"Got Rum?" magazine
July 2015- Rum in the News
Mike Kunetka shares with us in the 2015 July issue of "Got Rum?" magazine the most recent and noteworthy headlines in the rum industry.
July 2015- Rum in the News
PROFESSOR CORNELIUS AMPLEFORTH’S RUMBULLION
Maverick Drinks has released a magnum-sized bottle of its popular Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Rumbullion Spiced Rum. The 1.5 Liter Victorian apothecary style bottle will join a magnum version of Maverick’s Bathtub Gin. Other Rumbullion offerings from Maverick include a Naval Strength version, bottled at 57% ABV and a super-premium version, using 15-year old Caribbean rum as its base.
PIRATE DOG BRAND, LLC
In 2012, Eric Glass quit his job in consumer health products and decided to start a rum distillery. Problem is, Eric wanted to produce aged rums, now. So he, and his cousin Steve Orne, looked to the island of Trinidad for a variety of fine rums that they could blend to create their Rumson’s Rums. Currently, they have four blends. The first is called simply Rumson’s Rum and it is a medium bodied, floral rum with a hint of citrus. The next is their Spiced Rum, offering a tasty nutmeg, vanilla and butterscotch finish. Glass describes their Coffee Rum as “flat out decadent, like a Dunkin Donuts espresso with a hint of vanilla.” Their Crown Jewel is Rumson’s Grand Reserve, a union of fine, aged Caribbean rums that comes across rich, full-bodied and remarkably smooth.
RHUM SAINT JAMES
This month, Rhum Saint James will celebrate 250 years of producing fine rhums with the release of a special commemorative limited edition. The 250th Anniversary Carafe will be an amazing blend of six of the best Saint James vintages, bottled in a luxurious glass flagon with embossed metal neck.
PLANTATION STIGGINS FANCY PINEAPPLE RUM
Last September I mentioned this dark magic project of Alexandre Gabriel of Cognac Ferrand and cocktail historian Davis Wondrich. It was introduced at the 2014 Tale of the Cocktail in New Orleans with a limited bottling of 1000 bottles. The reception was overwhelming and now a second, larger batch has been released. Thanks to the fine folks at The Proper Pour, one of the finest bottle shops in Colorado, I was able to grab two bottles recently. One bottle disappeared quickly at a neighbor’s Hawaiian Luau; nobody mixed it, the whole bottle was consumed neat or over a single ice cube. I had two glasses, just reading the amazing label. In case you missed my description last year, Stiggin’s Fancy starts with infusing Queen Victoria pineapples in Plantation Original Dark Rum for three months. Meanwhile, they macerate, also in rum, the bare rind of the fruit (where the pineapples essential oils chiefly reside) and then distill it again, creating a bright pineapple essence to blend with the lushness of the infused Plantation rum. There are other pineapple rums on the market, but Stiggin’s is definitely worth the search.
CAP MAISON CASK AGED RUM
Cap Maison is a small luxury resort in St Lucia, set on cliff tops overlooking the Caribbean. New to their extensive selection of Caribbean rums is their extra aged 10 year old Rum that is distilled by St. Lucia Distillers, using both pot and column stills. Following extensive aging in Old Port barrels, the rum is then aged at Cap Maison using the famous “Solera” aging system in single 10 Liter white oak, medium toasted barrels, guarantying a consistent and superior quality. Cap Maison’s home aged rum is the base spirit of their tropical signature rum toddy (“Cap Maison Elixir”) and will be bottled, labeled and sealed in front of guests as a unique personal take away souvenir of St. Lucia and Cap Maison. For those that appreciate the pinnacle of the distiller’s art, Cap Maison offers special tastings of the world’s finest rums from the Caribbean. Discover these award-winning cane spirits with guidance of their “Rummier” at the Cliff Bar.
SPIRITS INTERNATIONAL PRESTIGE AWARDS
The Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards were created to fill the void that is the current state of international spirits competitions. The illusion created by massive advertising budgets, celebrity endorsements and lofty judging is old, tired and susceptible to industry bias. There is no better group of advisors for a product than real consumers. The SIP Awards are the first to cut to the core of public opinion as a starting point, rather than an after thought, in branding and product development. Catering to the palates and opinions of the consuming public, the SIP Awards present a unique, spirit-judging competition, unaffected by industry bias. This year Best of Class Rum Winners were Ron Ramon Tremols XO in the Gold/Dark Rum Category; Monkey Spiced Rum in the Spiced Rum Category and Club Caribe Coconut Rum in the Flavored/Infused Rum Category. Platinum Awards went to Ron Añejo Tremols Reserva Unica, Ron El Toro Tremols, Barracuda Cay Spiced Rum, Black Roberts Spiced Rum, Rumhaven, Club Caribe Mango Rum and Guajiro Honey Rum.
Bacardi Limited announced plans to take a major step forward in bringing the company’s brand strategies closer to its markets and making them even more relevant to its consumers. The company plans to establish Centers of Excellence (“CoEs”) in Europe and North America each headed by a Chief Marketing Officer who will report to Bacardi Limited Chief Executive Officer Mike Dolan on the company’s global brands and to those Regional Presidents on regional and local brands, and in Region marketing executions. Those CoEs will create assets and partner with a more agile Corporate Creative Excellence team, the company’s external agencies, Hubs and Markets in ensuring those assets are executed in locally relevant ways.
Wicked Dolphin is releasing a very special limited reserve bottling this month, Sunken Barrel USS Mohawk CGC Reserve. Five Wicked Dolphin Rum barrels filled with distilled water were sent 90 feet down to the USS Mowhawk Veterans Memorial Reef and then raised 72 hours later. During that time, the atmospheric pressure of the water squeezed rum syrup from the inside of the barrels which then mixed with the distilled water. Once the barrels were raised, the unique distilled water/rum syrup was used to proof down already-aged rum at the distillery to create this one-of-a-kind spirit. All profits from the sale of this special release will be used to benefit the Lee Reefs Program and the Special Operations Bionic Warriors Program. Only 200 bottles will be available. You can see a video of this whole process at http://wickeddolphinmedia.com.
Papa’s Pilar, the rum that bears the name of Ernest Hemingway’s famous fishing boat, has launched a new campaign to encourage ocean preservation. Timed with World Oceans Day and Hemingway’s birthday, the campaign will see the company donate $1 to the Ocean Foundation every time a fan posts a photo of themselves enjoying a glass near the water. Fans should use the #pilarpreserves hashtag to do so. The Ocean Foundation’s mission is to protect, strengthen and reverse the trend of destruction on ocean environments around the world. Papa’s Pilar is owned in part by the Hemingway Estate; the latter donates 100 percent of their profits from Papa’s Pilar to charity.
RumChata has brought back its iced coffee sampler pack for another summer. The sampler pack allows anyone to make their own RumChata iced coffee, the cocktail twist on summer’s coolest drink. Iced coffee is one of the fastest growing beverage segments in the U.S. according to recent Euromonitor research. Data essentials recently reported that each day, iced coffee is consumed by roughly 30 million adult Americans. RumChata is a tropical inspired rum cream made from a truly global recipe that starts with five times distilled Caribbean rum. Real cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and other secret spices come from as far away as Madagascar before all are perfectly blended with fresh real dairy cream. The RumChata Iced Coffee Sampler Pack is available in all 50 states at an average retail price of $19.99.
Edrington, owner of Brugal Rum and other fine spirits, has been forced to write down the value of its Brugal rum brand once again due to “extreme difficulties” in its key markets. “Brugal’s leading markets in the Dominican Republic and Spain were significantly affected by the global recession,” said Suzy Smith, brand director for Brugal. Edrington has responded with a strategy of driving brand equity in core markets to position Brugal for the recovery, as well as building the brand in selected high-growth markets where the company has a strong distribution capability. “Brugal continues to be the leading rum in the Dominican Republic and Spain, where we now see a return to growth. Brugal is also growing in the US and Asia Pacific, regions that are home to the world’s fastest growing premium spirits markets.