Friday, July 18, 2008

Small Beautiful Rum-Flooded Palace


Today was a proud and joyous day for the Munat Bros., as we ushered double top-secret brother David Thompson into the fold. David swigged from many a gallon jug of rum with Chesterfield Browne when both were young’uns in Barbados. And David currently has an occasional seat at the dinner table with his boyhood acquaintance, the Prime Minister of Barbardos. The Prime Minister’s name? David Thompson. Yes, that is correct, they are both named David Thompson. David promises us he will use his personal sway with the PM to ensure many new falernums will wash upon our shores soon.

(Author’s note: David promised no such thing and is currently napping so cannot defend himself from this slander)

So where to take the newly arrived, “Lonely Voice of Reason” of Munat Bros, Inc? Why it just so happens there were tastings of both Cruzan and Rhum Clement on the mezzanine level. We started with the Cruzan room, and found the humble servant pouring for the masses was none other than Wayne Curtis. In case no one believed it was him, he had his book there with him. He also had a series of 250mL bottles filled with the various incarnations rum assumes before it actually becomes rum. This was a very fun idea. However, I may now always associate Cruzan Single Barrel with the scent of fusel oil, which began to permeate the room after repeated sniffs by the curious little tasters. There was another bottle that we weren’t sure what it was, and Wayne simply told us that if we saw it tip over to run like hell.

We then weaved our way over to the Clement tasting, which was a whirlwind. Two white rums, along with the VSOP, the XO, the Cuvee Homere, and the Creole Shrubb were quickly poured and consumed. I mean quickly. The presenter moved from one to the other like an auctioneer, pouring each one directly into the little plastic cups in our grubby little hands, and each one needed to be finished in order to be ready for the next, lest you miss out on one and tumble from the merry go round.

Careening away from that table, we found ourselves face to face with a row of bartenders mixing drinks with the various products. One featured a rum and the shrubb mixed with Nocello. After sipping this, David looked at the drink as if he were thinking what sort of thrashing one might receive if they served someone a rum drink with walnut liqueur in it in Barbados. At all the drink stations were tubs of beautiful, baseball-sized globes of ice, which would be cracked up fresh for each drink.

All this led to David and I needing a little break, so we slipped away into the elevator. As the doors were about to close, Gary Regan wisped in through the crack. I introduced myself as the person who did the Tales Blog preview of Essential Guide to American Whiskeys, and he promptly punched me in the ear.

(Author’s note: No, he didn’t)

And the day is just beginning…

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