By James Atkinson
Premium rums priced at hundreds of dollars a bottle are now commonplace, according to global rum ambassador Ian Burrell, who says consumers are slowly warming to the diversity of the category.
Speaking at Top Shelf, Burrell told TheShout that premiumisation of rum is relatively new development, pointing to Australia's own Bundaberg and its Master Distillers' Collection as an example.
"The entry level of that range starts off at about $90. They've realised that they have to progress and evolve – even though they have a core market with their products and a core fanbase, they can always expand and find new rum lovers as well," he said. [continues below]
Ian Burrell at Top Shelf yesterday
Burrell said Bundaberg is just one of the rum companies realising its potential and moving beyond old traditional styles.
"They're now starting to use more modern techniques in creating their products," he said.
"It means there's more premium rums coming out as opposed to the more basic ones everyone was used to."
"Rum was always seen as a cheap product, because it was produced cheaply.
"That's mostly the perception of the category that it's a cheap product. I'm seeing rums over here that are sold for a couple of hundred bucks for a bottle. That's slowly but surely becoming the norm for certain premium rums."
Burrell said the great thing about the rum category is its versatility.
"There are so many different styles of rum for people to gravitate to."
"It's an exciting category and a fun category as well, and most of the Australians I know are fun people, so it’s a style of spirit that suits their nature," he said.
Burrell will address the trade again this afternoon at Top Shelf.