BarLifeUK were looking forward to judging the Mount Gay Black Barrel heat in Belfast…
…because, aside from loving rum, it would be our first visit to the city and we had no idea what to expect from its bartenders.
Half an hour before the comp was due to start, the hosting bar, Love and Death, was packed with competitors and spectators.
It remained this way for the entire proceedings, with the bartenders and lookers-on listening attentively while the person behind the stick performed, then offering enthusiastic applause when they had finished.
Belfast bartenders don’t get a lot of love from the national competition circuit, and it was obvious from the outset that they were determined to make the most of the opportunity to compete for two places on a trip to Barbados to take part in the Mount Gay Black Barrel final.
However, enthusiasm is one thing… How were the drinks?
In short, they were fantastic. This was one of the most enjoyable and difficult-to-judge heats we’ve been involved with for quite some time. Each competitor had clearly put a lot of thought into both their cocktails and their presentations, and there was a lot of rum knowledge on display.
Each of the thirteen competitors gave a good account of themselves, with well balanced drinks and some entertaining chat, which aside from making the competition difficult to judge, also made us want to visit as many Belfast bars as possible in the near future.
However, as close as things were, there has to be a winner, or in this case, two winners, who will fly to Barbados to compete in the Mount Gay Black Barrel final.
Before we reveal who they are, BarLifeUK would like to thank the bartenders of Belfast for being so welcoming and for their hospitality as we hit he bars later that night… We had a blast and look forward to coming back soon.
David Mulholland, Love and Death
- 50ml Mount Gay Black Barrel
- 10ml Cochi di Torino
- 5ml Vioscialata del Cardinale
- 5ml Jagermeister
- 5ml Burned cola molasses
- 1 Drop rose water
Cristophe Perret, Aether and Echo
- 40ml Mount Gay Black Barrel
- 20ml Benedictine
- 20ml Lime juice
- 15ml Simple syrup
- 60ml Pineapple milk