Luis Ayala, Editor of "Got Rum?" magazine, Rum Consultant and Founder of The Rum University.
Luis Ayala close up with snifter of rumLuis Ayala, Rum Consultant
2012: Year End Review
I am always amazed when December rolls in and I sit down to summarize the year’s highlights. It seems it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was recapping 2011! Fortunately for me, each year is full of new product launches, rum festivals, consumer trends, books and much more.
2012 saw the largest number of micro distilleries being established worldwide. Unfortunately, many of the American owners lack the technical skills needed to produce good rum and what they are producing could not be sold as rum in many countries outside the USA. Fortunately for USA-based companies, the American Rum Association was recently launched to address these and other issues. We applaud the initiative and encourage distillers to join the association.
We also saw an increase in the intensity of the debate pro and against the American subsidies for Puerto Rican and USVI rums. Like pieces on a chessboard, both sides are preparing their strategies and defenses as the issue is taken to the World Trade Organization.
I was also very happy to see that several new rum festivals around the world had their debut in 2012. We hope the events were successful for the organizers, the exhibitors and for the respective domestic rum consumers. I’m particularly proud of those events that took the time to promote rum as a quality distilled spirit that can be enjoyed outside of a cocktail.
2012 also saw the emergence of hundreds of bloggers worldwide, passing themselves as rum experts when their only veritable skill is the ability to say if they like a particular rum or not. Much like food critics who don’t know how to cook, many of these rum “experts” are doing the industry a disservice by voicing their uneducated opinions. I can only hope that 2013 will see many of these aficionados picking up technical books and spending time fermenting and distilling rum, not just critiquing it.
Rum?” and wish you and your family a very safe and successful 2013.
Luis Ayala, Editor and Publisher