Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Local rum producers host Jamaica Rum Festival

Published:Wednesday | February 5, 2020 | 12:16 AM

Jamaican rum producers have once again joined forces to host the second staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival at Hope Gardens in Kingston on Saturday, February 29, and Sunday, March 1, 2020.

Following its successful inaugural staging in 2019, the Jamaica Rum Festival, presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism through its agencies the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Jamaica Tourist Board, was recently highlighted by the ministry as one of the significant milestones for the industry last year.

Presenting sponsor Appleton Estate also celebrated another milestone, having been recently recognised as the fourth best-selling rum worldwide by the UK-based ‘Drinks International’.

In addition to the presenting sponsor, the Jamaican rum brands that will be participating at the festival include Monymusk Plantations Rums, Hampden Estate and Rum Fire, Rum Bar, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Charley’s JB Rum, and Sangster’s Rum Cream. These brands will be hosting rum tastings and other ­interactive activities within the space.

Patrons of the two-day ­festival will journey from cane to ­cocktails as they are exposed to the rum-making process, the unique provenance of Jamaican rums, and sample a variety of rum blends. Additionally, festival attendees will discover the flavour profiles of varying types of rums as well as techniques in cocktail-making. Patrons will enjoy their favourite Jamaican spirit with authentic Jamaican cuisine and will be treated to superb live entertainment from some of Jamaica’s finest musicians.

Noting the inextricable link between rum and Jamaican life, Marsha Lumley, director of marketing, J. Wray & Nephew Ltd. said: “The local rum industry is very much intertwined in our culture, economy and touches virtually every aspect of Jamaican life. “The Jamaica Rum Festival presents a unique opportunity to showcase what we know to be true of our rum heritage: integrity and quality. Our rums are a true ­representation of Jamaican excellence and a strong economic driver. We have traditionally been regarded for sun, sand, sea, our athletes, our food, and our music. Through the rum festival, we are positioning Jamaica as a destination where you can enjoy the finest rums the world has to offer.”

Continuing, Lumley said: “The Jamaica Rum Festival is a ­celebration of a storied history of our convivial spirit and growing awareness and appreciation of the unique processes that make our rums well-regarded worldwide. Through the Appleton Estate range of rums, we are leading the premiumisation of the category and educating consumers to savour rum much like any Scotch, cognac, or whiskey. With the positioning of Kingston as a gastronomy destination by the Ministry of Tourism, this is a natural progression to deepen that experience. We want to drive the education of our Jamaican rums.”

The collaborative event, which will see the support of the 88-year-old Spirits Pool Association Limited, rum distillers Hampden Estate, National Rums of Jamaica, and Worthy Park Estate will ­underscore the unique characteristics of Jamaican rums and the high standards of ­production that helped shape and refine the manufacturing process. The inaugural staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival in 2019 was a huge success for its stakeholders and key partners. The two-day event saw the support of 5,000 patrons who enjoyed the various displays of rum brands, tastings, live entertainment, seminars, rum history, food, and drink. The 2020 staging promises no less, with an expanded venue, ­additional seminars, and new rum purveyors on board to add to the experience.

The Orville-Hall led Dance Xpressionz; ­Ky-Mani Marley; Ding Dong, alongside Ravers Clavers; Mortimer, Tessellated; Bugle; Spragga Benz; Cocoa Tea; ‘Mr Big Ship’ himself, Freddie McGregor; Indie Allen, Capleton; and Protoje are all billed to ­perform at the festival.