Rum: Join the Dark Side

17 August, 2015

“Only 24% current rum sales in global travel retail are high value compared to 76% total spirits, and we are confident there’s a major opportunity in travel retail for this exciting and energetic category. Single cane estate rums are a key component in Bacardi’s strategic drive to create category differentiation.”

Karina Hermansen, global brand manager at Berry Bros & Rudd, which markets Penny Blue rum as well as a range of Scottish single malt whiskies, says that because rum does not have some of the stringent regulations that the scotch whisky industry has to adhere to, there is less restriction and room for more flavours.

“Some of the historic dark rums were produced by rubbing molasses in the barrels to give dark colour,” she says. “This was once common practice, especially in Guyana. The majority of golden rums are matured in ex-bourbon barrels which give subtlety. White rum is really the target for being mixed with cola. 

“There is a thirst for education from consumers, but although the rum trade has a long heritage there is often a severe lack of information about the legacy and production techniques compared to what is available for Scottish products.”

It would seem that the future for dark rums is a good one, then, with strong growth, a growing interest from consumers and vast potential through education and diversity. Undoubtedly, says Spiridom’s Delassus.


“Dark rums will blossom,” he says. “People are discovering rum with a new angle and are pleased to find out it is as complex and interesting as whisky and brandy. There is so much to explore, an amazing diversity of origins, tastes and experiences. 

“Also, dark rum is usually more affordable than other brown spirits. One who likes aged spirits can find amazing rum that will blow their mind the same way a rare single malt whisky or a very old brandy could, but for far less money. 

“More and more people have noticed this great asset and now are taking advantage of it. 

“The future for dark rum has never been brighter.”


Philip Duff

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