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Issue 74 - Interesting times

Whisky Magazine Issue 74
September 2008


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Interesting times

Dave looks at the increasing interest in rum.

The doors have just opened and Mansfield Traquair: ‘Edinburgh's Sistine Chapel' [TM] immediately fills with 400 whisky lovers. There's angels soaring above our heads, which I suppose is appropriate given the spiritous nature of the event. This is Whisky Fringe 2008, the annual shindig thrown by Royal Mile Whiskies at the Edinburgh Fringe.

There's folks heading directly for us, glasses already primed for the first taste. “Welcome to The Rum Chapel,” I say. “What have you got this year?”comes the response.And so it starts.

For two days Chris,Arthur and I dish out samples of 20-plus rums drawn from the whole of the Caribbean,Venezuela and Peru;we pour tastes of daiquiris to help clear palates, give verticals of ranges, talk of the stylistic differences between countries, talk, educate, joke, laugh, talk some more.The questions keep coming: “I know nothing about rum,teach me,”;“How's it made?”;“What's the difference between Jamaica and Guyana?”;“What do you mean Latin rum?”;“I like Morgan Spiced, what have you got?”;“Rum?! What are you doing here?” This is the third year that The Rum Chapel [try saying it in a Glaswegian accent] has been part of the Whisky Fringe, offering punters a generic overview of what has become one of the hottest spirits categories in the world.The first year people shyly circled the stand, plucking up courage to ask to try some rums; last year there was greater confidence; this year there are old friends as well as new ...

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