Rum made in Cayman will soon be available for purchase in the US, as the Cayman Islands Distillery recently sent off the first large shipment of its spirits bound for America.
One large retailer that will sell Seven Fathoms Rum is Binny’s Beverage Depot, via its 25 stores in the Chicago area and on its website. The exclusive US importer of the rum is Luxe Vintages, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.
“We’ve had demand for export for a long time. It’s just recently that we’ve had enough that we can consider exporting,” distillery co-founder Walker Romanica said.
Currently, only Seven Fathoms Rum is being exported to the US, per an agreement signed early this year with Luxe Vintages.
The process for US import is not easy, said distillery co-founder Nelson Dilbert. “We have been working on our US import approvals for the last year which includes product testing, label approvals and working with a wide number of US agencies…The demand is there, so hopefully it will be worth it in the end,” he said.
The US has a three-tier system for liquor distribution, meaning the rum travels through the importer, Luxe Vintages, to distributors, which vary by state, then to retailers, such as Binny’s, and then on to the general public.
Luxe Vintages “liked the rum from the moment we tasted it and felt it would be a great fit in our artisanal portfolio,” said Peter Staley, managing director. “With the increased demand in the US market for small-batch spirits – combined with the huge pent-up demand for Seven Fathoms from the large number of Cayman visitors from the US – we knew we had a winning combination.”
“We are excited about the potential for growth from the US export market. People that come and visit us here in Cayman want to be able to find the rum at home, as they email and tell us frequently,” Mr. Romanica said. “The rum proudly displays its Caymanian origin on the label, which may serve to remind some of their time spent as a visitor here. We hope it takes them back to a time when they were sipping on a rum cocktail watching a Cayman sunset on Seven Mile Beach.”
Mr. Romanica said dark, light and spiced rums will be launched one by one within the next year. The distillery is also working on “some unique artisan flavours,” including guinep-flavoured rum, he said.
Also, the company is close to finalising an agreement to purchase land, somewhere in or near George Town, to build a new 5,000-square-foot production facility, Mr. Romanica said.