Carting sugarcane in Haiti

A rummage through rum styles

15 December, 2022

Products like these have the potential added benefit of drawing consumers from other categories. Cullimore believes that premium rum will increasingly take cues from the whisky category in particular, such as minimum age statements. “We’ll see cask finishes, as that offers a different way to enjoy something you already love, but also barrel strength and higher-abv finishes,” he says.

Marsland sees the benefits of this approach too. “Luxury retail has taken advantage of the growing Irish whiskey audience by showcasing our Admiral Rodney Officer’s Release No.2, finished in Irish whiskey casks,” he says.

“Finishing rum in unusual casks is one of the ways we are engaging with drinkers from other categories, such as Cognac or peated whisky, offering us the opportunity to introduce them to the exquisite world of rum in a way that feels familiar to them,” says Havana Club’s Martin, citing the example of the brand’s recently launched Cuban Smoky, aged in whisky barrels from Islay.

And then there’s the array of wine casks for rum producers to choose from.

“Cask finishing or full-term maturation in ex-wine casks is not a new thing in the rum world, but with the popularity and quality of these releases, I think we will continue to see more brands lean towards them,” believes Speciality Brands rum ambassador Dean MacGregor.

Brown reports that, while the focus remains on Siddiqui’s two core products, a dark and a white rum, now produced by Penderyn Distillery in Wales, there are ongoing experiments when it comes to barrel ageing.

“We have several expressions in the works, ageing in several different barrels, that we are considering for the premium rum market,” he says.

For some, innovation need not reinvent the wheel, and is rather focused on quality offerings that meet consumer demand.

“Foursquare started to release limited-edition cask strength offerings some seven or eight years ago, and now the demand outstrips supply,” says brand ambassador Peter Holland.

Ultimately, there’s no shortage of rum styles for consumers to explore, and seemingly endless potential for innovation from producers.

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