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October 2014- Rum in the News
Mike Kunetka shares the most recent and noteworthy headlines in the rum industry in the October 2014 issue of "Got Rum?" magazine. To share your news with our readers, please send an email to Mike@gotrum.com.
October 2014- Rum in the News
by Mike Kunetka
DOGFISH HEAD SMALL BATCH SPIRITS
Back in 2002, in a rural Delaware scrapyard, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione picked up a little stainless steel feed bin that he had big plans for. Sam worked with engineers and welders to reshape the tank in the form of a pot still – lovingly named ‘Frankenstill’– and Dogfish Head’s days of hand-distilling gin, rum and vodka began. For a dozen years, Dogfish’s little “distillery that could,” perched on the second floor of the Rehoboth Beach brewpub, has been putting out an extremely limited selection of rum, vodka and gin. Most has been sold right out of the pub and at select retailers in Delaware. But now, after an expansion at the nearby Milton brewery, Dogfish will have the space to kick the distilling up a notch (or three). With a twin 500-gallon copper pot still and a 26-foot column still from Louisville’s Vendome Copper & Brass Works, spirits like Brown Honey Rum (made with Delaware honey), Dogfish White-Light Rum and Dogfish Wit Spiced Rhum (with Curacao orange peel and coriander) might just make it past the Delaware border.
SUGAR ISLAND RUMS
In 1731, in accordance with the Regulations relating to His Majesty’s Service at Sea, British sailors were given a daily ration of rum. Coincidentally, mermaid sightings in the Caribbean rose significantly around this time. Sailors believed mermaids rescued shipwrecked sailors and brought them to Sugar Island. Sugar Island Rum Company has introduced two rums with great packaging and artwork. They have a Coconut Rum, that comes in at 21% ABV and a Spiced Rum, that is 46% ABV.
FOURSQUARE’s RUM SIXTY SIX
Recently, some good friends (very good friends) brought me back a bottle of Sixty Six from their Bajan holiday. Hopefully, Got Rum’s official reviewer, Paul Senft, will write a professional evaluation someday. In the meantime, I will tell you that this winter, when it is 5 degrees and snowing here in Colorado, I will sit by the fire with a good book and this wonderful elixir. The Foursquare website describes Sixty Six like this: RUM SIXTY SIX Family Reserve is distilled from fermented molasses in small batches (usually 112 barrels) and tropically aged for a minimum of 12 years in small American white oak casks. Tropical ageing describes the fact that spirits in the Caribbean age more quickly than in Europe due to the warm climate. After 12 years’ tropical ageing RUM SIXTY SIX Family Reserve has a maturity and complexity comparable with European spirits twice this age. Availability is limited and sporadic, but if you are headed to Barbados, this is definitely a bottle to look for.
WICKED DOLPHIN RUMSHINE
In March, I wrote about the success that Cape Spirits was having with their White and Spiced rums. Now they are introducing RumShine, inspired by the Gladesmen who worked in the Florida Everglades circa 1900 and learned how to turn sugar into ‘shine. Owner JoAnn Elardo says “we take a lot of pride in using as many fresh, Florida ingredients that we can.” They are introducing three flavors: Strawberry RumShine – fresh Florida strawberry’s infused in their Award winning Rum made with the very best Florida Sugarcane, creating a flavor of creamy sun ripened strawberry’s ending with a cool sweet refreshing finish and a kick. It’s bottled at 50% ABV. Blueberry RumShine – fresh Florida blueberries infused in Wicked Dolphin Rum produce a nice full bodied berry taste with sweet notes throughout. A great spirit to enjoy on its own or with a mixer, Blueberry Rumshine is also bottled at 50% ABV. Apple Pie RumShine- reminiscent of having a great slice of apple pie – with a fresh clean apple taste that is sweet and delicious and the spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and other homemade spices. Apple Pie is bottled at 35% ABV.
Bacardi will be expanding distribution of the Facundo Rum Collection to California. The collection of four super- and ultra-premium rums sourced from the Bacardi family’s private reserves, is slowly being rolled out to “markets primed for luxury rum”, where the category is being introduced to consumers as “an art form”. Comprised of Neo, Eximo, Exquisito and Paraiso, the Facundo collection was first unveiled in late 2013 in Miami and New York. Neo, the entry- level expression, is a clear blend of rums aged up to eight years; Eximo is a medium-bodied dark rum blended before ageing in a barrel for 10 years; Exquisito features rum matured for between seven and 23 years before being finished in Sherry casks; and Paraiso is a blend of dark rums aged up to 23 years that’s filtered through carbon and rested in French XO casks.
Tanduay Distillers, Inc., will join forces with California National Trading Inc. (CNT, Inc.), to increase distribution in California and bring the award-winning rum to several Asian supermarkets throughout the state. Founded in the Philippines in 1854, Tanduay is the second largest rum producer in the world, selling over 18 million cases. Tanduay has won multiple awards for its high quality rums, which enjoy a tradition of blending established nearly 160 years ago. Tanduay Rum is currently available in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and Tennessee.
PINK PIGEON RUM
Berry Brothers & Rudd will be unveiling a new clear bottle package for its Pink Pigeon vanilla spiced rum during London Cocktail Week. Up to this point, Pink Pigeon has been available in a classy matte black bottle. They have chosen the new transparent design to make the amber color of the rum more noticeable. Luke Tegner, Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits Brands Marketing Director, said: “In order to lead the discussion with the trade and consumers on the ever-growing world of spiced rum, we will be conducting spiced rum master classes during London Cocktail Week providing insight on the three botanicals which give Pink Pigeon its distinct flavor profile. This gives a perfect opportunity to unveil our clear glass bottle that showcases the rum so well.”
SAILOR JERRY RUM
In another packaging change, Sailor Jerry has chosen a new bottle shape and redesigned their label. The new bottle design has been developed to reinforce the brand’s premium credentials, authentic heritage and personality and provide clearer standout on shelf in retail and on the back bar. While the liquid remains unchanged, the new design is an evolution of the previous look with clearer cues to Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, the father of old-school tattooing. The bottle neck is now embossed with the iconic brand anchor and dates. The front label has also been split into two sections to allow more prominence of the hula girl iconography and script, whilst highlighting the proof and style, bold and smooth. A new bottle shape has also been introduced, ensuring the brand is clear and recognizable amongst its competitors. Inspired by the famous tattoo artist, six new Sailor Jerry pinup girls have been added to the inside front label of the bottle. Brand fans already remove the label to collect the existing range and the new pack includes a new, removable label so that Sailor Jerry fans can easily continue their collections with the new artwork.
These are the most recent and noteworthy headlines in the rum industry. If you want us to share your news with our readers, please send an email to Mike@gotrum.com. Mike Kunetka is a a landlocked rum enthusiast, he is based in Colorado, USA and is our newest contributor.