Dark or white for you? Rum is ready to take on its fine spirit rivals

With its unpretentious appeal and rich flavours minus the snobbery that accompanies some of its fine spirit rivals, Indian luxury consumer is looking beyond malts and gins, and veering towards rum

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Blame it on clever mixologists but many beverage specialists across the world are ready to bet that rum could be the next gin. It might sound like a back-handed compliment but gin’s rise has been one of the big spirits stories of the 2010s and rum looks set to emulate this resurgence. Earlier last year, Bacardi released Reserva Ocho — a fine rum with a lineage that dates back to 1862, for the Indian market. It’s a clear indication that the Indian luxury consumer is looking beyond malts and gins. 

While mixologists lean towards spiced rums and white rums, dark-aged rums are also on the radar. RumBah that debuted at the Ritz Carlton, Bengaluru in 2019 became India’s first high-end lounge bar dedicated to the ‘Spirit’ of Rum. The bar’s regulars don’t just come here for their daiquiri fix, but also indulge in fine rums that make the trek from the Caribbean where the fascinating tale of modern rum as we know it began. But most of all, rum’s resurgence is also about its unpretentious appeal and rich flavours minus the snobbery that accompanies some of its fine spirit rivals.

diplomatica reserva

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum: Rs 5,000 

Venezuela’s sugar plantations date back to the 16th century. That's why it should come as no surprise that the country is home to one of the world’s premier rum brands, Diplomatico. The band’s Reserva Exclusiva won gold at the International Sugar Cane Spirits Competition and  is crafted from a fine blend of 12-year-old copper pot-still rums made from molasses and sugarcane honey exclusively in Venezuela. The rum spends two years in ex-Bourbon American white oak barrels where it develops its unique flavours. 

Three fine rums to look out for at duty free shops around the world 

havana club

Havana Club – 3-year old Rum: Rs 3,000

Anyone who’s visited Havana will tell you that this is the rum locals swear by. Distilled from molasses and aged for three years in Cuba, this ultra-smooth white rum features hints of vanilla, smoked oak, almond pears and banana. Whether its Mojitos or Daiquiris, Havana Club is just what you need to liven up those rum cocktails. 

bacardi ocho reserva

Bacardi Ocho Reserva: Rs 3,000  

This story dates back to 1862 when the Bacardi Facundo family, the founding family of Bacardi, created a unique rum comprised of notes of wood, apricot, nutmeg and butterscotch, barrel-aged for a minimum of eight (hence the name Ocho) years under the Caribbean Sun. It stayed a family secret, reserved for the Bacardi family for seven generations making it one of the oldest private rums. 

black tot british royal naval rum

Black Tot British Royal Naval Rum: Rs 60,000

July 31, 1970 has come to be known as Black Tot Day, when the British Royal Navy ended the daily rum ration issued to its sailors. This deep, dark rum is a tribute to those sailors who braved tough conditions. Bold notes of dark berries, coffee and dark chocolate dominate this premium rum.

know your rum
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