Industrial rum is also called “traditional rum”, a name that many find more rewarding. Indeed, the term “industrial” suggests that it is a rum that was taken over by the industry after its creation, so as to produce it in larger quantities. However, this is not the case. It is called “industrial” because it is the first type of rum to have been created. Its nomenclature simply refers to its raw material: it is a product of the “sugar industry”.

Born from the wastes of the sugar industry

The most important characteristic of industrial rum is its raw material, formerly considered as a mere waste of sugar production: molasses. A viscous, black liquid obtained during the refining of sugar, molasses was initially used to produce a rum of poor quality reserved for slaves. It wasn’t until distillation techniques were improved that industrial rum gained value in the eyes of the elite class.

Different types of industrial rum

There are four key categories of industrial rum:

  • Young rum, or traditional rum: most commonly consumed, often used in the kitchen. It is the result of a mixture of “great aroma” rums and others of various origins.
  • “Great aroma” or “great bottom” rum: it contains a strong aroma, as a result of a lenghty fermentation process. It is usually mixed with other rums in the creation of traditional rum.
  • Light rum: has a light aroma, a more neutral character. It is obtained by extracting a large number of aromatic elements.
  • Old rum: called as such because this type of rum has spent at least 3 years in oak barrels after being distilled, which gives it a deeper flavor.

Today, industrial rum is produced in the largest quantities: it represents around 90% of the world’s rum production. It is produced specifically in the British Isles of the Caribbean as well as in Latin America.