80% column still, 20% pot still
2 years; column spirit in oak vats, pot spirit in ex-bourbon American oak barrels
Alcohol by volume:
South Pacific Distillery is the only active distillery in Fiji. It has been operating there for over forty years and provided bulk rum for some bottlers in Europe. Rum Co. of Fiji is not the distillery's owner but a parallel company and a subsidiary of Paradise Beverages, which in turn belongs to Coca-Cola Amatil.
In 2014, Fijians came to the conclusion to present their own rum sovereignly to the wider audience. Two product lines were created; the exclusive 'ratu' derives it's name from the tribal leaders, the other refers to the fearless warriors 'bati'. The initial product design didn't meet the expectations of the international clientele, so the task of revolutionizing the brand identity was delegated to the Australian agency The Creative Method. Original typography, subtle engravings in the shape of Polynesian body art, neat juxtaposition of vintage and modern - very appealing to me. The brand has increased its global income and reach.
Nevertheless, the following ad campaign received criticism from some locals. Adversaries don't like the instrumentalization of traditional cultural patterns; alcohol demoralizes; the whole thing affirms violence and reproduces stereotypes. Let's take a look at the logotype; the colonial saber crossed with the totokia, a hardwood warhammer used to pierce enemies skulls and actually a status symbol. The pre-colonial Fiji can be easily compared to Hobbes' state of nature; the war of all against all.
Later, the British instilled rugby on the islands and the Fijans love it. Over the entire population of 900k citizens there are 80k players. Rugby channels the regional pride and at the same time strengthens the national identity. Diverse ethnic groups supports the national team. The government issued even $7 banknotes to honor the gold medal victory in Rio de Janeiro Olympics in rugby 7s. The national team is called here Fiji Bati.
The Pacific archipelago of Fiji was formed by volcanic eruptions that started 150 million years ago. In the humid equatorial climate grow 2,600 plant species. There is no erosion on those volcanic soils, hence sugar cane is grown organically. The raw material is collected manually. 80% of the molasses is distilled in the column still; 20% in pot still acquired from the New Zealand Whisky distillery Willowbank (closed in 1997). Both components are aged separately for two years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels. The blend is filtered through coconut shell carbon. This is a more efficient method than using charcoal or peat filtering