This year saw the 9th edition of Whisky en Rum aan Zee (Whisky and Rum at Sea), not to be confused with Whisky by the Sea, and several other whisky festivals in coastal venues.
Since my brother in law is a rum drinker, and I am a, well, mostly whisky drinker (I love variety, let’s keep it at that) we decided it would be a good night out. The women could stay home to guard the fortress.
Our local liquor shop, Drinks & Gifts, is nice enough to organize a bus to the festival every year, so for a tenner on top of the ticket price your taxi is taken care of too. Which is great, since the venue (The IJmuiden Holiday Inn) is more or less as far from public transport as you can get around here.
We tasted a variety of rums and whiskies during the night. We focused on stuff that we really found interesting and not too regular, so there was quite the high end rum stuff happening. By high end, in this case, I mean some properly aged rums without getting into ridiculous territories of 35 year old single cask, early landed blah blah blah. Just, like the 21 year old El Dorado, or the 15 year old Borgoe. Nice rums.
Apart from all this we also had:
Arran Dark Lord (the White Wizard’s sherried cohort), J.M. Rhum XO (really good with even some phenolic thingies happening), Zacapa 23 (f-ing epic rum. Maybe my favorite), Borgoe 8 year old rum (not as good as the 15, but not bad either), Flying Dutchman Dark Rum (this one didn’t do it for me), Corsair Ryemageddon (weird, not very tasty, but interesting), Wemyss ‘Tarte au Citron’ Auchentoshan 14 (really lemony, curd like, very tasty), some Ledaig bottled for the King’s Court Whisky Society (I didn’t like it), Ron Abuelo 12 (very good, as the Centurio, but much better priced), Mount Gay 1703 (meh)
Most of these glasses were shared so I didn’t feel all that hammered afterwards and the bus home went well. By looking at the list of drams available I realize I missed quite some interesting stuff, but you can’t have it all.
In short: This is a recommended festival. I might buy a passe partout next year if that’s available. Pretty cool stuff, all in all.
Till next year, IJmuiden!