White Rum: White Noise

 In many Caribbean countries, such as Jamaica, overproof is king, so imported brands don’t tend to do well.  

Botran seems to be going down well in the Dominican Republic, reports Quiñones. “In Puerto Rica we are waiting for the right time. It’s a white rum market – but it’s the home of Bacardi. You have to be careful about launching rums in the Caribbean – they are very loyal to their indigenous rums. For his Blanco, even the brand’s home Guatemala is a very small market. On mainland Latin America “white rums are not the culture”, expalins Quiñones. 

In Asia and mainland Latin America – and many other parts of the world – it seems rum needs colour to prove its quality, regardless if the liquid once had colour, but then had it removed. Peter Holland of the insightful rum blog, thefloatingrumshack.com, says there are some interesting new white rums on the market, but he’s an apostle of flavour and suggests colour stripping as a process is counterintuitive. “When you pull out colour, you pull out compounds and flavour too. It’s about making it seem premium even though it’s just white rum. But why would you add value then strip it out,” he asks.  

At a certain price point white rum climbs out of the mainstream on to trickier terrain, where big, complex flavours are required in order to gain a market footing. Besides a few curious bartenders, white rum is not yet a rum-drinker’s rum. But at the right price, as Bacardi and Havana Club have proved, it is certainly a drinker’s rum.