“What one rum can do well, two or three rums can do better!”
That was the thinking that Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt a.k.a. Donn Beach a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber applied to his Rhum Rapsodies, the first tropical drinks that soon became known as tiki cocktails the world over. Donn Beach used two or more styles of Rum in his cocktails, building on the strength of a diverse spirit category that offered so many different flavour styles. Light Puerto Rican rum, alongside heavy, smoky Jamaican rums, alongside rich, molasses heavy Guyanese rums. Blending one or more of these rums together made the cocktail more complex, more flavoursome, and often more boozy (but that's a story for a different time).
What's this got to do with the new Boutique-y Signature Blends? Well, when tasked with coming up with some ideas for extending the delicious single cask, and limited release offerings into some permanent lines, I couldn’t help but think of Donn, and his approach to tiki cocktails. I didn’t want to rely on just one rum style, equally, the notion of trying to blend and balance out five, or even seven different rum styles felt like madness awaited! The permutations would drive a chap up the wall. Nope. I simply preferred to combine the characteristics of two rum styles, looking for harmony, and dimensionality.
Perhaps originally, envisioned for use in cocktails, the rums have to stand up being sipped neat and need to fit in with the rest of the range. So I thought about the two cocktails I really love – the Daiquiri and the Mai Tai – and what rums would work best in those serves. Although I’ve subsequently found the rums to work fantastically in all manner of different cocktails.
I like my Daiquiris to have nice translucency to them, as well as be bright and characterful, so I’m looking for predominantly unaged rum. So how about combining the bright, fresh, summer fruits, grassy vibe of Martinique Sugar Cane juice rum, with the tropical fruit, bold, funky vibe of Jamaican molasses rum? Yep we have a winner there. It just needed a little something to bring it together. So, we incorporated a small amount of 4-year-old Jamaican rum just to give a little more dimensionality and Bingo! Signature Blend #1 was born.
The Mai Tai needs heavier, aged rums to make it work - and immediately my mind ran to the rich, molasses-vibe that Guyana can offer. Combining these with the heavier, funkier rums from Jamaica we find the perfect combination. The aged rums offer the lovely dried fruit notes and structure, but we also wanted a little more, and so the addition of a small amount of unaged, high ester rum from Jamaica helped bring it all together into Signature Blend #2.
Increasingly, we see distilleries look to licence the use of their name in order for them to better grow their own products in the marketplace - a move we totally understand and endorse. You’ll have seen we’ve releases from Secret Distilleries #1, #2 and #3 available (and Secret Distillery #4 is coming soon), so you’ll understand some of the sources of the rums in our Signature Blends can’t be named, but we are able to tell you about the Guyanese element, in that it contains rums produced on three of the heritage stills at Diamond Distillery, namely the French Savalle Still - an old, but highly configurable continuous columns still set up, the Enmore Wooden Coffey Still and the Port Mourant Double Wooden Pot still. Each of these stills produces highly characterful distillate, and are highly prized by rum blenders for their unique qualities.
More details can be found here: https://www.demeraradistillers.com/our-heritage/the-stills
The power of these rums can be further explored, by blending Signature Blend #1 and #2 together in varying proportions in your cocktail. Honestly, I’m excited to explore the possibilities.
We talk about classification a lot at That Boutique-y Rum Company, and so where do these fit in? Well, we’ve both molasses and sugarcane juice as a base, multiple styles of distillation, multiple distilleries and different ages…
...so I reckon Blended Rum makes the most sense.
You can trust us not to mess around and go adding sugar, flavourings, or even colourant to the rum - that’s not our style - we want to let the rum do the talking.
We’d love to know how you get on with them, and I hope you have as much fun exploring these rums as I had in coming up with the blends.