Friday, March 18, 2016

Will Sipping Rum finally go mainstream this year?

The Spirit industry is expanding at an unprecedented rate in the craft realm as Bourbon drives the market, along with Scotch, Gin and Tequila. Consumers are looking for better than average products and there are many artisan producers that want to answer the call. As more and more artisan products are being produced, there is seemingly no end to the options in the market place today.

The Brown spirits, Single Malt Scotch and Bourbon, are on fire and having a very difficult time keeping up with demand. In a recent article, we read that the 18 year old Scotch supplies have virtually dried  up and in just a few months they will become a memory along with their, even older, counterparts.  Even the extraordinary price hikes that suppliers have taken, in order to slow consumption, hasn't done the trick. The Bourbon world is feeling a similar crunch although its recovery and viability should be more manageable.

When we look at the popularity of Gin and Tequila, this is not an issue, as it takes much less time to get these products to market. Artisan producers, in these categories, simply need to make products that people are looking for and make them well, since the millennial crowd does not want to settle for their parents middle of the road selections. Botanical Gins seem to be going the way of Bourbons, and its' fan base, might have a good handful of selections on their bar and Tequila, especially the "sippers" which look to be moving in the same direction.

Rum seems to be the next logical choice since there are so many different types being produced on seemingly every island in the Caribbean along with many south American countries.  The continental US is even dabbling a bit. There are a great deal of delicious options available in the Aged Rum category and  the prices are pretty reasonable considering how much time they have been maturing.

We are being presented with something else from this category, a few times a week, and the shelf space can be made available. The only question is demand. There have been more requests for a good aged Rum in the past couple of years and our selection has grown substantially. The problem is, that for as good as these products are, there is not a very big interest. Appreciators of this spirit are just as passionate as those in the other categories, there just are not as many of them yet.

Perhaps in the spring and summer of 2016, these carefully crafted spirits will finally break through. Maybe we will see the re-emergence of cocktail parties featuring everyone's newest favorite spirit, Rum! The upcoming season could mark the beginning of our newest fascination as Rum gets recognized for the beauty it has always kept hidden inside of its bottle.  Maybe in a couple of years we will be talking about the type of shortages that there are in the other brown spirits categories.

Only time will tell.

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