Hayman Family Launch Charles Merser & Co. – London’s First Rum Blending House for Over 100 Years

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The Hayman family today announce the upcoming launch of Charles Merser & Co. – London’s first rum blending house for over one hundred years. Based from a four-story merchant’s house located just off the Strand and moments from the River Thames, the new brand will follow in the traditions of London’s late, great rum blending houses by sourcing, blending, marrying and bottling a range of aged Caribbean rums from the heart of the capital.

Explaining the motivation behind the new brand, James Hayman comments:
“For over one hundred years, the streets of London were home to a bustling network of merchant rum blending houses. The merchant’s skill lay not in distilling but rather in the sourcing, blending and secondary maturation of the rum. Our family was involved in the trade for some time – sourcing stock from West India Docks to create our own proprietary blends. We’re proud to play a role in bringing the lost craft of rum blending back to the city.”

The move marks a new phase for the Hayman family, who are best known for their eponymous range of gins.

Explaining the link between English Gin and London Rum, Brand Director Jonathan Gibson comments:
“Over recent years, people have come to understand the important role that gin has played in London’s social history but rum’s story remains untold. London was for a long time at the heart of the global trade in rum, with blending houses playing a vital role in creating the finished rums that were widely enjoyed in the 18th and 19th Centuries. With Merser’s we aim to explore that history, to bring back those lost traditions and to encourage a renaissance of interest in London rum.”

The project has been a major development – involving the creation of a London bonded warehouse for secondary cask maturation and the restoration of a 19th century merchant’s house from which the brand will prototype its blends, entertain trade and host consumer tours. The historically-informed Merser’s brand sets out to celebrate the layers of flavour that a traditional approach to rum blending can bring.

Explaining the method, James Hayman comments:
“We have taken great pains to make our London rums the same way they were made here over one hundred years ago. We source the best Caribbean rums we can find, we blend them to create balance, nuance and layers of flavour and then we marry them in cask – right here in London – for a period of months just as our predecessors did. We do not add sugar, flavours or colour. What you see is a natural product of distillation, careful blending and cask maturation – distilled in the Caribbean but very much made in London.”

The standout packaging has been carefully developed to tell a story about London’s historic connection to rum.

Explaining the design, Jonathan Gibson comments:
‘The pack is a celebration of London’s rum blending heritage. The dimpled texture of the bottle is a nod to the dappled surface of the River Thames, along which barges were once used to transport casks of rum to blending houses such as ours. The hound and post logo harks back to a time when the majority of Londoners were illiterate and would find their way to merchant houses by means of symbols. And the name itself is an old English occupational surname – literally meaning ‘merchant’ it is an allusion to the mercantile rum blending traditions that we are proud to bring back.”

Merser’s Double Barrel launches in the UK in October at an RRP of £38 with a listing in Waitrose and further blends to follow over the coming months. Merser’s blending house will be opened to trade and consumer guests from mid-October. The brand will be distributed in the UK by Symposium.

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City of Manchester Distillery Launches the Manchester Rum Experience

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The City of Manchester Distillery, home of Manchester Three Rivers Gin and the original ‘Gin Experience’, has launched its next immersive experience as it looks to bring consumers together over a tot of rum.

The City of Manchester Distillery opened its doors in 2016 and has since gone on to establish itself as the No. 1 ‘Things to Do’ in Manchester by Trip Advisor.

Having won a variety of awards for its liquids and experiences, The City of Manchester Distillery is an essential stop on any tour of city. Dave Rigby, owner and Master Distiller of the City of Manchester Distillery has decided to expand the experiences to include rum, capitalising on the recognition that the distillery has become the first in the history of Greater Manchester to be recognised with a full distiller licence.

Partnering up with Dave Marsland of the Manchester Rum Festival, the Manchester Rum Experience promises a 3-hour interactive, liquid adventure where guests can expect to tour the distillery, learn all about the history and diversity of rum, sample a variety of styles, drink classic and bespoke cocktail creations and visit ‘The Lab’ to fill their own mini barrel in this unique, tasting/making experience.

Dave Rigby says, “Our motivation with the new ‘Rum Experience’ was to pay homage to some of the influences which drove us to build the distillery at the outset. As a collective we have been on an amazing journey over the last few years and as such we wanted to share some of these incredible experiences, stories and some of the fun we’d had, through a range of new and diverse, interactive events at the distillery.”

With support from a host of award-winning brands including Chairman’s Reserve, Bacardi, Don Q, Appleton Estate, Diplomatico, Pussers, Wray & Nephew, Doorly’s, Plantation and Gosling’s, as well as Neat Glass, the ultimate spirits tasting glass, customers will be experiencing a huge breadth of history in one of the fastest growing spirit categories.

Following its launch at the end of August, tickets for the Manchester Rum Experience are now available for the monthly sessions and can be bought via https://cityofmanchesterdistillery.com 

RumFest Returns For 2019 Along With The RumFest Trade Show & Conference Day

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Last year, RumFest saw over 2,500 visitors descend on London’s Earl’s Court to see some of the biggest names and the most exciting newcomers in the industry. This year promises to be just as impressive. Taking place on Friday 18th October, The RumFest Trade Show & Conference will see new and boutique rum brands showcasing their products to industry professionals, buyers and key decision makers from influential retailers, whilst a panel of experts will be discussing ‘Understanding Rum GI’s, Appellations & PDO’s’ at the third annual RumFest Conference.

The following day, RumFest’s consumer show will open its doors, welcoming rum bars, brands, mixologists and master blenders, who’ll be presenting a series of workshops, seminars, tastings and demonstrations over two days on 19th and 20th October. The festival, sponsored by Coca-Cola Signature Mixers, will feature over 400 of the most diverse rums from across the globe, all under one roof. There’ll also be food from the Heart & Soul food buffet, and entertainment and dance during the RumFest Carnival hour. For more information and tickets, visit rumfest.co.uk.

The RumFest Trade Show & Conference is the UK’s premier event for professionals in the industry, having provided a platform for emerging, independent and boutique rum brands for well over a decade. The show welcomes some of the biggest names in rum, as well as wholesalers, distributors, buyers and importers for an impressive series of masterclasses, tastings, discussions and debates on some of the hottest topics and biggest issues facing the industry today. This year, head sponsors of RumFest and the RumFest Trade Show & Conference, Coca-Cola Signature Mixers, will be presenting a seminar during the show.

Building on its longstanding reputation as the original mixer, Coca-Cola Signature Mixers are a global first for the brand. Enlisting some of the world’s most influential and innovative mixologists they created four new crafted Coca-Cola Signature Mixers, specifically designed to be paired with premium dark spirits. At Rum Fest 2019, visitors will have the chance to experience each of the four Signature Mixers and attend a free tasting masterclass. In addition, Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell, will be curating a bespoke highball menu pairing the signature mixers with premium rums.

Ana Amura, Senior Brand Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, comments:
“As the original mixer, Coca-Cola has always had a history with dark spirits and with the rise of quality mixed drinks, we’re really excited about the launch of Coca-Cola Signature Mixers. There is clearly a demand for quality cocktails and it’s great to be at this year’s RumFest to open up the world of mixology to an even wider audience.”

For the following two days, RumFest’s consumer show will take over the ILEC Conference Centre at London’s Earl’s Court, for an extensive showcase of all things rum. There’ll be brand-led seminars from Mount Gay, Plantation, Worthy Park, Foursquare and more, with samples and tastings coming from Foursquare Exceptional casks, Velier Rums, Rum Java, Daylark 1863, Black Tears Cuban Spiced Rum, Doorlys, Mezan, Appleton Estate, Real McCoy, Mount Gay Rum, Depaz, Green Island Rhums from Mauritius, St Nicholas Abbey and Hampden Estate, amongst others.

RumFest Founder & Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrel, said:

“Premium Rum has seen incredible growth in the UK over the past few years as consumer learn about the various styles of rum on offer and how to appreciate them. The UK RumFest, since 2007, has been a major contributor to the rise and we are proud to continue educating Rum lovers from across the globe in our 13th year ”

The festival will feature over 400 rums to be sipped, savoured and enjoyed in cocktails. This includes an impressive number of the world’s most exclusive rums, which can be sampled with Golden Tot Tokens, the event’s exclusive currency. It will be the first time these super premium rums can be sampled in the UK.

New to the festival this year is the Craft RumFest, showing traditionally made rums. Open to all ticket-holders over the course of the weekend, its purpose is to encourage rum enthusiasts to identify and understand the style of rum they are sipping. All spirits being presented will meet strict criteria, including being 100% pot distilled or distilled in traditional single or double column, and having no additional flavours or spices.

Also exhibiting over the weekend are a number of rum bars – including award-winning tropical tiki bar, Laki Kane and Retro, Polynesian cocktail bar, Trailer Happiness – who’ll be introducing their ‘star-tenders’ to mix show-stopping signature serves.

Elsewhere during the festival, ticket-holders will be able to place bids at the Rum Auction, for premium rums priced from £150 – £3500. There will also be food available throughout the show courtesy of the Heart & Soul food buffet, and entertainment and dancing during the festival’s Carnival hour.

Registration for the RumFest Trade Show & Conference Day is now open to members of the trade and press. To register, please visit https://form.jotform.com/91763441986166/.

RumFest standard tickets are now on sale from £42.50, which includes access to all areas of the event and tasting from all exhibitors. For press applications, please contact george@wearefullfat.com. For full information on RumFest and to buy tickets head to rumfest.co.uk.

Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign Returns to Celebrate 75 Years of the Mai Tai

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Chairman’s Reserve St Lucia Rum is calling for entries for the 2019 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge, with the prize of a visit to St Lucia in 2020 at stake.

Between now and August, bars are asked to create their own version of this classic rum cocktail, with four finalists going head to head at a London venue in September.
For details of how to enter, contact Emporia Brands, or go to: https://www.emporiabrands.com/chairmans-mai-tai.

2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the Mai Tai, when Vic Bergeron – “Trader Vic” – created a drink in his bar in Oakland, California, for visitors from Tahiti. Their reaction to the first sip was a cry of “mai tai roa ae!”, which can be roughly translated as “out of this world!”. The original included two very different rums – one molasses, the other Agricole – with flavours of citrus and almond, which provides plenty of scope for innovation. “We had an idea to encourage bartenders to play with Chairman’s Reserve in the Mai Tai cocktail because of how well we believed our rums fit the profile of this traditional tiki cocktail,” says Sergin John Baptiste, Marketing Director of St. Lucia Distillers.

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The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge is a UK bartender competition that launched four years ago with Emporia Brands. The competition is back again for 2019 after last year’s excellent challenge and final, where Café Pacifico from London were crowned the winners at The Magic Roundabout in Shoreditch and received the amazing prize of two places on the Chairman’s Reserve Rum visit to St. Lucia, following in the footsteps of previous winners Milk in Reading and Alvino’s in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The 2019 Mai Tai challenge will follow the same format – simply create a signature Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai serve, register it on the website, then promote it in your bar throughout July and August and on social media. The four teams scoring the most points will be invited to the UK final, during which they will create their own pop-up bar and re-create their signature Mai Tai serve to the trade and consumers. The bar with the most votes will win the once-in-a-lifetime trip to St. Lucia.

“I was taken aback by the passion these skillful bartenders had for Chairman’s Reserve,” comments Margaret Monplaisir, Managing Director of St Lucia Distillers. “Their attention to every detail, their enthusiasm, and knowledge of Chairman’s Reserve was remarkable.”

Copal Tree Organic Distillery Launch Copalli

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Copalli, an organic, single estate rum sustainably produced at a new craft distillery in the Belizean rainforest has launched in the UK. Redefining the craft rum category and made from three simple and pure ingredients; rainforest canopy water, yeast, and non-GMO heirloom sugar cane, Copalli challenges drinkers to think sustainably and ask #WhatsInYourRum.

Arriving in perfect time for 2019’s UK ‘rumnaissance’, Copalli will be a key contributor to the rum industry’s projected growth this year, offering two liquids; Copalli White Rum, a smooth rum as good on the rocks as it is in a Daiquiri, and Copalli Barrel Rested Rum, a rich, sweet rum aged in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. With no artificial flavourings, added sugar or colouring, and using hand-cut sugar cane sourced from its neighbouring Copal Tree Farm, the terroir of Copalli’s Belizean birthplace has a delightful impact on the final flavour profile of the rum.

Already gaining momentum in some of London’s best bars the organic, single estate rum is available now in a variety of delicious serves in Quaglinos, The Gibson and Laki Kane, aligning perfectly with its focus on sustainability.

Georgi Radev, Creative Director of Laki Kane, said:
“Copalli Rum is a truly organic rum made in the middle of the Belizean rainforest using fresh sugar cane juice and this really shows in the aroma and taste. When you open the bottle, the fresh cane aroma coming from it is just mesmerising. It really feels like you are there at the sugar cane fields in the rainforest. The taste is very delicate for Agricole rum, you taste the fresh sugar cane, with floral, fresh and fruity notes. This is absolutely perfect for a Daiquiri and a Mojito. It’s amazing for fruity tropical drinks, but you can also use it in classy cocktails like a Negroni and Martini.”

Conservation, sustainability and philanthropy are not typically synonymous with rum, but Copalli offers them by the barrel-load. The single-estate rums are honourably sourced, distilled, barrelled, aged and bottled all at The Copal Tree Distillery situated in the heart of 20,000 acres of tropical rainforest in Belize, while the sugarcane used to produce the rum is grown on the Copal Tree Farm. The distillery is zero-impact and supports full-circle conversion of waste from production to agricultural inputs.

With a rising tide of craft distilleries fueling the growth in rum, Copalli has taken it a step further, infusing their philosophy of conservation and sustainability in the bottle. The Copal Tree Distillery has been donated in trust for the benefit of the people in the Toledo District, whilst collectively the Distillery, its neighbouring eco-venue, Copal Tree Lodge and The Copal Tree Farm are operating as the largest employer in Southern Belize, providing over 100 jobs to local residents in a clean and safe working environment.

Copalli’s two grades of product can be sipped on their own or as a base for classic and modern rum cocktails:

White Rum (42% ABV)
A double distillation of fresh sugar cane juice—crushed within two hours of being cut—the white rum is made with a blend of pot and column distillation with a long resting of the finished product on stainless steel.

Barrel Rested Rum (44% ABV)
The Barrel Rested Rum is made using double distillation of sugar cane juice, and exclusively full-bodied copper pot still distillation with French technique. It is aged in American Oak bourbon barrels.

Set to be a huge hit with rum lovers and drinks connoisseurs alike, Copalli is available through Masters Of Malt; Copalli White Rum, 70cl, £33.50 and Copalli Barrel Rested, 70cl, £41.30.

COYA Partners With Bacardi To Launch Bespoke Cocktail Menu

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COYA Mayfair, the modern Latin American restaurant and its award-winning bar team, led by John Toader, Assistant Bar Manager, have partnered with Bacardi’s Facundo Rum to introduce an exotic new drinks menu, celebrating the relaunch of their new terrace and the stunning gardens of Ecuador.

The menu launches at the end of November and the selection of cocktails have been created with the rich fauna of Ecuador in mind. The flavours centre around the nature of an Ecuadorian garden in which you can discover an array of tropical birds. Each drink is named after a bird and the menu details a fact that makes the bird and the cocktail unique.

Guests are offered the experience and a biology lesson at the same time in the menu. The presentation of the drinks is kept simple in order to focus on the ingredients, flavour and concept which is complimented by the foliage on the COYA terrace.

The first cocktail in the quartet is the Toco Toucan which was made with the tropics in mind and contains Facundo Neo rum, sweet pineapple, bitters, citrus, spicy pepper, vanilla, tea, milk and zingy ginger, encompassing a light and bitter long drink.

The next is the Capuchinibird which is a savory mix of Facundo Eximo, milky coconut, tonka and a special exotic sauce. A lighter choice is the Scarlet-Banded Barbet which is a herbal cocncoction containing Facundo Exquisito, Chartreuse, zesty lime, a cola reduction and finished with sesame.

For those wanting something extra special, the Waved Albartross is a delicious dark, aged rum drink with Facundo Paradiso, sugar cane and chocolate bitters.

Guests are also welcome to try the bespoke selection of Bacardi rums by themselves in order to get the full experience of the delicious spirits.

For full details of the drinks menu visit : www.coyarestaurant.com

Rhum Fest Paris 2019 – The Sugar Cane Journey

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The 6th edition of the Rhum Fest Paris will be held in the Grande Halle at the Parc Floral in Vincennes in a 2,800 m2 exhibition space on 13-15th April. With more than 180 brands and nearly 60 countries represented, it has established itself as a vibrant market place with the aim of becoming the leading European rum show.

Rhum Fest Paris: THE major European rum market place

The show doubles its size into a bright and airy environment, for visitors to taste and communicate with rum experts.

This space creates more scope for fresh activities and new formats for stands and offers brands the opportunity to present immersive, personalized spaces. Finding your way around the show is made easy with a hall that is entirely geared to welcoming visitors, exhibitors and journalists, including:

– 6 entrance zones for the public
– 1 entrance zone exclusively for exhibitors
– 1 entrance zone for media guests

Bigger than ever before, and also taking things to another level, Rhum Fest Paris aims to be at the heart of the rum culture and its market in Europe. Thanks to the market place set up on the site, Rhum Fest Paris helps producers, distributors and importers to establish contact and initiate business.

Finally, to avoid queues, this new venue has 5 different food outlets with:
– An indoor restaurant
– 3 world food trucks (Martinique, Venezuela, Afro-Caribbean)
– 1 snack bar for fast service

Not to mention the classic features of Rhum Fest Paris:
– The masterclass marquee
– The entertainment tents with, among other things, an intriguing escape-room game with a rum theme
– Dedicated enclosures so brands can flex all their immersive creativity:
– The novelty bar – All things new and adventurous
– Calypso cocktail bar
– The pop-up Christian de Montaguère boutique – A fantasy of rum and Caribbean delights

In short, Rhum Fest Paris is still a serious rum festival but with even more to appeal to professional visitors and consumer rum fans.

Dates and times

Public days
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April 2019
From 12 noon to 6:30pm

Trade day for professionals in the drinks business
Monday 15 April 2019
From 10am to 5pm

Place
Grande Halle du Parc Floral – Vincennes

Ticketing and accreditation
http://www.rhumfestparis.com

Manchester Rum Festival Returns For Third Year

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Rum advocate and Manchester based Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast is bringing back Manchester Rum Festival for a 3rd year running, hosting it at the new event and exhibition space Brickworks, within Barton Arcade on Deansgate.

Saturday 8th June 2019 will see an expansion of the previous two sold-out festivals, resulting in both an afternoon and evening session for the first time, with ticket prices frozen from the 2018 festival, staying at £20 per person.

“SEMINAR ROOM ADDED TO 2019”

The festival, created by Dave in 2017 to show that Manchester and the North of England are contributing in a major way to the growing rum category, will feature for the first time a seminar room that will house some of the world’s best rum speakers, brand owners and cocktail bartenders.

It will also see the return of Revolución de Cuba as the festivals bar supporter, offering a variety of rum cocktails through their Cuban bar experience. The in-house festival shop will also be present once again, this time hosted by Marigot Bay Bar and Café, the latest venture opened by Dave in July 2018 in Altrincham. Alston Bar and Beef are also returning as one of the festival’s food vendors.

 “REVOLUCION DE CUBA RETURN”

Exhibitors will be announced over the coming months through the festival website and social media pages, as well as further activities around the city.

To purchase tickets, visit www.manchesterrumfestival.com

Dave has been involved in the drinks industry for 12 years, working with a variety of rum brands and companies to expand their business into the North of England, culminating in Manchester Rum Festival in 2017 and Caribbean inspired venue Marigot Bay Bar and Café in 2018. The announcement of the 3rd festival comes on-the-heels of Dave earning a top 4 position in the 2018 Rum Barrel Awards for UK Rum Advocate of the Year.

Havana Club Throws Global Cocktail Party To Celebrate ‘Old Fashioned’ Week

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Gather your friends and celebrate Old Fashioned Week in style this year with a free Havana Club 7 cocktail at the Havana Club ‘Seven Heaven’ parties around the world on 7th November 2018.

Inspired by the cult of the number seven, Havana Club 7 is taking over seven bars across Europe and Latin America at 7pm (local time) and invites cocktail lovers to discover a new and exotic twist on the father of all cocktails – a Havana Club 7 Old Fashioned, crafted with the rum born and made in the streets of Havana.

The list of bars taking part includes:

Solange Bar, Barcelona
Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
Baltra, Mexico City
Xaman, Mexico City
Baba au Rum, Athens
Ipitou, Athens
No Entry by Big Mama, Paris

Entry to the cocktail party and one Havana Club 7 Old Fashioned per head are free of charge but bookings are essential via Eventbrite.

Meimi Sanchez, Havana Club Global Brand Ambassador, added: “The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that will never go out of style, but an Old Fashioned made with Havana Club 7 offers a fresh taste of Cuba that provides a tropical twist that’s perfect for modern palates. Join us at our Seven Heaven cocktail party across Europe on the 7th November and be part of the rum revolution!”

Crafted for the first time in the 1970s from a range of different aged rum bases and a new continuous ageing process, Havana Club 7 Years Old was the first ever extra-aged Cuban rum and offers a variety of deep flavours including tobacco, sweet fruit and spices.

Goslings Old Rum Family Reserve: Announcing a New Old Look for Their Old Rum

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The outside is all new. The inside is all old. Goslings Old Rum Family Reserve has a new look!

Judged the number one aged rum in the world*. This award-winning Rum has the same delectable Goslings Old Rum recipe, but with new more contemporary packaging.

In 1806, London wine and spirits merchant James Gosling set out from England with $10,000 of merchandise bound for the Virginias. The voyage was a difficult one. Ninety-one consecutive days of calm left the crew and passengers in dire straits and the charter was fast running out.

The ship eventually made port in St. Georges, Bermuda, where Gosling and his family decided to set up shop rather than press on to America. James Gosling opened a shop in December 1806 and when he returned to England in 1824 his brother Ambrose moved the business to the new capital, Hamilton. In 1857 the firm was renamed Gosling Brothers by Ambrose’s sons. Three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda and three years after that (after much trial and error) the distinctive Bermuda black rum destined to be Black Seal was formulated and offered for sale. They didn’t call it Black Seal at first. In fact, up until the First World War it was sold straight from the barrel, and most folks brought in their own bottles for a “fill up”. Eventually the black rum was sold in champagne bottles, reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess, and the corks sealed with black sealing wax. Pretty soon people began to ask for the bottle with the “Black Seal”. Many years later the idea of the iconic barrel juggling “Black Seal” was born.

Appropriately called Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum, it is crafted from the same incomparable Bermuda blend that is used for their renowned Black Seal Rum, left it resting in oak barrels even longer, until it has acquired that luscious, nuanced complexity often compared to a rare Cognac. Consider it the ultimate sipping rum still presented in champagne bottles reminiscent of the past.

Just in time for Christmas this Old Rum has a new, more elegant packaging. Nestled in a box surrounded by the colour reminiscent of the liquid itself. A richer looking, pure black label. Complemented by a few choice words on the Goslings history and a personal signature of Malcom Gosling a 7 th-generation family member himself.

All designed to enhance any shelf fortunate enough to display this sumptuous rum. In store or at home.

Poured carefully at the finest holiday parties for generations.

Sip it neat and savour the same Old Rum taste that has been enjoyed and loved for generations.

Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum is available to buy now from Amazon for £48.32. The rum comes in a 70cl with an ABV of 40%.