Exclusive rum tasting provides connection, education to attendees

Ben Motley, Arrow Coffee Company owner, pours guests a glass of rum. (Photo by Alexcia Rodriguez | The Collegian) Photo credit: Alexcia Rodriguez

Arrow Coffee Company hosted its first exclusive rum tasting July 7.

The rum tasting offered a variety of six types of rums to its guests.

“I like that it opens the door for regular people to be able to experience something like that,” said Ben Motley, owner of Arrow Coffee Company. “Usually only industry people get to experience that.”

The event allowed members from the Manhattan community to connect with one another while discovering different types of rum.

“The event is really laid back,” Motley said. “It’s a fun way for people to engage in something they wouldn’t normally get to try.”

This is the first year Arrow hosted a rum tasting, however Arrow has hosted numerous types of similar tasting events in previous years. Motley said other tasting events consisted of whiskey, wine, beer, gin and tequila.

“We do these every week in the summer because the time kind of cools down and chills out a lot in the summer,” Motley said. “We kind of look at it as providing our customers with something to do.”

Motley said he wanted to provide the community of Manhattan with the opportunity to explore different types of rum while providing them with a new perspective.

“It’s a way for us to connect with people and tell them what we’re about and kind of engage with them over things that we enjoy,” Motley said. “It’s very community-centered and also business-centered.”

While attendees sampled various types of rum, they also got the chance to explore the history and geography of the rum world.

“[Motley] wants to expose them to better quality and more education. It’s really good for the community,” said Adam Clary, rum tasting attendee and craft spirits development manager for the Standard Beverage Corporation. “He’s providing a really good experience where people walk away with knowledge, and I think that’s going to build to other places. Over the next year, I think this is going to build even more.”

Guests had the opportunity to gain exposure to different types of rum.

“I liked learning about the different kind of rums because when you go to the bars, all you know is what they put in your drink,” said Kendra Kirk, rum tasting attendee. “This separates it, so you know what the different tastes are and how they’re interactive with the drinks.”

Attendees had the opportunity to experience the rum tasting in a personalized environment, comparable to other similar events that have been offered to the public.

“It was really low key. It’s just a really intimate setting,” said Matt Hublin, rum tasting attendee. “There’s 15 of us here, it’s very personal and you’re not lost in a crowd. You really get input and feedback from other people.”

Guests were provided the ultimate experience consisting of rum, education and good company.

“It was a good experience all-around,” said Bryon Williams, assistant director of new student services and rum tasting attendee. “Arrow has the best atmosphere in Manhattan; I think they have good people. This rum tasting was just proof of that.”