October 29, 2015
Deadhead® Rum Transitions to a Larger Distillery
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Industry, CA (October 29, 2015) – Deadhead® Rum—which recently won a Gold Medal for its Amber Rum and a Platinum Medal for its bottle design at the 2015 Sip Awards, the international spirits competition held in Newport, CA—will move distilleries this month to keep up with growing demand; its sales have nearly doubled in the past three years to almost 20,000 cases. The new distillery named Destilados Bonampak is headed by third-generation family member Eduardo Pineda García Lourdes and his father.
At 15 degrees north latitude, Deadhead® Rum's sugarcane grown in Tapachula, Chiapas is blanketed with a tropical climate, coastal breezes and ocean salinity. Destilados Bonampak transforms this sugarcane into a Cuban-style rum—their master blender worked for several years with a large Cuban rum brand—and is housed in a bottle based off a tsantsa, the shrunken head of an enemy kept as a trophy.
“The rum has natural flavors of Mayan sugarcane,” explains Kim Brandi, founder and CEO of Iconic Brand. “The aging in French oak barrels adds depth. It begins with these sweet oak flavors and then moves into notes of smooth vanilla cream and dried fruits—ending in an opulent, silky, mellow finish.”
No stranger to high marks, Deadhead® Rum has garnered a 95-point rating from THE TASTING PANEL Magazine, and its Deadhead® Dark Chocolate Rum expression also gained a 91-point rating.
July 8, 2015
Deadhead® Rum Receives Accolades at the Sip Awards
City of Industry, CA (July 8, 2015) – At the 2015 Sip Awards, the international spirits competition where 423 spirits were taste tested by the consumers themselves, Deadhead® Rum took home both a Gold Medal for its Amber Rum and a Platinum Medal for its bottle design, qualifying the brand to enter the 2016 Consumers’ Choice Awards. Held in Newport Beach, CA, the Sip Awards are in their seventh year.
No stranger to high marks, Deadhead® Rum recently earned a 95-point rating from THE TASTING PANEL Magazine, and its Deadhead® Dark Chocolate Rum expression also gained a 91-point rating.
This high quality rum is made from sugar hailing from the Veracruz—a region know for producing high-quality rum—and water coming from Pico de Orizaba—the highest mountain in Mexico. Deadhead® Rum is double-distilled in small batches and aged in European oak barrels for six years. The end result is a rich amber hue and a palate of coffee, chocolate, allspice and cinnamon, housed in a bottle based off a tsantsa—the shrunken head of an enemy kept as a trophy.
June 1, 2015
Bottling the Unconquerable
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Industry, CA (June 1, 2015) – No tribe on earth knows the true meaning of nonconformity better than the Shuar. Living in the Amazon at the headwaters of the Marañón River, the Shuar are believed to be the only group to have never been conquered, and even after technology has connected the world beyond our wildest dreams, these people have held on to their traditions, including the custom of shruken heads (tsantsa). Many believe that these artifacts were kept as trophies, taken for honor and spiritual renewal—they were a badge of pride.
Inspired by this spirit, as well as by shrunken head tattoos and tattoos on the bodies of headhunters, self-taught artist Kim Brandi decided to use this as a base for her newest spirit brand, Deadhead® Rum. Not everything fits neatly into the glorified history of our old textbooks and Brandi believes in celebrating the history less studied. Shrunken heads symbolize this exotic and unusual past, along with individuality and courage.
“Shrunken heads are a part of our cultural heritage and are a vivid reminder of the many varied practices which give color and interest to our world,” she explains. “They mean different things to different people.” Using this philosophy as the base for her design, she sought out to capture the Shuar in both aesthetics and spirit.
The bottle looks like it came off an ancient Caribbean pirate ship with hand-tied hemp lacings to sew the eyes and mouth shut. Subtly intricate in detail, the design pays tribute to the custom without making a mockery of the Shuar and their customs.
More than just a “pretty face,” the rum itself lives up to the detailed bottle where it resides. At 15 degrees north latitude, Deadhead® Rum's sugarcane grown in Tapachula, Chiapas is blanketed with a tropical climate, coastal breezes and ocean salinity. Rum from this region is recognized among the most outstanding rums of the world. Deadhead® Rum is double-distilled in small batches, fermented with yeast born from pineapples and aged in French and America oak barrels for six years. The process results in a rich amber hue and a palate of coffee, chocolate, allspice and cinnamon—it finishes long and spicy.
While it may share the same shelf as large companies who mindlessly pull from other cultures to sell more bottles and improve their market share, Brandi wasn't after profits; as an artist, she wanted to make a product that would respect the heritage and belief systems of a region, that would bottle the spirit of the Shuar and that would taste the way it looked: complex and beautiful (but maybe not in the most accepted manner).
Staying true to the history and maintaining high production standards has paid off: In recognition of all the efforts that went into creating the packaging and the spirit itself, Deadhead® Rum has received numerous awards. People have embraced it in its entirety, from the fine spirit within to the hand-wrought bottles. It might not fulfill the most conventional definition of attractiveness, but yet again, who would want to?
February 5, 2013
Rum Resurgent featuring Deadhead ® Rum
Everything that you might have heard about rum being the next hot spirit is true. In the past five years, rum sales have signiicantly cut into what once seemed like vodka’s seemingly insurmountable lead. The category now accounts for 13.2% of all distilled spirits sold in the U.S.
Why is rum shooting up the charts? One explanation is that it is a dynamic and diverse spirit with a “fun in the sun” image. Rums are made in exotic places in a broad range of styles— from clear and light-bodied to dark and full-flavored. It is also a spirit that adapts well to barrel aging, and unlike vodka, rums are graced with brilliant hues and captivating aromas. Its approachable taste proile means that there’s no learning curve necessary to enjoy rum. Rum is also relatively inexpensive, another advantage it enjoys over other spirit categories.
But the shared attributes that put rum on the map are their mixability and universally popular flavor. “Rum can be used in any cocktail that calls for either whiskey or vodka, only the resulting drink will likely taste better,” says Aidan Demarest, master mixolo- gist and owner of Neat in Los Angeles. “Premium rums have a taste and aroma that lifts it head and shoulders above most other light liquors when it comes to drink-making. Rum brings with it an attitude of fun, relaxation and enjoyment. It has an easy going, laid-back persona that most everyone can relate to.”
With the resurgence of the cocktail and strengthening sales of spirits on-premise, the category is a natural beneiciary. “The primary market seg- ments for rum are men and women between the ages of 21 and 29. Its rich flavors, mixability and affordability make the whole category attractive to consumers,” observes Kim Brandi, CEO of Iconic Brands, importer of recently released Deadhead Rum, Apocalypto Tequila and Flashbang Spirits. “Traditional on-premise consumers, empowered with more disposable income and knowledge as they mature, are now buying rum at retail outlets as well, further driving overall category sales.”
“Look for the super-premium segment of the rum category to continue growing rapidly,” contends Julie Reiner, owner of New York’s famed Flatiron Lounge and The Clover Club. “For a brand of luxury rum, its consumers are ‘opting out’ of other spirit categories and switching from other super-premium brands. As more upper-echelon rums become available, expect to see a signiicant exodus of consumers from the other spirit categories. Top-shelf rums are one of the few luxury items that most people can easily afford.”
Another propelling force in rum’s climb to stardom is the American consumer’s continuing education into the differences between the various spirits. Enthusiasts and aicionados are becoming more knowledgeable about rum, the nuances between the different appellations and quality factors such as methods of distillation, water source and aging styles.
Source: The Tasting Panel
Author: Robert Plotkin