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Issue 82 - Rum in the tropics

Whisky Magazine Issue 82
September 2009

 

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Rum in the tropics

Welcome to our second rum special. If last year's was an introduction to what has been the world's forgotten spirit, then this time we are examining some of the links which exist between rum and whisky: links which speak of a shared heritage, and also shared flavours: if you like the notes of vanilla, coconut, chocolate and spice in whisky then you are already half-way to premium rum. Then there are shared commercial links, shown by the new relationship between Brugal and one of the leading players in premium Scotch.

First of all though we are going to look at another similarity between rum and single malt – the growth of independent bottlers. It's easy to think of them as being a recent phenomenon,though as we will see many have as long a history of bottling rum as they do single malt.

Rum and whisky are linked. Accept it and revel in it.

Independent whisky bottlers' interest in rum is not a new development. In some cases it predates their interest in whisky and starts in the 18th century,when rum was by far the more popular spirit in Britain. Things were easy for the rum lover then. Rum punch was the drink of choice, the mojito of its day. (Funny how things come full circle.) Ale houses became punch taverns, just as pubs become bars today, rum was elevated to being the tipple of the literary classes, the elite. If the masses drank gin or ale, then their betters supped at the rum punch bowl. Neither was this solely an English phenomenon.

Glasgow, it was reckoned, made ...

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