Revamp for Brugal rums prepares brand ‘for next level’

Brugal XVA new design has been unveiled across the Brugal rum range alongside the UK launch of an ultra-premium limited release.

The new bottles aim for a stylish premium look with a modern edge while maintaining links with the rum’s Dominican Republic heritage and authenticity.

The redesign also sees the blanco renamed Brugal Especial Extra Dry to highlight the dry qualities of the spirit in contrast to other white rums.

The Brugal Extra Viejo has been replaced by Brugal XV. While the ABV remains the same, it is now a blend of rums aged in red European oak casks as well as white American oak.

The other two core expressions are Brugal Aňejo and Brugal 1888 in which the liquids remain the same but the bottles are the new design.

Master blender Gustavo Eduardo Ortega Zeller unveiled the new look in London this week ahead of its introduction to the on- and off-trade in June.

He also introduced the trade to Brugal Papá Andrés, an ultra-premium limited-edition rum aimed at connoisseurs. Expected to retail around £1,000 a bottle, only 50 will be available in the UK out of a total production of 500.

brugal papa andresThe rum was created exclusively to be enjoyed by the Brugal family who have run the distillery since 1888 and was not more widely available until last year’s launch in travel retail.

Named after the company’s founder Don Andrés Brugal, it is a blend of the most outstanding rums reserved by the family over the past 125 years. Each year a small portion of this rum is carefully extracted from the resting casks for the annual bottling of Papá Andrés. The cask is then topped up with a selection of aged rums chosen by the master blenders and laid down again.

Over the past 10 years, members of the fourth and fifth generations of the Brugal family have started to introduce rums aged in European oak barrels alongside those aged in traditional American white oak casks. They were inspired by the use of wood for The Macallan whisky, part of Edrington Group which acquired a majority stake in Brugal in 2008.

Papá Andrés, which comes in a crystal decanter, has a complex and elegant aroma with notes of wood and dried fruit. On the palate, it is full bodied with a long finish, with notes of butteriness and spice.

Emma Heath, marketing controller for Brugal at distributor Maxxium UK, said: “Brugal is taking a lead role in defining a new class of rum. More than just a repack, this new positioning across the portfolio represents a shift in our ambition for the brand in the UK.

“We are proud of our unique flavour profile and feel there is a great appetite here in the UK for a refreshingly dry rum which is perfectly balanced for making great drinks.”

Amanda Humphrey and David Miles of Maxxium UK’s training arm Mixxit will educate bartenders in using Brugal Especial Extra Dry and Brugal XV in cocktails. Amanda, who has created a number of recipes, says the Extra Dry can be used to create a rum twist on cocktails normally made with other white spirits such as gin and tequila.

Emma added that Brugal was performing well in the UK, enjoying a 10 per cent market share of the golden rum category in the on-trade. “This brand repositioning comes at a great time for us, enabling us to take Brugal to the next level.”

The Dominican Reviver by Amanda Humphrey

25ml Brugal Especial Extra Dry
25ml Lillet Blanc vermouth
25ml Bols Dry Orange Curacao
25ml Lemon juice
1 barspoon of Velvet Falurnum or gomme syrup

Shake ingredients hard and double-strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with orange peel.

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