The Art + Science of Distilling

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5-Day Rum Course


Moonshine University has joined forces with The Rum University to offer the most comprehensive rum training in the world, taught by none other than Luis and Margaret Ayala, Co-Founders of The Rum University and Got Rum Magazine.

Designed for both existing and future rum distillers and brand owners, this 5-Day course combines theory and practice to provide attendees with a practical, hands-on education on all things rum. From the financial, marketing, and regulatory considerations to the distillation, aging, and blending processes, every student will leave this course with a nuanced understanding of rum production, the spirits business, and how rum fits into the global, economic landscape.

Of course, you won’t miss out on any of the fun stuff: you’ll get to explore the science of rum production while getting your hands dirty distilling at our on-campus facilities. We’ll also explore the history, category styles, and production methods for rum, as well as its mash bills, fermenting, distilling, and finishing processes. With rum tastings and sensory training sessions set up throughout the week, you’ll discover a variety of rum expressions and styles, and get a feel for the versatility of this delightful spirit.

Perks include a private tour to Kelvin Cooperage and a networking reception, scheduled throughout the week to further enrich your professional and learning experiences, and create industry and personal connections to last a lifetime.

Tuition includes all class materials; breakfast, lunch, and refreshments; attendance to exclusive tours and networking receptions throughout the week; and transportation between our contracted hotel and our campus. $5,495

**Early Bird Registration covers your stay at our contracted hotel from the night before Day 1 to the last day of class.



The Business of Rum

  • Overview of the rum market in the USA and Europe
  • Overview of stills and the rums they produce: start with the end in mind
  • Overview of the rum market in the rest of the world
  • USA and subsidies, who is getting them, who is not
  • Cost increases through the supply chain
  • Marketing and promoting rum: options, costs, budgets
  • Business Plan: Phased approach vs. “all in”
  • Compliance


The Classifications of Rum

  • What classifications of rum are based on
  • Raw material
  • Fermented method
  • Distillation method
  • Age
  • Blending technique
  • Style
  • Added flavors
  • Alcohol strength
  • Color
  • Marketing Hype


The Art of Rum Making

  • Exploring the basics of fermentation
  • Customizing a fermentation plan based on business restrictions and needs
  • Year-round fermenting: how to diminish the effect of a changing climate
  • Pot still distillation
  • Column still distillation
  • Aging warehouse setup
  • Aging rum: how long is long enough?
  • Workplace safety


History and Science of the Barrel

  • The Art of Cooperage
  • Why oak?
  • Physical properties of oak
  • Chemical properties of oak
  • Understanding tannins
  • Curing the wood
  • Components and manufacture of the barrel
  • Toasting vs. Charring
  • Rum transformations inside the barrel
  • Oak alternatives: acceptable and unacceptable approaches
  • Soleras, single barrels, and specialty barrels
  • Choosing the perfect barrel for your rum


Essential Rum Laboratory: Introduction to Rum Blending

  • Best practices for safety
  • Essential glassware
  • Essential equipment
  • Basic laboratory tests
  • Defining the target
  • Organoleptic dimensions of rum
  • Best practices for blending basic rums
  • Understanding additives and their use

Blending exercises:

  • White Rum
  • Spiced Rum
  • Standard Aged Rum (2-3 years old)

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