This is the dawning of the age of aged rum

Havana ClubThree years ago the headline was a 4% drop in rum’s market share as brown spirits — particularly bourbon — gained in popularity.

Today, aged rum is gaining popularity as an alternative brown spirit. You heard it here…well, not first, exactly, but pretty early: sipping aged rums is going to be a major thing very soon.

Rum is enjoying the same craft distilling Renaissance that has revolutionized gin and revived mezcal. But more than that, the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba is going to open the United States to exotic (and highly marketable) rum brands previously unavailable. And if you think Cuban rum, in keeping with communism’s tendency to cut corners, is going to be industrial-grade swill, think again. Havana Club’s Maximo Extra Anejo currently sells for upwards of $1,500 a bottle, not including the cost of smuggling it into the U.S.

So yeah. Rum.