"Got Rum?" magazine
August 2015- Rum in the News
Mike Kunetka shares with us in the 2015 August issue of "Got Rum?" magazine the most recent and noteworthy headlines in the rum industry
August 2015- Rum in the News
by Mike Kunetka
SINT MAARTEN GUAVEBARRY RUM
If you have taken a Caribbean cruise, more than likely you have been to Sint Maarten or St Martin. One of the most popular take home souvenirs from the island has always been Sint Maarten Guavaberry Liqueur, a tasty blend of fine oak-aged rum, cane sugar & wild Sint Maarten Guavaberries. The rare fruit is found high in the warm hills in the centre of the island and is not at all like guavas. On your next cruise, be sure to visit the Guavaberry Emporium, where you will find other great liqueurs. Old Oranjestad Orange Rum is made with old oak aged rums and flavourful wild Caribbean oranges and with a small amount of local guavaberries. Guavaberry Brand Island Vaanilla Golden Rum Liqueur is made with vanilla beans which are grown and harvested in the Caribbean. Guavaberry Brand Passion Fruit Rum Liqueur combines Passion Fruit and select golden Caribbean Rums with a tiny hint of Vanilla from Guadeloupe. There is a Wild Lime and a Mango liqueur, and some consider their Island Almond as the Amaretto of the Caribbean. Rum fans should also try their 5 Year Old and 8 Year Old Republic Rums, unsweetened golden blends of the fine Caribbean Rums, the youngest of which are aged in oak for five and eight years respectfully. The good news for us landlocked fans is that Opici Family Distributing has picked up the line and will be selling it in markets in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, Maryland and Florida.
THE 5TH CARIBBEAN RUM AND BEER FESTIVAL
If you need it, here is another good reason to visit St Maarten. It has become the latest host country for the roving Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival which will take place on November 6th & 7th. Now in its fifth year, the festival brings together some of the finest rum and beer products from the Caribbean and beyond, in a vibrant setting complete with Caribbean food, culture and entertainment. This year’s festival will take place at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino in St Maarten.
It has been a busy month for Bacardi.
On July 1st, Bacardi Global Travel Retail announced the launch of Single Cane Estate Rums, a distinctive collection of premium, aged rums from exceptional sugarcane estates across the Americas. By crafting each rum entirely at a single source in small batches, each expression is unique and fully captures the unique character of its home.
The initial launch of Single Cane Estate Rums comprises two variants – Worthy Park Estate from Jamaica and Consuelo Estate from Dominican Republic. Worthy Park Estate rum is a warm amber rum, distilled in small batches, using sugar cane harvested from the heart of the Lluidas Vale in the temperate microclimate of the Jamaican Cockpit Mountains, 1200 feet above sea level. The altitude slows the ageing process and allows the smooth and rich flavors to develop gradually. After a watchful fermentation, traditional pot stills are utilized to create the base rums that are selected for aging in American white oak casks between two and five years.
Consuelo Estate rum is a smooth golden rum made from the juice of virgin sugar cane, grown in the coastal plantations of southeastern Dominican Republic, where local farmers have harvested the sugar cane by hand for generations and are highly experienced in selecting only the best varieties when the crop is ready. The rum is shaped by a unique microclimate whose lush fields are exposed to Caribbean sun and cool winds from the sea, resulting in ideal ageing conditions. Single Cane Estate Rums will initially be available in Heinemann airport stores in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Oslo, Copenhagen, Istanbul and Riga.
On July 7th, Bacardi announced that it had expanded its portfolio of super-premium rums with the acquisition of Banks rum. The award-winning BANKS portfolio includes BANKS 5-Island Rum, BANKS 7 Golden Age Blend and various limited editions. Created by Founder and Master Blender Arnaud de Trabuc, and inspired by the travels and discoveries of legendary 18th-century British explorer and botanist Sir Joseph Banks, Banks Rum is blended according to a secret formula developed by blending rums from up to seven different origins including Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Panama, Guatemala and Java. The final blends are aged in previously used bourbon barrels.
On July 8th, Bacardi announced it had completed an acquisition of Leblon Holdings LLC and its LEBLON ® Cachaça brand after serving as a significant minority investor for several years. LEBLON is a premium artisanal cachaça produced at Maison Leblon in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s fertile agricultural heartland. LEBLON is a favorite cachaça in top culinary and mixology venues in Brazil, where cachaça is the national spirit.
Once again, the Edrington Group is releasing a high-end, limited edition rum under its Brugal brand. Brugal’s Papá Andrés 2015 Alegría Edition is a 40%-abv Dominican rum sourced from the Brugal family’s private reserves in Puerta Plata. Created by master blender, Jassil Villanueva Quintana, a fifth generation member of the Brugal family, this is a bright rum with a rich golden-amber color. Traditionally enjoyed only at important family celebrations, this private reserve rum came to be known as Papá Andrés, in honour of the company’s founding father, Don Andrés Brugal Montaner. Only 1,000 decanters of the special edition are being released—retailing at $1,500 apiece—with all proceeds going to the brand’s charitable Brugal Foundation, which seeks to reduce poverty in the Dominican Republic.
CARIBBEAN JOURNAL 10 BEST AMERICAN RUMS
On July 4th, the Caribbean Journal, an electronic newspaper with original content covering news, travel, politics and opinion from more than 20 countries and territories in the Caribbean, announced their list of the Top 10 American Rum Brands. Note that the list intentionally leaves off any brands from Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands. This year’s list includes Siesta Keys, Papa’s Pilar, Richland’s, Lost Spirits, Thomas Tew, Koloa Rum, Dancing Pines, St. George, Bayou Rum, and Maui Rum.
Mount Gay Distilleries announced the acquisition of nearby land that formed part of the producer’s original 18th century estate with the intent of creating a “luxury terroir rum”. Rémy Cointreau, Mount Gay’s parent company, confirmed the purchase of a 134-hectare parcel of land surrounding the distillery, including the sugar cane plantation that supplied the distillery during the period its rum production was being refined by namesake Sir John Gay Alleyne. Rémy Cointreau’s CEO, Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, stated “We saw this unique opportunity as a sign to pursue our goal to create a true luxury rum brand. Here in Barbados, we now gather together all the elements to foster the legacy of Mount Gay Distilleries: authenticity, history and terroir, with a single-estate rum, a genuine Barbados historical ‘château’.”