The world’s largest festival dedicated to rum and tropical culture is an undisputable success after welcoming over 7,000 rum-fans through its doors.

The sixth annual UK RumFest took place this weekend from 13-14 October at London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre achieving sell-out success. With over 7,000 people flocking to the Rum paradise event, over 90,000 tots of rum were sampled and savoured, 1,500 bottles of rum consumed and 20,000 cocktails shaken and stirred for wanting visitors across the two days.

Ron Botran rum from Guatemala. Stand 110

This year’s event moved to the larger Olympic venue to fulfill demand from thirsty rum fans and supporters. Proving to be a shrewd move, this weekend’s event was full to the brim from start to finish, with more visitors than ever before, sipping and sampling over 400 of the rarest and most delicious rum brands from around the world.

Application d’Origine Controlee (A.O.C.) The only AOC rum in the world. Stand 122

Visitors had their taste buds tantalized from the delights of the Tropical Food Market whilst receiving the Ultimate Rum Education through the broad variety of seminars and workshops available. Full details of the event can be found via the UK RumFest website.

Victoria Alexander-Smith on right, Managing Director Rum Experience Tours. Stand 123

UK RumFest is the ultimate Carnival Rum Experience and year on year expands its fanbase becoming a legendary event within the UK and further confirming that Rum is not just a drink; it’s a way of life.

Ron Cortez and Ron Abuelo rums from Panama. Stand 124

Over the course of the weekend over 90,000 tots of rum were consumed equating to over1,500 bottles and many brands, including Admiral Vernon’s Old J Spiced Rum, sold out entirely.

Barbados Tourist Board representing the birth place of rum

UK RumFest provides not just the platform for brands to sell large amounts of product but also raises brand awareness within the growing rum trade.

Belize Traveller’s Liquor

Meanwhile the trade-only Boutique RumFest, now in its second year and running alongside the main event, had this year expanded to both days due to rum’s growing popularity and the subsequent trend of smaller brands emerging on the market.

Caribbean Tourism Organisation provided assistance for travel to the Caribbean. Stand 146

This platform is an invaluable tool for emerging distillers to be exposed to key industry figures from importers to wholesalers to press, and gives attendees a real insight into this burgoening spirit.

Grenada shows off it’s Clarke’s Court Old GROG (Georgius Rex Old Grenada) rum.

Cocktails flowed througout UK RumFest with each exhibitor concocting their own mouthwatering inventions from rum punches to fruity daiquiris.

Plantation Rums – a collection of unique Caribbean treasures. Stand 148

The Coco Re’al and Pusser’s rum “Christmas Colada” was one of the most popular tipples of the festival, whilst Barcardi’s sophisticated rum martini kept the VIP area fully satisfied over the weekend.

Green Island importers of the finest Mauritian rum and beer. Stand 151

In the Cocktail Theatre the world’s greatest mixologists went head-to-head in intense battles to be crowned winners, whilst the demonstrations showcased to the public how to make these delicious drinks at home using the finest ingredients.

Brugal – The Number 1 Rum in the Caribbean. Distilled, matured and bottled in the Dominican republic. Stall 152

In addition to tasting and savouring this tropical spirit, UK RumFest is also designed to educate merrymakers with the Rum University hosting a number of bespoke and fascinating seminars and master classes intended to explore the spirit in more depth.

Brugal – The Number 1 Rum in the Caribbean. Distilled, matured and bottled in the Dominican republic. Stand 153

For example, Ian Burrel’s (Global Rum Ambassador and UK RumFest founder) unveiled the Angostura Rum Map on the Saturday outlining the manufacturing of rum across the world, whilst drinks historians Anastasia Miller andJarred Brown explored the Golden Age of Cuban Cocktails, dispelling the myths that surround their origins and proving the extent of their influence on bar culture around the globe.

Team show off Panama’s leading rum Ron Abuelo.

Meanwhile the Ron Zacapa rum and chocolate pairing tasters were one of the highlights of the festival, whilst the Tropical Food Market went down a storm with Taste of Barbados Tortuga Rum Cakes also being a sell-out success.

Jamaica Gold. Hampden Estate Gold Rum

Comments from a sample of exhibitors at UK RumFest:
“RumFest is essential for our industry. We launched R. St Barth last year at the Boutique Rum Fest, and have been overwhelmed by the response and support from the industry and public. UK RumFest is the best platform for us to raise the profile of our product, but also Rum overall.”
Mikael Silvestre, Rhum St Barth

Admiral Vernon’s Old J ‘The most audacious new rum launch of the year’ said The Morning Advertiser. Stand 126

“For Taste Of Barbados, this was certainly the best RumFest we have participated in, and wouldn’t be far off our most successful exhibition of 2012”.
Peter Martin, Taste of Barbados

Banks Beer of Barbados

“RumFest was, as always, was the best show of the year for El Dorado Rums. It was great to see so many regular faces that attend every year, as well as all the ‘beginners’ who were exploring the category and amazed at the variety of rums on offer.”
Stephanie Holt, El Dorado

El Dorado Demerara Rum from Guyana. Stand 113

“RumFest 2012 was our 3rd year and proved the busiest yet for my brands Coco Re’al and Pusser’s rum. We handed out over 3000 “Christmas Colada” cocktails (described by many as “The drink of the show”) as well as over 1,500 neat Pussers rum samples. We have gained great brand awareness from RumFest as we are a relatively small brands in the scheme of things.”
Peter Thornton, Coco Re’al coconut puree
Coco Re’al coconut puree

Gosling’s Rums from Bermuda and Abelha Organic Cachacas from Brazil. Stand 116

“UK Rumfest 2012 was a highly successful event for Wenlock Spring – 2,000 litres of Wenlock Spring were consumed! We feel that the event has opened doors for Wenlock Spring within the drinks industry – and we look forward to future events.”
Matthew Orme, Director of Wenlock Spring

Ron Centenario ‘king of all beverages in Costa Rica. Stand 129

“RumFest is an ideal platform for Brugal to showcase our range and engage with our target consumers and members of the trade. This year’s event was a great success for Brugal, we sampled a huge number of consumers and were able to capture their details for future dialogue through social media. As always a fun filled and energetic event!”
Sarah Bell, Brugal Brand Manager

Innis and Gunn – Scotland’s best-loved independent brewer. Stand 128

“The UK Rum Fest is not only a perfect venue to showcase your brands, but also provides the guests with a full-on “rum experience” from entertainment to education, satisfying the connoisseur and the rum lover alike.”
Yisell Muxo, Don Q Marketing Director

St Lucia Distillers – One of the Caribbean’s finest distillers. bar professionals love Chairman’s Reserve. Stand 130

Chairman’s Reserve ushered in, in traditional red carpet style…

“Rumfest was a great event for us to showcase to UK consumers the delights of this fabulous Caribbean lager. Given the fact that is now available through independent retailers and Tesco this is indeed helping to satisfy the long held wish of the UK’s Bajan communities to be able to buy Banks in the UK.”
Richard Bateson of The Craft Beer Company

Prince of Soca, Choice Fm’s DJ Martin J

Comments from a sample of exhibitors at Boutique RumFest:
“The Boutique Rumfest gave us a brilliant opportunity to showcase our brand new rum, Pirate’s Grog. We received lots of great feedback and were able to develop our contact base, which we hope will prove to be instrumental in carving our future.”
Beth Jones (Marketing Director of Pirate’s Grog Rum)

Spirit Cartel offer a range of Caribbean rums such as Rum de Jeremy, Ron Millionario and Mount Gilboa. Stand 117

Legendario was officially launched in the UK at Boutique Rumfest, which was a huge success for us. The overall response to the Legendario range of rums was incredible.”
Tim Brown, Director of rum distribution

The Tiki Bar served up great alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

A taste of the colours and splendour of the Caribbean

The famous Mount Gay Rum from Barbados

Robin Burr, general manager Quantum Leap Network Inc Florida

Belize High Commissioner, Perla Perdomo

Enthusiastic exhibitor

Chris Lake shows off his rebellion Spiced Rum

Frederic Bestel, managing director Blue Liquors Ltd

Kevin John, sales manager Malcolm Cowen (Drinks) Ltd

Tim Brown, director, Rum Distribution Ltd. and colleague

John Whetstone, head of business development in UK, Green Engineering s.r.l.


CEO Interscope Productions, Troy David flanked by Caribbean beauties in Carnival costume

CEO Interscope Productions Ltd., Troy Davis and business partner, marketing director Robert Brooks

Celebrity Chef from St Vincent Hasan Defour displays his island rums

Dalgety Teas shows off an array of tea and other products

Sean Freckleton, managing director, Legacy Wealth Creation (right) with colleague

Chan Cham sauces and so on was very busy

Jamaican Heritage man, Garfield Robinson displays his books and other Jamaican items

Fresh Fruit and vegetables

Entertainment for an appreciative audience

‘This is how we do it’ – Caribbean Style

UK RumFest Founder / Director Ian Burrell involved in customer service

Scores waiting to get in three hours after the event has started