Clarendon Estate distillery in Jamaica is one of the four major rum producers on the island. It’s also part of the National Rums group. The bulk of the rum they produce goes off to be blended into various rum brands like Captain Morgan. However, they do produce their own very high-quality premium brand which is called Monymusk. This is a blend of much older-aged rum casks. At the distillery itself, they have a variety of different stills. From column stills producing very light rum, to pot stills producing the heavier more traditional Jamaican style rum. The Monymusk rum we recently tried in the office was a nine-year-old and came in at 62%… It had really aged well in the tropical heat with a lot of rich nutmeg and spice flavours. These were underpinned with pineapple and tobacco leaf.
Clarendon Estate distillery is probably the least well-known of the four Jamaican producers. This is most likely due to them making rum for a variety of other companies’ brands. However, rum’s proven its worth and its versatility as a whole has attributed to its huge market growth, which is forecast to continue over the next five years and beyond. Clarendon Estate in particular we believe is one to watch. The pot still rum they produce is excellent and in our opinion, is well worth adding to any rum cask portfolio.
We currently have 2007 Clarendon Estate barrels on our stock list. To find out more about Rum Cask Investment, contact The Masters today!
What is rum? Is it white, or clear, and the essential ingredient to a much-loved Mojito and Daiquiri cocktails? Is it spiced and perfect when paired with a mixer like ginger beer or coke? Or, is rum dark and best enjoyed neat?
Rum is all of these things. Its versatility is one of the reasons for huge market growth which is forecast to continue over the next five years and beyond.
Welcome to the rum revolution
Rewind 40 years or so to when the first whiskies were being put into single casks aged in different wood.
Rum is now being matured in much the same way as whisky and it’s all about the wood. Sherry butts, wine barrels and Sauternes casks are all being used to age rum. These are to be sold in individually numbered, limited edition bottles.
However, the exciting thing about rum is there is a much wider variety available from around the world. as opposed to the fantastic but small regions of Scotland. This means more choice, more flavours and much more variety; albeit cask rum is only available to buy in small quantities.
Rum is following in the footsteps of cask-strength whisky. we believe this will be an exciting journey for connoisseurs, enthusiasts and the rum-curious.
Rum is the oldest distilled spirit. It was first made in the Caribbean and South America, before New England, and now it’s being made and enjoyed worldwide. Craft rum is increasingly becoming a firm favourite of whisky and spirit connoisseurs. Distillers continue to drive experimentation in the category and propel premiumisation.
Independent bottlers are seeing a demand for aged rum. Consumers are getting a thirst for an exciting and extensive range of flavours and ages from around the world.
The next big thing
For more than a decade, rum has been seen by many experts as the spirit that hasn’t quite broken through. However, in the last couple of years this seems to have changed. As with whisky it takes a little time for its popularity to expand from the experts to the new cognoscenti. then in turn from them to the general public. For proof of this, one just has to look at the expansion of rum on our shop shelves.
The audience is already becoming established as more and more limited edition bottles come to market, regular rum tastings are being hosted and even auctions are taking place.
When Cask Trade started in 2018 cask rum didn’t feature on the stock list. but now it’s an important part of the portfolio because of the demand.
With the ascendance of Scotch whisky well and truly established the question is, what’s next? It’s perhaps not a matter of what’s next, but rather what is going to join Scotch at the top table. With gin being a white spirit, although it is popular, there is no asset to invest in and, by nature, gin can be produced quickly and easily. There is no waiting time, and it is this waiting time that gives the opportunity for an investment.
There has been an even greater expansion in the specialist retailers. Small batch rums are frequently seen and single cask, cask strength offerings sell out very quickly in a manner very reminiscent of whisky. The difference at the moment is that there are fewer well-known rum distilleries than there are global whisky distilleries by quite some way. As the demand rises, production is going to take some time to catch up. Added to this there are, as with whisky, closed distilleries like Caroni, and cult distilleries like Hampden. The bottle auction prices of these rums have increased dramatically over the last couple of years. And so the investment opportunities become obvious. It’s not a matter of the possibility of rum being the next big thing, simply a matter of where on the curve will you get in? Welcome to the rum revolution!
So far this year, Cask Trade has invested more than £500,000 in single cask rum following a demand from independent bottlers as consumers get a taste for it.
Managing Director of Cask Trade, Simon Aron, is confident cask-strength rum will have investment value in time but, as yet, this is untested.
“If rum was to follow the same path as whisky as it gets older and rarer it should appreciate in value. It’s difficult to know if this will happen in the same way as we are really at the beginning of the market. I am confident it will appreciate with age, we just don’t know at what rate. It was the same as with whisky about 40 years ago,” says Simon, who explains Cask Trade has bought rum casks from 15 different countries. These include those in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.
Barbados is the birthplace of rum, and it’s also where you’ll find the world’s finest distillery, Foursquare. This artisanal, family-run distillery produces legendary rum with a dry, rich, spice-forward style that is simply extraordinary. Their beautiful rum is naturally more aligned with cask strength styles, so it could be an obvious investment choice.
Among the fine rum casks available on the current stock list, the 2007 barrel of Foursquare Barbados Rum stands out.
Like with everything sold by Cask Trade, all rum casks are re-gauged and tasted by our spirits masters. The rum casks purchased have traceable provenance and are stored in bonded warehouses in the UK and will finish their life aging in a more temperate climate.
All the rums available are powerful and very high ABV and can be diluted in order to produce more bottles and add to the value of the cask.
The Cask Trade team are big believers in rum in terms of the taste, variety and quality and see rum casks as an extension of the portfolio moving forward.
Could cask rum add a little spice to your investment portfolio?
Cask Trade’s Keeper of the Quaich and all-round spirits expert, Sir Colin Hampden-White, has had the pleasure of sampling some of our new cask rum. Like whisky, rum differs in style and so he has grouped these together as Fruity & Sweet, Complex & Aromatic, Funky and Estery.
Fruity & Sweet
Barbados Rum 2007 (Foursquare Distillery)
Nose: Orange marmalade, orchard fruits, wildflowers, coconut water
Palate: Orange chocolate, honeysuckle, apricot jam
Guyana Rum 2010 (Diamond Distillery)
Nose: Juicy white grape gummies, kumquats, candied ginger, banana fritters
Perhaps seen as an unlikely pairing, when combined they complement each other perfectly – just ask the Masters, who hosted a delightful evening sampling some fine rums and rather decadent cheeses.
The line-up consisted of an eclectic mix from around the world; Chaource paired with Guyana Diamond (Port Mourant Still) 11 YO; truffled brie with Jamaican Clarendon Estate 13 YO; Mrs. Bell’s Blue with a Nicaragua 17 YO chaser and Barbadian Foursquare 12 YO paired with a french comté. There were also some bonus rums on the menu including Foursquare Principia and a Dictado 38-year-old
A good time was certainly enjoyed by all!
New to rum and contemplating adding a cask to your Investment Portfolio? Feel free to try before you buy – contact the team today to arrange your very own tasting session in our sampling room casktrade.com/contact-us/
In recent years, single cask rum has been favoured by many a whisky connoisseur as a “malternative“. Rum is produced by a process of fermentation and distillation, followed by aging in oak casks. You may notice this is comparable to whisky to a large extent. The raw material of rum typically comes from sugarcane by-products, such as molasses, or directly from fresh sugarcane juice (rhum agricole). This highly depends on the region of production.
The Caribbean and Latin America have a long history of being recognised as the cradle of famed rum producers. Although in the modern age, great rums are produced just about everywhere in the world.
Many whisky-lovers have encountered a common problem when they first dive into the world of rum, as there is little to no universal standards or classifications in rum. For example, Jamaican rum has different tiers of ester levels in their liquid and Guyana rum uses various usage of stills; pot stills, column stills, or even wooden stills…
Fortunately, our knowledgeable team at Cask Trade are on hand to answer any queries you may have surrounding rum and rum cask investment. What’s more, we can help you to understand which casks to buy for whatever purpose suits you. Be it for investment, bottling or purely for your enjoyment, get in touch with us. We will embark on the journey of rum with you!