Rhum Fest Paris 2019 – The Sugar Cane Journey


The 6th edition of the Rhum Fest Paris will be held in the Grande Halle at the Parc Floral in Vincennes in a 2,800 m2 exhibition space on 13-15th April. With more than 180 brands and nearly 60 countries represented, it has established itself as a vibrant market place with the aim of becoming the leading European rum show.

Rhum Fest Paris: THE major European rum market place

The show doubles its size into a bright and airy environment, for visitors to taste and communicate with rum experts.

This space creates more scope for fresh activities and new formats for stands and offers brands the opportunity to present immersive, personalized spaces. Finding your way around the show is made easy with a hall that is entirely geared to welcoming visitors, exhibitors and journalists, including:

– 6 entrance zones for the public
– 1 entrance zone exclusively for exhibitors
– 1 entrance zone for media guests

Bigger than ever before, and also taking things to another level, Rhum Fest Paris aims to be at the heart of the rum culture and its market in Europe. Thanks to the market place set up on the site, Rhum Fest Paris helps producers, distributors and importers to establish contact and initiate business.

Finally, to avoid queues, this new venue has 5 different food outlets with:
– An indoor restaurant
– 3 world food trucks (Martinique, Venezuela, Afro-Caribbean)
– 1 snack bar for fast service

Not to mention the classic features of Rhum Fest Paris:
– The masterclass marquee
– The entertainment tents with, among other things, an intriguing escape-room game with a rum theme
– Dedicated enclosures so brands can flex all their immersive creativity:
– The novelty bar – All things new and adventurous
– Calypso cocktail bar
– The pop-up Christian de Montaguère boutique – A fantasy of rum and Caribbean delights

In short, Rhum Fest Paris is still a serious rum festival but with even more to appeal to professional visitors and consumer rum fans.

Dates and times

Public days
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April 2019
From 12 noon to 6:30pm

Trade day for professionals in the drinks business
Monday 15 April 2019
From 10am to 5pm

Grande Halle du Parc Floral – Vincennes

Ticketing and accreditation

Lakaz Rom – Your Go-To UK Rum Search Engine And Price Comparison Site


Rumming.co.uk has launched Lakaz Rom, the UK’s first search and price comparison website exclusively for the world’s most versatile and incredible spirit, rum!

Aggregating prices and information for over 4,700 rums across 10 major UK online spirits merchants, Lakaz Rom allows rum drinkers, connoisseurs and bargain hunters to compare online rum prices in a single visit, with purchase as usual through the retailer. Users can browse rums by country of origin and the site also features ‘Rum of the week’, ‘Discounted Rums of the Day’ and ‘Rums with Free Shipping’, all giving a different view of our vast rum database made accessible in a user-friendly way.

We want to help dispel the myth that rum is a cheap pirate drink, and to do this we will be working with rum brands and retailers to promote this wonderful cane spirit, which most rum lovers can tell you should be on par with the finest and most respected spirits out there. You can also envy the most expensive rums from our database, by visiting ‘Some Expensive Rums…’, you might be surprised! Chris Mathurin, co-founder of Rumming.co.uk and creator of Lakaz Rom said: “I always wanted to become a ‘rumtrepreneur’, and Lakaz Rom combines my day job as a web developer with my love of rum and finding a good deal. We would not want to miss a good rum deal, so our ‘rum bots’ try their best to get the latest prices on a daily basis, ensuring the site is up-to-date with the latest information. More retailers will be added in the near future to bring even broader coverage and price visibility.

“Our favourite feature is ‘Discounted Rums of the Day’, as this lays out the largest discounts in one place instead of trawling through different websites on the off-chance of finding a reduction.

“There’ll also be spaces for ‘Rum of the Week’ and a ‘Featured Brand’. We always take the opportunity to get involved with the rum community and Lakaz Rom gives us the opportunity to partner with brands to promote their rums in a new way. Lakaz Rom is a search and comparison site for the rum people. “

Visit https://lakazrom.co.uk/ and start searching!

New Caribbean Inspired Bar and Café to Open in South Manchester

Marigot Bay Bar & Cafe Logo#BeInspired

A new Caribbean inspired venue is to open within King’s Court of Altrincham, South Manchester on July 20th, 2018.

Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast Ltd has chosen the attractive leisure and office complex of King’s Court and its secluded courtyard off one of the main streets of the Cheshire town as the home of his first bar and café. Marigot Bay Bar & Café, named after Marigot Bay of St Lucia in the Caribbean, is the creation of several years of inspiration and experiences, finally coming together to offer South Manchester a bar and café that takes you through the many tropical islands via chilled island beers, tropical cocktails and some of the finest Caribbean coffee and cocoa available.

With the walls adorned with memorabilia picked up from Dave’s travels to the Caribbean, including Marigot Bay itself, Marigot Bay Bar & Café re-creates the tranquil, relaxing experience of the bay, located on the western coast of Saint Lucia and surrounded on three sides by steep, forested hills with the inland portion of the bay forming a hurricane hole used to shelter boats from hurricanes. It’s here that it’s famous for its calming waters and palm tree lined beaches that offer a quiet escape from the hustle of city life. It’s this that Dave has re-created, meaning low ambient and traditional Caribbean radio, a focus on traditional drink serves and attentive table service.

Marigot Bay Bar & Café has a capacity of 30 seating, with a first-come-first-serve policy during its hours of operation. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, Marigot Bay Bar & Café focuses on Caribbean origins, including a selection of beers such as Banks of Barbados and Carib of Trinidad and Tobago, coffee sourced from the famous Blue Mountain region of Jamaica and a selection of rum and rhums from across the Caribbean islands, including Chairman’s Reserve of St Lucia, Foursquare of Barbados, Appleton Estate of Jamaica, Havana Club of Cuba and Rhum Clément of Martinique.

Chairman's Reserve

There’s also a focus on the traditional rum serves found on the islands themselves, including the Pusser’s Painkiller, known as the “Official Cocktail of the British Virgin Islands”, Havana Club’s original Cuban Mojito and Gosling’s Black Seal, the tempest in Bermuda’s favourite cocktail the Dark ‘n Stormy. The menu is coupled with a selection of non-rum favourites that can be found on the bars across the Caribbean too, as well as mixers such as fresh coconut water and Ting, the sparkling Jamaican grapefruit juice.

Marigot Bay itself is a historic landmark, having been the site of several battles between the French and British navies, meaning a great opportunity to focus on some of the islands favourite rums that honour the naval history of St Lucia. Expressions from the recent released Admiral Rodney range will be available to experience in special guided tutorials that focus on the aromas and flavour perception of each.

With tribute to Meimi Sanchez, Global Brand Ambassador for Havana Club and her sensory masterclass technique, Marigot Bay Bar & Café has ruled out the usual live music element seen in most venues, instead opting for low-level background music from traditional Caribbean radio stations, producing a calmer experience for all customers and releasing optimum emotions when enjoying a tipple of choice.

Dave himself has over a decade of experience within the drinks industry, creating brand agency Drinks Enthusiast in 2011, Manchester Rum Festival in 2017, Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress in 2017, co-owner of spirits retail business Riddles Emporium in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.

Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm to late and from 12noon to late on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Marigot Bay Bar & Café, 6 King’s Court, Railway Street, Altrincham, WA14 2RD


Rhum J.M.

The island of Martinique heralds some of the most well-known agricole brands available, including Rhum Clément, but it’s the partner in Rhum J.M. that this article will be focusing on, as we dive into this northern based rhum.

The journey begins in the late 17th century where the famous Pére Labat, the Jesuit priest credited with proliferating sugar cultivation in the French West Indies, was the parish priest of Macouba while he operated a sugar refinery at his house on the Roche River. Antoine Leroux-Préville purchased Father Labat’s estate in 1790 and gave the plantation the name it goes by today, Habitation Fonds-Préville.

In 1845, Antoine Leroux-Préville’s daughters sold the property to Jean-Marie Martin, a merchant from Saint-Pierre and husband of Marie Ferment who was the daughter of one of the island’s most famous sugar planters of the day. Jean-Marie Martin recognized the quality of the sugarcane he found on the Fonds-Préville estate and decided to shift the cultivation practices away from producing huge quanities of sugar and to focus on growing sugarcane. He built a small distillery on the estate and branded his initials “J.M.” on the first oak barrels used to mature his rum. Since then, these two letters have become and remain the emblem of the brand.

In 1914, Gustave Crassous de Médeuil, already owner of the Maison Bellevue, purchased Habitation Fonds-Préville from his brother Ernest. From this day, Maison Bellevue and Fonds-Préville became one entity. Located at the foot of the volcano Mont Pelèe, north of the island, Habitation Fonds-Préville remains to this day a family farming property, belonging to the heirs of the Crassous de Médeuil.

The sugarcane itself is 100% cultivated on the volcanic slopes of Habitation Bellevue, down from Mont Pelée. Once harvested and selected, the sugar cane is pressed to obtain the sugarcane juice. It is then distilled within column stills, in which the resulting liquid is bottled with volcanic mineral water to become the Rhum J.M Blanc expression. Parts of this run of rhum though will be placed in oak barrels to age in the cellars neighboring the distillery. The rhums begin to age in “rhum charred” American oak barrels.

So how does Rhum J.M. fare? Well below, I give to you my experiences so far –

Rhum J.M. XO – 45%

Aged 100% in re-charred Bourbon barrels. Light, subtle notes of oak on the nose, followed by toasted nuts. A sharp kick of sugar cane mellows into a bright voice of orange and cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg on the palate. A long finish includes dashes of white pepper.

An exquisite tot of rhum to enjoy neat. Simple. Although I’ve only experienced the XO, if you’re looking for a sipping style, this should have a place in your drinks cabinet for sure, especially if you’re a whisky drinker looking to make the jump to rhum.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rhum Clément

Agricole is becoming more and more frequent within bars across the UK as bartenders are starting to embrace its sugar cane juice qualities. There are numerous brands leading the way, including Rhum Clément of Martinique, part of the French Caribbean Islands that also includes the likes of Guadeloupe and Saint-Barthélemy.

It’s Rhum Clément I’ll be focusing on here, looking back from the late 1800’s to the modern-day.

1887 is where we start with the purchase of the prestigious 43 hectare sugar plantation, Domaine de L’Acajou by a gentleman named Homère Clément, a physician and mayor of Le François. It’s here he pioneered Rhum Agricole. In 1917, Homère Clément created a distillery to fulfill the large request of alcohol during the first World War, using the fresh free-run sugarcane juice available to him.

After the death of Homère Clément in 1923, his son Charles Clément took over the business. He is credited with perfecting his family’s Rhum Agricole method and honed his craft while studying distillation at the famous Louis Pasteur School in France. It was Charles Clément who first bottled Rhum Agricole in Martinique and branded it after his father. Charles Clément was also the first to export bottles of Martinique Rhum Agricole and developed France as the first great market for Rhum Agricole outside of the Caribbean.

In 1973, Charles Clément  passed away, succeeded by his son, Georges-Louis, who was in charge of production and his two brothers Jean-José and Marcel-André, who increased the visibility of Rhum Clément throughout the Caribbean, Europe, Central and South America, and North America.

Once 1986 rolled around, Rhum Clément was sold to the Hayot family, who remained close to the Clément family in order to keep what was now one of Martinique’s great cultural assets, Habitation Clément, in Martinique hands. The Hayot family continue to this day to maintain the heritage, culture and passion of the Clément family and Rhum Clément.

In 1996, the agricultural rum of Martinique gains the Denomination of Controlled Origin (AOC), alongside the Creole home, the terrace and the dependences all classified as Listed buildings by the Ministry of Culture, a testament of Habitation Clément that had been re-vitalized previously with investment in new cellars for aging rhum, a reception for tourists, art galleries and tasting room for visitors.

So steeped into the Martinique history, but how does it all fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –

Rhum Clément Canne Bleue – 50%

The first mono-varietal rum in the world, resulting from the juice of one single variety of sugar cane called ‘canne bleue’.
A sweet grass note on the nose, with soft earth and subtle cane juice coming through. A good hit of the fresh-cut grass on the palate, with the natural sugars imparting nicely and its builds to a fresh, thin yet bold finish.

Rhum Clément Select Barrel – 40%

Crafted with a unique blend of rhums matured in selected oak barrels with a particularly heavy toasting selected by their cellar master.
Subtle dry oak upon the nose, with hints of orange rind and cocoa nip following. A smooth profile on the palate, with a fresher note of the orange and cocoa hitting. Subtle fresh sugar cane creeps in on the lingering finish.

Amazing tots to enjoy on their own, even the 50% stylings of the Canne Bleue is easy to sip. Of course, for a simple mix, the traditional signature serve is always a good shout –

Ti’Punch by Clément

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

60 ml Rhum Clément Canne Bleue
30 ml Sugar Syrup
1 wedge of Lime

Method –

Stir all ingredients over ice, squeezing in the lime wedge. Serve.

A fantastic example of Martinique rhum agricole, one that seems to offer a wide range of versatility, whether enjoyed straight, over ice or within a simple served cocktail, a bottle or two would not look out-of-place within your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


R. St Barth Announces Bohemian Brands Distribution

rhum-st-barth-3-typesR. St Barth has changed distribution after 4 years in the UK market. Emerging distribution company Bohemian Brands of London is a new fit for R. St Barth due to its focus on small batch, leading brands.

R. St Barth is also pleased to retain its UK Brand Manager in Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast.

With the owners of R. St Barth having spent a significant time in Manchester, it was important to continue the partnership, whilst also growing its audience with a new national distributor in Bohemian Brands.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside Bohemian Brands and their team in driving the awareness of the Agricole category, with R. St Barth as the driving force across the UK to consumers and bartenders alike”. – Dave Marsland

Julian Piler of Bohemian Brands went further stating “This is a fabulous opportunity for all of us. R. St Barth is an extremely versatile brand and we can’t wait to spread the word!”.

“We are excited to have Bohemian Brands on board as we look to spread to new heights across the UK. The retention of Dave too in this new exciting phase of our work will bring forth an exciting time for R. St Barth”. – Mikael Silvestre, owner R. St Barth.

Further information on R. St Barth can be found online at http://www.rhumstbarth.com

Rhum St Barth Tasting Notes

Rhum St Barth

Everyone loves a celebrity producing a spirit. Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head have been in the news lately becoming the official vodka of The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary, with much fanfare, cocktail competitions and events. Footballer Mikael Silvestre decided to follow in Dan Aykroyd’s footsteps and be behind a rum from the island of St Barts, creating one of the most talked about portfolios in a while – Rhum St Barth.

So how is it created?

Rhum St Barth uses sugarcane from damp volcanic earth that is harvested and cut by hand between March and April. The cane fibres are opened and crushed to facilitate the juice extraction and then pressed before the resulting vesou (juice) is carefully filtered, then put into fermentation vats. The fermentation process takes place in the open air and begins about an hour after the sugarcane has been pressed. The open air and environment contains natural yeasts that convert the sugar in the juice into alcohol, a process that takes usually between 24-48 hours. Once fermented, the liquid is distilled in a column still where once heated between 78°C and 92°C, the alcohol vapors are collected and condensed to create rhum.

When it leaves the column still, Rhum St Barth rhum agricole is then stored for 12-months in stainless steel vats, and the alcohol content is gradually bought down to 50% (from 60 to 70%) by adding water. Once ready for maturation, they use barrels that were previously used for maturing bourbon, Cognac or whisky, and have undergone re-charring.

So how does the range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Rhum St Barth Cool (Blanc) – 50%

Limited to 23,000 bottles per year. Smooth corn notes with slight citrus on the nose. An oily texture on the palate, with sharp citrus dicing through at times. A long, slightly sweet lingering finish that dries a little but freshens on each breath.

Rhum St Barth Chic (Ambré) – 40%

Aged for 4-years in re-charred Bourbon barrels and limited to 5,000 bottles per year annually. A soft blend of subtle spice and vanilla on the nose with a slight hint of toffee following. Very smooth on the palate with a slight sweetness developing. A little dry on the finish, with slight spices lingering.

Rhum St Barth Authentique (Hors d’âge) – 43%

Aged for 12-years in oak barrels and bottled in early 2011 unfiltered. Individually numbered, the rhum is limited to 2,000 bottles per year globally and housed in a collectors box.
Rich sugar and vanilla on the nose with hints of plum darting in. Incredibly smooth on the palate with lots of dried fruits and subtle spices blending well. Sweet vanilla dominates the finish as it lingers for a long, long time.

I’d highly recommend the range to be sipped, although you could always try one of these –

Ti Punch
Ti Punch

Ti Punch

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

40 ml Rhum St Barth Cool
2 teaspoons Rhum St Barth cane sugar
Small wedge of fresh lime

Method –

Put the sugar in a cocktail glass, add a good squeeze of lime juice, leave the wedge in the glass, pour the rhum and stir.

Or maybe their signature cocktail –



Glass –


Ingredients – 

1/2 lime quartered
1/2 sprig of chopped lemongrass
6cl. Rhum St Barth Cool
20 ml sugar syrup
Cranberry juice
Apple juice
Ginger beer

Method –

Muddle the lime and lemongrass in a highball glass. Add Rhum St Barth, sugar syrup and ice. Build drink by adding 1/3 of the glass cranberry juice, 1/3 of the glass apple juice and top with ginger beer.

An absolutely fantastic range of rhums here, with the standout being the Authentique. Well worth a purchase if you ever come across them in a bar, and even splashing out for your own drinks cabinet. Don’t let the price put you off, seriously.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.