With Father’s Day just around the corner, Husk Rum has released its findings into the drink preferences of Australian men.

While whisky is still reigning strong, with two in five men rating it as their favourite spirit, more than half of Australian men have consumed rum in the past month.

Paul Messenger, Founder and CEO of Husk Rum said he’s not surprised by the findings, and encourages consumers to give rum a try.

“Having tasted some of the very earliest barrels of Tasmanian whisky in the late 90s, I had for a long time preferred whisky – but that all changed after a Caribbean odyssey in 2009. On the French Island of Martinique, I enjoyed a 20-year-old barrel-aged rum that was as good – if not better – than any malt whisky I’d had before,” Messenger said.

Head Distiller Quentin Brival expanded on how rum might appeal to whisky drinkers.

“It’s got some very similar characteristics. I’m not saying [rum and whisky] taste the same, but I’m saying that if you know what producers to look for, and if you know what type of product you want to buy, you can find a very similar experience in rum. […] It’s really easy to make a whisky drinker to taste some of ours, for example, single estate paddock to bottle, straight aged expiration because they’re like, ‘That’s dry, that’s not spicy. That’s not sweet like I thought it would be,’” he described.

The rum-based mojito took out the top spot for favourite cocktail, with 30 per cent of men picking it as their go-to tipple.

“Rum is probably by far the most versatile spirit, and that’s because rum is consumed everywhere in the world. It’s consumed neat, on the rocks, in cocktails. You’ve got white rum and aged rum and spiced rum. You’ve got rums to party, you’ve got rums to sit down and contemplate, enjoy like a good whisky or a good Cognac,” Brival explained.

Our home-grown spirits are highly regarded, with 62 per cent of Australian men agreeing that Australia produces high quality rum.

“When you want to make good rum, it’s not just the producers. It’s also the consumers that are looking for better rums looking for new flavours, looking for premium products. That creates a very healthy industry because it’s not just the producers trying to shove liquids down the throats of the consumers. Consumers and producers work together to create a great product,” Brival said.

“We now have access to a lot of imported rum – really good stuff compared to maybe eight years ago. The consumer is getting more educated, so the consumer is demanding more from the producers,” he added.

Messenger explained that the Australian rum market is expanding.

“Australia has traditionally been a dark rum market, but rum isn’t what it used to be – not all rum has those heavy and sweet notes of sticky toffee and vanilla. Instead, there is more diversity lining the shelves of bottle shops in 2023,” he continued.

Ultimately, the way to get new consumers to try rum is to focus on the taste.

“Obviously, the ultimate test is to make people taste the product, and then they can judge by themselves. Usually the reaction is pretty direct and positive,” Brival concluded.

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