Rum and Burning Fleets!

Sounds like one not to miss, But Rumpundit will be in Miami!

Burning of the Fleet Day Scheduled for May 8th in Essex

From a press release:

Row Boat Races New Addition to River Museum Activities

Essex, CT – They burned our ships and stole our rum! The historic British raid on Essex comes to life in Essex Village and at the Connecticut River Museum on Saturday, May 8. The festivities begin at 2 pm with the annual Burning of the Fleet Commemoration Parade presented by Essex’s own Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife & Drums corps. The parade kicks off at Essex Town Hall where the Sailing Masters will be joined by other regional fife and drums corps. From there, they will march down Main Street to perform a small “muster” and commemoration ceremony at water’s edge. At the conclusion of the parade, the Connecticut River Museum’s lawn will be the scene for re-enactors, colonial weaponry demonstrations, and children’s activities, all telling the story of the 1814 attack that destroyed 28 warships. New to the program this year is a row boat race from Steamboat Dock to Nott Island and back with local organizations fielding teams. The two designated race boats are being loaned out by the Maritime Education Network of Old Saybrook. All lawn activities are free to the public.

At 5 pm, all are invited to join museum staff in the Burning of the Fleet exhibit for a special program of storytelling. Admission will be reduced to $5 per person. A cash bar will also be open for enjoying a glass of rum and other drinks on the dock. The program will end in time for the 8 pm start of the 1st Annual Regency Ball hosted by the Sailing Masters of 1812 at Essex Town Hall.

For more information on these events or other museum programs, call 860-767-8269 or go to The Connecticut River Museum, located at 67 Main Street on the historic Essex waterfront, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River through interactive exhibits, river cruises, education programs, special events, and heritage festivals.

Posted by admin on Friday, April 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm
Filed under Essex · Tagged with ,

Rum on the Yankee Maine

Maine coast home to award winning distillery

Bartlett Winery is exploring the world of brandies, liquors and rums — and getting noticed for it


Bartlett’s State of Maine Distillery’s Apple American Brandy and Pear American Brandy are winning international awards for their quality. Buy Photo

GOULDSBORO, Maine — Anyone familiar with Maine-produced wines knows the name Bartlett Winery.

Tucked into the woods off Chicken Mill Pond Road, Maine’s first winery was founded in 1982. Its internationally known 17 varieties of wine and two types of mead are produced from Maine-grown apples, blueberries, pears, honey and loganberries.

But if you walk down the hill away from the winery, the tasting room and the casks of fermenting wines, you come upon a second business: There is an enormous copper still — an almost diving bell-like machine that looks like something out of a Jules Verne adventure novel.

Curving copper shapes, stainless steel tanks and yards of piping wind around, over and under the still, which is lovingly named “Lola.”

On a recent visit, the machinery bubbled and steamed and was busy producing rum made from locally grown pears.

“Taste this,” Bob Bartlett directs, offering a tiny bit of clear liquid in the bottom of a glass. Ten minutes later, the taster’s lips still tingle.

Far from being finished — 130 gallons of the rum will go through three tanks that Bartlett calls the head, the heart and the tail, before it is placed in oak casks to age for up to two years — the rum packs an amazingly potent punch in its raw state.

Although they still make their well-known fruit wines, Bob and Kathe Bartlett are stretching beyond just a winery into the world of distilling and producing a series of award-winning brandies, liquors and rums as Bartlett Spirit of Maine Distillery.

At New York City in March, the company’s Apple American Brandy (40 percent alcohol by volume), tied for third place, garnering 93 points out of a possible 100. Bartlett’s Pear American Brandy (also 40 percent alcohol) received 87 points, enough for a seventh place.

“This is quite an accomplishment,” Bob Bartlett said. He added there were 550 entries from 40 countries at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York.

Bartlett’s Pear Eau de Vie also ranked at 92 points at a recent tasting in Chicago, rating a gold medal and the rank of exceptional.

At the 2010 International Eastern Wine Competition in New York, Bartlett earned a silver and a bronze rating for his American Apple Brandy and Pear Eau de Vie, respectively.

Turning his attention back to the rum in the still, Bartlett draws a taste off the tanks. He will do this every 15 minutes until he is satisfied with the product.

“There is some good alcohol in this batch,” he said, which means that since he has to cut the product to bring the alcohol content down, the yield will be high. The rum will be marketed at 80 proof. It is at 120 proof while being tested.

Winning awards will reap large benefits for out-of-state markets, Bartlett said. “We are getting major interest from California markets,” he said.

Bartlett returns to testing the rum.

The process began with two kinds of molasses: organic and sugar cane molasses. The thick syrup can be seen bubbling away as an agitator keeps the fruit pulp and molasses moving. The steam rises and condenses, then falls back into the still, which was custom made for Bartlett in Germany.

“The copper is vital to the process,” he said, “because the alcohol reacts with the copper.”

In the helmet of the still, or the “onion,” rectification takes place, whereby the alcohol is released from the ingredients and becomes vapor.

Once the rum is condensed to a certain point, Bartlett uses the stainless steel fraction tanks to move the rum through the final process. “Some of this is like alchemy,” he said. At each tank, Bartlett uses a hydrometer to check the alcohol level. The rum moves to the next tank when it reaches 85 percent alcohol.

“This is for sure more difficult than making Champagne,” Bartlett said. Tucked into the corner of the room are several 5-gallon glass jugs with cryptic labels. He said these were his “secret experiments” for product development.

The first distillery in Maine — Cold River in Freeport — produces vodka from Maine potatoes. “But I’m not interested in vodka,” Bartlett said. “This is a still created to keep the character of the fruits intact.”

By tweaking the heat, the cooling and the flow of cooling water into the product, Bartlett can control its flavor.

Each batch takes between five and six hours to complete, and at peak production, Bartlett can make two batches a day. He said he makes the brandy and rum each day, but after three days, he can no longer smell correctly.

“I have to ask Kathe to smell it for me,” he said.

Again, Bartlett turned to testing the rum. Clearly this is a man who has a passion for fine alcohol. He smelled the liquid, tasted the liquid and smiled.

“This is good,” he said.

Bartlett Winery is located off U.S. Route 1 in Gouldsboro. It is open from from June to Columbus Day, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Off-season appointments may be made by calling 546-2408 or through

Bacardi Windpower not just hot air!

The idea of using old barrels as mulch for employee gardens has a certain appeal- but it might drown out the smell of flowers! -Rum Pundit.

Media Contact: Amy Federman Burson-Marsteller for Bacardi 441-294-1110 Patricia M. Neal Bacardi 441-294-1110


Largest wind turbines in Puerto Rico; part of broad corporate responsibility renewable energy initiative Cataño, Puerto Rico,

April 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The world’s favorite premium rum — BACARDI — now has the power of wind behind it. Bacardi Corporation, part of the Bacardi Limited group of companies, and home to the largest premium rum distillery in the world, today unveiled the largest wind turbine installation in Puerto Rico designed to harness natural wind energy to help power Bacardi’s top global distillery near San Juan. The 250,000 tourists who flock to the Casa Bacardi Visitor Center each year will not only learn about the history and production of the world’s favorite premium rum and the world’s most awarded rum, but also that natural wind energy powered the center. “While many know Bacardi for great rums and cocktails, Bacardi also has been a leader in corporate responsibility and environmental progress. We’re always looking for ways to help the environment and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Joaquin Bacardi, president and chief executive of Cataño-based Bacardi Corporation. “Our latest innovation with these two specialized wind turbines seizes the power of the wind adding more force to Bacardi’s overall environmental commitment to save energy.” The two Bacardi wind turbine units, which can be seen from miles away, are industrial scale at 250kW each and are owned by Cataño-based Aspenall Energies, which will sell the electricity produced by wind to Bacardi under a power purchased agreement. With their blades, the turbines are 137 feet high and have a rotor diameter of 75 feet. “Puerto Rico relies on fossil fuels for virtually all its energy, so we hope other companies will follow this great leadership by Bacardi to use wind energy and other renewable energy sources,” said Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño. “The focus on renewable energies is yet another sign of Bacardi’s social responsibility and commitment to the greater community. This sort of forward-thinking is exactly what we must encourage in Puerto Rico. This is precisely why we are introducing energy reform measures that will establish a better policy and regulatory framework that will enable more investment in renewable energy projects. The Government will serve as a partner through incentives and other support that will result in all individuals and businesses having more opportunities to become part of the energy solution.” The two wind turbines are expected to generate approximately 1,000,000 kWh of electricity per year accounting for three to seven percent of the power used by Bacardi, roughly the consumption of the facilities tourism-related activities at its Casa Bacardi Visitor Center (and equivalent to the consumption of about 100 average households) with an expected carbon offset of more than 900 tons of CO2 per year. 100 percent of the power generated by the wind turbines will be consumed by the Bacardi facility. This project is the first step in utilizing wind power as a renewable energy source for Bacardi and the Company would consider additional wind solutions and other energy saving initiatives. The Bacardi turbine installation will be owned, operated and maintained by Aspenall Energies. “We are proud to be the first company to install and operate an industrial scale wind project on the island of Puerto Rico. We are honored to have done so with Bacardi Corporation, a company that has shown through the years in a myriad ways how small changes, in the aggregate, can make an enormous difference,” said Raoul G. Slavin Juliá, managing director for Aspenall Energies, LLC. “Bacardi has a strong record in environmental stewardship and is known as an innovator globally,” said Jon Grey, vice president of global operations for Bacardi. “In fact, here in Puerto Rico, Bacardi pioneered and patented the anaerobic treatment of distillery wastewater now used by other companies around the world. We use this anaerobic digester technology to treat wastewater which derives energy. In that process, micro-organisms naturally degrade waste materials, creating biogas, or methane, in the process. The biogas is fed into the boilers which power the distillery. This saves about half the energy needed to run them. The creation of the natural biogas reduces the need for imported oil or gas that would otherwise be necessary.” Carbon dioxide is produced as an intermediate product during the fermentation process. This gas is recovered and sold to third parties mostly for carbonated beverages. In the period from June 2008 through February 2009, Bacardi has recovered and sold 10,378,251 lbs—5,189 tons of CO2—avoiding release into the environment. To save water usage at the Cataño site, Bacardi treats wastewater that is then used in cooling towers during the production process. This saves 22,000 gallons of water every day. Other environmental initiatives at the Bacardi facility in Puerto Rico include recycling old ageing barrels by dismantling and chopping them and giving the barrel chips to employees as mulch for their gardens and as well as spread on facility landscaping. As a novel idea to re-purpose promotional banners, Bacardi cuts and sews old banners into reusable shopping bags for employees. Globally, Bacardi was certified in December 2009 to be operating in accordance with the world’s most recognized standards for quality, environment, and health and safety. Bacardi is the only major spirits company to achieve certification under ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 for all its production facilities globally, putting the company among an elite group of the world’s best-run companies. About Bacardi Corporation Bacardi Corporation was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1936, and is part of Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The current facility was built in 1958 on 127-acres in the town of Cataño. This Bacardi rum production facility is the largest premium rum distillery in the world, and BACARDI is the largest premium rum brand globally and is the world’s most awarded rum. BACARDI rum has been a registered brand in Puerto Rico since 1909. The facility in Puerto Rico supplies various premium BACARDI products to North America, Europe and other parts of the world. Since 2004, Bacardi Corporation has operated the state-of-the-art Casa Bacardi Visitor Center, the second most-visited venue in Puerto Rico, drawing more than 250,000 visitors a year to learn about the rich history of the Bacardi family and brand, as well as its unique production. Bacardi Corporation employs more than 200 people in sales, marketing, operations, manufacturing and other support roles and plays a significant role in the Puerto Rican economy as it is the leading private contributor to Puerto Rico’s treasury through its annual contributions of income, excise and other taxes. For further information, please visit and To learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) best practices at Bacardi, please visit or read our Corporate Responsibility Report at About Aspenall Energies, LLC Aspenall Energies, LLC is a Puerto Rican renewable energy company founded in 2007. Its origins are in industrial real estate with more than 40 years experience on the island. The company is focused on wind and solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with industrial-sized clients. For additional information, please visit

History stifles Rum Exports

Extra burden hurting rum’
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010  Barbados Nation

‘Extra burden hurting rum’

Minister of Economic Affairs Dr David Estwick (right) and managing director of Foursquare Rum Distillery, Richard Seale, watching bottles of rum roll off the conveyor belt at the factory yesterday. In the background is executive director of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association, Bobbi McKay. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

Published on: 4/15/2010
Barbados Nation

HEAVY Government monitoring of the rum industry is proving costly and counterproductive.
This charge was levelled yesterday by managing director of the St Philip-based Foursquare Rum Distillery, Richard Seale.
Seale told reporters that meeting “salaries and incidentals” for customs officers posted at the plant “to make sure that the Excise Tax is collected” was high and could run into $100 000 yearly.
He also complained that having to seek customs permission “with every step” of the operation ran counter to the plant’s efficiency and productivity.
Seale, son of businessman Sir David Seale, raised the issue with Minister of Economic Affairs Dr David Estwick during a tour of the Distillery & Heritage Park yesterday morning.
It was the first stop in Estwick’s tour of distilleries to familiarise himself with rum production, its triumphs and challenges.
Seale told reporters the rum industry was saddled with “an ancient method” of supervision and collection of Excise Tax that the beer and oil industries did not face.
“We don’t need a handout; we just need a level playing field, and one of the problems is that we are stuck with an Excise Tax legislation, or Spirits Act, which basically has the historical anomaly of very heavy supervision,” he told reporters.
“We exist in a modern environment of indirect taxation like VAT (Value Added Tax), and yet we still have an ancient method of supervision and collection for Excise Tax.
No one else
“The irony is that we have one of the most important industries subject to an extra burden that no other industry has to face.”
According to Seale, customs officers had to supervise rum-making “from production in the still right through to the bottle”.
Essentially, what the officers were doing was making sure that the Excise Tax was collected, he explained.
“But the irony is that the VAT on rum is even higher than the Excise Tax, but there is nobody supervising the VAT,” he pointed out.
“There is nobody, for example, supervising the Excise Tax collection on beer. There is nobody supervising the Excise Tax collection on oil and gasoline.
“It is only rum, and the only reason why rum has this historical anomaly is because it is the first industry to collect Excise Tax. So you have this legacy, and therefore you have to pay these extra costs for the supervision.”
According to Seale, “you need customs permission to simply carry out blending of rum”.
It meant that the important rum industry “has to operate with one hand tied behind its back all the time”, Seale complained.
“Our position is: just make us equivalent to the rest of the other industries that are subject to the Excise Tax or explain to us why rum for some reason has a higher risk,” he added.

Home of Rum looks after its Own

Barbados government to assist rum producers
Published on Saturday, April 17, 2010 Email To Friend Print Version
By Julie Wilson

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — The rum industry, which has lost some of its preferential trading arrangements, will get a lifeline from Government to help it stay afloat.

This assurance has come from Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, David Estwick, during a tour of the island’s rum producing plants recently.

Chairman of the Four Square Rum Distillery, Sir David Seale (right), giving (from left) Minister of Economic Affairs,Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, David Estwick; Permanent Secretary, Bentley Gibbs; and Trade Research Officer of the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team, Jerson Badal, with a tour of the  distillery.  (A. Miller/BGIS)

Speaking to reporters during the first stop at the Four Square Rum Distillery and Heritage Park, St. Philip, he identified high manufacturing input costs, as well as taxation, as among the challenges facing rum producers.

In light of this, he said Government was prepared to offer the industry some help. “It is going to be important that we find ways to keep down the input costs at the domestic level…,” Dr. Estwick outlined.

Additionally, the Economic Affairs Minister also spoke about the challenges to the industry posed by the excise tax. He stressed: “That pressure would have been brought by the international players who would want us under the [World Trade Organization] regulations and rules to ensure that there is harmony between the excise tax charged on imported alcohol versus domestically produced alcohol.”

He further stated: “We have to comply with WTO rules, but we have to find a way to be able to create an alternative mechanism where you can reduce the tax in compliance, but create another dynamic, worked out over a period of time, that would not harm the industry’s competitive nature, given its importance to the Barbados economy.”

Apart from the Four Square Rum Distillery, Dr. Estwick also toured Mount Gay Rum Distillery, Mount Gay, St Lucy; and the West Indies Rum Distillery, Brighton, St. Michael.

He was accompanied by a 16-member delegation, including officials from his ministry, the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association, the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.

Mount Gay All at Sea

The rum that invented rum

Mount Gay Rum

With a rich heritage dating back to 1703, Mount Gay Rum is set to join forces with Cowes Week, one of the UK’s longest running and most successful sporting events. As a supporting sponsor, they will be making their presence felt throughout the event, reaffirming the brand’s loyalty to the sailing fraternity at this most famous of annual sailing regattas running from 31 July to 7 August.

Sarah Pace, Assistant Brand Manager for Mount Gay Rum, commented: “We are thrilled to be associated with Cowes Week, one of the world’s oldest regattas and it is the ideal platform for us to promote Mount Gay, the world’s oldest rum.

“As ‘the rum that invented rum’, Mount Gay’s heritage and association with the sailing community has helped cement the brand’s position in the golden rum category and we hope supporting Cowes Week will only further propel its status and popularity.”

Mount Gay red caps on the rail

“We are pleased to welcome Mount Gay Rum to our family of supporting sponsors,” said Michelle Warner, Sales & Marketing Director of Cowes Week Limited. “Mount Gay’s long association with sailing and regattas worldwide, makes it a perfect partner for our event.”

There will be plenty of opportunities for sailors and visitors alike to sample their favourite Mount Gay Rum, Eclipse or the premium Extra Old brand, and an exciting mix of promotions and competitions will include the chance for competitors to earn one of the most cherished mementoes from any regatta around the world – the coveted Mount Gay red cap!

Vive Barbancourt!


They’ll drink to that: Haitian rum maker endures

Rhum Barbancourt, Haiti’s signature rum, is bouncing back from quake damage and will bottle and ship soon.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — It has survived 19 coups, military rule, hurricanes, and even a three-year embargo.

But in the Jan. 12 earthquake, Haiti’s best-known export and one of its oldest businesses, Rhum Barbancourt, suffered a $4 million setback. Amber bottles and white oak vats — some containing rum as old as 15 years — crashed to the distillery floor.

It could take up to four years for production of one of the world’s top rums to return to its pre-quake capacity, though the owner is hoping to resume bottling and shipping by late April or early May — an emphatic sigh of relief, to be certain, to rum connoisseurs the world over.

“We are ready to recover,” said Thierry Gardère, general director and fourth generation in the family to run the business.

As distillery workers make repairs to pipes, vats, and the aging room, Barbancourt soldiers on, yielding a cognac-like spirit that fans say maintains its cachet in spite of Haiti’s challenges. The rum is savored among niche drinkers in large part because it’s made with hand-cut, locally grown sugar cane juice and not molasses.

“It’s pretty spectacular that Barbancourt is still here, is still great, and is still setting a high standard that other companies have to match — especially at their luxury level,” said Robert Burr, the Coral Gables publisher of the Gifted Rums Guide.

In the earthquake that claimed at least 200,000 lives and left more than a million homeless, not even the seemingly bullet-proof Barbancourt eluded damage. Heavily hit was Barbancourt’s aging room where 30 percent of the vats were banged up.

The company also lost two employees, who died when their homes flattened. More than 25 percent of the employees saw their homes collapse, including Gardère’s near the quake-destroyed Hotel Montana. Some homeless employees camped in a nearby soccer field along with 300 others.

“It was an interruption but not a devastating interruption,” said Jim Nikola, senior vice president for Crillon Importers, a New Jersey company that ships Barbancourt. “I don’t think the consumer in the North American market will even know there was an interruption.”

The company sells about $12 million a year, Gardère said — modest compared to Bacardi, which earned $805 million in the 2009 fiscal year. The Haitian rum’s biggest overseas market is the United States.

Despite the relatively small sales, Barbancourt has its circle of devoted fans, some of whom called for Haiti supporters to purchase the rum as a gesture of post-quake solidarity. The brand even has its own Facebook page.

“It’s really popular with people who care what their drink tastes like,” Nikola said.

Before the quake suspended exporting, Burr and other Barbancourt aficionados were easy to spot at Miami International and John F. Kennedy airports. The travelers carried suitcase-like boxes that contained several rum bottles. Haiti was marked on the side in bold letters.

The company was founded in 1862 by Dupré Barbancourt, a Frenchman who moved to Haiti from the cognac-producing region of Charente. That year, the United States recognized Haiti, an international pariah because of the slave revolt that secured independence from France in 1804.

The sugar cane-carrying woman on the beige label is something of a mystery. One story holds that she is a “Vodou priestess;” another is that she’s an agricultural deity. But Gardère said she is Barbancourt’s first wife, a blond actress from France. Gardère said he doesn’t know her name.

Barbancourt later remarried Nathalie Gardère but the couple didn’t have children. After Barbancourt died, Nathalie Gardère took over and a nephew, Paul, after that.

Under the Duvalier era in the 1950s, a rival company started marketing flavored rums under the name Jane Barbancourt. The old Barbancourt family won the trademark dispute, though Gardère’s father and his attorney were jailed for four hours because they declined to pay the judge a bribe. François “Papa Doc” Duvalier released them.

“It was a political thing more than anything else, against my father,” Gardère said.

During the 1991-94 embargo that sought to pressure military leaders to resign after they ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a 1991 coup, the distillery struggled to stay afloat.

“It was very tough for us to come back,” Gardère said. “It took us four years to reach the same level before” the sanctions.

Today, the rum is an unequivocal source of Haitian pride — revered in the country and outside because of its smooth cognac-like flavor. And it is like Haiti itself: a magnet for adversity as much as it is a symbol of survival.

“I enjoy Barbancourt so much because of the feeling I get,” said Patrick Chery, 29, a computer technician in Port-au-Prince. “It feels like paradise.”

Barbancourt has received heaps of praise through the years — some of its medals displayed on the label. Just in December, a newspaper tasting panel sampled 20 bottles of rum that had been aged for at least seven years. Barbancourt’s 15-year-old Estate Réserve came out on top, beating Bacardi.

“Balanced and elegant, with complex, lingering aromas and flavors of flowers, fruit, spices and beeswax,” the reviewers wrote.

There are three Rhum Barbancourt dark rums: the three star, aged four years; the five star Reserve Special, aged eight; and Estate Réserve, aged 15 years. The distillery also produces a white rum.

That the drink is enjoyed by everybody from the French- and English-speaking business leader in the hills above Port-au-Prince to the Vodou priest in the temples in the crowded suburb of Carrefour underscores its ability to transcend class lines in a class-obsessed Haiti.

On a recent Monday, Gardère led a brief tour of the distillery 10 miles north of Port-au-Prince. Machines jettisoned steam. Creamy cane juice spewed from a spigot. Fifty-gallon oak barrels — recycled because they retain rum — were set aside in need of repairs.

“We still have a lot of damage in the bottling room, in the aging room,” said Gardère, dressed in pressed white pants and a light blue Oxford. “A lot of barrels fell down or were tilted.”

Shipping is expected to resume this month. Travelers can now purchase the rum at the Port-au-Prince airport — though there’s a three-bottle limit — after an almost three-month hiatus.

Having worked at Barbancourt for 25 years, the 57-year-old Gardère realizes he must ponder the question of succession. His only daughter, Delphine Nathalie Gardère, an Emory University alumna studying marketing in London, has expressed interest in joining the family business.

“We never compromised the quality of our rum,” said Delphine, 36. “We just try to maintain our standards across time while still adapting to the situation.”

Little White Lamb, who made thee?

I grew up on Lamb’s Navy Rum, so I have a sentimental attachment to the brand! _ Rumpundit.

Lamb’s White Rum listed in Tesco

Tuesday, 06 April 2010
Halewood International, leading drinks manufacturer and distributor, has announced further success for its recently launched Lamb’s White Rum with new listings in just under 200 Tesco stores across the country.Lamb’s White Rum, which launched in October 2009, has enjoyed growing success in the Off-Trade securing listings in Bargain Booze as well as Tesco with a fantastic uptake by consumers and encouraging early sales.

The launch of Lamb’s White Rum marked the second ever diversification of the premium Lamb’s brand, just six months after the successful launch of Lamb’s Spiced Rum, both with the aim of introducing the Lamb’s brand to a new younger more contemporary audience.

Senior Brand Manager for Lamb’s, Sue Beck comments: “Lamb’s White Rum has seen a successful start to the year gaining new listings in the Off-Trade including Tesco, and showing positive signs of becoming a serious contender in the mass market White Rum sector.

Source: Lamb’s

The Feud continues!

Bacardi really should not let their family’s grouse with Fidel mess up business.. Some contrition is called for – they bankrolled his coming to power! Rumpundit.

UPDATE 2-Pernod loses lawsuit on Bacardi’s Havana Club rum

Tue Apr 6, 2010 9:51pm EDT

* Bacardi sale in US of Havana Club rum is allowed

* No trademark violation found

* Pernod likely to appeal

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge rejected a lawsuit by Pernod Ricard SA (PERP.PA) to stop rival Bacardi Ltd from selling “Havana Club” branded rum in the United States.

Pernod is likely to appeal the ruling, the latest legal twist in a decades-long trademark dispute.

Both companies sell rum under the Havana Club name, Pernod outside the United States and Bacardi within it.

Tuesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Wilmington, Delaware, was the latest in more than 13 years of U.S. litigation between the companies over which company controls the trademarked name.

In its 2006 lawsuit filed federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, Pernod Ricard USA LLC claimed Bacardi USA Inc had no right to use the Havana Club trademark where it had begun in Florida selling rum under that name.

Pernod, which sold 3.4 million cases of Havana Club during its last fiscal year, also accused Bacardi of false advertising by misleading consumers into believing that its rum is made in Cuba, as Pernod’s is, when in fact it is made in Puerto Rico.

But Robinson concluded that Bacardi’s rum has a Cuban heritage, having derived from a family recipe first used in that country around 1930, roughly three decades before Fidel Castro took power.

In her 22-page ruling, Robinson also found that because Bacardi’s labels “truthfully (and prominently)” show that its rum is “distilled and crafted in Puerto Rico,” its labeling is neither false nor misleading.

Pernod showed “no evidence that today’s Havana Club rum product differs from the original pre-revolutionary Cuban rum in any significant respect,” Robinson wrote. “As the expression goes, ‘if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

Vincent Palladino, a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP in New York representing Pernod, said: “We are very disappointed in the ruling. We believe the judge committed fundamental errors on the law, and in all likelihood we will be appealing.”

A Bacardi spokeswoman in an emailed statement said the company applauds the decision. “This is yet another Court decision supporting Bacardi’s legitimate and rightful ownership of the Havana Club rum trademark and brand,” she wrote.

According to the ruling, Havana Club rum was developed by the Arechabala family in Cuba, where the family’s assets were seized by Castro’s government in 1960.

By the mid-1990s, a Cuban company had partnered with Pernod to export Cuban-made run under the Havana Club brand, except to the United States because of a U.S. trade embargo.

Bacardi, meanwhile, has said it bought the rights to the Havana Club trademark and remaining rum assets still owned by the Arechabala family in 1997.

The only Havana Club-branded rum sold in the United States is Bacardi’s, Robinson said.

Pernod Ricard USA is based in Purchase, New York, and Bacardi USA in Miami.

The case is Pernod Ricard USA LLC v. Bacardi USA Inc, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 06-505. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Leslie Gevirtz, Gary Hill)

EU Stiffs Carib Rum

Will the rum run out after EC halts funding?

2 April 2010 – Issue : 868

The rum producers of the Caribbean are protesting the European Commission’s decision to cut off funds to the region’s spirit manufacturers.

The industry employs 50,000 people and is the fourth largest traditional export, bringing in more than US$260 million a year in foreign exchange. Under the Cotonou Agreement, the EU and its ACP partners signed a Joint Declaration on Rum (XXV) that recognises its value in competing in the global economy and the need to develop the industry further, particularly through modernisation and better marketing. The EU committed € 70 million to a rum-specific programme. The deal was that the Rum producers would spend their own money to carry out the upgrades and marketing projects and claim from the EC once the projects were complete.  The funding started 3 years late and was scheduled to end in June 2010 – an unrealistic date according to EC project monitors who recommended an 18 month extension to December 2011. Now the EC is closing down the fund early and refusing to extend it because of a Council regulation, leaving the rum producers in debt. Additionally, the EC is removing tarrifs from Latin American rum and eroding the time they led Caribbean rum producers to believe they had to upgrade their production and become competitive. The EC has formally told the Caribbean that they have already settled liberalised tariffs and quotas with Colombia and Peru and are now talking in similar terms with Central American and Andean countries.

According to Carribean business executive and diplomat, Sir Ronald Saunders, the EU agreed to establish a fund of 70 million euros under the 8th European Development Fund (EDF) to facilitate the adaptation of production facilities by Caribbean rum companies. But to access this fund, companies first had to provide at least matching amounts of money, recovering the EDF grant element only when their upgrading or marketing projects are completed. Many of the companies borrowed money on commercial terms to undertake the projects.  They did so expecting the programme to continue until at least June 2010 when the funding window was scheduled to be closed. However, with about 14 million Euros still in the Fund, the EC is closing in March 2010 on the basis that the rules of the 8th EDF demand it.  This means that the rum companies cannot get reimbursement for the money they’ve invested on projects that cannot be completed by the cut-off date on which the EC has insisted.

Saunders also states that, “Poignantly, the country that will be hardest hit by this EC reversal is Haiti. Its rum producer, Barbancourt, which was devastated by last January’s earthquake, will now have no chance of getting assistance for its recovery from this programme. It will also find it well nigh impossible to regain a place in the EU market by the time it is able to limp back into any semblance of export production.” The West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) has written to Trade Commissioner, Karel DeGucht, repeating the request for access to the unspent and allocated funds for rum in the 8th EDF and expressing dismay at the dropping of the declaration on rum in the mid-term review of the Cotonou Treaty on March 19. The letter, which is circulating among ACP circles in Brussels, also pointed out that, in the deals the EC has done and is continuing to do with Latin American countries, two things will happen.

First, on low cost and heavy bulk rum, there is a strong risk that European importers will switch to using lower cost suppliers in Central or South America and immediately make full use of any tariff free quotas which are granted. The loss of such major contracts would prove devastating to Caribbean suppliers of bulk rum in Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. And, second, on bottled rum, Central and South American producers will be able to use the reduction in the tariff to further undercut ACP products in the EU market. After facing crisis in the region’s sugar and banana industries, people are hoping that the EU will rethink its decision. If not, they fear that Caribbean rum will end its 300 year trade with Europe.