Radical Transparency: How One Distiller Uses Social Media To Change Rum

Social media has been an increasingly applied device for consumers doling out harsh critiques. But with regards to agencies or executives doing the criticizing, the verdict has yet to be rendered. Should proprietors of organizations call out clients in stay social media forums?

One spirits manufacturer has been using book agencies, partiparticularlympanies, and on occasion, a bourbon discussion board as an essential tool to spreading his message and rum beliefs. It’s here; the distiller has an engaged target market he wouldn’t have had two decades in the past.

In truth, this 2d part of my interview with Foursquare Rum Distillery proprietor and distiller Richard Seale suggests how his social media campaigning has wielded history, subculture, and personal beliefs to carry Foursquare onto the global liquids scene.

Social Media

I suppose we stay in a technology in which people need and cost authenticity greater than ever. This manifests itself in numerous ways within the spirits commercial enterprise and rum particularly. Authenticity precludes the use of sugar to deceive human beings on the great of the rum. Authenticity precludes using misleading and downright false age statements. Authenticity is antithetical to the colonial version of the Islands selling rum in bulk at low value to overseas logo owners to be elderly and bottled outside the Island.

So the troubles we have introduced to the fore are greater than the addition of sugar, and those issues resonate with people nowadays on the lookout for elusive authenticity.

Today, 17th century distilleries are for the first time their records placing their own manufacturers in export markets elderly, bottled, and owned solely within the Caribbean. We are proud to deliver Probitas to the market that’s a collaboration with Hampden distillery in Jamaica. There were a couple of Island blends before – mixed by European hobbies in Europe, but that is the first time that there is a collaboration among a Barbadian family and a Jamaican family. And the rum is distilled, matured, combined, and bottled in the Caribbean. This is probably the norm for Scotland; however, it’s novel for the Anglophone Caribbean. And these sorts of collaborations are prompted nowadays due to the fact people care approximately those issues. And following the traditions and historical past of Barbados and Jamaica Rum, it’s going not to be adulterated.

You’re very energetic on social media. Do you think you’ll be capable of efficiently bringing this perception without the modern-day instances’ social media equipment?

When radio arrived in the US in the Nineteen Twenties, it was the notion that “radio may also make a contribution more to [democracy’s] fulfillment than any other unmarried impact” – most effective for President Hoover to reflect in his memoirs that “radio lends itself to propaganda more without difficulty than the click.” I think with each technological jump in the mass communique, we’ve got that utopian ideal. It will be a device for improving information most effective to be disenchanted via eventual fact. Having said that, there’s absolute confidence what we’ve finished might not have been possible without social media. Social media is special in that we have a very targeted conversation, we’ve got a low-cost communique, and we’ve got one-on-one interactive communication.

There has been an inclination for manufacturers to use social media in a manner that is regular with conventional advertising and public members of the family norms. Their social media places out common advertising imagery, and answers come from the script of the emblem’s talking factors. They have taken gain of the focused conversation and the low price but no longer the only-on-one interplay.

We have used social media to publish instructional articles, tackle arguably industry topics, and talk directly on a one-to-one foundation with absolutely everyone from enterprise writers to home purchasers. People are taken aback after learning that I run our FB page in my view and my wife runs our Instagram page. The ability to do this is what makes social media one-of-a-kind. We do not have an internet web page. However, I write every submission. I individually reply to messages on the Foursquare page – not a marketer with a script in hand. People need authenticity, and social media is a powerful device by which people can parent it.

Your stance against components in rum is where you have drawn the road and where you’ve obtained an awesome deal of interest. But many human beings cite historical files, displaying humans had been sweetening up rums and nevertheless calling them rum within the 1800s and earlier than, as justification that their strategies are valid. How do you feel approximately the steadfast base that objects for your notion in natural rum?

I am unaware of any people, some distance, much less “many humans,” pushing this, and I have not seen these “historical documents” both.

Context is everything. We do no longer have the concept of branding or rum/whiskey bought in a bottle till the late 19th century. Rum and whiskey had been bulk commodities and bought as commodities. The mid to late 19th century is the period of intense commercialization and the generation of adulteration for earnings. It ends in the start of meals protection and labeling laws. We have in 1872 the Act for Regulating the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors – which made it an offense for any character to make or keep adulterated liquor – and within the same yr an Act to Amend the Laws for the Adulteration of Food and Drink.

Adulteration in this period is nothing to boast approximately or copy. The milk turned into diluted with water with fatal results to toddlers. Grease or tallow was delivered to butter. Tea was simply adulterated with leaves of many varieties to reinforce weight. Plaster of Paris became as prized an adulterant back then as sugar nowadays. It turned into delivered to sauces, flour, mustard, and sugar itself! Coffee becomes adulterated with chicory, and the chicory become adulterated with sawdust.

To cover the taste of Scotch Whisky with immoderate fusel oil (feints), it became adulterated with sherry, prune wine, tartaric and acetic acids, the spirit of nitrous ether, and glycerine. In 1872, the scandalous “Mysteries of Glasgow Whisky” became posted in the North British Daily Mail, which identified, via checking out, adulterants, including water, methylated spirits, sulphuric acid, turpentine, salt, shellac, and prune wine.

’Truths approximately Whisky’  (1878) targeted the harm to Irish whiskey through the use of ‘Hamburg sherry,’ ‘prune wine’ and ‘cocked hat spirit.’

Cayenne Pepper and Alum have been brought to watered-down gin. The pepper to repair the ‘chew’ and alum to repair the transparency – the juniper berry’s oils could render it cloudy with an excessive amount of water. The cayenne pepper itself was adulterated with the pink lead with deadly outcomes.

Beer would be watered down and adulterated with sugar, gelatin, salt, and extract of gentian (for sour) and sulfate of ammonia. All to repair shade and taste.

Adulteration becomes ubiquitous and most often executed by using the reseller of spirits – for instance, the publican – in place of the distiller.

This argument that the past justifies the present is the logical fallacy – argumentum ad antiquated. It is long overdue to disregard this vacuous belief that due to the fact we can locate some recipe inside the beyond, that justifies its use in deception these days. We are perfectly successful in looking at the historical report of whiskey and rum making and discerning from it from the satisfactory traditions and practices – those who contributed to its renown and achievement – and codify those practices to guard the integrity of the spirit.

The 1942 Jamaica Excise Tax Act prohibited the adulteration of Jamaican Rum. The 1908 Royal Commission on Whisky and potable spirits changed into the first try and codified the labeling of spirits, and it described ‘liqueurs as sweetened spirits.’ The ancient file indicates to us. Therefore, adulteration changed into no longer general and was regarded as corrupt as it’s miles these days. Only these days’ marketeer could spin the deceptive practices of the beyond as romantic artisanal traditions. They add sugar these days for the equal nefarious motives as the beyond – to promote you a 6 for a nine.

You’ve also had many highbrow conversations with people protecting opposing views. Have you located these to be profitable or irritating?

Any conversation that suggests Rum and Flavored Rum (by way of sweetening or in any other case) are the same aren’t of the highbrow type. I do not find them frustrating; I discover them inane. When you depart the distillery and enter the advertising and marketing area, you enter the banal and the inane sector. Regrettably, we can not have one without the opposite.

Fred Minnick is the author of Rum Curious and is the editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine. Sign up for his free drinks publication and follow him on Instagram.

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