Dead Man’s Fingers – Changing the Image of Rum
In recent years, rum has experienced a renaissance, riding the wave of growing interest in unique and diverse spirits. While gin is for now the UK’s favourite spirit, rum is making a spirited comeback.
According to a report from The Whisky Exchange, rum sales surged by an astounding 165% in the third quarter of 2019, marking the first time in half a decade that rum outpaced gin in sales growth.
Before talking about the award-winning and iconic Dead Man’s Fingers, it’s worth considering some of the things which have held rum back.
Yo-ho-ho, and a Bottle of Rum! – The Old Spirit of Rum
Few drinks so effectively evoke a sense of adventure, maritime history, and tropical vibes like rum. Frequently linked to pirates and sailors, rum has a past that includes its role as a staple in the British Royal Navy and as a part of the Caribbean’s rich heritage.
The spirit’s image is further enriched by its warm, amber hues and flavours that transport the drinker to sun-drenched islands with swaying palm trees, pristine beaches, and vibrant cultures. This connection to exotic destinations and colourful history has helped cement rum’s reputation as a beloved, exciting, and versatile spirit in the world of libations.
However, in many ways, the swaying palm trees and pirate associations have frozen rum in cliches and have prevented rum from being enjoyed as the vibrant and dynamic drink it is.
One of the brands to challenge this ‘pirates and palm trees’ image is Dead Man’s Fingers.
The Rise of Dead Man’s Fingers
In 2015, in the picturesque coastal town of St Ives, Cornwall UK, Neythan Hayes crafted Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced Rum, and it became an immediate cult hit.
Inspired by a fervour for unique flavours and a desire to revolutionize the Spiced Rum Market, Hayes sought to shatter the traditional conventions of pirates and palm trees. To understand what Hayes did, you need to understand his iconic restaurant The Rum and Crab Shack – a true Cornish institution.
The Rum and Crab Shack is a vibrant, eclectic haven for seafood lovers and rum aficionados alike. Housed in a historic building, this coastal gem boasts a rustic ambience complemented by nautical décor, making it the perfect spot to indulge in fresh, local crab dishes while sipping on their extensive collection of rums.
The Shack’s most notable offering, Dead Man’s Fingers, emerged from an adventurous spirit, blending Caribbean rums with unique Cornish flair.
Unlike traditional spiced rums, Dead Man’s Fingers incorporated a combination of familiar and unconventional flavours. The use of ingredients like saffron cake and Pedro Ximénez ice cream, alongside more common notes of vanilla and cinnamon, resulted in a one-of-a-kind taste profile.
To embody the Rum & Crab Shack’s vibrant personality, Dead Man’s Fingers embraced a ‘rock-and-roll’ essence rather than ‘pirates and palm trees’.
This innovative ‘rock-and-roll’ spirit has since captured the hearts of rum enthusiasts searching for a fresh, distinct experience and quickly gained a cult following.
The Rising Tide of Rum
Dead Man’s Fingers stood out for its dedication to quality and authenticity. Hayes insisted on using only the finest Caribbean Rum, aged between 2-3 years, ensuring that the brand’s core remained true to the spirit. For spices and flavours, he exclusively incorporated natural ingredients.
This commitment to using real rum and real flavours shaped Dead Man’s Fingers into a distinguished spiced rum brand that captivated discerning palates seeking genuine taste experiences.
In 2018, Nathan sold his rum brand to Halewood Wines & Spirits, but this is not a story of a brash indie company selling out to a corporate entity.
A New Hope
Selling Dead Man’s Fingers to Halewood allowed the brand to grow. Dead Man’s Finger can now be found in bars across the globe, but it did not end with this.
In 2019, Halewood opened a dedicated bar and distillery in Bristol: The Bristol and Bath Rum Distillery where they now distil Dead Man’s Fingers. The distillery incorporates a still, a barrel ageing room, a speakeasy and bar and a state-of-the-art rum school, and Halewood continues doing what the previous management had done:
Exceptional New Flavours
Halewood has built on the flavours of Dead Man’s Fingers, creating one of the most diverse selections of spiced and flavoured rums. In their opinion, customers may be drinking less, but they want quality as well as choice.
In addition, they are the first brand to offer a non-alcoholic rum: Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced 0.0.
Long John Silver’s New Leg
When seeing all this, you can’t help feeling that this new ‘rock and roll rum’ that has inspired a massive new wave of rum aficionados has a lot to do with the past.
It is as if the experienced, piratical rum of yore has taken on a new leg – an exciting new leg in its journey.
We at Whisky Kingdom believe that this new leg will grant rum the stability and speed to become one of the popular drinks of a new age. It is why we have built up and promoted a diverse collection of rums.
Start of a Brave New Journey
If you love what you’ve learnt here, why don’t you try the original award-winning Dead Man’s Fingers Cornish Spiced Rum. It’s an absolutely stunning rum and serves as a base for an endless list of cocktails.
In addition, we have the largest collection of Dead Man’s Fingers Rums. Please visit it here.
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