5 years in bourbon cask
Alcohol by volume:
Brand Elements Eight debuted in 2006, created by a duo of experienced veterans - Carl Stephenson and Andreas Redlefsen. The independent British bottler tied the entire range to one distillery - the St. Lucia Distillers. With one exception, the Republica variant.
Alright, so the product line included initially Gold and Platinum versions, followed by Spiced (2010) and Criollo Cacao (2013). Great Britain was chosen as the target market. The sales dynamics was boosted by product placement in fashionable and trendsetting bars of London (Artesian, Nobu, Soho Hotel, Zuma).
The newcomer stood out visually: truly eccentric appearance with the soaring bottle held on the athletic shapes of the cuboid. Instead of labels there are prints on the bottle enabling the light play if properly exhibited. Brand communication is based on eight elements or stages constituting the craft rum. The advertising slogan proclaimed "harmonious balance".
After ten years, it was decided to make a revolutionary rebranding. The round, lighter and much lower bottle was designed by Bruni Glass, while the labels were developed by Mangrove. The changes were justified to improve ergonomics, but also by the ambition to obtain a look more suited to handcrafted production. The logo has been updated into a double claim: “small batch” and “artisan rum”. Criollo Cacao dropped out of the offer, Gold was renamed Vendôme and Spiced turned into Exotic Spices. Republica joined the unbeaten trinity in 2017.
Before we start, let's take a look at Carl Stephenson, who has gained momentum and sees market opportunities in marketing of rum mixes (Jamaica Cove, Jah45 or Fabulous Thai Rum Company); gins (Gin Lane 1751) and gin mixes (Mrs Cuthbert's Gin Liqueurs); non-alcoholic botanical extracts (Kvîst) and aperitifs (Tuscan Tree Aperitivo). And if that wasn't enough, he hosts the Londoner bar (The Bloomsbury Club). Wide range, for sure, but also a common denominator. Respect.
I have already mentioned that the Republica is a novelty in the assortment because it's not crafted by St. Lucia Distillers. However the unified label lists the same eight elements just as for others. For instance, both the Panamanian Varela Hermanos and the Cuban Cubay use their own sugarcane crops and local water resources. Meanwhile bottling, including dilution, is carried out in the UK. How should we then categorize the element 'water' or 'terroir'? The same applies to the fermentation process, which probably follows the practice used in the above-mentioned distilleries and not the practice of St. Lucia Distillers (cold fermentation with three yeasts strains).
In turn, we do know the type of distillation; it's 'traditional column stills' in both cases. We also know that the rums matured for five years under tropical conditions (Cuba, Panama), that the aging took place in bourbon oak barrels and that there was no cold filtration before bottling.