"Got Rum?" Magazine
February 2015- Rum In The News
Mike Kunetka shares with us in the 2015 February issue of "Got Rum?" magazine the most recent and noteworthy headlines in the rum industry.
February 2015- Rum in the News
-by Mike Kunetka
OUTER BANKS DISTILLING
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is an area steeped in a history of pirates and rum. Soon it will be home of the area’s first legal rum distillery, Outer Banks Distilling. Adam and Kelly Bray, Matt Newsome and Scott Smith (a collection of brewers and bartenders), have joined forces to build this new enterprise in Manteo. Combining a new Holstein pot still and a rusty old brick building, they will be releasing their first product, Kill Devil Rum. Legend has it that years ago, after a shipwreck, several barrels of ‘Kill Devil’, an old slang term for rum strong enough to ‘kill the devil’, washed up on shore in an area that is now known as Kill Devil Hills. As former local brewers, they hope to experiment with different blends of molasses, botanical infusions and aging techniques. Furthermore, the possibility of collaborating with local breweries and wineries opens the door to even more ideas, such as a rum barreled stout or Italian grappa.
Clément has introduced Mahina Coco, a bright French Caribbean coconut liqueur, crafted from luscious pieces of young coconut soused with Rhum Agricole. Mahina Coco offers a soft and sweet roundness of the tropics that can be enjoyed neat or mixed in cocktails. It is bottled at 18% ABV.
Clément has also released two Limited Edition Single Cask rums. The first is Vanille Intense. Not a spiced rum, Vanille Intense is a special expression that has been aged for eight years in 200-liter ex-Bourbon barrels, with the intent of extracting the vanillin sweetness from the wood. Clément says that the years of aging have helped focus a palette of aromas that give a ‘racy’ profile to this old rhum. The second Single Cask is an aged 100% Canne Bleue (blue sugarcane). Many people feel that out of all the varieties of sugarcane grown on Martinique, the Canne Bleue is the best for making high quality rhum agricole. Clément has offered a blue sugarcane white rhum for some time, but now they have set aside some in French Oak casks for eight years. Each bottle is signed by the Cellar Master, with the bottle number, barrel number, date of aging, and sugarcane varietal on display. Both Single Cask rums are released at barrel strength, 43.6% ABV.
DAUFUSKIE ISLAND RUM COMPANY
Daufuskie Island is a small plot of land only accessible by boat from the coast of South Carolina and is now the home to the new Daufuskie Island Rum Company (DIRC). Located on a 12-acre site on Hag Point Road, DIRC just released their Silver Rum, with a Spiced Rum following in February. A Gold Rum is currently aging in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and will be available in July. DIRC’s owner, Tony Chase, wants to create a true American Island Rum, using exclusively American ingredients. The stills and fermenters are hand crafted in Alabama by Paul Caldwell of the Confederate Stills of Alabama. The bottles come from the Waterloo bottle company in upstate New York. The yeast strains were developed and cultivated in California and the sugar is grown in South Florida. Tony has set aside a portion of the property to grow his own sugarcane. It will not be enough to feed all his production, but it will certainly be able to be incorporated in some of his product. Maybe a Daufuskie Island Rhum Agricole in the future?
Bacardi has announced that interim CEO Mike Dolan will continue that position on a permanent basis. In a recent letter to shareholders, Bacardi stated “Having used his brief period of initiation in the Interim CEO role to gain an even deeper insight into the company’s brands and its people, we are delighted that the confidence Mike gained in the company’s potential to succeed encouraged him to take on the role permanently.” Reporting to Mr. Dolan will be Dmitry Ivanov, who was recently appointed Chief Marketing Officer and President of Bacardi Global Brands. He will be responsible for Bacardi’s worldwide marketing organization and will also sit on Bacardi’s Global Leadership Team.
J. WRAY & NEPHEW
J. Wray & Nephew has released the Emperor Wray, an impressive 3- liter bottle of their white Overproof Rum. Probably the largest bottle of its kind made in Jamaica, the Emperor went on sale this month across the island. Cecil Smith, J. Wray & Nephew’s Group Brand Manager, said “As a matter of fact, Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum is the world’s top selling overproof white rum. The Emperor Wray will stand tall over all competition.”
Eastside Distilling, makers of Below Deck Silver Rum, Ginger Rum and Coffee Rum, as well as a number of other spirits, has broken ground on a new 4,000 square foot facility that they hope to have operational in the second quarter of 2015. Currently, the distillery is only 2,500 square feet. The new expansion will make it one of the largest ‘craft’ distilleries in the Pacific Northwest, offering Eastside plenty of room for continued growth and favorable economies of scale.
ST. AUGUSTINE DISTILLERY COMPANY
The St. Augustine Distillery Company prides itself on making excellent small batch vodkas and gins from local ingredients. Now, distiller Brendan Wheatley has turned his attention to the heirloom sugarcanes in the St. Augustine area. This year will mark the first harvest for some of these canes and Brendan intends to use them in their first cane-juice rum. You can keep up with their progress at ht tp://staugustinedistillery.com/stadco-spir it-society/.
Privateer has recently purchased the adjacent warehouse space in their building, adding 10,000 square feet for a new tasting area, a barrel room, and far more production space. Doubling the work area will now allow them to increase their weekly production to 2,000 bottles. The rest of the new space will be dedicated to retail and an elevated tasting room that over looks the whole distillery.
Privateer is home to Maggie Campbell, one of the most respected craft distillers in the country, known for her passion and commitment to true spirits. Privateer currently makes two types of rum, a Silver Reserve aged about 12 weeks, and a True American Amber Rum that sits in the cask for up to three years. As part of the expansion, Maggie and team will be introducing new products, including a navy strength (around 110 proof ) rum called Navy Yard.
Three members of the founding family of Companhia Müller de Bebidas, the producers of the Cachaca 51, were killed in a helicopter crash in early January. Marcelo Müller, the 33-year-old grandson of the founder died along with his 31-year-old wife, Lumara Rocha Passos Müller, their two-year-old daughter Georgia, and her nanny. Details of what caused the crash have not been released.
GUY HARVEY RUM
Renowned wildlife artist Guy Harvey is now entering the rum business. He has joined forces with Shaw-Ross International to launch and develop a spiced rum line. He was personally involved with the tastings and final selections of the ingredients for the finished product and has made sure that a portion of the funds generated by the products will be donated to the marine projects that he is passionate about. Distilled in the Caribbean, Guy Harvey Spiced Rum is an amber rum that contains spices and warm flavors of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon and will be bottled at 35% ABV.