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What do you look for on the label?


Bill Poster
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Is it the age of the rum, or preference of origin? Or something else?

Q. If an average consumer (with not much experience of rum)has a choice of different brand rums; one is 5 yr and the other is 7 yr- do you think they go on age to decide on their purchase?

Edited by Bill Poster (log)
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Personally I go by several factors (if I have not tried the rum before). The first is reputation by tasters that I respect. If I see a rum that is well spoken of by say Ed Hamilton ( :smile: ) then I would be more inclined to buy it than a rum that has not received such kind words.

Second is price. If there are two rums that I really want to try, but have a large price difference, I will probably jump for the cheaper one first.

Lastly, is the rum label/bottle. If it's packaging is all fancy, I may be more willing to buy it than a plan package if I know nothing of the rum and prices are similar. It is definitely not a good indication of what's inside the bottle, but I guess I am a sucker for frills. :raz:

In regards to stated age, it does not factor into my decision at all. I find that the age doesn't always mean it will taste better than another.

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I did a private bottling for a Japanese company but don't see that they were aiming at Joe Public. Their major bit was the name of the distillery followed by the age (year not how old which I think is more attractive if a little "dishonest")

But Joe Public:

1) Price

2) Label design

3) A catchy name that makes them think of the Caribbean

4) Region

5) Age

6) Bottler

For JP I really don't think that age is that important. Many rums don't include an age statement at all and then some use monikers such as XO or VSOR etc etc

Edited by ctgm (log)
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BP

I quite like the label of the 1796. Classic but then again I suppose that I am not JoeP. I seem to recall that it has a wax capsule which I think always looks good (unless the rest of the packaging is pretensious). For example I think that it looks good on Makers Mark.

I suppose when I said label design that it should have included packaging as well. With the 1796 I like the bottle shape - it looks expensive. The fact that what is inside is excellent is neither here nor there for Joe P.

As names go, I think one of the better ones (along with the packaging) is El Dorado. I like the ship one the label - perfect connection with rum - and the name is good. A dumpy-ish bottle gets me thinking of the old days with pirates etc. Dont't know why but there you are. On the other hand Old Brigand does nothing for me - too obvious

Just personal thinkings.

Edited by ctgm (log)
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My experience for what it's worth is that JP will buy a label with a higher number on it because he doesn't know what an age statement is. Bacardi 8 is a very good example. Matusalem 10 and 15 Solera Blender are others. These aren't age statements but they do help sell rum.

I completely agree with the Old Brigand bottle being so far over the top that it doesn't work, but the truth is that it's a decent rum in that bottle.

It is interesting to look at the Single Malt Whisky industry where some of the best and most expensive spirits are bottled in some very plain bottles and with labels that wouldn't have any credibility in other spirits sectors.

Industry expert endorsements do help, but like fancy bottles they have to taken in small measures. Personally, I hate to pay for fancy bottles or fancy ad campaigns. I'd much rather pay for what's in the bottle rather than what the company spent to get me to buy it.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Industry expert endorsements do help, but like fancy bottles they have to taken in small measures.

Ed, are you trying to discredit yourself? :raz:

Bacardi 8 is a very good example. Matusalem 10 and 15 Solera Blender are others. These aren't age statements but they do help sell rum.

Is it wrong that I like Bacardi 8? It's rather cheap and tastes ok to what I can tell...more enjoyable than Bacardi Gold at least.

I completely agree with the Old Brigand bottle being so far over the top that it doesn't work, but the truth is that it's a decent rum in that bottle.

OLDE%20BRIGAND%2010.jpg

Is this the bottle in question? I don't really understand what's wrong with it aside from the fact that it seems to be slanted.

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too olde worlde - it is ramming the image of piracy, and rum being the mysterious drink that pirates would drink, down your throught. As I said, from a personal point of view, bottle is too obvious and the name is too obvious.

Edited by ctgm (log)
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ctgm,

Regarding the 1796, the label is the only prob for me; You cannot make it out clearly on the backbar - needs to be bolder

I agree with you that the rest of the packaging is v. nice- not pretentious, just sophisticated.

In the UK, the name El Dorado has bad conertations (with a TV soap opera flop)

-also Cavalier would not work here for similar reasons.

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Is it wrong that I like Bacardi 8?  It's rather cheap and tastes ok to what I can tell...more enjoyable than Bacardi Gold at least.

Bacardi 8 is a good rum and can usually be had for a bargain price. I think what Ed means is that the '8' on Bacardi 8 signifies there is some eight year old rum in the bottle, but some, maybe most could be much younger. It's my understanding that the age number signifies the oldest rum in the blend, but it may not be a large % of the total volume.

More knowledgeable rummys :smile: will correct me as needed.

Thanks,

Kevin

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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I think what Ed means is that the '8' on Bacardi 8 signifies there is some eight year old rum in the bottle, but some, maybe most could be much younger.  It's my understanding that the age number signifies the oldest rum in the blend, but it may not be a large % of the total volume.

Kevin

In the US, an age statement is supposed to reflect the youngest rum in the bottle, not the oldest. Bacardi doesn't claim anything other than that the 8 is a trade name and it has no relevancy to the age of the spirit. And the 8 isn't meant to confuse you, that would be illegal.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Industry expert endorsements do help, but like fancy bottles they have to taken in small measures.

Ed, are you trying to discredit yourself? :raz:

I'm not trying to discredit myself, but everyone has their own taste. Don't take what I, or anyone else writes or says as the only truth. Read what I write, try some of my recommendations and see if you agree. And if you agree with what I write, your taste is comparable to mine.

I also look for recommendations, pro and con, when it comes to new spirits to try. It saves a lot of time and money.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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I think what Ed means is that the '8' on Bacardi 8 signifies there is some eight year old rum in the bottle, but some, maybe most could be much younger.  It's my understanding that the age number signifies the oldest rum in the blend, but it may not be a large % of the total volume.

Kevin

In the US, an age statement is supposed to reflect the youngest rum in the bottle, not the oldest. Bacardi doesn't claim anything other than that the 8 is a trade name and it has no relevancy to the age of the spirit. And the 8 isn't meant to confuse you, that would be illegal.

Thanks for chimming with the correction Ed. I guess I got the rum confused with balsamic vinegar :wacko: .

I didn't know that Bacardi 8 was only a trade name, but that would explain why it seems to retail for a relatively cheap price. I greatly prefer the 8 over plain ol' Bacardi, but now I know what the 8 really means.

Thanks again!

K

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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I always assumed the '8' was the year.

As did I...due to Bacardi's tricky marketing. On the bottle specifically (Canadian bottle of Bacardi 8), it does not say any age in english, but it does say "Ron 8 Anos" which means 8 year rum.

As well, on the Bacardi Canada website, Bacardi 8 is described as "the premium dark rum from Bacardi that is aged for eight years in small mature oak casks to develope into the world's most exquisitely smooth rum".

I guess they can get away with this since this description is only on a website, and not printed directly on the bottle.

Edited by jlo mein (log)
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hmmm... If a producer is really lying about their product on a website owned or controlled by them, I don't think they have a defense to a charge of false advertising just because the lie is not printed on the bottle. If I were to print lies about a product I was selling in an advertisment, but not repeat them on the packaging, I think I would be liable if somebody were to come after me.

I question whether Bacardi would take the risk of lying about their product if it could be proved that the booze in the bottle isn't what they say it is. My bottle of Bacardi 8 clearly says on it "...aged at least 8 years..." Anybody got convincing proof that this is a lie? Until I see something convincing, Bacardi gets the benefit of the doubt as far as I'm concerned. Besides, it is tasty rum at a fine price regardless of how old it may or may not be.

I always assumed the '8' was the year.

As did I...due to Bacardi's tricky marketing. On the bottle specifically (Canadian bottle of Bacardi 8), it does not say any age in english, but it does say "Ron 8 Anos" which means 8 year rum.

As well, on the Bacardi Canada website, Bacardi 8 is described as "the premium dark rum from Bacardi that is aged for eight years in small mature oak casks to develope into the world's most exquisitely smooth rum".

I guess they can get away with this since this description is only on a website, and not printed directly on the bottle.

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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cdh, I agree-

but I have heard at least 2 rum producers complaining about descriptions on rivals' products.

Maybe there should be a ban on rum producers putting the age on the bottle!

Edited by Bill Poster (log)
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I have a feeling that it would be 8 years old. I don't think that they could get away with marketing it as 8, as the assumption would be there. Having said that do we think that Santa Teresa is from 1796 etc?

As for complaints, I am sure that in this cut-throat world there would be numerous if anything under hand was going on. I don't think that Bacardi, Pernod, Diageo etc etc do each other many favours, unless they want to buy a company and have to sell off a few bits and pieces due to monopolies (look at the break-up of Seagram's portfolio).

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going back to the original question (which I think is one of the best that I have seen on the forum).

COLO(U)R.

I think that the colo(u)r is very important. As we know there are 3 main types

White - not important to Joe as white is white and going to be mixed away

Dark - probably the same as above

Gold - to which I think might be more important to the original question. I think that those buyers who want to experiment with something different (ie Joe P branching out to sipping rums) like to see what the colo(u)r is. Those rums that are in black bottles and other dark glassed ones, to me, might lose out.

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Don't overlook the fact that there is more white rum sold than all others combined. For my taste the color has to look natural. As soon as I see a very dark spirit I immediately think that someone has decided to darken it for commercial purposes which aren't necessarily in my best interest.

All of this really depends on what market you're looking to sell to. I personally like the El Dorado bottle even though it has a definite green tint. But I tend to steer clear of the very dark bottles unless I know the spirit within.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Is it the age of the rum, or preference of origin? Or something else?

Q. If an average consumer (with not much experience of rum)has a choice of different brand rums; one is 5 yr and the other is 7 yr- do you think they go on age to decide on their purchase?

It depends on how educated the consumer is on the subject. If they're on one end of the spectrum and know nothing about spirits, then advertising, word of mouth, and the look of the bottle play a big role. On the other end of the spectrum, you have people who look not just at age, but age in combination with distillation proof, barreling proof, and bottling proof, as well as any other information that might suggest the overall style of the spirit. In the middle you have people who rely mostly on rules of thumb, which may or may not be relevant, such as "the older it is, the better it is".

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Had an interesting conversation about rum with the GF last night.

In her opinion, rum is not a girls' drink, is unfashionable, and that in general women would never order a rum mixer over vodka..but that a Bacardi and Coke IS acceptable- because Bacardi is not percieved as 'rum' to most females(and most males IMO)-Bacardi is Bacardi.

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Had an interesting conversation about rum with the GF last night.

In her opinion, rum is not a girls' drink, is unfashionable, and that in general women would never order a rum mixer over vodka..but that a Bacardi and Coke IS acceptable- because Bacardi is not percieved as 'rum' to most females(and most males IMO)-Bacardi is Bacardi.

hmmm...odd, since around where I live, a lot of the popular mixed drinks ordered by women at clubs and restaurants contain rum, such as Blue Hawaiians, Mai Tais, etc.

However, when I do see young women buying spirits from the liquor store, I see them reach for vodka much more often than rum.

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