Rum – still the next “most likely to” spirits category?

Noise from Tequila-drinkers notwithstanding, Rum could be the drink to take over from gin as the “next big thing”, but it will require a lot of rum-tasting ‘experiences’ to take place first.


“A decade ago, rum was regarded as a hot category,” states a report entitled Global rum insights – market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends  from just-drinks/IWSR, published last year.

It points out that, “Spiced rum was in the ascendency in the US and in Spain dark rum was booming.”

However rum’s fortunes began to decline between 2012 and 2016.

Today the prospects are brighter for the higher value segments of the rum category with the IWSR predicting a positive Category Annual Growth Rate of 1.3% to 2021, reaching 57.8 million cases.

So how has this move to premium been received by consumers in the bars here in Ireland?

IWSR Drinks Market Analyst Joe M Gray told Drinks Industry Ireland that the global rum industry generally is expected to decline by 0.1% between 2018-2022 with the Irish rum trade expected to decline by 1.5% between 2018-2022.

IWSR’s Ireland Country Report 2018 (from its Global Category Insights series) about the Irish rum market in 2017 found that this category “was another casualty of the gin craze.

“White rum especially was suffering from image and occasion problems. Consumers perceived it to be too similar to vodka, with no real distinguishing features.

“On the other hand, premium-and-above dark rums had cultivated a mystique that allowed them to successfully compete in the on-trade premium-and-above bespoke space. Nevertheless, volumes were still too small to offset wider category decline”.

But the CSO figures for imported rum in 2018 seem to tell a different story with the value of imported rum rising 30% to €7.1 million from €5.5 million and volumes growing by 42% over 2017.

The Irish Spirits Association put sales of rum at 173,500 nine-litres cases in 2017.

However either way rum has been rumoured to become heir to the gin throne and so the need remains for consumers to be educated about rum and the pub is just the place to do it.

In Mintel’s  Ireland whiskey and dark rum report from February this year, Mintel’s Research Analyst James Wilson states, Providing a wide range of different whiskey flavour profiles and expert information sessions during whiskey- and dark rum-tasting experiences will not only enable pubs and bars to deliver a more immersive experience to consumers interested in learning more about these complex products, but also help them to attract more visitors and boost usage of dark spirits within their premises”.

Rum cocktails are therefore one means of ensuring that rum sales are boosted, profit margins in the pub are good and the consumer gains that essential ‘experience’ when visiting an outlet.


Mount Gay Eclipse

Every rum has its own story of where it began. For Mount Gay that time and place is the Caribbean Island of Barbados in 1703. The abundance of molasses combined with the culinary ingenuity of early settlers and of course their legendary thirst for alcohol led to this unique discovery in the production of spirits.

Eclipse is the reference for character, body and aroma by which Master Blender Allen Smith blends every variety of Mount Gay Rum. Eclipse has a brilliant golden amber colour and a luxuriously complex aroma which gives distinctive floral and fruity notes of apricot and banana with hints of vanilla. Eclipse is warm, medium bodied with a bright finish. Subtle smokiness is imparted by the toasted Kentucky oak barrels in which the rum is aged.

Serving suggestion: 40ml into a glass with ice, fill glass with coke. Add Lime for garnish and that extra kick.

Mount Gay Eclipse distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Mount Gay Black Barrel

The latest from Master Blender Allen Smith, Black Barrel is a small-batch, hand-crafted blend made of matured double pot distillates and aged column distillates. The impact from the Bourbon barrel is intense and immediate with a blast of Bourbon oak right from the start.

This strong oak spice pretty much defines the Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum experience. In a process called finishing, the blended rum is matured for a second time in deeply charred Bourbon oak barrels. This unique process releases spicy aromas that are both balanced and bold. Complex aromas of spice and toasted wood are followed by fruit. Bold spicy taste is balanced with oaky vanilla and sweet caramel. Warm medium-bodied with a long finish, after the first sip of the Black Barrel the taste buds start to adapt to the spice and further flavour comes through. The mouth still waters and the finish leaves nice Oaked sour sweetness in the mouth.

Serving suggestion: Fill glass with ice, add 35ml of rum and fill with Ginger Beer. Add Lime wedge to garnish.

Mount Gay Black Barrel is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.



Bacardí’s new ‘Flavours’ portfolio

The world’s most awarded rum has unveiled plans to heat up the coming seasons with the debut of Bacardí Raspberry, Bacardí Ginger and Bacardí Spiced.

As a growing trend towards sweeter cocktails sweeps across Europe, the demand for flavoured spirits continues to grow thanks in part to the recent surge in popularity of pink and flavoured gins.
With two-thirds of flavoured spirit volume being driven solely by Millennials, the growing demand for colourful, Instagram-worthy drinks is undeniable.
It’s apparent that these drinks are key to driving consumer choice and trade-up.

Bacardís Raspberry, Ginger and Spiced have been crafted by the Maestros de Ron who shape and craft all the products in the Bacardí portfolio.

Bacardĺ Raspberry is a white rum infused with citrus and Raspberry flavours to create the mouth-watering taste mixture of sweet and tart. Aimed at the slightly sweeter palate, it seeks to drive the more seasonally-relevant flavours.

Perfect Serve – Raspberry Spritz

  • 5ml Bacardĺ Raspberry
  • 150ml Lemonade
  • Garnish: 2 Raspberries on a skewer
  • Method: Build in a Highball filled to the brim with ice.


Bacardĺ Ginger answers the call of one of the fastest-growing beverage trends of 2019. The notable surge of Ginger as a global taste profile has led to a demand for its more frequent inclusion in drinks. This golden rum infused with Ginger flavours creates a balanced mixture of both sweet and spicy followed by a satisfying aftertaste. 

Perfect Serve – Ginger & cola

  • 5ml Bacardĺ Ginger
  • 150ml Cola
  • Garnish: Lime Wedge
  • Method: Build in a Highball filled to the brim with ice.


Bacardĺ Spiced rum delivers the characteristics of an oak barrel with the essence of a Bourbon or brandy. Bacardĺ Spiced provides an easy-to-drink spirit whilst maintaining a very distinctive and unmistakable flavour profile.


Perfect Serve – Spiced and Cola

  • 5ml Bacardĺ Spiced
  • 150ml Cola
  • Method: Build in a Highball filled to the brim with ice.

For more information please contact your Edward Dillon representative.



Febvre gains AKAL Chai Rum

Febvre Wines has been appointed distributor for Akal Chai Rum. Owned by the Smak’s Luxury Group of Trinidad and Tobago, Akal Chai is the only West Indian botanical rum in the world. One of the last family-owned West Indian Rums, it’s a unique, ultra-premium spirit.

“The combination of Rum from the West Indies infused with two types of high-altitude tea leaves from India’s Darjeeling area with the addition of exotic spices and herbs aged in Bourbon barrels results in a truly unique flavour,” said Febvre’s Commercial Director Brendan Doyle, “As the only West Indies botanical rum Chai Rum is transforming West Indian rum in the world market”.

The dark amber colour, heady aroma and velvet finish of Chai rum are unique, produced by an innovative production process currently under patent.

It has won three awards including the i2i Award from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago recognising the innovative nature of the production process, a Gold medal for best cocktail at the Taste of St Croix 2016, the largest open rum competition in the West Indies and a rare 95 point rating from the Wines and Spirits Wholesalers of America.
Chai Rum’s creators also have a strong connection with Ireland. Kiran Akal has a medical degree from Ireland while John Fleming’s family is from Galway. European Brand Ambassador Eoin MacHale is from Leitrim.

For a list of extraordinary cocktails see our e-book.

Chai Rum Website:

Febvre Wines Website:


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