Interview with Bill Mohler – Rum aficionado, collector, evaluator and aspiring distiller

Bill Mohler

Rum aficionado, collector, evaluator and aspiring distiller

1) Who is Bill Mohler?

My name is Bill Mohler and I live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Amish Country).

I’m an executive manager at a manufacturing company in Philadelphia, PA five days a week and a self-proclaimed “Rumelier” at all other times.  What is a Rumelier?  Well, I’m a rum aficionado, collector, evaluator and aspiring distiller all-in-one.

I not only enjoy collecting and tasting rums but also take extreme enjoyment in visiting and promoting the growing number of craft rum distilleries when I can get away from my day job.  It is those experiences that have turned me into an aspiring distiller, rum ambassador and judge on a Consumer Rum Jury at a Rum Festival and International Trade Exposition.

2) Biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplish for the rum industry.

In my own small way, my biggest achievement has been my effort to support and promote the craft distillers of rum. These are the hard working creative entrepreneurs that produce small production runs of unique high quality rum. They not only produce a product from start to finish but also have to market and sell it, primarily in their regional area.  They rely on boots on the ground marketing such as tastings, personal sales calls to bars/restaurants, articles, social media, competitions and word of mouth from customers like me to get the message out about their product.  So, I visit and patronize as many craft distillers as I can.  Once they meet me, they soon learn that I love to not only taste rum but talk about it too.

3) What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?

My interest in spirits started back in the 80’s when I was in college and my parents owned a liquor store in Delaware.  It was there that I had access to rum.  Additionally, my parents enjoyed drinking frozen daiquiris and rum and colas, so I did too.  Twenty plus years later my interest was rekindled by a trip to the Caribbean with my wife where I enjoyed drinking rum in the sun.  My interest in rum turned into a passion resulting in a constantly growing collection of over 1,100 different rums.  This extensive collection of rums ranges from top shelf to bottom shelf, white to spiced, and just distilled to aged not to mention the gamut of flavors and liquors with rum and puts me in an elite class of the world’s top rum collectors.

4) What is that thing that makes you want to continue in the rum industry? ?

It’s all about the “taste and adventure” of rum.  I truly enjoy it when you couple it with the great people I meet and the distilleries that I visit.  Additionally, there is not a day that goes by that I do not come across a new batch of rum somewhere in the world and set a course to either get to it or get it to me in order to add it to the collection and the list for eventual tasting.

5) Favorite Rum Drink + Recipe?  

My #1 go to drink is an Aged Rum.  I like it either served neat in a short clear glass tumbler or with one large block or ball of ice. If this is not available, then rum and diet cola in a tall glass tumbler with a slice/wedge of lemon works just fine.  Please remember, it’s always a slice of lemon, never a lime. I often find this challenging whether I’m in the Caribbean or in the United States where everyone assumes you must want a lime. You know, like in a Cuba Libre.

6) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?

I see nothing but growth in production and consumption.  There are distilleries cropping up all over and there are an increasing number of rum consumers. I’m sure marketing and social media plays a part in the growth, but there is also a new class of rum drinkers. I cannot tell you how many neat spirit drinkers that I have converted from those “other spirits” to drinking a neat Aged Rum.  They never knew that a barrel Aged Rum tasted so good.

I also hope to see distillers get some relief from the liquor laws.  What I mean is that every state has a different set of rules/laws for liquor sales, shipping, etcetera that can hinder a craft distiller’s growth.  A common set of laws for distillers could help.  I’ll choose to withhold my taxation comments for a future discussion.

7) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have help you.

Since I feel that I’m currently blazing many different paths in the rum industry, I really do not have any specific mentors yet.  I can say that I have met a lot of impressive, knowledgeable and generous individuals in the rum industry.  They have all infused me with added information and increased my passion for rum.

8) What 3-5 things do you have in your bucket list for the next 12 months?

  1. Attend three to five rum festivals
  2. Visit and promote more craft distillers of rum
  3. Add a hundred or more bottles of rum to my collection
  4. Continue to enhance my rum knowledge and tasting skills
  5. Become a rum distiller

9) Any last words?

I look forward to meeting all of the rum enthusiasts that read this article at a distillery, festival, or warm and sunny location; until then, Cheers!

Note: If you are a craft distiller of rum, feel free to send me information on your rum.

10) How can people learn more about you? Website? Social Media Page? 

Well, at the present time you will have to email me at rumunlimited@gmail.com, send me a text or give me a call. I’m currently trying to find myself in the world of social media.  What I mean is, researching whether to host a website, social media page, blog etcetera or offer to start providing rum content for those established rum websites that I frequently visit.  For me, I just want to be able to spend my free time on that next rum adventure.

Author: Fede

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