"Got Rum?" Magazine
May 2015- Rum in the News
Mike Kunetka shares with us in the 2015 May issue of "Got Rum?" magazine the most recent and noteworthy headlines in the rum industry.
May 2015- Rum in the News
-by Mike Kunetka-
The name is a mouthful – Plantation Multi- Island Sweet Smoke Rum. The rum is even a bigger mouthful, with flavors and aromas that go on and on. Back to the name, the first part, Multi- Island, refers to the two islands that contributed the base rums: St Lucia and Jamaica. There is pot still rum from St. Lucia, aged 10 years in Bourbon Barrels is St. Lucia and the 18 months in Cognac barrels in France. Then pot still rum from Jamaica, aged 10 years in Bourbon barrels in Jamaica and 2 years in Cognac barrels in France. And then throw in some pot still rum from Guyana, aged 6 years in Bourbon barrels in its home country and 2 more years in Cognac barrels in France. The master blenders at Cognac-Ferrand mix just the right proportions of each and stash it away for another 8 months in, you guess it, more Cognac barrels. The Sweet Smoke refers to the final 2 month rest in special barrels. The wood in these casks is specially chosen for its ability to impart a vanilla note. Then a special toasting gives the barrels their smoky flavors. Very Limited distribution.
Effective June 1st, Glazer’s of Canada will have countrywide rights to the Remy Cointreau brands in Canada. This will include Mount Gay Rum. Glazier is the fourth largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States and opened it’s Canadian branch in 2013.
Appleton will be changing the labels and packaging of their three top selling rums. While making no changes to the award winning rums themselves, Appleton Estate announced a new naming classification for their core range of rums. Appleton Estate VX will be known as Appleton Estate Signature Blend, Appleton Estate Reserve will be known as Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, and Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old will be known as Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old. Richard Black, Global Integration Director for Rums at Gruppo Campari, said: “We decided to bring a consistent and coherent naming structure to help consumers appreciate the differences among our three core variants as well as the hierarchy between the new variants. We feel that the new naming classification is unique to the rum category and to Appleton Estate and, more importantly, celebrates the art of blending which is so integral to the rum industry and is what makes our Appleton Estate rums so rich, complex and flavorful.”
The new label of the bottle now features the landscape of the Appleton Estate in Jamaica’s Cockpit Country where it is located, and the logo has been updated, with the words “crafted in the heart of Jamaica” placed underneath. Appleton Estate has been producing premium, quality Jamaican Rum for more than 265 years.
The brand has created new bottle designs for all four of its variants – Gold, Platinum, Barrel Infused Spiced and Barrel Infused Criollo Cacao. Designed to “make handling easier”, the new bottles are now shorter, lighter and have curved edges, while the metal plate logo has been replaced with the [e]8 logo in red for greater shelf stand-out. “The new bottle is the result of consultation with a number of bartenders who wanted something with better ergonomic design,” said Carl Stephenson, owner of Elements 8 Rum.
DARK MATTERS DISTILLERS
Jim and John Ewen have started the first rum distillery in Scotland, and plan to launch their first product by the beginning of May, a spiced rum called Dark Matter. The Ewen brothers have spent the last two years experimenting with different yeast strains during the fermentation to perfect the spiced rum recipe. Dark Matter offers flavors of fresh ginger and allspice and is bottled at 40% ABV. Dark Matter Distillers is also working on several other rum products that are described as “a bit different” and will be unveiled in due course.
Family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, announced the internal appointment of Mauricio Vergara, 43, as Global Category Vice President of Rums. In this role, Mr. Vergara will be responsible for the Bacardi portfolio of rums including the iconic BACARDÍ® rum brand and the super premium rums within the portfolio of the FACUNDO™ Rum Collection. Mr. Vergara will be in charge of developing the global marketing strategy of the rum category and leading the creation of global promotional, creative and packaging assets, as well as directing the development of brand innovation and line extensions. He will remain based in the Bacardi Global Brands headquarters in London and report into Dima Ivanov, Chief Marketing Officer of Bacardi and President of Bacardi Global Brands.
Blackwater Distilling has won several awards for their craft spirits and will soon turn their attention to rum. The Stevensville, Maryland distillery has introduced Picaroon Maryland Rum. Picaroon is an old word for rogue or scoundrel. Blackwater Distiller Jon Blair credits Picaroon’s unique flavor to two key ingredients: First is the sugar, which is a single-source cane syrup from Brazil. Second is the yeast, which is isolated from a strain that grows naturally on sugar cane in tropical regions. “So what you taste in Picaroon is both an expression of the place where the sugar was grown and a yeast that has evolved naturally to ferment that sugar.
In the white rum, you get a clean nose of tropical fruit and vanilla, followed by flavors of vanilla and cream and a sweet, lingering finish. For the gold rum, we make an in-house caramel from sugar cane grown entirely in the U.S. and blend that with the white rum at a higher proof for an added sweetness and a toasted marshmallow flavor.”
FAR NORTH SPIRITS
Far North Spirits, the northernmost distillery in the contiguous United States, is located on the fourth-generation Swanson family farm 400 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Far North Spirits is a field- to-glass distillery, meaning the owners also farm the grains used in their gin and whiskey, and hand select everything else – from the grains to the botanicals and spices. Its spirits are distilled in small batches using custom-made Vendome copper pot stills from Kentucky. To make Minnesota’s first rum, Alender Spiced Rum, distillery owner Michael Swanson took an uncompromising approach and selected the highest quality ingredients he could find.
The rum is distilled in small batches using a combination of turbinado and demerara sugars sourced from Louisiana and Florida. The resulting base spirit is an exceptionally clear and delicious Puerto Rican-style rum. Unlike most spiced rums, which are made using artificial flavors, Ålander is infused by hand with whole bean spices: Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans, Korintje cinnamon from Indonesia and cinnamon from Sri Lanka, clove and nutmeg from India and allspice from Guatamala. Spice infusion times vary; some are a matter of hours, others take up to three weeks. The rum is finished with a very brief infusion of organic coffee beans, espresso-roasted by Minneapolis-based Peace Coffee, to provide additional depth and roundness. Alander is bottled at 43% ABV. In a nod to Minnesota’s lake country culture, the bold black bottle features of map of Oak Island at Lake of the Woods where the distiller’s family has enjoyed summers at their cabin since 1985.