On Saturday 3rd June this year, Manchester ran its first Rum Festival at the Revolution de Cuba run by Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast. Being the dedicated rum drinkers we are, we were invited down (or should that be up?) to experience the event, sample the rum and enjoy the festivities.
Before the festival itself though, we were invited to a brunch held by Pusser’s and Peter Thornton which included a very special “Build Your Own” Pusser’s Bloody Mary Bar with all of the options you could want in your personalised variant. Alongside the rum, there were also a couple of delicious brunch options at the Home Sweet Home bar. The sweet option looked tempting but the savoury rum runner breakfast took our fancy. Food was a good idea, there was lots of rum ahead.
Entrance to the Rum Festival itself was very easy, and we were greeted by Dave with a goody bag and a lovely glass rum snifter to taste the rum in. Walking into the room there was an air of excitement and wonder as this was one of the first Rum festivals that had been accessible to many people in the north of England.
The layout utilised the space really well. I overheard a couple of people mention how the venue looked smaller than they expected. I quickly quelled any negativity and told them I would be stunned if they managed to try every rum in the room by the end and sure enough, when I caught them later on they were actually delighted they had managed to do about 75% of the stands before the end.
The list of exhibitors ranged from the historic Mount Gay, to the well known Bacardi and Havana Club, to some enthusiasts’ favourites in Mezan, Habitation Velier and Doorly’s alongside many, many others. A fantastic array of rum (and some cachaca) on display the attendees were in for a treat. For a full list of the exhibitors, check out the link here.
Most of the rum on display were great refreshers. However, there were a few which we had not tried. The main ones we enjoyed were Clairin and Atlantico Rum. Clarin is a Rhum Agricole from Haiti which was one of the best we had ever tasted. Flavourful and not too grassy like most seem to be. Definite vegetal notes but not overpowering. Atlantico was special in the fact it was 100% pot still rum. The flavour from the still was evident in the rum and in all 3 varieties we tried.
I found most of the crowd were there to actually learn about the noble spirit rather than drink for drinking’s sake. This is a testament to the area and the exhibitors who were able to impart their knowledge to the crowd and help them understand there is a rum for everybody, they just haven’t found it yet.
Top work from Dave Marsland in putting together a smoothly run, well received rum event and we look forward to returning in 2018!