5-Day Rum Course – February 20-24, 2017


INSTRUCTORS: Luis Ayala and Moonshine University instructors

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Register by January 9, 2017 for 5 nights at the Brown Hotel included with tuition.
Check-in date: 2/19/17, check-out date: 2/24/17


The Rum University and Moonshine University have joined forces to offer the most comprehensive rum training to existing and future rum distillers and brand owners from around the world.

The 5-Day course will guide attendees through the financial, marketing, production, aging, and blending of rum, so each person can leave with a complete understanding of how rums can fit into the economic landscape. The course will offer a great combination of theory and practice, making it the ideal learning tool for anyone whose livelihood will depend on their ability to properly produce and commercialize excellent rums.


Day 1 – 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

Day 2 – The Classifications of Rum

Classifications of rum based on:

  • Raw material
  • Fermented method
  • Distillation method
  • Age
  • Blending technique
  • Style
  • Added flavors
  • Alcohol strength
  • Color
  • Marketing hype

Day 3 – 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

Day 4 – 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

Day 5 – 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 year old)

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