Rum connoisseur interview of the week: Erik Voskamp – Rum Ambassador to the Netherlands / speaker / expert consultant for Rhums / Rums Founder & administer of the “Rumworld”.

Erik Voskamp
Rum Ambassador to the Netherlands / speaker / expert
consultant for Rhums / Rums
Founder & administer of the “Rumworld”.

 

1) Who is Erik Voskamp?

Erik Voskamp was one of the first rum ambassadors in the Netherlands.

His passion for rum started when, after three years living on the beautiful island of Hispaniola at the Dominican Republic, he lived the rum experience to the fullest.

During his stay in Dominican Republic, he traveled to the other Caribbean islands, owned a bar, worked in bars, and as a tourist guide, that included occasional trips to the distilleries, where he has come to not only appreciate the different rum-making techniques and complexity of a fine bottle or rum but also developed a healthy obsession with the world of rum.

Upon his return to the Netherlands, his mania flourished where he started to demystify the world of rum to the Dutch market by Introducing and providing company’s suggestions.

When taking the first steps into the world of rum – that today is tasted and enjoyed in the Netherlands in a variety of ways. Over the years, Erik Voskamp HAS provided reviews, tasting notes, pairing advice, as well as workshops to companies and private events.

With over 20 years of experience in the world of rum, Erik Voskamp continues as the first Dutch ambassador rum to share his knowledge and the different varieties of rum to companies and Individuals from all over the world.

His extensiveness portfolio includes services to the Netherlands, as well as Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Tenerife, Dominican Republic and New York.

Erik Voskamp Has also published in several magazines, (news) papers and has also reviewed several contents for Individuals, book writers and articles about rum.

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

I always loved a simple Rum and Coke.

A while ago I had bought a beach bar in the Dom Rep included drinks etc. One day I was out of Rum and want to buy new bottles, At the supplier, they asked me what I wanted, and I said Rum, they asked what Rum? I said brown Rum, they asked what brown Rum? I said with the blue label, they asked which blue label?, I said Brugal? They looked at me and sighed . . .. Come and walk with me, I came to the Rum corner and I was flabbergasted . . .. This all is Rum??? So I bought many Rums to try and taste and simply loved the taste and quality of the Rums. That is how it started.

3) The biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplished for the rum industry.

I love to spread the word and share the Rum on every occasion possible. At my Rum tastings, there are always people who turn to Rum and its quality and that is what I want. Everyone I have turned on to Rum makes me happy.

To be clear, over here in the Netherlands, Rum is Bacardi, Captain Morgan, and Cuban Havana Club, there are other brands but the majority do not know of them.

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

Experiencing the taste, the quality, the surprises, the history, the possibilities of rum and the “thinking outside of the box” way of living.

5) Favorite Rum Drink?

A simple Rum and Coke with some lime and ice
Rum is easy going, so why make it difficult (-;

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

Rum today is slow growing, with Rum lovers and unfortunately, some Rum snobs who think they invented Rum, how it should be and that is the only truth.

In 5 years I guess there will be more clarity and more honest (better) labeling and some kind of regulation in area’s, type (style), aging, additives, etc.

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

The first one is Ian Burrel, a very friendly nice guy, he is a walking Rum encyclopedia, and he showed me the light.

Second is Ed Melief from E&A Scheer in Amsterdam, this man was pure passion and I took some of it. a really great Rum man (although he loved Arrack a little more) R.I.P.

The third is not really a mentor but more an eye opener, Danny Müller from Weintanne in Jena (Germany) He makes Rum cocktails (and more of course) but not only the known (obvious) ones, he is more like a sommelier, you tell him what you like and he just makes it. Never had this experience before. In the most bars/clubs there are only “subscribed” cocktails and sometimes a special, but never made especially made for you. (this is also what I provide at my Rum tastings, to help you find your personal preferences).

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

Sipping great (new) Rum, visiting some distilleries, make/find new Rum lovers in the Netherlands, find importers for good Rum and I am busy with something but the plan is not worked out enough yet to make an announcement.
9) Any last words?
Drink and enjoy Rum how YOU like it and not how they tell you how to drink it!

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

You can find more (also a very big Rum database) at www.rumworld.nl
Also, you can find me on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Author: Fede

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