April’s Surprise Craft Box of Spiced Rum comes from Cuba and features Black Tears Dry Spiced Rum
Inside The Black Tears Dry Spiced Rum Box this month;
#rumspiration_magazine ISSUE 012 (the only monthly Rum & Lifestyle Magazine in the UK) – featuring the rums of the month, interview with Sham Mahabir – Limin’ Beach Club, DJ set from Peter Thornton brand ambassador for the island rum company, our cocktail of the month – the classic Pina Colada with 6 other recipes to try, food corner all in our new look edition.
Rum is a big part of Cuba’s national identity, and for the Cuban people, its personal! The country has had a colourful past, and its love affair with rum, and its production is no different. The highly regarded and highly protected Cuban rum style/quality we know today, was actually set in “Rum Law” around the mid 1800’s. Today Cuban rum and its production is one of the most tightly regulated in the category. Part of the “Rum Law” states that post-production it is forbidden to add any colour, flavour, sweetener, or additives of any kind to the distillate. Also to be labelled as “Cuba Ron” the distillate must be a minimum of two years old. That is how it has always been. Until now! Until the original founders of The Island Rum Co. came along! It has taken them over 11 years to produce an authentic blend compliant with “Rum Law” that would meet the approval of Cuba Ron SA, the Cuban rum regulator and AZCUBA, Cuban sugar industry, both arms controlling ALL of Cuba’s rum production.
The Island Rum Company
2012 saw The Island Rum Company established by three passionate entrepreneurs and innovators. Their idea? to combine Cuban influence and networks with deep international drinks industry experience, and bring to the world unique, new, and exciting Cuban um brands. This would be done by marrying the traditions of Cuban rum making with innovation and progressive thinking in product development. The first thing on the agender, was to create the world’s first, (and currently only) ‘Spiced’ Cuban Rum. Now remember, according to Cuban “Rum Law” you cannot add anything to your distillate. “So how is a ‘Spiced’ product possible” I hear you ask? The answer is not a simple one that’s for sure! and has taken many years to perfect. But perfect it they have in the brand Black Tears Dry Spiced. So much so, that
The Island Rum Co. now own the Varona distillery in the province of Ciego de Avila. There is an official Joint Venture Agreement with the Cuban government, who own and control every aspect of rum production on the island. This has only ever happened once before, with Pernod Ricard and the Havana Club brand. This is one element of the assets they now own as part of the Joint Venture Agreement. The other is the aging house and warehouse in Havana and the barrels of rum held within – now over 8,000 barrels!
Black Tears traces back to an important time of Cuba’s historical musical culture.
Lagrimas Negras (literal translation, Black Tears) is the title of a song, written in 1928 by Cuban born Miguel Matamaros, and is thought to have been integral in the creation of new song and dance genres, as well as instigating the Afro-Cuban movement, bringing together people from different cultures, backgrounds, and even different Caribbean islands. The song was originally written as a (tragic) love song but has evolved to become a kind of second national anthem for the Cuban people–an anthem OFthe people. Today it is still as engrained in (and important to) daily life as it was when it was first released. ALL Cubans know it. ALL Cubans love it. ALL Cubans have a story attached to it.
For The Island Rum Company, there was never any doubt about what the worlds’ first ‘Spiced’ Cuban rum would be called, it had to represent the Cuban people, their culture, what they have been through, and what the future holds. Lagrimas Negras was the only choice. The creation and release of Black Tears Dry Spiced is a huge thing for two main reasons – the first being it is only the second time Cuba has partnered with a foreign company when it comes to rum, and second, it is the first time ever that anyone has been allowed to create a ‘Spiced’ variant of Cuban rum. Black Tears Dry Spiced truly is the first of its kind, and not only demonstrates how far Cuba and its rum category has come since the revolucion, but also just how good ‘Spiced’ rums can be.
Black Tears launched into the UK in October 2019 and has been growing and developing the brand ever since, and everyone knows that 2020 was a tough year, so imagine trying to develop a brand and educate the masses whilst dealing with all of that too! But in keeping with the Cuban ethos on life, hard work pays off.
Cuban rum (Ron) is usually dryer than most other Spanish styles of rum due to its production. This could be due to the yeast used and/or the plates in which the distillate is drawn from. Therefore a lot of young/white Cuban rum will carry the message ‘od’ being ‘dry’. The spices are also all ‘dry’ – as in not a liquid flavour or sweetener like caramel or sugars etc. The spicing of Black Tears Dry Spiced HAD to be 100% indigenous to Cuba, there can be nothing imported as the Cuban ‘Rum Law’ doesn’t allow this. The Island Rum Co. chose the infusion ingredients to create a very different and unique flavour of Cuban rum that best represents the island and its people. The term ‘Dry Spiced’ is a nod to the fact that the ingredients used are all natural too and tells the consumer this is not a sweet or sweetened product. Also, if the base rum was not ‘spiced’ it would be labelled as ‘Sliver Dry’ or ‘Dry white’ for example.
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