Rum has seen a serious resurgence this year and 'quality, not quantity’ is where we’re at regarding spirit choices.
Gone are the days of spirits being seen merely as alcohol – in today’s world, they can be symbols of celebration, refinement, and personal expression.
As travel and international trade expand, the opportunity to explore a diverse range of premium spirits, each reflecting cultural heritage and unique production methods, has opened up a world of possibilities.
Many brands – old and new – have come to the party with luxury packaging and limited editions, enhancing the aura of exclusivity and adding a collectable element. Among those that stand out is rum, with a unique journey and allure.
The Art of Rum
Rum’s journey from pirate’s delight to premium drop is still relatively in its infancy. But if the interest and numbers coming out of Britain and France are anything to go by, it may become the next big thing.
In France, rum is becoming increasingly fashionable, with premium-and-above rum volumes rising 28 per cent in recent years, according to global industry database IWSR.
Rum, with its centuries-old history, has long been intertwined with tales of pirates, naval conquests and trade routes. But it has recently transformed from rough-and-ready to a more artful elixir.
One of the defining aspects of premium rum lies in its craftsmanship and ageing process, and it’s predominantly golden and dark rums, coloured by ageing in barrels, that are getting the most attention.
Premium rums are often produced in small batches, employing traditional distillation methods that highlight the distinctive flavours of the sugarcane or molasses used in its creation.
As with single-malt Scotch whiskies, single-distillery rums are increasingly sought after by connoisseurs. These rums are produced entirely at a single distillery, allowing for greater control over the production process, resulting in unique and consistent flavour profiles.
Premium rum brands often boast skilled master blenders who create exceptional amalgams by combining rums of different ages, distillation methods and cask types.
Spiced rums are currently of particular interest. Adding flavours like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and citrus creates a more multifaceted drinking experience.
In general, an increase in artisanal-flavoured rums feeds into the buzz over botanicals, infusing spirits with added layers. It’s a trend we should be happy to embrace; there are now plenty of superior options available to savour and experiment with at home.
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