Rum’s Cycle of Life
It is hard for me to believe thatSeptember is already here. The industry is starting to feel the signs of the End of Year Rush: importers are trying to receive their last shipments of the year, distributors and wholesalers are wrapping up their portfolios ahead
of the winter season, and suppliers of dry goods (bottles, labels, corks, etc.) are trying to keep up with last minute orders.
As a rum aficionado, winter is my least favorite season, especially in North America. Even if I have a cozy fireplace, a good heater in my car and a nice sipping rum waiting for me at home, I just don’t like feeling cold. As a member of the rum industry, however, winter is the time of the year when most rum is sold and consumed. As a result of this, I’ve learned to also appreciate this season, with its maddening rush of orders, last minute consulting emergencies and delays due to employees (of our suppliers) going on holiday vacations.
It is ironic -even poetic- to think that rum, a beverage that owes its origins to hot and humid tropical climates, has such a financial impact in non-tropical countries, especially when they are at their coldest!
September is typically also the beginning of the sugarcane harvest season in several areas of the USA, particularly along the gulf coast. So while rum distributors are preparing to enter the holiday season in the best shape possible, sugarcane harvesters are facing their own challenges (some of them in the form of hurricanes or tropical storms) to ensure that sugar, sugarcane juice and molasses will continue to be available, so that the rum life cycle never ends.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of this cycle of life, one that I appreciate more as I meet more industry members, from cane growers to yeast salespeople, each one doing their part to guarantee that the rums we enjoy so much will continue to be around.
Luis Ayala, Editor and Publisher