Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
Talking to Drinks International, Russell Jones, Captain Morgan global brand director, said the consumer trend is away from white rums and towards spiced rums and that Bacardi’s 19.56m 9-litre case sales (2011) is achievable by Captain Morgan (9.20 cases in 2011).
He said: “I think we can catch up with Bacardi. In some markets we are ahead of Bacardi. In Canada we‘ve gone through a million cases and are on the cusp of taking over Bacardi.
“For historical reasons there are 20m cases of white rum being drunk around the world, largely because of Bacardi.
“But the more holistic trend is that the market is going away from white rums to spiced, Latin American and aged rums. In nine out of 10 cases, where rum is performing well, it’s on the back of spiced rums.”
Jones said the US is the major market for Captain Morgan and, as such, is a testing ground for product innovation, such as the April-launched Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum.
He said: “What happens in the US tends to set the trend. We’ve seen 16 spiced rums join the market in three years in the US. But more competition is good for us, it forces us to be on our game.
“Captain Morgan is now the number two bar call in the US and the number three spirit [by volume].”