#rumfamily : Joshua Singh
Next up in the #rumfamily series is an interview with Joshua Singh from 1423.dk-World Class Spirits. As with the rest of the Rum community, Joshua is always so giving with his time and is passionate about what he does. We particularly love the SBS range and the diversity it brings in terms of different countries and styles.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background in the industry?
Well it all started at a local whisky festival in Denmark around 12 years ago, me and a couple of friends regularly met and it was at this particular one we tried sipping Rum for the first time. Before this event my knowledge was limited to different mixing Rums from too many parties in my teens. The Rum we tried convinced both me and my friends that it was a spirit to explore further. Shortly after an idea took root to buy a cask to drink and share between friends and family and a few local bars.
What is the first Rum you released?
The first one we released was named “1423 1st edition” and was a blend of 8 year old Rum from Barbados and Trinidad.
What is it like working with the different distilleries to release the Single Barrel Selection Series of Rums?
For me personally it is one of the main attractions to the business, being a Rum geek myself I always try to learn everything possible about the industry. Whether it be the history of Rum, production methods, ageing or the traditions of the different producers. What better way to learn this than directly from the producers themselves? And from pure casks with zero additives.
Please tell us a bit about the Rums in the portfolio?
Besides SBS we own a number of different brands that are more commercial and mainstream such as Companero. These are made for the general Rum market and offer a mix of classic pure Rums, sweetened and flavoured Rums. Finally of course we have our relationship with Worthy Park where we take care of most of Europe and parts of Asia.
Do you have a favourite release?
If I should pick between my own SBS then I would have to go for the Brazil/Barbados release we did earlier this year or the new Worthy Park vintage 2006. Two highly different Rums that each stand out from the crowd. Going outside my own portfolio I would mention the El Dorado Rare Collection release from earlier this year, both the Albion and the Skeldon were outstanding!
What Rum would you recommend to a newcomer to the category?
Companero Gran Reserva, a pure Rum that we blended for this specific purpose. Funky Jamaican Rum for the nose and the flavour with light Trinidad Rum to give an easy smooth finish.
Please could you describe a typical working day?
Usually I am on the road travelling more than 120 days a year, so a lot of airports, trains, taxis and hotels. When I am home my day typically starts at the office around 8.30 in front of the computer catching up on e-mails followed by meetings with my colleagues. On a normal week I taste quite a lot of different Rum samples, either for possible new releases or just to see how the casks in our warehouse are maturing.
What is the best thing about being in the Rum industry?
Rum! I love everything about Rum and spending each day around it makes me happy. On top of that I have made so many friends in the industry and meet a lot of interesting people while travelling the world.
What is the worst thing?
Well a big discussion today at our office was the working conditions that some of the cane workers have to endure in some parts of the world. Being a socially responsible company, who work quite a lot with the different spirit monopolies in Scandinavia and Canada, it is an issue we constantly raise with some of the producers we work with to ensure that everyone is treated well.
How has the industry changed since you have been involved?
I guess you could say Rum is growing up, it started as a small niche spirit that has now found a real place in the world. This however also comes with a lot of challenges, as we can see now with the discussions on all platforms about regulations, GI’s and additives.
How do you think the Rum category will change in the next 5 years?
I hope we will see the category continue to grow and break into new markets whilst at the same time we get a regulation that is followed and can help secure Rum in the top of the category.
What do we need to look out for in the near future?
MIM, a small distillery in Ghana creating a beautiful cane juice Rum produced locally with local ingredients on a cashew plantation. We are hoping we will have the first release of their rum ready sometime during 2020!