Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Captain Morgan Surpasses Bacardi as Britain's Biggest Rum Brand

     Sales across Captain Morgan's portfolio of rums surged by $10,319,371.31 over the past 12 months, our Britain's Biggest Alcohol Brands 2018 report reveals Brits' love of spiced rums has sent Captain Morgan sailing past Bacardi to become the nation's favorite rum brand.

     Sales across Captain Morgan's portfolio of rums surged by £7.8m to £123.2m over the past 12 months, with £6.9m of that growth coming from its Spiced flavor, our Britain's Biggest Alcohol Brands 2018 report reveals. Which makes Captain Morgan not only the nation's favorite rum but Britain's 24th biggest alcohol brand.  Bacardi's sales, meanwhile, have fallen £6m to £111.3m, with £4.5m disappearing from its flagship Carta Blanca SKU.

     Rum sales have skyrocketed over the past year. According to WSTA figures, sales in the UK broke the £1bn mark over the 12 months to 24 March 2017, while value and volume sales rose 31% and 16% respectively over the past four years.  Yet nearly all the growth has come from spiced or 'golden' rums such as Captain Morgan, which are up 15% to £132m. White rum sales have fallen 2% to £137m [WSTA].  The market had "delivered challenges", admitted Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands MD Amanda Almond. However, she stressed the brand "enjoyed growth thanks to the launch of new products" such as posh spiced rum Bacardi Añejo Cuatro and Bacardi Raspberry. "Bacardi rum has been in existence for over 155 years and we fully intend to add at least another 155 years."

     The category had been "given a boost by the nation's thirst for craft cocktails", said WSTA CEO Miles Beale. "Ten years ago there were only 50 rum brands on the UK market, which has now increased to over 150. There are 315 distilleries across the UK making world-class gins and whiskeys and now many are adding rum."

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Forget the Caribbean: Was Rum Invented in India?

      Newly discovered evidence suggests that rum production predates the Caribbean by at least 1,000 years and may began in South East Asia.  Dave Wondrich’s article says that rum may have conceived years before the Caribbean even got its first sugarcane.

     Which brings us to rum. The start line for the spirit's History has traditionally been drawn on the Caribbean island of Barbados in 1645, give or take a year, with English colonists responsible for its invention. A few modern historians take a somewhat wider view. Frederick H. Smith, in his groundbreaking 2005 study Caribbean Rum, observes that cane distillation was recorded in Martinique in 1640, and that it may have been brought to both that island and Barbados by Dutch colonists fleeing the Portuguese reconquest of northern Brazil, occupied by the Dutch since 1630. The Dutch may have started the practice there or picked it up from the Portuguese colonists.

     This doesn’t really surprise me, considering that sugarcane had its beginning in different locations in Southeast Asia.  Sugarcane originated in tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea. Originally, people chewed sugarcane raw to extract its sweetness.

     Reaching yet further into that murk, and further by quite a bit, and highlight a few documents that have not been generally included in the History of rum. They come not from the Caribbean, or the New World at all, but from Asia. In the absence of a comprehensive history of distillation in that vast, and vastly diverse, continent, they are widely scattered and lacking in context, but that does not mean they should be left out of the History of rum, as thus far most have been.

     The first is a section of the Ain-i-Akbari, the "Constitution of Akbar," a work (in Persian) compiled around 1590 by Abu'l Fazl ibn Mubarak, Grand Vizier to Akbar, the Moghul Emperor of India, whose realm, encompassing northern India, parts of Afghanistan and the eastern parts of Iran, held a fifth of the world's population. In a survey of all the useful plants to be found in that empire, Abu'l Fazl includes a section on sugar cane. After briefly discussing the types of cane and their cultivation, he adds (in H. Blochmann's 1873 translation) that "sugarcane is also used for the preparation of intoxicating liquor."

     First, he explains, the cane is pounded together with acacia bark (here, I believe, as preservative) and then the juice is fermented for a week or longer. Sometimes unrefined sugar is added, or other aromatics, or even pieces of meat. Then the liquid is strained and sometimes drunk as is. However, as Abu'l Fazl adds, "it is mostly employed for the preparation of arrack."

Like "salsa," "arrack," also written as "rack," is one of those words that, though they have perfectly clear equivalents in English, are rarely translated, thus making the things they designate sound exotic. In this case, the word means simply "distilled spirit" and is applied to local spirits from the Eastern Mediterranean all the way to the Indonesian archipelago, encompassing a variety of liquors as different from each other as mezcal and Cherry Heering. In India alone, in the 1500s, it could be made from, among other things, palm sap, cashew fruit, mahua-tree leaves or, as in this case, sugar cane.
Abu'l Fazl then goes on to describe precisely how this cane arrack is made, detailing-and quite accurately-the three different kinds of still used (to modern students of the history of distillation these are known as the "Gandharan," for which see below, the "Mongolian" and the "Chinese") and adding that "some distil the arrack twice, when it is called Duátasha, or twice burned; it is very strong."  The geography part, at least, is easy: although cane was grown in various parts of the Indian subcontinent, its historical heartland was a broad swath of territory running along the Himalayas from Kandahar, in what is now Afghanistan, all the way through Lahore and Delhi and Calcutta to the Bay of Bengal. By the 1500s, the industry was centered in the province of Bengal-modern Bangladesh.  As for its consumption, we know one thing: its use need not have been confined to the empire's non-Muslim subjects. The Moghuls were imperfect Muslims in this respect, and alcohol was frequently consumed at all levels of Moghul society, right up to the very Emperors themselves, all of whom were topers, and some of them to notorious excess.

     This is only a short synopsis of the article, that if you are interested in can be read in its entirety at

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Willy T Will Return

The Willy T Before Irma
     We are finally well on our way here in key west in our repairs after Irma.  I often think about the other island that were in her path and so many wonderful places that were destroyed Throughout the Caribbean.  One of these was the William Thornton, better known as the Willy T.  Great news out of the British Virgin Islands recently, the new Willy T will be in the same place very soon.

     The William Thornton (Willy-T) Floating Bar & Restaurant, which is known for its lure of adventure-seekers, is expected to be back in operation this month.  The restaurant which usually operates on the south-west corner of The Bight off Norman Island was ‘an absolute right off’ following last year’s hurricanes, Manager Ewan Anderson said.
     In an exclusive interview with BVI News, Anderson said the replacement vessel will be almost an exact replica of the previous steel boat.  He said the remains of the old vessel are still on the beach and will be removed and sold for scraps soon.  “We are building a new Willy T,” he said. “It is the same kind of ship [but] a bit larger and it will be in the same place.”  “We are going to drive it down next month,” he added.
New Boat Costly
     The vessel was sourced in the United States and is currently being retrofitted.  And while remaining tight-lipped on the overall cost of the undertaking, Anderson admitted that it is costly.  “We are putting a lot of money back into it. Willy T will be back at a vast expense,” he noted.
Willy-T Coming Back Important
     Anderson said his family, which has been operating the unique business for more than 35 years, believes “it’s absolutely tantamount” to restore Willy T.  “It is one of the top ten attractions in the BVI. It’s a big tourist attraction,” he stressed.  He said fans of the restaurant are eagerly awaiting its return

     There are no pictures of the new Willy T at this time,.but I hope one will be made available soon 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bahia Honda Marina,The One Place That Hasn't Reopened at the State Park

     One of Marta's and my favorite places to head to when we want to get away for a couple of days is the Bahia Honda Marina.  We pull in and spend a couple of days in our "Aqua-camper" and relax and enjoy kayaking, and sitting in the open water area just outside of the marina entrance and enjoy our cocktail hour as the sun sets.  I just hope that they can get it operating again soon.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bacardi Aims to Eliminate 1 Billion Plastic Straws By 2020
     Bacardi has teamed up with environmental charity Lonely Whale to clamp down on single-use plastic and eradicate one billion plastic straws by 2020.  The latest collaboration from the drinks group, called The Future Doesn’t Suck, will also see Bacardi remove “non-essential”, non-recyclable single-use plastic across its global supply chain.  The campaign will feature numerous corporate and brand collaborations, events and global calls-to-action, and will also encourage consumers to join the movement and share ideas online via the hashtag #TheFutureDoesntSuck.   Rick Wilson, senior vice president of corporate responsibility for Bacardi, said: “Engaging our accounts and our consumers in the reduction of single-use plastic is a critical next step in helping to put an end to plastic pollution.
     “Single-use plastic items are among the most collected pieces of trash in our oceans, and we are urging our consumers to add ‘no plastic straw, please’ to every drink order so together we can make an impactful change.” The Future Doesn’t Suck campaign will initially launch in London, where Bacardi and Lonely Whale will work with consumers and businesses to help them cut down on their plastic straw usage.  A number of illustrations will accompany the campaign, depicting the “devastating” impact of single-use plastic straws on oceans. Bacardi will no longer be serving single-use plastic straws at branded events, music activations or the Bacardi Rum Truck, and will also be introducing biodegradable paper cups across its UK activations.
     Furthermore, Bacardi has launched a new training program at its global headquarters in Bermuda, designed to educate distributor partners and on-trade venues about plastic straw alternatives.  John Burke, chief marketing officer for Bacardi globally, said: “Our focus for the past two years has been leading the industry charge with our #NoStraws pledge and now is the time to review the larger issue of single-use plastic in the greater Bacardi world to determine how and where we can truly make a bigger difference and continue leading the charge to build a more sustainable future.  “I believe through collaborations like this one with Lonely Whale, where we can bring society and business together, we can make impactful change to ensure ‘the future doesn’t suck’.”  People keen to get involved in the campaign can learn more and commit to the cause by visiting

Friday, July 13, 2018

Hemingway Rum Company Steps into A New to Us Idea.

     The team at Hemingway Rum Company is stepping into a new era of rum making.   Today we made a fermentation with 10% Dunder in the fermentation.  This hopefully will give us a new flavor to our wash and finally to our rum.

     Sorry this is so short, but I've been in bed with the Key West Crud for the past three days.  I hopefully will be back on my feet in a few days.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The World's The Top 10 Best Selling Rum Brands

Number 1 Tanduay Rum
     Overall growth for the world’s third biggest spirit category may have been marginal last year, but there’s excitement to be found among rum’s largest producers. Spirits Business looks at how the big players are performing.  According to figures from market research provider Euromonitor, total rum sales experienced an increase of 0.7% to 144 million cases in 2017. 
     Meanwhile, data published in our Brand Champions 2018 report showed a mixed performance for brands across the rum category in 2017.  There was some jostling for the top spot, while several international brands, such as Captain Morgan and Havana Club, witnessed soaring sales.  The impact of demonetization and a highway ban on alcohol in India continued to affect the performance of local brands in 2017.
     Following our recently published Brand Champions 2018 report, our pick of those brands selling more than one-million cases annually – we run through the world’s best-selling rum brands on the market today.  Data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2018.  As there is no globally recognized definition of rum, brands featured on this list are all marketed as rums. 

10. Appleton Estate

2017: 1.2m
2016: 1.2m
% change: 0.0% 
Place last year: 10

Gruppo Campari’s Jamaican rum brand witnessed stagnant sales in 2017, remaining at 1.2m cases. The company’s total rum portfolio increased by 6.4% in Gruppo Campari’s 2017 Full year results. boosted by Jamaica, the UK, the US and Mexico.   In November 2017, Gruppo Campari unveiled a new campaign for Appleton Estate Rum inspired by the brand’s Jamaican heritage at New York’s JFK Airport.

9. Old Port Rum

2017: 1.3m
2016: 1.7m
% change: -22.3% 
Place last year: 8
Indian brand Old Port Rum is owned by Bangalore-based Amrut Distilleries. The brand witnessed the biggest drop in sales across the best-selling rum brands, falling by -22.3%.
The brand most likely continued to see its sales slip due to the impact of demonetization and a blanket ban on alcohol sales within 500 meters of any highway in India in 2017.

8. Ron Medellin

2017: 1.6m
2016: 1.4m
% change: 15.7% 
Place last year: 9
Ron Medellin, owned by Fabrica de Alcoholes y Licores de Antioquia, experienced an impressive 15.7% growth in 2017 – the fastest growth rate among any million-case-selling rum brand.
Made in Colombia, Ron Medellin is predominantly consumed in Latin America. Its core range consists of a 12- and eight-year-old expression.

7. Contessa

2017: 1.8m
2016: 2.0m
% change: -10.1% 
Place last year: 7
Radico Khaitan-owned Contessa was hit hard by different market factors in India and continued to experience declines in 2017. The brand was unable to reach the 2m case mark it witnessed in 2015.
Radico says that Contessa is the most popular rum brand in India’s defense segment, with a 25% market share. It also has a presence in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, and is now rolling out to the US and Canada.

6. Barceló

2017: 2.2m
2016: 2.1m
% change: 6.3% 
Place last year: 6
The brand continued its solid performance last year, when it increased by 6.3% to hit 2.2m cases. Barceló has continued to witness consistent sales and hasn’t declined in five years, according to Brand Champions data.
Produced in the Dominican Republic by Ron Barceló since 1950, Barceló is sold in more than 50 countries.

5. Havana Club

2017: 4.4m
2016: 4.2m
% change: 4.8% 
Place last year: 5
Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club brand has witnessed consistent growth, increasing by 4.8% in 2017. In the company’s H1 results, Havana Club increased by 7% with “good and improving growth”, driven by Cuba, Russia and Germany.
The brand’s legal row with Bacardi over the Havana Club Trademark intensified last year after the latter company launched a Forever Cuban campaign that contained “misleading statements”.

4. Captain Morgan

2017: 11.7m
2016: 10.7m
% change: 9.3%
Place last year: 4

This year’s Rum Brand Champion, Diageo-owned Captain Morgan, boasted the highest rate of growth for any international rum brand.
Global brand director Nik Keane attributes Captain Morgan’s success to innovation and its growing presence in markets including the UK, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and France.
Diageo recently launched a number of shot-inspired flavor extensions, including watermelon and coconut, and tweaked the bottle design to create a "more modern brand visual identity".

3. McDowell’s No.1 Rum

2017: 12.5m
2016: 14.9m
% change: -16.1%
Place last year: 3
Last year, Indian rum brand McDowell’s No.1 Celebration – owned by Diageo’s United Spirits unit – experienced a double-digit decline of -16.1% to 12.7m cases.
Unfortunately, the world’s best-selling rum brand in 2015 continued its rapid decline last year, while successfully holding onto third position among the best-selling rum brands.

2. Bacardi

2017: 16.8m
2016: 17.2m
% change: -2.7%
Place last year: 1

It’s a new position for Bacardi as it slips from the top spot to become the second best-selling rum in the world.
Bacardi recently shifted its focus to more premium positioning, releasing two new products with higher price points in April this year. But will its premiumization efforts pay off this year?

1. Tanduay

2017: 19.5m
2016: 16.6m
% change: 17.5%
Place last year: 2

Philippine brand Tanduay has overtaken Bacardi to become the world’s best-selling rum brand after reporting 17.5% growth last year. The brand was almost neck and neck with its rival Bacardi in 2017, but managed to experience an astounding increase to claim the top spot for the first time. The brand is getting ever closer to the 20m case mark it once held in 2012. Tanduay is the best-selling rum in Asia and is now available in the US.