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Old 10-11-2011, 10:03 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Default Edward Hamilton Selection

I'm asked everyday to suggest some rums to new and old rum lovers. I'm looking at a few rums to bottle under my brand name. The working brand name is Edward Hamilton Selection but that could and probably will change.
I'm going to be bottling a few rums that aren't the most expensive on the planet but rather rums that aren't in large supply. Small batches of barrels that are representative of a region.
So what you like to have on your store shelf?
Since I drink white, dark and rums aged more than 10 years, there will certainly be more than a few rums in this portfolio.
One of the styles I'm considering is an aged Jamaican pot still rum. So would you rather have a young, one year old rum, or something that is easily to drink like a three year old rum?
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
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I'm thinking more along the lines of a three year old, appealing to those who want good craft cocktails, rather than competing with Bacardi.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #3
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This is exciting news.

I would only suggest what I would expect from the Edward Hamilton Selection series - intriguing (as well as good) rums/rhums.

And if you are able to keep the price reasonable, that's always good too.

Something like what Plantation does? but different selections, of course?
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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This sounds great Ed - except you'll have to work "rumifying" your name - a la Captain Morgan, Calico Jack, Sailor Jerry, Sergeant Classick ....Ambassador Ed...?

A Jamaican pot still is always welcome, but I have little doubt that whatever you pick will be great!

Looking forward to it!
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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I think I'm stuck with my name though maybe Pirate Ed, no scratch that. Sailor Ed, scratch that too. But Captain Hamilton does have a certain ring to it, maybe not.

I have worked for many years to improve the reputation of my favorite spirit and to that end I want to give consumers and rum aficionados as much verifiable information as possible about the spirit in their glass. It drives me crazy, I know that is a putt to reiterate an old joke, to read a story on a rum label or website that I know can't be true and that actually insults the consumer if we look any further than the association of letters on the paper or screen.

I would only bottle a product for which I can tell you where it was distilled, not an island, but a distillery with the name of the distiller. Wouldn't it also be nice to know things like the proof at which it went into barrel, for how long, when it was put in that barrel and the proof at which it was taken out of the barrel? And at an affordable price at which you can actually enjoy the rum in your glass. We have all paid too much for spirits about which we knew relatively nothing other than the price and a presumed country of origin. Presumed 'country of origin' that's a topic for another blog post. Stay tuned.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
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Default Bottles and such

Having worked with a number of producers and design companies who were commissioned to design the ultimate spirits bottle for their customer, most of the time I'm not impressed. Not with some of the most beautiful glass molding I've ever seen, but at the price of such indulgence for a vessel that is going to serve a very limited life use, if the spirit is as good as we hope it is going to be and we drink it as quickly as the producer would like us to.

So, how important is a custom bottle to you as a rum fancier? I'm not talking about the label that might look like an eighth grade art project, but the bottle itself. It is my contention that if the contents speak for themselves you don't need to increase the cost of a product with the packaging. On the other hand, if you don't have as much confidence in your product and are marketing a product to a less-informed mass audience then you need as much help as you can get. From my experience, producers can add from one to five dollars a bottle to a product simply by over-spending on the bottle.

Don't misunderstand me, there has to be a balance between the bottle, label design, price and quality of the product. Some of the best rums I've had the pleasure of drinking came in some fairly plain packaging that would never make it on a retail shelf. Except, in those stores that appreciate what's in the bottle as much as the bottle itself.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:01 PM   #7
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Nowadays I find a simple bottle a sign of distinction. When Smith and Cross came out, for example, the packaging struck my eye because it was so straight forward compared to all the odd shaped and leather or otherwise wrapped bottles sharing it's shelf.

My first impression was that this rum might just be all about being good rum. As it turned out, I was very pleased.

I also agree with your idea of including a lot of reliable information on the label. Rum lovers always like to know more about what they are drinking.

I like "Edward Hamilton Selections" or some variation. I think the leisuremaster was joking, as we all know him to do. ; -)
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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This is fantastic news Ed. The only problem I see will be limited availability to Rum Lovers. Hope the distribution isn't limited to the price market. I missed you at the Anvil in Houston. The time was in the middle of the work hrs. Sure hope I can score a good supply when that time comes. To my knowledge, everybody has stopped shipping to Texas. Supply wasn't bad when Hi Times and Shoppers Vineyard shipped here.

SGB
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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I've never bought a spirit because of the bottle it came in. My decisions have usually been based on recommendations from people I trust.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
Edward Hamilton
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I certainly appreciate the distribution concerns. I got in to the import business about 6 years ago because when I would come to the states from the islands my friends would come over and drink all of my rhum agricole before I had a chance to drink it myself and I could only carry so much. Customs regulations and weight restrictions on airplanes were easier than than now.
The good news is that over the past six years, I've built distribution in about twenty states and work with a number of online stores around the country to fill in the holes.
I'll keep you posted as things progress.

On another front, do screw caps deter from the quality image as opposed to cork?

I could write another essay on this subject but I'd like to hear what you have to say about corks vs screw tops. And plastic vs metal screw caps.
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