For such a newly established company (in rum years, anyway), Rom Deluxe as created a rather enviable visibility quotient for itself. Their near iconic “Wild Series” of rums in particular are not only strikingly eye-catching but boast several entries on the list of strongest rums ever issued, and this goes right back to the issuance of the first one in the series, the Wild Tiger (a Jamaican DOK from Hampden), which I reviewed with equal parts fear and exhileration. They have branched out and expanded into other aspects of the rum business and while they are not quite on a level of, say, 1423 for breadth or global consumer awareness, or Rum Nation for wealth of rums on offer (yes, RN is now a Danish company), they are coming on strong and bear watching.
Rom Deluxe is was founded in mid-2016 by three friends and rum lovers — Claus Andersen, Thomas Nielsen and Lasse Bjørklund — who created this little hobby-based indie outfit with no greater aim in mind than to maybe bottle a few interesting casks, share them around with the rest of their rum-mad nation, and hopefully cover costs (parallels with 1423 abound). After a year or so Thomas left the company, and for the next two years after that Claus and Lasse ran the show, releasing small amounts of bottlings to the local rum community and getting decent returns and a growing reputation by doing demos at various spirits events around the country.
The modest success of these small and informal releases encouraged them to expand a bit into more bespoke offerings: they sourced more popular vintages, engaged a talented graphic designer, and prepared to horn in on the burgeoning indie scene in Denmark, with one eye and both ears cocked for opportunities across Europe.
If any year allowed the company to explode into the sightline of the greater rumiverse, it was surely May 2019, when the stunningly designed Wild Series made the rounds of the European rum festivals (starting with the Nordic and moving on from there) and hit the shelves and online stores. The starkly beautiful black and white labels of wild animals (mostly but not always big cats) were highlighted by the enormous beefcake of the Wild Tiger Release 1 (a Hampden), accompanied by the Wild Jaguar Release 2 (from Enmore)…which were subsequently followed up by three more bottlings in the next six months, and another fourteen releases after those in the years that followed (to 2021…they’re up to R.19 now, the Wild Panda Uitvlugt (which may be someone’s love for Po the Dragon Warrior speaking, but who knows?).
- The Wild Series with its now-near-iconic black and white design, rightly seen as the most visible icon of the company, is the flagship: they are never supposed to go below 60% and should be really old – greater than a quarter century. The rule was haphazardly applied in the beginning but they are now trying to align themselves more completely.
- Next up is the Collector’s series: same high quality rum (or as close as dammit to it) which misses the cut for one specification or the other, like the Diamond (R.2) and Bellevue (R.3), which were both really good but missed the strength cutoff. They have less abstract, less striking but always beautiful paintings of wildlife on them – giraffes, orang-utans, alligators, that kind of thing.
- For the sandbox variations where the bad boys of Rom Deluxe go around picking fights, there’s the Limited Batch series, used for a single cask or half a cask which is special in some way all its own but can’t make the grade for either of the other two top-enders: here the outturn is smaller and price is lower. A good example of this is a Caroni they once issued, where they only had enough juice to fill about fifty bottles of 50cl, or the very lightly aged Ghana pot still cane juice rum with an outturn of 188.
- And lastly, there’s the Toyota Corollas of the company, the “Selected” series decorated with well-executed pictures of sailing ships, specifically designed to be the budget rums: they are made in the Spanish-heritage style, sometimes with added (and disclosed) sugar. Here, rums from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Panama or the Dominican Republic (there may be others) are blended and worked on to provide a commercial low-end, low-priced product of decent quality. Unsurprisingly these sell like hot cakes and provide the cash flow that allows lower-margin (or even loss-making) high-end halo rums to be made. In that sense the Selected Series follows 1423’s Esclavo and Companero lines, and for exactly the same reasons.
2019, then, was a watershed for the company and it began growing, which required other staff to be brought on board: in March of that year Michael Ginnerup and Kim Pedersen, both of whom had helped out for free here and there in the various rum events Rom Deluxe had staged or participated in, joined the company. When, in 2020 Lasse Bjørklund left, these two gentlemen stepped into management and have remained with Rom Deluxe ever since.
The company itself has not stopped with bottling their own rums, but have diversified – again, as 1423 did, and likely for many of the same reasons – into distribution and sales of their own and other spirits as well. Partly as a result of needing a place to store and age their own stock and combine that with a sales place and a tasting room, they opened a shop (in Horsense in north west Denmark) where they combined all these activities. There they have their barrel warehouse, and there they also hand-bottle each line among themselves – no industrial sized bottling plant to be found here.
COVID restrictions from 2020 onwards have not dented their activities in the slightest, as they diversified into the aforementioned additional rum ranges, hosted online tastings and added other companies’ spirits to their distribution portfolio, and as if that wasn’t enough, offered their services as bespoke Private Label creators for companies, clubs and organizations who wanted something for themselves. When the world opens, you can expect them to come out swinging for the fences, but for now there’s no shortages of their rums out there for people to chose from.
- Correspondence with Kim Pedersen of Rom Deluxe;
- Facebook Page
- Company Page, About Us and Wild Series bottlings
- Official Filings
Bottlings (as of December 2021)
- R.1 “Wild Tiger” Jamaica (Hampden-DOK) 85.2% Rested 2009-2019, 170 bottles
- R.2 “Jaguar” Guyana (Enmore EHP) 2002-Jun 2019 17 YO 61.5%
- R.3 “Puma” Panama (secret, blended, +9.2 g/L sugar) 1999-Oct 2019 20 YO 65.2%
- R.4 “Black Panther” Belize (Traveller’s, pot-column blend) 2009-2020 10 YO 71.8% 252 bottles
- R.5 “Lion I” Guadeloupe (Bellevue) 1995-2020 25 YO 55.8% 125 bottles
- R.6 “Leopard I” Trinidad (Caroni) Jan 1998-Apr 2020 22 YO 57.8% 146 bottles
- R.7 “Lynx” Guyana (Diamond) May 2010-Jun 2020 10 YO 67.9% 231 bottles
- R.8 “Cheetah” Jamaica (New Yarmouth) Nov 1994-Aug 2020 25 YO 68.1% 224 bottles
- R.9 “Ocelot” Jamaica (Long Pond LPS) Mar 2001-Aug 2020 59% 19 magnums
- R.10 “Caracal” El Salvador (Unnamed) Dec 2007-Oct 2020 12 YO 65.9% 265 bottles
- R.11 “Leopard II” Trinidad (Ten Cane BTXCA May 2008-Jan 2021 12YO 61.5% 207 bottles
- R.12 “Bengal Tiger” Trinidad (Caroni) Jan 1998-Jan 2021 23 YO 63.1% 234 bottles
- R.13 “Lioness” Barbados (Foursquare) 2005-Feb 2021 16 YO 63%
- R.14 “Water Buffalo” Trinidad (Angostura) 2009-2021 12 YO 64.7%
- R.15 “Elephant” Guyana (Versailles MEC) 1988-2021 33 YO 50.1% B1
- R.15 “Elephant” Guyana (Enmore MEC) 1988-2021 33YO 48.2% B2
- R.16 “Zebra” Martinique (Le Simon MSRA) 2008-Jun 2021 60.7% B1 239 bottles
- R.16 “Zebra” Martinique (Le Simon MSRA) 2008-Jun 2021 59% B2 213 bottles
- R.17 “Rhino” Jamaica (Hampden DOK) 2019-2021 15mos ex-Caroni 86.2%
- R.18 “Hippopotamus” Jamaica (Hampden JMC ) Apr 1993-Sep 2021 28 YO 57.7% 145 bottles for Rombo.dk (B1)
- R.18 “Hippopotamus” Jamaica (Hampden JMC ) Apr 1993-Sep 2021 28 YO 56% 121 bottles (B2)
- R.19 “Panda” Guyana (Uitvlugt PM Still MPM) 1990-2020 30 YO 51.1% 208 bottles B1
- R.19 “Panda” Guyana (Uitvlugt PM Still MPM) 1990-2020 30 YO 55.2% 231 bottles B2
- Coffret Vol 1 “Tiger Cub” Jamaica (New Yarmouth) 2020 6 months Malaga 73.6%
- Coffret Vol 1 “Leopard Cub” Jamaica (New Yarmouth) 2020 6 months PX 72.9%
- Coffret Vol 1 “Lion Cub” Jamaica (New Yarmouth) 2020 6 months Madeira 73.9%
- Coffret Vol 2 “Bull” Jamaica (Monymusk MMW) 2020 7 months Malaga 69.8%
- Coffret Vol 2 “Zebra” Jamaica (Monymusk MMW) 2020 7 months PX 68.4%
- Coffret Vol 2 “Young Elephant” Jamaica (Monymusk MMW) 2020 7 months Madeira 67.4%
- Coffret Vol 3 Unicorn Series “Pronghorn” Guyana (Skeldon SWR) 2002 19 YO 64.2%
- Coffret Vol 3 Unicorn Series “Saiga” St. Lucia (SLD SLRP) 2000 21 YO 47.7.2%
- Coffret Vol 3 Unicorn Series “Saiga” St. Lucia (SLD SLRP) 2000 20 YO 49.1.2%
- Coffret Vol 3 Unicorn Series “Gnu” Barbados (Mount Gay BMMG) 2001 20 YO 54.8%
- Coffret Vol 3 Unicorn Series “Gnu” Barbados (Mount Gay BMMG) 2001 20 YO 56.0%
- No. 1 Imperial Navy Blend 57.18% 989 bottles
- No. 2.1 Guyana Diamond MDS 49.2% 1996-2021 195 bottles added caramel for colour
- No. 2.2 Guyana Diamond MDS 50.8% 1996-2021 193 bottles added caramel for colour
- No. 3.1 Guadeloupe Bellevue GMBV 55.5% 1998-2021 258 bottles (Denmark)
- No. 3.2 Guadeloupe Bellevue GMBV 56.1% 1998-2021 254 bottles (ex-Denmark)
- No. 4.1 Odmar Edition 3 YO (Richland Distillery) 43%
- No. 5.1 Haiti Barbancourt 60%
- No. 5.2 Haiti Barbancourt 60.7%
- No. 6.1 Trinidad Ten Cane 60.8%
- No. 6.2 Trinidad Ten Cane 62.3%
- No. 7 Savanna Grand Arome 55.6% 2013-2021 304 bottles
Limited Batch Series
- No. 1 Ghana ARC 66.5% Cane juice, pot still, unaged
- No. 2 Ghana 60.3% Cane juice, pot still, 7 months, 188 bottles
- No. 3 Panama (undisclosed) 57.18% 1999-2020 21 YO (+9.2g/L sugar)
- No. 4 Barbados (Foursquare) 61% 2005-2020 15 YO (+0 sugar)
- No. 5 Guyana (Diamond, PM) 58.3% 2005-2020 15 YO (+0 sugar) 110 bottles
- No. 6 Cuba (secret distillery) 65.1% (+0 sugar) 191 bottles
- No. 7 Nicaragua (Licorera de Nicaragua) 61% 2000-2021 21 YO (+0 sugar) 187 bottles
- No. 1 Oliver & Oliver, Dominican Republic 2004-2016 12 YO 65%
- No. 2 Foursquare, Barbados 1999-2016 17 YO 58.6% 24 bottles (!!)
- No. 3 Bellevue, Guadeloupe 1998-2016 18YO 56.5%
- No. 4 Foursquare, Barbados 2005-2016 11 YO 58.8%
- No. 5 Worthy Park, Jamaica 2010-2017 7 YO 64.9%
- No. 6 Bonne Mere, Guadeloupe 2014-2019 5 YO 58.3%
- No. 7 Enmore, Guyana 2002-2020 19 YO 59.9% 30 bottles, for Spirits Vault