What are “Uncharted Rums”? These are rums I have not yet had the pleasure of reviewing. This is my way to highlight and promote great rums from around the world that might be unfamiliar to most rum shoppers. So until I am able to review each of these rums they shall remain “Uncharted” to me.
Recently a rum friend contacted me asking if I had ever heard of Ratu Rum from the Pacific island of Fiji. Since I had not heard of it, or its fellow line Bati Rum, I thought it would be a perfect candidate for Uncharted Rums.
I find their expressions intriguing because they are produced in the South Pacific instead of the Caribbean or the United States; that is unusual. I wonder why they have diluted their top expression, their 8-year aged Ratu “Signature” rum down to 35% ABV while bottling their Ratu Spiced and Dark 5-year aged rums at 40% ABV? Perhaps they did this because it provides a preferred flavor profile but my guess is they are trying to stretch their product supply. The current rum industry trend in the higher-end rum market is to bottle expressions at higher-proof (or cask-strength) yet Ratu is asking their buyers to pay premium prices for additional water. That seems curious.
Their production methods were described in a 2016 press release:
“Using hand-cut sugar cane harvested from Fiji’s rich volcanic soil, both rums are distilled using a combination of column and pot distillation methods, filtered through coconut shell charcoal to capture the pure taste of Fiji, then matured in specially selected oak barrels in time-honoured tradition. Finally, every bottle is patiently hand labelled by the distillery’s small and dedicated local workforce.” – Liam Costello, Rum Co. of Fiji’s Master Distiller
From their website:
Each expression line is named after traditional Fijian leadership. RATU is Fijian for “Chief” while BATI is Fijian for “Warrior”. Both Chiefs and Warriors are revered within Fiji society for their leadership within a community or clan.
The Rum Co. of Fiji has been distilling rum Lautoka, Fiji since 1980. Rum Co of Fiji is owned by Fiji’s leading beverages manufacturer Paradise Beverages, which is part of
the Coca-Cola Amatil Group based in Fiji and Samoa.