A few weeks ago I touched upon this glorious spirit in a beginners guide to spiced rum, which covered the bases of production and how distilleries are spicing their rum. The world of rum still can be very confusing as there are many different countries producing different styles. So in this week’s blog we explore them a little more.
Of course, it isn't possible to grow sugarcane in the UK so a majority of the producers in the UK source their base spirits from different countries, they are often then re-distilled or blended and aged. There is also a rise of rum producers fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses in order to create their own rum.
The distiller can also add a range of different spices or fruit depending on what style of rum they would like to produce. But what style they would like to make depends a lot on the country they source the spirit from. So we are going to have a look at the different styles that these countries are famous for to give you an understanding of what you are drinking. We shall also give you some recommendations of some of our favourite rums from these regions so you can discover the regional expressions.
Rum is often associated with the Caribbean but a large amount is produced in South American countries. Sugarcane was introduced to the ‘New World’ by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Guyana is known as demerara country, the river is even named after it and sugarcane lines its banks. There is only one surviving distillery left in the country which is Diamond Distillers. They have accumulated some of the best and oldest stills including a 250 year old wooden pot still and the world's oldest pot still. This gives the rum such a wonderful complex taste that many producers love to use this as the base for spicing and building layers of flavour.
Rum Production in Panama started in the 1920 and is in the classic Spanish style being lighter in style. They have very fresh and fruity flavours that emulate Cuban styles. These lighter fruity rums were made for the American market as they are easy drinking and perfect in cocktails.
Rockstar’s Banana Bomb utilises the fruity elements of the rum to blend with the big flavours of banana. WildJac’s Honey Spiced Rum also uses rum from Panama but they blend it with Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras rums.
The Caribbean is the true birthplace of rum. The growth of sugarcane is said to have started back in the 15th century with Barbados rum production starting in 1703. There are many islands producing amazing rum if you want to investigate further, especially French Islands and Cuban styles that are great for cocktails. But we shall concentrate on some of the countries used in our favourite styles.
Rums have been produced here for over 300 years! Distilleries on the island use pot stills extensively so the rums are full of flavour, body and depth.
Jamaica became the largest producer of sugar in the 18th century with a large portion being imported to the UK. Rums here are full bodied with big, concentrated flavours due to the heavy use of pot stills. These concentrated rums are often used in blends to add weight and flavour.
These are utilised in the fantastic rums produced by RumTing, adding a beautiful balance to fruit and spice flavours added to the rum through maceration and distillation.
The rise in popularity of craft distillation has seen the rise in production of different styles of rum being produced around the world.
The UK has a long history associated with rum, including some of the most horrific aspects of history due to the slave trade. But in recent times there has been a growth, with many distillers now producing some of their own styles of rum. Utilising imported molasses which are then fermented and distilled by local producers.
The Shakespeare Distillery produces Jester Rum, spiced with influences from the Tudor times it has a beautiful balance of flavour. Wester Distillery based in Glasgow has also started distilling their own style of rum from scratch. They ferment the molasses in open top wooden casks before distilling in pot stills to create rich full bodied flavours. These work beautifully with the influences they add such as chocolate, coffee and pineapple.
Pop in to see us in store and we can guide you through our rum selection and be sure you go away with a tasty new tipple!