at least 10 years in ex-bourbon and sherry casks
Alcohol by volume:
The entrepreneurial spirit in Guyana is doing well. The XM rum producer Banks DIH is matching the company's name to the current business. The acronym DIH originally stood for Demerara Ice House and referred to the trade in ice 🧊 imported from Canada with schooners; and nowadays it applies to D'Aguiar's Industries and Holdings - a huge food and drinks conglomerate with a brewery, a beverage bottling plant (including the Coca-Cola and Guinnessa franchise), a snack factory, a chain of fast food and restaurants, and a fleet of delivery trucks. Banks DIH is also the majority shareholder of a regional bank (Citizens Bank Inc.) and recently also a forklift dealer. A living example of the constant change that keeps the business going. 💰
The XM brand, thriving since the beginning of the 20th century, relies on the expertise of the D'Aguiar family; successful wholesale purchases and extraordinary blending skills. Meanwhile in the background the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) was consolidating and saw a slightly too strong competitor in Banks DIH.
The beginning of the new millennium brought the first remedy - cutting off the rival from DDL's resources. All of a sudden there was no bulk rum for the neighboring Banks DIH but obviously enough for e.g. Diageo or Allied Distillers. Countermeasure number two has to do with the geographical indication; since Banks DIH no longer uses Guyanese rum - it can't refer to Demerara region too, which in relation to sugar, molasses and rum is entitled only to DDL.
So the label has replaced Demerara with the term finest Caribbean. Components come mainly from Trinidad and Barbados. XM should be interpreted as eXtra Mature and the royal variant as a blend with a guaranteed ten-year maturation period; aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The rum after blending went to sherry casks for another six months. Banks DIH has its own bottling plant. Robert Sugdeo is the company's master blender.
The presence of the product doesn't indicate the premium segment, although I admit - after watching older Banks DIH ads - the current design must be seen as a significant improvement. Although please don't give up further efforts polishing the visual identification!