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To find out more about one of the early pioneers of the rum revolution in the UK, QUBA spoke to Jack Orr-Ewing, CEO at the Duppy Share.
1. Can you introduce us to your rum brand?
I run the Duppy Share – we’re a portfolio of premium Caribbean rums from Jamaica and Barbados, founded and managed in London. We are the UK’s largest premium rum, and we’re proud to be trading in 15 countries. We have recently launched Duppy White, a co-founded brand with Kano, the international actor and artist – together we’ve created a rival to the Cuban white rums of Havana and Bacardi, and will be shaking the last part of the category to premiumise and see exciting growth.
2. Tell us about the origins of the Duppy Share?
Duppy was founded on the premise that rum was the last major spirits category not to undergo a revolution – what Hendricks did to gin, Grey Goose and Belvedere did to Vodka, and Patron and Casamigos did to tequila, Duppy is helping do to rum – taking a tired old category, and bringing energy, design, innovation and accessible great taste, brining new, younger consumers to the category.
For us, the story of the Duppy Share was the perfect vehicle to achieve this – Duppies are mischievous Jamaican spirits that are said to swoop between the islands’ distilleries, taking the best rum as they go, to blend together to fuel their wild parties – the story is the perfect hook for consumers and bartenders alike to be able to re-tell our brand story in a memorable way.
3. What types of rum have you distilled?
We currently have 3 types of rum Our Aged Rum is a blend of 5 yr Barbados column still rum from Four Square, and a 3 yr old pot still from Worthy Park in Jamaica – the funk and punchy tropical esters of the Jamaican rums cut through the smooth, buttery taste of the Barbados rums to create a balanced, long finish that works in cocktails and as a sipping rum.
Our Spiced rum uses 100% Jamaican rums, blending Wedderburn style rums with pot still high ester rums to create a super premium base rum. We then add 10 all-natural Caribbean spices – the lead flavours are Pineapple and Kola Nut, with vanilla, ginger, orange essence and caramels being balanced out by basil, clove and grapefruit.
We were proud to be one of only 2 rums awarded a 2-star great taste award in 2020, making us the joint-tastiest rum in the country.
Our newly launched white rum uses a 100% Jamaican rum from Worthy Park, Hampdon and Clarendon. This clean, fresh rum bursts with the natural flavours of mango, thyme and pimento – a tropical nose and a fresh, punchy finish.
In November, we will release our final rum – the XO – this is our super premium offer, using rums aged up to 12 years, from 100% Barbados origin. This super smooth, premium rum will rival any of the tired old sipping rums, and doesn’t rely on heavy sugar content for the quality. Stand by for the awards season, where we expect to clean up next year.
4. What do you feel your rum is best mixed with?
Aged – classic cocktails such as the rum old fashioned and daiquiri.
Spiced – Rum + 1 – ginger, coke or tonic.
White – DW and Pink Ting, or in a Mojito. Works well with lemonade as a simple serve.
XO – on the rocks or straight up.
5. What are your thoughts on the future of the UK rum industry? Where do you see the Duppy Share in this rum revolution?
We consider ourselves as one of the early pioneers and leaders of the revolution, but I’m sure many others do to. We are proud to be part of the seismic change we’ve seen in rum over the last 3-5 years – and with new brands joining the revolution every week, and new mixers like QUBA supporting and fuelling that growth, it’s an exciting time to be part of the category.
Consumer always lag behind the press and the hype, and now we’re starting to see the numbers follow the many articles about the “rum revolution” or the summer of rum.
Covid advanced the direct to consumer shift by almost 5 years, and created a generation of at-home bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts who know their rums. As long as we protect the category from the hundreds of low quality flavour-led expressions killing innovation, and harming consumer trust in the category, we’ll see a decade of growth and premiumisation in rum!