From 25th to 28th April in the Central Square on Avenida Arriaga, the Regional Department for Agriculture and Fisheries, through the Institute of Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts of Madeira, IP-RAM (IVBAM), organised the 3rd edition of the Rum Festival.
The Festival was attended by several Madeira Rum producers, and was a unique opportunity for Madeirans and tourists alike to get to know and appreciate this noble product that has been growing in terms of quantity and quality in recent years.
Madeira Rum, commonly known in Madeira as “spirit” is part of a very special category, which is “Agricultural Rum”, a category that is attributed to only about 3% of the total production of Rum worldwide.
The Madeira Rum producing and bottling companies present at this Festival were: Engenho Novo da Madeira, Lda .; Engenhos do Norte (J. Faria & Filhos, Lda.); Sociedade dos Engenhos da Calheta, Lda. and “Reizinho” (Florentino Izildo de Gouveia Ferreira). In addition to these companies, the Madeira Bartenders’ Association and the Madeira Rum House also had a stand. In this third edition, there was also a space for refreshments, organised by SCAT – Music Bar & Restaurant.
In these four days of the Festival, visitors had the opportunity to taste the various types of rum produced in Madeira, enjoy cocktails made with Madeira Rum and perfect their knowledge in the various masterclasses that were held, in a relaxed atmosphere and with musical entertainment.
The masterclasses were led by the sommelier Américo Pereira, under the Themes ” The Discovery of Madeira Rum” and “Madeira Rum & Cigars”
One of the most prominent international moments in this Festival was the “Rum Talk”, on 25 April, in which several renowned international figures participated who were visiting the Region at the invitation of IVBAM, IP – RAM. In this unique moment of sharing experiences and knowledge, the international participants were:
– Cyrille Mald, writer, responsible for the column on spirits in the Revue du Vin de France, for the Rumporter tasting sessions, the whisky column in the mainstream ‘M’ le magazine du Monde, and co-author of Iconic Whiskey, a 447-page whisky guide. Cyrille Mald is also ambassador for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and a judge in various European and world competitions (such as: Spirits Selection; Rhumbellion; RhumFest Awards; Cocktail Spirits; Mexico Selection by CMB; Kura Master; Sake Selection, etc.);
– Davide Staffa, professional Italian Sommelier since 1995, who has won many national wine competitions, becoming in 2009 the second best sommelier in Italy. He is a journalist for several wine and gastronomy magazines, writing articles on wines and spirits. In 2013, he wrote the first edition of the book “THE GREAT BOOK OF RUM”, which immediately sold out, and in 2018 launched its even bigger second edition, which was rewarded at the International Rum Conference in Madrid for being the best educational work on rum in the world. For several years he worked with independent importers and rum bottlers to select products from distilleries;
– Bernhard Schäfer started his career in the beverage business in 1985; he has specialised in selling spirits and started giving lectures in 1988. He has been a member of the jury in several competitions around the world and since 1997 he has been a jurist for spirits at the IWSC. Schäfer was named Guardian of Quaich in 1996 and Master of Quaich in 2007, being recognised for his active role in Scotch Whisky. Schäfer currently works as a writer, educator and spirits consultant in Germany;
– Ingvar Thomsen is a rum and whisky enthusiast who lives in Denmark – known as “Rum Thomsen” by his friends – working as a Software Development Project Manager. Rum has been his favourite hobby for 40 years and, as such, he has been doing rum tastings since 2005, with his interest growing each year, exceeding 30 tasting events per year, attended by about 180 participants. He writes about rum for the Danish magazine “Whisky & Rum Magazine” and is finishing his own book on rum, entitled “Rum – From Slave Drink to Exclusive Drops”. He has also participated in Danish television programmes to talk about rum and rum festivals. He is co-owner of the Rum and Whiskey import and export company, Mac Y, and co-presenter of “The Danish Rum and Whiskey Festival“.
– Peter Holland, writer, presenter, trainer and consultant for the Spirits Industry and 2011 winner of the Golden Barrel Awards European Rum Blogger of the Year. He has been visiting Madeira for the past three years, and is already an expert on Madeira’s Agricultural Rum and its economic agents.
– Marco Graziano is a key rum influencer, educator and writer from Italy. He has a website entirely dedicated to rum – www.leviedelrum.it
These promotional actions were co-financed at 85% by community funds, within the Madeira 14-20 Programme, the remainder being borne by the regional budget.