Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Re-educating Rum Consumers About What Importance Age Carries in the Final Product

“Consumers need to be re-educated about the significance of age statements associated with rum and understand the importance of maturation better, a distiller has stated.”

Bacardi UK brand ambassador Metinee Kongsrivilai
     Bacardi UK brand ambassador Metinee Kongsrivilai explaining the distillation process of Bacardi rums, A London Cocktail Week seminar called ‘Does age matter, an exploration with the expert’, hosted by Bacardi UK brand ambassador, Metinee Kongsrivilai, in association with Abhishek Banik, former teaching assistant of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and distiller of Ogilvy Spirits, Banik stated that “maturation is what’s important, not ageing”.
     The hour-long presentation delved into the importance of age statements for rum, its involvement in the character of the product and other factors that contribute to the flavor, taste and appearance of the spirit.
     “If you age it for too long you get too much of the wood,” Banik said. “People focus on the number of years something has been aged, but maturation is what’s important, not ageing.
     “The whisky industry has already realized it and there are definitely parallels to be drawn across the both categories, but I think the rum industry has got a job making people aware that age does not equal quality.”
Defining quality
     Both Kongsrivilai and Banik stressed that Bacardi’s focus was not on age as each product is blended to a specific flavor profile, not time frame.
     Bacardi 8 is the only Bacardi rum to carry a number, which represents the youngest rum in the blend rather than the oldest because the “oldest rum varies as we blend to a specific flavor profile,” explained Kongsrivilai.
     “Consumers are more curious and more picky to understand about quality,” Kongsrivilai added. “They are definitely interested but they have not reached that stage where they really understand that age doesn’t define a product’s quality.”

     I have always found that believing in age statements doesn’t buy you  quality in most rums that I have been associated with.  I have found some very young rums to have better flavor profiles that many of the ones with older age statements.  In fact, I have found very few rums that boast age statements over 2o years that have impressed my palate.

     I tend to agree that the blending of several aged rums with different barrel histories has overall been more impressive to my palate that those with all of the wines being of the same age.  Different woods and what the barrel was used to age prior to the rum seems to have more influence on the flavor of the finished product that does how long it has been in the barrel.  ;o)