Published by The Rumlab ago
Isabella is the founder of Tampa Bay Rum Society, a professional community dedicated to sharing and advancing the knowledge in the rum industry.
A rum industry champion, Isabella actively participates in events hosted at the Tampa Bay community and other professional groups. Learn about Ma. Isabella Rosal, CEO of 7th Sky Ventures and Founder of Tampa Bay Rum Society, in the next interview:
TRL. Who is Ma. Isabella Rosal?
Isabella was born and raised in a sugarcane estate in Northern Luzon in the Philippines. She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 10 when she was selling sweets to her classmates off the back of her skateboard. At 32, Isabella Rosal is the youngest female in the USA to achieve the Certified Rummelier® status and one of the 33 in the USA at that time. A short while after, she achieved the Master Rummelier® status (only 12 in the world), the highest professional designation in the rum industry.
Her perspective and passion for the rum and distillery industry came in naturally with her upbringing. Isabella is the founder of Tampa Bay Rum Society — a professional community dedicated to sharing and advancing knowledge in the rum industry. She is also the CEO and Founder of 7th Sky Ventures, a licensed importer and exporter of spirits in Florida, with a mission of elevating the rum industry not just in Tampa, but globally.
A rum industry champion, Isabella actively participates in events hosted at the Tampa Bay community and other professional groups.
TRL: What does the rum mean to you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
Growing up in a sugarcane farm gave me a different perspective on the whole industry. I’ve always had a sweet tooth so I tend to lean on the sweet side of things. Rum came into the picture as a calling and tribute to my hometown when I got a phone call from my mom, who is still in the distillery industry until today (at least 40 years now). She told me that our hometown distillery is finally going to have our rum brand, and I immediately thought, “who is the best person to tell the story of this bottle?”, and the rest was history.
I am professionally and personally growing in the spirits industry, having rum as my specialty.
TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.
1 – the “rum-maker” is the key, just like cooking
2 – naturally sweet, perfect for sugar lovers like me!!
3 – meant to be enjoyed with great company, every drop of it
TRL: What is the most important contribution you have made to the rum industry?
Becoming the first female and first Filipina to be a Master Rummelier is the most important by far, in my opinion. Everyone else can do business, put up events, and do tastings. But becoming the force and the catalyst of change in the industry, nobody can put a dollar value to that, let alone a timeline.
TRL: Benefits that the rum industry has given you.
It has given me valuable relationships, a wealth of knowledge, and a new perspective on spirits, and business and allowed me to push myself to be better.
TRL: What´s another thing you are passionate about, in addition to rum? Why?
Am very passionate about changing the world – big or small. Am currently part of a group called Battle Canada, and I am a director for the US group called Battle USA. This is a 501(c)(3) organization that aims to bring the community together through sports, where every individual will have a chance and opportunity to excel.
TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?
There is no place like home!!! Whether at the kitchen counter or in the backyard, it’s the people you drink it with.
TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe
Copalli Rum Cacao – with raspberry tea and turbinado cane sugar
TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?
This is one of my biggest motivators, why I do what I am doing today. Rum is not just about a drink in a bottle that we mix with coke. There is more to rum, the art and science behind it are in the same perspective of people who love to bake or cook. There’s more to rum than meets the eye.
TRL: Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?
Training the palate means to keep on doing it. So keep doing it, and start paying attention to labels. They have a wealth of information, especially for some brands that are elaborate on them. Try tasting it in 3 ways – neat without ice, neat with ice, and lastly, mix it with something that you think it will be good with.
TRL: How can rum contribute to improving the crisis in some countries?
With rum being a product of sugarcane, it helps distilleries and producers to expand their portfolio – added channel of income. At the end of the day, the more products that we can create out of the sugarcane, the practice will keep our farmers and everyone else in the production chain to stay afloat. And I think this goes to all sugarcane producing countries.
TRL: Is the commitment to sustainable development the key to success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world? Why?
In my opinion, yes. To get to one rum bottle, it goes through multiple stages and processes that contribute to sustainable practices. A very common practice that I have seen is the usage of the cut sugarcane stalks/plants to power the boilers or being reused as fertilizers. One somewhat out-of-the-box example is converting sugarcane leaves to something else like an AC filter, as it has a very good fiber.
TRL: Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?
I would love to meet the youngest and the oldest blenders in the world and ask them why they are in the industry and why they are STILL in the industry, would love to learn a tip that I can live by.
TRL: What are your next goals in the rum industry?
Elevate the rum industry in the Tampa Bay region and the Philippines through education, awareness, and experience.
TRL: Plans you have when you leave the rum industry.
Keep running Battle USA/Canada and make more people happy!
TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?
They are the frontliners in the beverage world. Having a well-educated and equipped staff is very crucial. From the way our waters are being poured, and served and how we are being greeted – it is the 1st impression, and it usually does last.
TRL: What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?
Be diligent, have a very open mind, and stay hungry for learning.
TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?https://www.instagram.com/beahonradorosal/
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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