Trinidad and Tobago is known as a producer of many products that are in demand internationally. Of all of these, it is often said that only its rum represents the spirit of the twin-island republic. The spirit of this carnival crazed country was present in dark and wintry New York last weekend, when Angostura, also makers of the world famous aromatic bitters, launched three of its super premium rums. The International Range, “Angostura Butterfly Rums,” captivated a gathering composed of rum connoisseurs, casual and regular drinkers, journalists and well-wishers.
In a market, which boasts a wide range of spirits and liquors to satisfy the tastes of a cosmopolitan population representing diverse cultures, Angostura is confident that its new rums aged three, five, and seven years respectively, would become the choice to consumers of fine rum in North America. After all, subsequent to the launch of these well-aged rums in Europe last year, there has been great feedback from a non-traditional market where vodka and cognac are the preferred choices of those who imbibe strong alcoholic beverages. Russians are now salivating for these quality rums made by Trinidad and Tobago’s premier rum manufacturer.
For a company to maintain its market share in a very competitive environment, it must have a dynamic product with a unique flavour. To highlight the claim that these new rums are indeed of a superior brand, Angostura saw it fitting to have in attendance its Master Distiller, J.P. Georges, who explained the complex distillation and other procedures, which are involved in the making the prestige products.
As though giving a lecture to would be distillers, Georges pontificated that the process of giving us the best rums that the Caribbean has to offer begins with the original raw materials. He also stressed, “Our distillation process is key.”
It is said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. For current purposes, it is not out of place to say that, the proof of the rum is in the tasting. This point was not lost on the officials of Angostura who included former Miss Trinidad and Tobago and Miss World, Giselle Laronde. Patrons were invited to sample what is being touted as the best rums to be produced in Trinidad. The newly recruited rum-tasters. were not averse to rise to the occasion to test the quality of the latest embodiments of the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago. A taste of “Peter’s Painkiller,” one of the three specialized drinks available, brought about reactions which affirmed that Angostura’s assertion that their new rums were of a superior class was not empty rhetoric.
Patrick Burt, a bartender from New Jersey remarked that, “The Angostura seven was the easiest sipping rum I’ve had, and the three, which was twice filtered through charcoal to remove the golden colour acquired during barrel ageing and any impurities, was clearer than other brands.” Similar sentiments were echoed by other rum experts who were present.
The jury is still out to determine whether the latest rum imports from Trinidad and Tobago would carve their own niche in the North American market.