Member of the Madrid’s Association of Sommeliers: Carlos Carballo

Published by The Rumlab ago

Member of the Madrid’s Association of Sommeliers: Carlos Carballo article cover image

TRL: Who is Carlos Carballo?

Hi, I’m Carlos, a member of Madrid’s Association of Sommeliers. I trained as a Spirit Sommelier in the Curso Superior de Destilados / Madrid’s Chamber of Commerce. Since then, I’ve completed my multiple training courses in the spirits sector, including Whisky Ambassador (British Institute of Innkeeping Awarding Board), a Diploma in Brandy and Wines from Jerez, and training in Tequila, Mezcal and other distillates from agave, etc.

I’ve taken part as a collaborator and tasting judge at the International Rum Congress in Madrid. In recent years, my work has focused on the tasting club “La Próxima Vez Será Diferente” which I organize in multiple locations of my city, in my collaborations about spirits in different media and as a teacher in the Curso Superior Spirits Sommelier.

TRL: What does the rum mean to you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?

Without a doubt, the more you know about a distillate, the more you like it. From my point of view, knowing the history of making rum is the fundamental ingredient to enjoying it.

TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.

Rum is made on five continents, and of course, in each place with its own vision. That multiplicity of identities, which is often a problem when legislating, is also what I like best. There are always new things coming up in the world of rum, it is constantly developing. It is also a very “social” drink, a drink associated with consumption with friends, very hedonistic, far from the image of other drinks. Finally, I believe things will improve and we will enjoy higher-quality products, be more committed to sustainability, more involved with our communities,… there is an exciting future!

TRL: What is the most important contribution you have made to the rum industry?

My activity is independent of the industry, so I have not made contributions at that level. My job over the years has been to discover good spirits and share them with people.

TRL: What’s another thing you are passionate about besides rum? Why?

Many things, music, movies, radio, literature, and art,… and we also try to make them present at our events. There is always a painting, a book, or a song that alludes to one story we want to tell.

TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

At a bar with friends. Rum is just that, a drink associated with friends and enjoy.

TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe

Rum, Whisky, usually neat.

TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

Only through knowledge, the ultimate consumer will appreciate spirits as it deserves. Besides quality, the future poses challenges in different aspects. Reduction in sugar levels, sustainability, social commitment,… there must be clear communication between the industry and a client who will increasingly demand more information.

TRL: Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?

There are no secret keys, it is part of a process. It is a matter of interest and training.

TRL: How can the rum contribute to improving the crisis in some countries?

Sometimes, the vision of these issues from Europe is very local. I believe it requires deep analysis. The millions of bottles of rum that are made in India have nothing to do with the production of a small distillery in another part of the world.


What is clear to me is that rum is a visiting card from different parts of the world, from different communities, from different traditions, and therefore an excellent source of business.

TRL: Is the commitment to sustainable development the key to success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world? Why?

Of rum in particular, of spirits, and I dare say that of almost any industry. It is an unstoppable current that will mark the coming years.

TRL: Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?

I have met different people in the industry, and the ones that interest me the most are those that remain in the background. Fundamental people in any part of the process and are essential professionals.

TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

It is important because a market share is covered by the bartender’s recommendations, and a knowledgeable professional is a guarantee of success. Also, let me tell you that the importance of the bartender has been overstated. In Spain, at least, the majority are “slaves” to trade agreements. All that knowledge that we have been discussing in this interview, all the different recommendations, etc. are relegated to the background because they have to sell the big brand that pays for their establishment.

TRL: What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry

Learn, learn, learn,…

TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?

I am present on Social Networks and you can find information about my events through the Hashtag #laproximavezseradiferente