2009 - Committee
Edward Hamilton – Ministry of Rum
- After more than a decade spent sailing the Caribbean in search of the finest examples of the distiller’s art, Edward Hamilton published Rums of the Eastern Caribbean, The Complete Guide to Rum and the Ministry of Rum website - just Google rum.
- He has shared his research on the pages of Caribbean Travel and Life, Yachting, Drinks, Nightclub and Bar and has been quoted in numerous magazines and newspapers. He has also appeared on NBC’s Today Show and in Time magazine.
When he isn’t sailing, writing and visiting his friends at the distilleries, he’s busy sharing his passion for sugar cane spirits with people around the world. “When I dream up a better job, I’ll take it.”
Bob Davies – The Rumelier.com
- Bob Davies was born and bred in North Wales, UK.
- He is a trained Physical Education teacher.
Bob emigrated to the Bahamas in 1989 as a PE teacher. This is where he was introduced to rum and so began his love affair with the noble spirit. Aswell as being a teacher he also ran a local sports club and bar for several years. It was here that he learned the basics of rum. Living and working in the Bahamas afforded him many opportunities to travel around the Caribbean and visit many rum producing countries.
- One of the countries he visited was the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he again emigrated to in 2000. He decided to take a new direction and found work in the wholesale food business before leaving to work in the wholesale liquor, beer and wine business. He is currently the distribution manager for the largest liquor distributor in the Turks and Caicos Islands. While in his present job he has been heavily involved in developing the latest rum to be launched in the Turks and Caicos, Bambarra Rum.
- Bob is the creator of the website http://www.therumelier.com and has a personal collection of over 500 bottles of rum from all over the world. He has a passion for all things rum. Bob is married to a Bahamian Gal and has two beautiful daughters.
Silvia Santiago – Destilería Serrallés Blend Master
- Silvia Santiago leads the Manufacturing Division of Destilería Serrallés, Inc., the producer of the most elegant rums in the world. She is the strongest believer that continuous learning is for the human being the force to grow, and that curiosity is the condition to learn. And, because of her curiosity, since the beginning of her career at Serrallés over thirty three years ago, asking questions was her mode of education. The knowledge of rum making that was jealously kept by wise experts at the plant was shared with Silvia. Like a sponge, she absorbed everything. Facts about fermentation, distillation, ageing, rum blending, and packaging are mastered by her.
- Silvia has experience in all aspects of the business. At the beginning of her career the fermentation process was her first responsibility. While managing the laboratory and Quality Control areas it was common to see her walking around the distillation building and checking the ageing warehouses. The maturation process is described by her as “the romance between the alcohol and the wood of the barrel”. That mystery led her to become the first woman Rum Master Blender.
- Under her leadership the distillery reached record productions year after year. Silvia has been responsible for effective administrative changes that resulted in overall staff morale and client confidence.
- The passion for the rum business follows the passion for her family. She is the proud mother of three children: Roberto, Estrella and David. Her husband is “the wind beneath her wings”, the force that nourishes her soul.
- Silvia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology; she is licensed in Chemistry and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Global Management. She is and active member and past Director of the Board of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, the largest business organization in the island. She also gives time and energy to several NFP organizations because “there is an obligation to give back to society some of what we receive in life”.
Alejandro Reyes - Diageo Dominicana Spirit Ambassador
(Bio in Spanish)
-Nacido en Bogotá – Colombia en 1.968 / Publicista de profesión.
- Experiencia en el manejo publicitario y de imagen para clientes de bebidas alcohólicas como Diageo en Colombia y sus marcas Johnnie Walker y Buchannan’s.
-En 2005 es nombrado Embajador de Buchanan’s para dictar el programa Legacy en Bogotá.
- A mediados de 2005, se traslada a República Dominicana como Presidente de la Publicitaria Leo Burnett, en donde asume el manejo de la cuenta de Diageo Dominicana y sus marcas Johnnie Walker y Bailys.
Desde entonces se ha desempeñado como Embajador de bebidas espirituosas en este país, dictando el Mentor Program por más de 3 años para JW Black Label.
Igualmente dicta una inmersión y cata para Singles Malts, marcas de Diageo Internacional, así como el Legacy Program para Buchanan’s.
- Ha escrito artículos sobre bebidas espirituosas en revistas locales como El Enófilo y otras.
- Con el reciente lanzamiento del Ron Zacapa de Guatemala, para el mercado Dominicano, está siendo el representante principal de su promoción. Recientemente se celebró el Primer Festival Español Millesimé en Punta Cana en donde asistió como Embajador de Zacapa .
Miguel Agrait – TheRumLab.com
Miguel Agrait, a Harvard University Graduate, has become extremely passionate about Rum. Every time Miguel has a break of Med School, he certainly takes time to appreciate a good rum. Mr. Agrait was the original Rummelier for The Rum Lab when it was launched. Miguel in 2008 easily gave more than 300 rum labs to individuals. Miguel is a great person to just sit down and debate about rum history!
Juan Coronado –Bacardi Brand Master Apprentice
Juan Coronado’s remarkable 16-year career of providing strong direction,
giving expert advice within the spirit and service industry is highlighted by a personal dedication to maximize efficiency and empower others to succeed. In 1996 Juan’s sommelier expertise equipped him with the tools to be a key component in the opening of the biggest Champagne bar in America, “The Bubble Lounge” in New York & San Francisco. In 2005, he opened a mixologist bar/restaurant call Sortie, which was home of modern and classic cocktails in Hell’s Kitchen, NY.
He began to create “drinks programs” for other restaurants. “Juan is a real pioneer in this field. He was developing menus and cocktail lineups together before anyone else.” Some of Coronado’s inspirations got more attention for their creator than orders from customers, most notably his signature.
Juan has been honored with impressive accolades, such as the “Eat Out Award 2006” from Time Out Magazine, “Classic Martini Contest” from the Astor Center,
2008, New York City, “Top 10 Venues of the Year” from Shecky’s List 2006 & 2007,
& “Rum Clement’s Cocktail Competition Award 2005.”
Coronado’s advanced knowledge of spirits, wine and beer as well as mixes, garnishes,
and equipment expertise has been inspirational for many other mixologist and venues.
Juan sincere passion for coaching and mentoring has shape the future of quality service industry in New York City.
Juan, as an industry leader has also consulted for several companies such as Hennessy, Whitley Neil Gin, Heavy Water Vodka, Partida Tequila, Frida Khalo Tequila, and Domaine De Canton. His natural problem solving ability has landed him a privilege status among top mixologists in the New York area. He has cultivated a strong relationship with the press that has made him responsible for articles in Zink Magazine, NY Post, AM New York, The Art of Cocktails, and Metro Mix.
A large component of Juan’s success is contributed to his well-rounded lifestyle and background. In the early 90’s he saw the need to mix his social skills, music knowledge and artistic eye to create and promote monthly events that were sponsor by Absolute vodka and Campari in NYC.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC, Juan holds a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and a degree as an Electronic Engineer in Communications (APEC) from the Dominican Republic.
Juan Coronado will now take his varied hospitality management and leadership experience with his strong motivation, to focus on educating the nation on Bacardi Rum. He is currently training with world renowned Brand Master Willie Ramos before pursuing to successfully train distributors, sales teams, and consumers on the history, culture, and process that are Bacardi Rum. Juan is committed to bring passion and charisma to his market. He will place an intense focus on the application of knowledge and enhancement of the intrinsic of the brand. Bacardi Belief will be a great success as Juan is dedicated to engage those in his audience on the passion of Bacardi.
Federico Hernandez – TheRumLab.com
- Federico Hernandez is a young entrepreneur in San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of his hobbies are Rums! Federico Hernandez is the producer of Puerto Rico Rum Festival titled “Taste of Rums”. He’s known as one of the original founder of what was Puerto Rico First Rum Bar – Caña which was located at Hotel EL Convento.
- His step brother and him saw the necessity of creating a new program that could promote Puerto Rican rums to both Locals and Tourist. After months of brainstorming in December 2008 The Rum Lab was developed. Federico has been lucky to be able to share is fun program to more than 200 people including 12 renown US Government Chefs. Federico is usually very humorous and people gratefully enjoy The Rum Lab experience with him, due to positive energy.
Pablo Fernandez – Barrilito 3 Est
Robert Burr - Gifted Rum Guides
- Robert Burr - Florida - Writer, publisher and world traveler, Robert Burr has been collecting and evaluating rums from many countries for decades. Robert publishes his Gifted Rums Guide, a reference to the best rums from every region and from every category. He also hosts a series of tasting events in South Florida, as well as the Rum Renaissance Miami Festival.
Luis Trigo - Trigo Corp
- Luis Trigo was born in San Jaun, P.R. Son of one of Puerto Rico main Fine Spirite Distillery & Producers in Puerto Rico. Trigo Corp has produced famous brands such as Pedro Domec’s Brandy Fundador. As of today, Trigo Corp produces famous Rum Brands such as Reserva Añeja, Con Cañita de Alambique, Trigo Coquito, Twin Isle and Ron Bugalu. In the past, world known Ron Bocoy was also produced at Trigo Corp. Mr. Luis Trigo has a huge passion for Wine & Rum. His knowledge of rum has been very helpfull for his family business.
Robert V Burr “Jr” - Cane Spirit Guide / Gifted Rum Guides
Robert V Burr “Jr” - Coconut Grove, Florida - This leading young rum enthusiast, known as the Cane Spirit Guide to the younger generation, Rob has a passion for sharing his knowledge of rums and related cane spirits. Rob has been a judge in numerous competitions from Florida and New York to New Orleans and London. His notes on mixology are notable and his passion for all things rum related is universally celebrated by his fellow rum experts. He and his father work together on the Gifted Rums Guide in South Florida.
Jim Ducharme – Sommelier
- Jim Ducharme. Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
- Beginning in 1978 Jim has had a long and varied career in the Wine and Spirits Trade. He has held positions from Cellar Master in a Winery to Sommelier and Wine & Spirits buyer with the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel chain.
- Jim has traveled extensively throughout the wine and spirit producing regions of Europe and the U.S.A. which has enabled him to gain a wide appreciation of all things fermented.
- With more than 10 years experience as a professional wine judge in many major wine competitions in the U.S.A., he brings a discerning eye and palate to the table.
- Jim is a full time resident of Vieques Island where he continues to gain in appreciation of Rums from the Caribbean and elsewhere.
John Gabelhausen – The Buzz 104.3 WZIN-FM
- John Gabelhausen, the host of “Red, White, and You” on 104.3 The Buzz, is the General Manager of Dionysus Wine Distributing in the Virgin Islands. However, this is not your typical wine expert.
- John’s background in wine is from sheer passion and enthusiasm of the grape. He did not have any wine growing up in northwestern Montana. His experience started out during college in a restaurant where he bartended in Lincoln Nebraska. There he fell in love with Italian wine. John began reading Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate and traveling to Europe to get a first hand look at the vineyards. After receiving a double major in marketing and management with a minor in International economics, He traveled extensively through Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Greece and most recently Argentina. John finally found a home in St Thomas where he became the first sommelier in the Virgin Islands. He is a certified sommelier, intermediate WSET, member of the James Beard Foundation, and the sommelier for the Chaine de Rotisseur.
- With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, John started Dionysus wine importing and distributing in the islands. John has worked in the wine business for 10 years in the islands as a sommelier, GM of restaurants, consultant for private collectors and Mega Yachts which has established himself as a respected expert. As the island’s only boutique wine distributor, he has sampled every wine that has entered the warehouse.
- His show airs at 9am every Sunday morning with a featured a guest speaker. “Red White and You” hosts acclaimed winemakers from every wine region in the world, vineyard owners, executive chefs, restaurateurs, and private wine collectors. The show discusses wine and food parings, organic vs. biodynamic, different wine regions, grapes, restaurants and different community issues that effect life in the Virgin Islands.
- John’s goal is to open the minds and palates of Buzz listeners to the world of wine. To educate and remind people of responsible drinking, discuss the problems of drinking and driving, and alcoholism. “Red, White and You” hopes to touch the lives of people in a positive manner and improve the Caribbean one sip at a time.