On behalf of the iStill Management Team, I proudly present Rum College. Rum College is the all new European Rum Education Center. We feel rum deserves a much bigger stage. We feel European distillers can benefit from adding rum to their product portfolio. We know that consumers all over the world love rum. The adventurous feeling, the mixability, the complex taste notes some of the darker, older rums so generously share …
So how come rum is produced all over the world, but rum production is almost non-existent in Europe? We dived in and this is what we found out. The two main reasons for a lack of rum production in Europe are:
1. Lack of knowledge on the rum making process;
2. Lack of access to materials and resources to make rum.
Lack of knowledge:
Many European countries, like England (navy!), and Spain and the Netherlands (colonies!), had a link to rum. But rum was always made where sugar cane grows. When European countries lost their colonies, rum knowledge dwindled.
Lack of access to materials and resources to make rum:
Rum is made from sugar cane by-products like molasses or raw cane sugar. Sugar cane is not naturally grown in Europe. The climate for most parts is too cold or too dry. Cane sugar was replaced by beet sugar during the 19th century and the beet sugar industry has done a great job at defending and monopolizing (beet) sugar supply.
The solution? With our new venture, Rum College, we aim to bridge the gap.
Rum College, together with North and South American partners (go where the information & experience on rum still thrives), developed a two days, hands-on rum making course. The course will teach the distiller so much that he can start his own rum production once back at his own distillery. And the course will be hands-on: participants get to whip up their own rum ferment, and they will do strip runs as well as finishing runs. Dates? April 18th and 19th 2015 is when the first rum training will take place. There’s room for just 6 applicants. We want to keep this course intense & interactive, that’s why. Even though Rum College is especially dedicated to introduce rum making to the European continent, distillers from other parts of the world are invited as well!
Rum College also started importing the raw materials needed to make rum. The Brazilian blackstrap molasses performs above expectations (see the Odin’s Molasses Rum tread). Plenty of taste, combined with a 38.7% fermentable sugar ratio. First tests with biological and artisan panela (consolidated and granulated cane juice) show that this is another great source material for rum making.
For more info, please see: http://www.rumcollege.eu/