Grande Reserve has a light sweetness in the mouth with hints of butterscotch, caramel and molasses initially across the palate with some sweetness followed by a sharp orange peel and baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla along with a leathery mustiness.  Other flavors like banana and marmalade, toasted almond, charred coconut and notes of marzipan.  This is a unique rum that can be enjoyed across the spectrum, it works well in anywhere.

Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum has an aroma of molasses, baking spices and hints of caramel.  The flavor is sweet initially, with lots of vanilla, caramel, and citrus that melt away to a pepperiness at the back of the tongue.  It finishes on the dry side, medium-long, and slightly astringent, with the influence of the Oloroso sherry finish coming to the forefront.   This is unique in that gets its flavors not only from the selection of fine rums, but also what is gained from the solera blending method.   Papa’s Pilar is bold and works well as a sipper or a a replacement for bourbon in many of the classic cocktails.