19 May Toby Tyler
Rum Savant, AFROHEAD Rum
Nothing defines Toby Tyler. This free spirit turned rum blender effortlessly moves from behind the bar to the recording studio to catching waves. It’s undeniable, though, that his meticulous palette and vision for crafting the perfect aged dark rum earned him the title of AFROHEAD Premium Aged Dark Rum’s Rum Savant.
A native of Sydney, Australia, Tyler started playing guitar in surf club bands at age 15. Determined to surf all day and play rock-‐n-‐roll all night, he spent four years traveling the world and picking up odd jobs just to get by. That was until he was signed as an in-‐house songwriter for Warner Music Sydney where he began establishing his deep connections in the music business.
In 1997, Tyler moved to the Bahamas and immersed himself in the island’s rich West Indies culture – ultimately establishing himself as the island’s resident rum expert. When friend and proprietor of Harbour Island’s The Landing Guest House and Restaurant, Joe Farrell, asked Tyler, “Which rum is your favorite?” and he replied, “It hasn’t been made yet”, the two suddenly knew what had to be done.
In 2008, after 18 months of blending, Tyler finally tasted his favorite rum. Farrell began hand bottling the yet-‐unnamed rum and serving it to guests at The Landing. On the label, Farrell used a simple graphic he had designed for the restaurant’s house wine – a stylized image that paid tribute to the island’s culture, Bahamian women and the first Miss Bahamas from 1963. Locals and visitors from around the world came to Harbour Island to enjoy the rum with the “afrohead” on it, and so AFROHEAD Premium Aged Dark Rum was named.
Today, Tyler serves as AFROHEAD Rum’s Rum Savant and Brand Ambassador. He’s responsible for ensuring that every batch is crafted to perfection and for bringing a newfound respect to rum through his approach to blending and rum tastings. He continues to pursue his love of music, whether recording with artists Dave Stewart and Paul Pesco or simply strumming his guitar while sipping rum in his studio on Harbour Island with friends like Lenny Kravitz and Ronnie Woods.