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Issue 74 - But why the rum?

Whisky Magazine Issue 74
September 2008


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But why the rum?

Dave tell's it like it is.

Quite when rum's new boom first happened it's hard to tell. In some ways, it just sneaked up on us. Let me start at the beginning, or rather my beginning as far as writing about rum was concerned. It was in the mid-90s and a rash of gold rums (as we called them then) had just been tentatively launched in the UK. My paper's annual rum feature was due to be written and to be honest there was little new to report: Bacardi still dominated the market but didn't see the need to call itself a rum, dark rums were continuing their terminal decline. The only story was gold rum.So I organised a tasting in the shell of what was about to become London's first great style bar,The Atlantic.

We tasted and were blown away by the quality.‘Rum.. the next big thing', I wrote with supreme confidence.How could a spirit with such flavour, such versatility, such a back-story fail? Well,somehow, it did.Though the web of rum lovers grew,we were an underground movement, meeting in secret in out of the way bars to discuss our obsession.New brands would occasionally appear, then disappear, independent bottlings from Cadenhead,Gordon & MacPhail and Bristol Spirits gave hope but there was no great push.

It was like the days before malt whisky broke.

And now? Every day, every gossip column in the UK carries a story about the goings-on at Mahiki: a high-class tiki bar with a stellar range of rums in Mayfair.

Every second day samples of new rums land on the doorstep; I go to ordinary pubs and people are...

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