A new rum brand inspired by Jamaica’s music scene has been launched by spirits specialist Mangrove Global with the aim to “disrupt” the category in the UK.
Made with blends of aged pot and column still rums from famous Jamaican distilleries, JAH45 is debuting with five variants: 18ct Gold, Silver, Dark and Spiced at 40% ABV and White Overproof at 63%.
It takes inspiration from the Jamaican music scene, specifically the sound system era of the 1950s and 1960s, setting out to capture the intertwined vibes of rum and music.
With its origins in the ghettos of 1950s Kingston, the sound system was revolutionary in providing affordable entertainment. It was used by liquor stores selling rum to attract customers, with DJs playing local music on turntables and huge speakers.
The rums are authentically Jamaican, with a “Jamaican Funk” style, evoking the 1950s. JAH45 Dark and JAH45 18ct Gold are a blend of three-year-old pot still rum with unaged column still rums.
JAH45 Spiced is a three-year-old rum that has been macerated for 48 hours with vanilla, cinnamon, citrus and a dash of pimento.
JAH45 Silver is an unaged pot and column still medium-bodied white rum and JAH45 White Overproof is a blend of unaged pot and column still medium bodied white rum, cut at 63% ABV bottling strength.
The rums will be available through Mangrove to bar and restaurant groups, specialist independent drink stores and multiple retailers. Listings are already in place with 54-strong restaurant group Las Iguanas.
Simple, classic serves from the era are recommended for the new rums, such as JAH45 Dark with Jamaican ginger beer, JAH45 Spiced with Jamaican grapefruit juice Ting, JAH45 Gold with juices and tiki-style serves like a Mai Tai, JAH45 Silver with cola, and JAH Overproof with cranberry juice, dubbed a Red Eye.
Targeting consumers who are over 20 and “sociable music lovers”, the packaging has been designed to create back-bar and on-shelf stand out. It features a two-ripped label style that evokes the music vibe of the brand and is reminiscent of dance hall posters.
It has been created by Hellshire Club, a newly formed brand creation company, headed by CEO Carl Stephenson, formerly an executive with J Wray & Nephew, a leading supplier of rum and other spirits.
He said: “JAH45 is a really exciting pure Jamaican rum brand, which reflects the spirit of sound-system Jamaica in the ‘50s. Music brought the vibes, rum brought the soul!”
Nick Gillett, managing director of Mangrove Global, added: “With the unique ‘funk’ flavour, JAH45 are rums that go back to their Jamaican roots and offer an exciting addition to standard rum selections.
“With the global distribution rights, we look forward to working with JAH45 to launch and continue to grow into the UK and other markets.”