Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage that has been created from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane molasses, sugar cane syrup, or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95-percent ABV or alcohol by volume and bottled at no less than 40-percent ABV. It comes in various grades, including light, golden, dark, spiced, overproof, flavored and premium. It can be taken straight or on the rocks or mixed to make an assortment of cocktails. It is even used as a flavoring agent in a number of cuisine dishes and desserts.
In terms of sales volume in million 9-liter cases, the following are the five top best-selling rum brands in the world:
McDowell’s No. 1
McDowell’s No.1 Celebration, which sold 18.3 million 9-liter cases last year, is now the world’s new number one best-selling rum brand, beating long-time first placer Bacardi by some 90,000 9-liter cases. Manufactured by United Spirits Limited, the Indian dark rum product is also considered as the fastest growing rum brand in the world, having just been launched in 1991 with only a hundred thousand cases.
In the production of McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum, it undergoes multiple distillation through five copper column stills. It is aged for at least three years in oak barrels before being blended and bottled. The rum is distilled, blended and bottled in United Spirit’s plant at Ponda, Goa, India. It comes packed in an eyecatching square decanter-style bottle with textured glass. The product is sold in 13 countries. In its native country, it accounts for 38-40 percent of the total market for rum.
Bacardi, the former top-seller slid to second place after having just sold 18.2 million 9-liter cases last year, which is 5-percent less than the 19.1 million cases it sold in 2013. Owned and produced by Bacardi Limited, the largest privately-held family-owned spirits company in the world, the brand dropped to a five-year low and is said to be undergoing some aggressive restructuring to recover lost grounds.
Bacardi, which has 27 facilities in 16 markets on four continents and sells in over 150 countries, now carries a portfolio of over 200 brands and labels of a wide range of spirits, beer and wines. Yet, the name Bacardi will always be associated with its iconic white rum, touted as the world’s most awarded rum, having garnered more than 550 awards for quality from various international spirit rating bodies.
Tanduay, which sold sold 16.6 million 9-liter cases last year came at third place. However, The Spirit Business magazine nonetheless awarded it the “Rum Brand Champion 2015” title because despite “having experienced dramatic declines in 2013 when volumes plummeted by five million cases, the brand saw an impressive increase of 19% last year, the most of any rum brand among the million-case sellers.”
The Philippine-based Tanduay rum is distilled, blended and bottled by Tanduay Distillers, Inc., now a diversified LT Group-owned beverage company that carries a line that also includes an assortment of gin, brandy, whiskey, brandy, vodka, and flavored alcohol mixes and cocktails. The rum brand itself now comes in twelve variants, namely: Tanduay Rhum 65 Fine Dark Rhum, Tanduay Five Years Fine Dark Rhum, Tanduay Rum 1854, Tanduay Superior Dark Rhum, Tanduay White Premium Rhum, Tanduay Centennial Dark Rhum, Tanduay Rhum Light, Tanduay Asian Rum Gold, Tanduay Asian Rum Silver, Boracay Rum by Tanduay, Tanduay Extra Strong Rhum, and Tanduay Select Blended Rum.
Captain Morgan, which sold 10.4 million 9-liter cases last year comes next after Tanduay in the list of best-sellers.
Owned by UK-based Dageo PLC, the world’s largest producer of spirits, Captain Morgan rum comes in a wide range of variants, including the original and flagship 100-proof Black, along with Black Spiced Rum, Dark Rum, Deluxe Dark, Lime Bite, Limited Edition Spiced, Long Island Iced Tea, Original Spiced, Original Spiced Gold, Parrot Bay, Private Stock, Silver Spiced, Tattoo, White Rum, White Rum Flavored, 100 Proof, 1671, Cannon Blast, and Sherry Oak.
Cuban-based Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club, which sold 4 million 9-liter cases last year, made it as the fifth largest selling rum brand in the world, despite continued prohibition from entry in the United States. The brand comes in nine variants, namely: Anejo Blanco, Anejo 3 Anos, Anejo Especil, Anejo Reserva, Anejo 7 Anos, Maximo Extra Anejo, Seleccion de Maestros, and Havana Club Union.
In the United States, Bacardi also produces rum under the Havana Club brand that is sold only in Florida and a few other states and that is manufactured in Puerto Rico. With the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba, there is speculation that Pernod Ricard, using the “Havanista” trademark, will soon be providing some competition to Bacardi’s take on the popular rum.
Aside from the five named above, other brands which made it to the list of top-ten best-selling rums are: Radico Khaitan’s Contessa from India which sold 2.7 million 9-liter cases last year, Dominican Republic rum brand Barcelo which sold 2.2 million cases, Amrut Distillers’ Old Port Rum also from India which sold 1.8 million, Pernod Ricard’s Montilla which sold 1.6 million, and Gruppo Campari’s Appleton Estate Rum which sold 1.2 million 9-liter cases last year.