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Will premium rum be the new luxury spirits trend?

Claims that rum is about to have a renaissance have been around since, well, maybe the Renaissance. But with rum now accounting for 11.3% of the total spirits category, could it finally be finding its feet?

Will premium rum be the new luxury spirits trend?

A new trends report put out by Master of Malt found that rum accounted for 11.3% of the total spirits category over Q1 and Q2 of 2022, compared to just 9% in 2021.

As we come to the end of 2022, the year has seen limited allocations of high-end, premium rum expressions fly out of the door, according the online retailer, which has also seen more demand for the purchase of whole rum casks as well as bottles.

This trend towards premiumisation ties in with the recent news that rum sales have now overtaken whisky, reaching £1 billion a year in the UK.

Collectability is the key to the spirit’s success here, as rum follows in whisky’s footsteps.

Indeed, brothers Bernard and Richard d’Offay, co-founders of rum brand Takamaka, told the drinks business that “transparency” — understanding what goes into a premium serve and how it is made — is the key to elevating rum’s position.

The brothers have also noticed a rise in premium spiced rum, which is reflected in Master of Malt’s findings. According to the retailer, spiced and flavoured expressions now make up 49% of the category, compared with 46.5% in 2021.

“Aside from our super premium releases, Pti Lakaz and Grankaz, which are all centred on blends of aged rums, the other trend we’ve noticed is the rise in premium spiced rum. Our botanical rum Zepis Kreol, for instance, is all about using local fresh spices, macerated with aged rum, giving us opportunity to elevate and hone our creativity. Celebrating locality and nurturing local talent resonates well with our consumers and this has shifted to premium rums in the category,” the brothers said.

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