An Interview with John Georges
Angostura Rum Master Distiller from Trinidad & Tobago
Angostura Rum master distiller, John Georges, launches super-premium 15 year old at Cardiff Rumfest.
Angostura is the world’s most highly awarded rum range – and now expands its rums with the launch of Angostura 1787 15yo. Master distiller John Georges brings the first bottles over from Trinidad & Tobago to present tutored showcases of the range with UK brand ambassador Sean Duprey: London 26 & 29 September, Manchester 27 September, and Glasgow 28 September. Their tour culminates at Cardiff Rumfest on 1 October.
The Angostura 1787 is an exquisite sipping rum to celebrate the establishment of the first sugar mill in Trinidad in 1787, at the famous Lapeyrouse sugar plantation. It is made from reserve rums from the House of Angostura’s vast ageing warehouses, each of which has been maturing for 15 years in charred oak barrels. The first shipments of Angostura 1787 will arrive in the UK in November and guide retail price is £59.99 for 70cl bottle.
John, welcome to Cardiff, we’re told you are one of the world’s top rum experts. What makes you one of the world’s best?
I have picked up tasting skills over the years: that’s 24 years working in distilling and 34 years in total working with Angostura Rum in Trinidad & Tobago. As a company, they are the experts in fermentation, distillation, ageing and blending. I taste spirits wherever I travel to. I have tried hundreds of rums and thousands of all kinds of spirits, and always get excited when discovering new flavours and distinctive creations. I enjoy travelling to learn and also to share the experience of drinking rum.
How did you get into the industry?
I got my first job in distilling through very good fortune. I graduated as a Chemical Engineer.
You’re here to launch the new Angostura 1787 rum to bar-tenders. Tell us a little about it and what makes this rum stand out.
It’s a privilege to be at Cardiff Rumfest. The whole city has a very dynamic bar scene. The Angostura 1787 is an exquisite sipping rum which celebrates the establishment of the first sugar mill in Trinidad in 1787, at the famous Lapeyrouse sugar plantation. It is made from reserve rums from the House of Angostura’s vast ageing warehouses, each of which has been maturing for 15 years in charred oak barrels. The rum has the perfect blend of barrel & spirit flavours – there are dry notes from the ageing in wood, and the flavour is complex and rich. It has a bouquet of banana, dried fruit and oak, with top notes of apple.
Is this a rum that is recommended for cocktails?
This is a rum to sip neat – that’s my preferred way. There are other rums in the range which are perfectly suited to cocktails and are already popular in the UK. I recommend the Angostura 1919 for a classic Daiquiri; the Angostura 5 year old for a Pina Colada or Old Fashioned; the Angostura 7 year old for a Hot Buttered Rum or a Cuba Libre.
Have you tried any of the Welsh spirits yet?
My list to try includes Penderyn single malt whisky and also the local Welsh gins.
When will Angostura 1787 rum be available?
After Cardiff Rumfest, the main shipment arrives in November. The retail price will be £59.99 for a 70cl bottle. It will be available via online drinks specialists, and we very much hope it will also be stocked in some fine wine & spirits merchants around Wales.