Friday, May 22, 2009

Pirates For Jesus!

This might be the greatest album cover of ALL TIME. I simply lose my breath when gazing upon its greatness. The costumes, the netting, the scary children, the even scarrier ventriloquist dummy. Alas, it's not, I do not own this treasure. I found it on another blog. I guess I will have to continue my quest to attain a copy of this wonder for myself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rum Renaissance Results

The results from Rum Renaissance RUM competition are in and "Ministry Of Rum" has posted the medal listings. I am quite surprised at a few of the results including the sheer number of Gold medals issued. I know that there isn't a limit on Gold medals but come on, everything cannot be the best. The reason you have Gold, Silver, Bronze is to distinguish the best of the bunch. Not everything deserves a medal. According to "Ministry of Rum" 44 of 65 RUMs, or 68% of them, received Gold medals. That's simply too many earning Gold.

Some of the "head scratchers" that I noticed included Bacardi Gold received a Bronze medal. How on earth did this win ANY medal? I cannot help but think this was done because Bacardi was a primary sponsor. I also cannot believe that Don Q Cristal got a medal, let along a Silver medal! This stuff is PURE swill. It's not even good enough to be a mixing RUM.

There are a number of medals I agreed on including Gold medals to Tommy Bahama White Sand, Flora de Cana 4yr. Gold, Mt. Gay Extra Old, Cruzan Single Barrel, Cubaney 8 Años Solera Reserva, and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva. There are a number of RUMs listed that I've never tried and some I've never heard of. Of these, a couple really peaked my interest including Admiral Rodney (from St. Lucia), Opthimus 25 Años Summa Cum Laude and Batiste Rhum Blanc (St. Barts).

So check-out the results here and review the list yourself.

Carmen Miranda, Busby Berkeley & Esther Williams

So I have been on a Carmen Miranda kick lately. I watched "That Night In Rio" Sunday night and today Netflix sent me the 1943, Busby Berkeley directed musical "The Gangs All Here". TGAH bonus features include a special documentary on Berkeley and his use of dancers, props, choreography, etc. on a MASSIVE scale (see the "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat" shot below). The documentary prompted me to seek out other Berkeley movies which led me to Esther Williams..."The Million Dollar Mermaid." While reading more on Williams, I came across this postcard from a Williams movie set built in Cypress Gardens, FL. I thought the image was so cool, I just had to post it. That's Esther holding the skis up front.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gifted Rums

A friend of mine at Southern Wine & Spirits emailed me an article covering the Rum Renaissance weekend in Miami this past weekend. Over 100 RUMs were available for tasting and it looked like a wonderful weekend. Check out the link above for more information.

The article also included a link to the Rum Tasting organizer's website so I thought I would share it here. Robert Burr, father and son, write for the site sharing lots of great information covering the wonderful world of RUM. You should checkout if you have a chance.

Vinyl Kings!

I just saw a short documentary on Paul Mawhinney and his amazing record collection. Over 1 million albums, 1 million singles and 6+ million songs. Paul's nearly 70 and can no longer care for the collection so it is for sale. As of yet, no one had stepped up to aquire the collection who's value has been placed around $50 million but is being sold for $3 million.

Here's the short documentary.

Here's Paul's homepage.

P.S. I had to add this interview also. I don't know who this guy is but he's very odd and a bit creepy. Collecting every record ever made...yikes, you might as well shoot yourself in the head...ain't gonna happen.

P.S.S. I could do this all night long but this clip had to be posted. This is EXACTLY how most vinyl guys are.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Martin Denny's "Quiet Village"

Exotica music consists of a mixture of light jazz, Hawaiian music, percussion, jungle calls, etc. Martin Denny, along with Les Baxter and Arthur Lyman, are considered the Kings of Exotica music. I found this clip last night of Denny's band performing "Quiet Village" on Webley Edward's "Hawaii Calls" program. "Quiet Village" was the biggest Exotica hit ever produced. Watching this clip gives you an understanding of the Exotica sound.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Fetch me a Mai Tai, Ping Pong."

Following our trip to Memphis, which included visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland, we had to watch at least one Elvis movie. We chose "Blue Hawaii" this weekend and had a blast watching it. Watching movie's in the Media Room is quite an experience. With the 111" screen and the extra space, my son got to dance with Elvis on "Slicin' Sand"; very cool. Mrs. TheRumTrader and I had a good laugh thinking about how many cast members Elvis muse have slept with during shooting. Plus, we picked up our newest, bestest catch phrase from Angela Landsbury's Southern character..."Fetch me a Mai Tai, Ping Pong."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge (Charleston, SC)

I just found out that my old home town of Charleston, SC has its very own Tiki Bar and Lounge. I am shocked to see one in South Carolina. They have $3 Mai-Tais during Happy Hour, Volcano Bowls, Scorpion Bowls, Donkey Punch, Suffering Bastards, etc. Now they just need a Zombie and they'll be complete. It looks like they use standard well brands for most drinks (to keep cost in check I assume). For RUMs they mention using Myers Dark, Goslings Dark, Malibu and Mt. Gay. It is my hope that their well brand RUMs are not BACARDI. It's also nice to see that they have Non-RUM Tiki drinks too. I know GASP!! The Rum Trader says its okay to drink something OTHER than RUM! No, I realize that some (very unsophisticated) people prefer something other than RUM...poor souls! This Bar is a definite "check it out" stop on our next visit "home". Mrs. The Rum Trader even asked if I'd like to celebrate our 12th Anniversary @ Voodoo. Wow, now that would be cool!

Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge

RUM Collection 4/18/09

In spite of my wife's eye rolling, I thought I'd pull out my RUM collection, count its number and take a photo. On 4/18/09 I had 43 different RUMs not including a large collection of mini-bottles. Plus, after I took my photos I found a few extra bottles that made the count but not the photo. I know, that's ridiculous but to my defense a number of the bottles are nearly empty. I counted 15 that we're near the end of their lives. I need to kill a few over the long weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pittsburgh, PA - RUM Finds

The family traveled to Pittsburgh, PA for Easter again this year. It's our third Easter with our best friends The Lizottes. They actually live in Murraysville, East of Pittsburgh so we hit some local Spirit stores to see what we could find.

Buying RUM in PA is like shopping in no other place. The state (PLCB - Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) controls EVERYTHING. What's sold, the stores it's sold in, etc. They maintain and publish an "official list" of spirits, wines, etc. available in PA online here. You can only buy what they authorize; that's it. Their monopoly is interesting to read about (from Wiki-Pedia):

The PLCB holds monopolist rights to the distribution of all wines and hard liquor in the commonwealth. To this end, the agency owns and operates Wine & Spirits retail locations, commonly referred to as "state stores," in all 67 counties. This government corporation is the largest purchaser of wine and liquor in the United States and second in the world after the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

This monolithic control SEVERELY limits the brands stocked within the state and greatly favors large RUM distilleries like Bacardi and Cruzan. So, what I found on our outings was of very little variance between stores.

Special RUMs I did buy: Ron Rico Pineapple/Coconut Rum, Strohs "80" (160 proof)

Special RUMs I didn't buy: Sea Wynde

Memphis, TN - Rum Finds

The family has been traveling a lot lately and we just got back Sunday from Memphis, TN. My good friend, Dee Sanders, took me to Memphis' largest liquor store (Buster's) for a RUM trip.

"I could spend $1000 here in 5 minutes!" I excitedly exclaimed when I hit the RUM isle. They had so many RUMs that I wanted; I didn't know where to start.

Special RUMs I did buy: Trader Vic's Gold (1.75l), Lemon Hart 151, Starr African Rum (only $20), Angostura Gold 5 Year, Angostura Dark 5 Year, Goslings Gold (375l).

Special RUMs I didn't buy: Angostura 1824, El Dorado 12 & 21 Year, Planter's RUM (all brands), Prichard's RUM (all brands), Oronoco (1.75l), Red Rum, Sea Wynde, Trader Vic's Silver.

UPDATE: I meant to buy the Lemon Hart 80 proof instead of the 151 so I emailed my good friend Dee Sanders and asked if she could bring me a bottle on her visit to Columbia this week; she said yes! WooHoo!


I've been slack about posting on this blog about my obsession with Rum so I'll try to make up for it in the coming months by posting about my Rum finds and tastings. I'd like to keep a tally of all Rums tried with tasting notes. I'd also like to do some head-to-head tastings by category (i.e. Spiced, Coconut, Demerara, sugar cane, over-proof, etc.). We'll see how things go.