Last night in London kilts and headdresses collided as two very distinct worlds united. It’s hard to imagine there has ever been a more amusingly incongruous marriage than Scotland and Brazil. Certainly the marketing minds behind Ballantine’s Brasil have been having fun with the idea. The launch's accompanying cocktail creations include the Highland Samba and the Glen Coco.
The original British Navy rum, which was bought from the Admiralty by CEO Charles Tobias in 1979 and marketed to the UK a year later, has historically been popular with ex-naval personnel.
The brand remains loyal to its traditional consumer, so the move has been described as a refocusing, not a repositioning by brand manager at Cellar Trends, Peter Thornton, who added that the “minimal interest” in the brand among younger drinkers could soon be rectified.
Thornton said he hoped the 6% volume sales growth (year to date) could be swollen to year-on-year growth of 22% by the end of 2012. In the UK the brand sells around 3,000 nine-litre cases a year.
The over-proof rum will be promoted in 40 tiki and rum-focused bars around the UK during October to December.
Bars that order two cases of Pusser’s will receive a small replica ‘scuttle-butt’ - the barrel from which the a naval ship’s Purser would dispense the daily rum ration to sailors - from which Pusser’s punches can be served to large parties.
Pusser's is still made to the original Navy recipe: a blend of six rums from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, distilled in wooden stills to an abv of 54.5%, aged for two years in French oak and naturally coloured.
Thornton said: “It is now time for Pusser’s Rum to make more of its unque qualities, which until now have mainly been appreciated by a naval and a sailing audience.
"I want to focus a lot more on bar managers and venues. By supporting bartenders they will hopefully do the work [in attracting a younger audience] for us. Tiki bars are a massive part of that."