Make room for premium rum

The rum market is changing. In some quarters aged rums - especially dark rums - are being accorded status similar to that for aged whiskies. Thus luxury rums are becoming part-and-parcel of a top mixologists' oeuvre. We take a closer look at the changing market for rum in Ireland.

In CGA Strategy’s latest Mixed Drinks Report the Mojito remains the Number One cocktail for both men and women in the UK on-trade. Furthermore, white rum is involved in some 37% of all cocktail serves, according to this report.

“With rum now used in 37% of all cocktails, compared with 33% just six months ago, it’s clear that rum-based cocktails continue to grow in popularity,” CGA’s Client Services Director Rachel Perryman told Drinks Industry Ireland, of the rum trends CGA Strategy had found when compiling the Mixed Drinks Report.

“Three of the nation’s Top Five cocktails are rum-based; Mojito remains the nations favourite with Pina Colada and Daiquiri also featuring amongst the Top Five whilst Zombies over-index amongst men,” she added.

Globally then, many suppliers believe that there’s a lot of potential in rum, a category which they believe to be “under-premiumised”, especially when compared to the whisky and vodka markets.

Have premium whisk(e)ys had the stage to themselves for too long? Is it now the turn of dark rums?

‘Super-premiumisation’ of the global rum market seems underway and the potential for volume growth in high-end rums remains a tantalizing possibility – especially when mixologists today are coming up with such a variety of ways of serving them up to the customer.



The on-trade rum market here was worth €66.1 million MAT to the end of September 2015 according to Nielsen and that’s just over 11% of the total sprits market by value.

Despite the current fad for craft whiskeys, rum still enjoys a very prominent position in bars, agrees Alan Kavanagh, one of the country’s best-known mixologists.

The variety of rum types has opened up in the last year or two.

“While we’ve a nice selection of rums here in Ireland, there’s a lot of Polenisian-style rums about in the wider on-trade now,” he says, “While not so prominent in the Irish market yet, they’re a very sippable light-style rum.

“Now we’re beginning to see a variety of rums that have been aged for a long time in a warm climate, but the filtration has got considerably lighter so that a strong woody character that gives the same personality as this heavily-aged rum has emerged which still has that character but doesn’t have that dark colour.

“They’ve got a dark look about them alright but come with prominent carmel and fruit flavours.”

Citing the growth of the Tiki-style cocktail he explains, “Tiki is a style of cocktail that’s heavily rum-based and juice-based. The best way to think of it is if I told you that you were sitting on a beach somewhere on a Caribbean island and in your hand you’d expect a tall fruity rum-based drink, punchy and with fruit garnish hanging over the side of the drink… Flavours of pineapple, coconut and orgeat would all be the very distinctive flavours that you’d find in a Tiki-based drink.”

He points out that Tiki drinks mix a lot of spiced rum, light style rums and possibly ‘overproofed’ rums.

“All this offers the consumer different styles of rums such as the Mai-Tai-style drink, a tall fruity, punchy taste, high in alcohol and with the thought that if you can’t get to paradise, paradise can come to you. It’s a ‘Dell Boy’ style of drink – but with a bit of class,” he laughs, adding, “These styles of rum are starting to influence the Tiki-style of cocktails.”


Have premium whisk(e)ys had the stage to themselves for too long? Is it now the turn of dark rums?

Have premium whisk(e)ys had the stage to themselves for too long? Is it now the turn of dark rums?












Rusty Dogg – The bartenders’ favourite Rum

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The launch of the Rusty Dogg range of rums to Ireland represented an early response to the changing rum market.

Recognising the increasing consumer interest in rum and in particular a penchant for greater experimentation, Dalcassian Wines & Spirits saw an opportunity to create its own exclusive range of rums.

The Rusty Dogg range of white, spiced and coconut rum has already become one of the leading rum brands in Ireland.

Made with real Caribbean Rum and natural ingredients, the traditionally-crafted rum is made only with high quality Dominican Republic rum and is aged in oak casks.

Delicately infused with a secret combination of vanilla pods, cinnamon, Hispaniola orange and exotic spice, this high quality Caribbean rum is a versatile product that can be sipped on the rocks and is also a bartender favourite for mixing in a cocktail.




The Venezuelan Ambassador has arrived …

The Diplomatico distillery at the foot of the Andes mountains.

The Diplomatico distillery at the foot of the Andes mountains.

One of the world’s most prestigious rums has arrived in Ireland.

Dalcassian Wines & Spirits has just launched the multi award-winning Diplomático range of premium Venezuelan rums to Irish hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs looking to bring a truly exquisite taste to their customers.

Renowned as the leading rum in Venezuela, the Diplomático distillery is located at the foot of the Andes Mountains, nestled in the heart of sugar cane fields which are freshly harvested to produce molasses and honeys for the splendid range of rums. The nearby Terepaima National Park, provides pure water for the rum production.

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The favourable local climate – warm days and cool nights – is central to both the fermentation and aging processes.

The Diplomático traditional and prestige ranges were officially introduced to Ireland at an exclusive Masterclass in the Westbury Hotel’s Marble Bar earlier this month. Tito Cordero, the ‘Maestro Ronero’ (or Master Blender) who has been with the company since its creation in 1959, proudly presented the finest blends of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva and Blanco Reserva, finishing with the ultimate expression of his life’s work – Diplomático Ambassador – a powerful and rich premium rum crafted from the distillery’s best rum reserves.

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Indeed the secret to Diplomático’s exquisite taste lies in the intricate blending and ageing processes. Tito Cordero is a multi-award winning blender with titles including World’s Best Master Blender (2014 Madrid International Rum Conference) and two-time Rum Blender of the Year (London Rum Barrel Awards 2011 and 2013).

Throughout his tenure, he has perfected his knowledge in the art of rum-making with passion, dedication and above all, with a deep respect for tradition. He believes that the success of Rum Diplomático is a result of the dedication and efforts of the full team working for the brand.

Each rum is carefully crafted and distilled using a variety of methods, drawing on the Hispanic tradition of divers Continuous Columns for light rums, ancient copper Pot Stills for complex rums and a Batch Kettle system for medium-bodied rums.

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The aging of Diplomático rums takes place in different types of casks, predominantly casks that had previously aged Bourbon and malt whiskey. After the aging process, Diplomático’s prestige expressions, Single Vintage and Ambassador, are placed in the most exclusive Spanish Sherry casks for additional time, to provide the perfect finish.

“A complex and elegant rum, with an unmistakable taste”, Diplomático rums can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in sophisticated cocktails, ideally always shared in good company!

Brand Ambassador for Diplomático at Dalcassian Wines & Spirits Conor McCrohan says the reserve rum is exquisite in Mai Tai and Old Fashion cocktails.

Diplomatico's Master Blender Tito Corderolow

Diplomatico’s Master Blender Tito Corderolow.


Brand Manager Ruth Dunne describes Diplomático as one of the finest rums in the world.

“With the increasing prestige of rum, the on-trade is looking for exquisite varieties that capture the best balance and roundness of flavours and aromas. We are very proud that Dalcassian has been selected to distribute this very special rum exclusively in Ireland.”












Bacardi Rum Unveils Bold New Pack Design

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Celebrating its 153rd anniversary this year, Bacardí rum launched the first packaging update to the world’s number one-selling rum in more than a decade. Heavily influenced by Art Deco style, the new bottle design reflects the brand’s unique heritage and provenance although its timeless quality ensures it looks just as good in some of the world’s finest bars today as it did in the 1920s.

Designed in consultation with some of the world’s leading bartenders, it has been created to ensure it’s well-balanced to produce the perfect pour. It’s taller, slimmer and more cylindrical, with proud shoulders reminiscent of the more classic style of bottles.

It’s also packed with finely-crafted touches. The iconic Bacardí bat logo, representing good fortune, good health and family unity, was inspired by hand-drawn Bacardí bat designs from the early 1900s. It crowns a label of hand-cut fonts inspired by those adorning the Art Deco El Edificio Bacardi, the brand’s former sales office and iconic bar in Havana, Cuba.  Each new bottle from the portfolio of light and dark rums also features its own unique printers ornament, a brief story from the Bacardi family’s history and a simple taste description and drinks serve on the back.  In addition, all paper labels are made from recycled cane fiber, a byproduct of rum-making.

More than 150 years of heritage and awards adorn the pack: the Royal Spanish Coat of Arms awarded for quality in 1888, a selection of medals won since 1862 (Bacardí rum is the most-awarded spirit in the world) and the signature of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder of the company that remains family-owned since 1862.

For more information contact an Edward Dillon representative on 01 819 3300.



Havana Club





Havana Club Rum traces its roots back to 1878 and was firmly established in Cuba in 1934. Now one of the best-selling rum brands in the world, the brand was nationalised after the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

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Thanks to the continuation of the Maestros Roneros (Rum Master Blenders), Havana Club has kept alive the Cuban art of distilling, ageing and blending premium rums, from white to dark aged rums. The brand is closely intertwined with the Cuban culture and Cuban people are very proud of what has become a true national icon.

Havana Club  has experienced double-digit growth nearly every year since 1993.

Centro Habana

Centro Habana


In the last 20 years, it has succeeded in becoming a major player in the international spirits market with the range now available in more than 120 countries and selling over four million cases worldwide. It aims to maintain this  growth through strong investment in its distillery & Cuban rum-making facilities whilst using marketing activities to highlight the brand’s intrinsic links to the people, culture and atmosphere of Havana.

Currently with 5 Rums SKUs in the Irish Market [Havana Club has Especial, Anejo 3 Anos, 7 Year Old, Selection De Maestros & 15 Year-Old]  Havana is the Number three rum brand here.

All Havana Club’s Rums are made from 100% Cuban natural ingredients.

The art of blending and ageing is at the heart of Havana Club’s quality and this can be experienced & tasted in the liquid of its Golden Rum – Havana Club Especial which was re-launched in 2014.

Havana Club’s Maestro Ronero, Don Asbel Morales states “For the new Especial we wanted to deepen the taste profile and aroma by blending rums aged in young white oak barrels. What’s unique and different in this recipe is the production process we have adopted whereby the rum bases are aged in white, young oak barrels before being blended and aged for a second time ahead of bottling. This we call double-ageing”.

Especial contains more than one rum base and it takes at least five years to produce, showing Havana Club’s commitment to the production of  Aged Rums from Cuba.

Havana Club Especial is served best in a the iconic ‘Cuba Libre’ drink – simply Havana Club Especial, Coke & Squeeze of lime.







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