Beer, Wine & Spirits: The world of rum – the underrated spirit

Posted on: April 29, 2023

This month I am going to focus on one of the spirits that I think many don’t appreciate as much as they should in Canada, which has always been a country where Canadian rye whisky reigns supreme. Drizly is an alcohol e-commerce platform and they are forecasting after surveying 1000 adults in the USA in October 2022 that in 2023 more than one-third of respondents said they were likely to spend the most money on rum (33%), which triumphed against Bourbon (32%) and American whiskey (31%). Tequila claimed the highest stake at 35%, but that is USA and not Canada so we won’t dwell on tequila. In regards to first choice for a spirits base in a ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail, 34% of those surveyed ranked rum above whiskey (31%) and gin (17%), with vodka a preferred choice of 61% of consumers. Additionally, 47% of respondents said they anticipate drinking RTDs during all seasons this year, and finally, 34% of respondents said that they will ‘proactively shop for drink deals’ in 2023 due to inflation.

It is forecasted that between 2021 through 2026, premium rum volume sales are expected to climb by a compound annual growth rate of over 7% according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. One of the latest is by a Trinidadian who left Starbucks as their VP Global retail and beverage innovation: Marc-kwesi Farrell lives in New York and in 2018 founded ‘Ten to One’ premium blended rum – a light (white) and dark – which uses rums from four different Caribbean countries. The white is a blend of column still rum from the Dominican Republic, with higher ester pot still rum from Jamaica which comes in at 45%abv, perfect for cocktails. The dark rum is a masterful blend of 8 year old Barbados and Dominican column still rums, combined with high-ester Jamaican pot still rum, and Trinidadian rum. It is aged in American white oak ex-bourbon casks and is a complex rum to enjoy on its own or on the rocks.

Neither have any additives (no sugar, colouring or flavouring which is used by other well known brand rum producers).  It is $45USD but not yet available in Canada. So if you travel, bring back a bottle as your Duty Free.

But now for some premium rums available here at the LCBO that you should try, to expand your spirits palate!

Bacardi 10 Year Old Gran Reserva Gold Rum, LCBO#548420 in Smiths Falls at $48.20, described as an iconic velvety Puerto Rican rum that is barrel aged under the Caribbean sun for a minimum of 10 years. It exudes tropical banana and pear, caramelized vanilla and a touch of oak.

Ron Zacapa 23 Centenario Rum, LCBO#273516 at $84.95 Save $5.00 until April 23rd, a Guatemalan beauty which “Has the brown/chestnut appearance of older oloroso sherry; unblemished clarity. Opening sniffs encounter deep scents of brown sugar and toffee; six more minutes add succulent aromas of candied walnut, toasted marshmallow, treacle and dark, old honey. Entry is round, supple, oily and creamy in texture, with highlights of burnt sugar and cocoa; midpalate is suddenly quite earthy, grassy and lean, with pocket flavors of treacle and marzipan. Concludes medium-long, sappy bittersweet and almost nutty/nougaty.” Spirit Journal 2011 Rating: 4 Stars Highly Recommended. This is so smooth and complex, to be enjoyed on its own, and it is one of my favourites!

El Dorado Special Reserve 15 Year Old Rum, LCBO#705418  $ $73.15, crafted from a combination of rums in Guyana as old as 25 years and rested in old bourbon casks, amber colour filled with aromas of roasted coffee, candied orange, nuts, dark chocolate and spice. The rounded palate is complex and versatile with notes of grilled tropical fruit and spice which lead to a silky smooth finish. I first discovered this great rum in Belgium on sale with a labeled rum glass and brought it home as my Duty Free at the time. It also comes in a lovely 12 year old for $45.40 Save $4.00 until April 23rd.

Appleton Estate 15 Year Old, LCBO#19826  $79.95 Save $5.00 until April 23rd 
Appleton Estates has the honour of being Jamaica’s oldest distillery. This flavourful rum pours deep amber and boasts aromas and flavours of vanilla, marmalade, oak, and toffee. An ultra-smooth palate leads to a medium-bodied and fruity finish. Serve neat after dinner or pair with jerk chicken thigh sliders. I have been a fan of Appleton Estate rums of several varieties for many years and I am sure you will like it too!

There are others, but now you can look for them and discover the preferred drink of pirates and old scuba wreck divers like me, me hearties!

Column by Brian Preston

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News