Monday April 11, 2016
Friday April 15, 2016

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Moonshine University 
801 South 8th Street
Louisville, KY 40203

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Christin Head 
Moonshine University 

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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.


AGENDA:Fermenting Rum

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 fermentaton 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)



  • All class related materials
  • Breakfast, lunch and refreshments daily
  • Networking dinner/reception Wednesday evening
  • Transportation between the Brown Hotel in Downtown Louisville and Moonshine University

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Registrations received by March 6, 2016 include 5 nights stay at the Brown Hotel




Luis Ayala is quite possibly the rum industry’s most devoted ambassador of the modern era. He has relentlessly pursued the establishment –and adoption- of quality standards in the production and marketing of rum. His efforts to improve the quality and appreciation of rum have taken him from being a celebrated author and organizer/judge at international rum festivals to being one of the driving forces behind the creation of new rums and the improvement of many existing ones.

As a consultant, Luis derives great pleasure from lending over two decades of rum expertise to his clients. “Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing how much more enjoyment consumers can get out of fine-tuned rums,” says Luis.

Luis has written for numerous international publications, he is also the recipient of the International Rum Festival’s Platinum Award for excellence in “Global education and promotion of rum,” and of the Congreso Internacional del Ron award for “2011 World Rum Specialist.” He also worked closely with Georg Riedel (Riedel Crystal) in 2006 for the creation of the first ever Riedel Rum Glass.

Luis Ayala is as comfortable sharing his rum curriculum in front of university students or corporate executives as he is working in the laboratories and distilleries with chemists and rum engineers.

Along with his wife Margaret, Luis is a founding member of Rum Runner Press, Inc., is President of The Rum University and publishes “Got Rum?” magazine, the only monthly publication in the world devoted 100% to rum.

Cost of Tuition: $5,495

Register Now! By registering, I certify that I am 21 years of age or older.


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