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October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine

Aged Rums Gain New Appeal and Market Share in the US

Friday, 20 July 2007
Source: Market Wire

New York , NY : Move over cognac! According to a July 16 issue of Time Magazine, under "Global Business," more consumers are reaching for a bottle of aged rum to pour in their crystal snifters versus other aged spirits. Aged rums have new snob appeal among hip cocktail aficionados. Sales of high-end rums in the U.S. have increased 45 percent in the last three years to $287 million, according to the Distilled Spirits Council in Washington , DC .

That's good news for Puerto Rican producers, since local laws require that all Puerto Rican rum be aged a minimum of one year in charred white oak barrels. Seventy percent of all rum sold in the U.S. is from Puerto Rico . All of it is aged, as required by law.

"There is learning and growth going all around regarding spirits with much focus being on rum. For me, the essence of an aged rum is best enjoyed in a snifter. The maturing of rum brings out the complexity and beauty of the product. In the cooler months of the year here in New Orleans , I have guests that enjoy an aged rum much like many enjoy a fine cognac at the end of a meal," said Lu Brow, mixologist for New Orleans ' Cafe Adelaide.

Puerto Rican rums can be aged as little as one year and as long as 15 years. Rums aged for one year are called "blanco" and are light in color. They are versatile and mix well with fresh juices or light sodas. Rums aged for at least two years are amber in color and have more body. These mix best with colas and ginger ale. Dark rums, called anejo, are aged at least three years and often much longer. These rums are full bodied with caramel, nut and honey notes and should be enjoyed like a fine cognac, served straight up in a snifter. Another growing category, according to Rums of Puerto Rico, is flavored rums, which are lighter and are infused with fruit flavors.

"Aged rums are not only wonderful enjoyed on their own but are another color on the creative mixologist's palate of flavors," noted Las Vegas beverage consultant Tony Abou-Ganim ("The Modern Mixologist").

Puerto Rican rum is distilled from molasses. The quality of all rum is based on four factors: fermentation, distillation, aging and blending. The process for each master distiller is proprietary, from extracting yeast cultures to the intricate blending of spices and fruit flavors. The results can be enjoyed by consumers around the U.S. from some of the best-known rum brands from Puerto Rico : Bacardi(R), Captain Morgan(R), Don Q(R) and Ron del Barrilito(R).

Rums of Puerto Rico, a division of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), was created in 1948 to promote the sale of all rums shipped from Puerto Rico to the mainland U.S. Rums of Puerto Rico sponsors events in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.