A relaunched rum brand wants to become the “Patron of rum”.
Island Company Rum, initially born as an offshoot of the Island Company resort clothing and lifestyle company in 2017, had stopped production in 2019 when the original company was closed after the destruction of Hurricane Irma, says Spencer Antle , founder and creative director of the Florida-based rum company.
“It started as a side project,” says Antle. “Then, in 2019, I was shutting down my lifestyle brand, and then COVID hit.”
Although Island Company Rum has remained on the market, its distillation and production has been halted for the past two years, so its restart has been hampered by supply chain problems. Production was resumed last fall, but was not bottled or released until two months ago. “It has received 100% acceptance from every account we have visited since the start of the relaunch,” says Antle. “If an account is visited, they accept it.”
The rum is currently available in Florida, New York, New Jersey and California, but distribution is expected to expand to Texas, Massachusetts, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the US Virgin Islands early next year. Several resorts, which used to carry its lifestyle clothing line, are interested in bringing its rum.
“I want to be the patron of rums,” says Antle. “When Patron first came out, they changed the tequila market. I want to upset the category “.
What makes the Island Company rum different from other golden rums is that it has absolutely no sugar, zero carbs, only has 60 calories per ounce, and is distilled five times, he says. “It’s super clean, and it’s the smoothest rum out there,” he says, adding that he’s trademarked the phrase “luxury rum” to describe his rum, which retails for $ 45. “He also has fewer calories than vodka or tequila. “
“We need to explain and educate consumers why our rum is different,” Antle says, adding that he usually suggests people take what they consider to be their softer rum and then try it against Island Company. “It has this really super clean taste.”
Antle says he had the original idea for rum in the 1990s when he lived in Venice Beach, but he didn’t actually start developing rum until 2014, and he and his team worked with a distillery in Trinidad. to come. with the right aromatic profile over the course of a year and a half.
“It was a side project until everyone kept saying ‘This is the best rum I’ve ever tasted,'” says Antle. “It appeals to both rum drinkers and non-rum drinkers. Many people say ‘I don’t drink rum, but I’ll drink this’ ”.
It took another year to launch the production, and it was served in the bars of its clothing stores. When its production began, it won more than a dozen different awards from some of the best liquor contests, including the best gold rum for three consecutive years at the Caribbean Journal Rum awards, the best gold rum in the World Beverage Competition is the best rum at the New York International Spirits Competition.
“We may participate in some competitions that we haven’t won yet,” says Antle.
While there’s also interest in Island Company rum clothing at this point, Antle has no plans to go out with a new clothing line or lifestyle brand.
“We’ve been asked to do some installations and pop-ups with the bars, but right now we’re just trying to make sure everything is in place to be deployed in different states,” he says. “The most important thing is to change people’s minds. We want to be pirates of this genre. There hasn’t been a break in the rum space in a long time. “