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Belgrove Rum Founder Edmund Wood (Interview)

Published by The Rumlab ago about the Belgrove company

Belgrove Rum Founder Edmund Wood (Interview) article cover image

1. Who is Edmund Wood?

I’m Edmund Wood, founder of Belgrove Rum, which released the world’s first hazelnut rum in January 2019. My background is in Physics, cooking oil & noodles; I studied physics at university, and then went on to run factories & warehouses in the food industry.

2. What does the rum mean for you?

What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen? My rum journey started when I quit my job to start a business, however I didn’t know what business I would actually start; I went in search of a wonderful idea – I wanted to create something new, something gorgeous. And a chance tasting of a vanilla rum in Bordeaux opened my eyes to how wonderful infused rums could taste; I headed home to try out some flavors of my own, ones that reminded me of home, my childhood and those that just worked well together; Kinder Bueno, Florentines, Dairy Milk Whole Nut – before long I’d created a hazelnut, chocolate & vanilla golden rum – no added sugar, wonderfully dry & moreish, sort of like a grown-up Frangelico.

3. Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective?

- Hazel nutty: just such an incredible aroma

- Dry: not syrupy sweet

- Versatile: delicious neat, with coke or in an Old Fashioned or an Espresso Martini

4. What is the most important contribution you have made in the rum industry?

Opening up the industry to consumers who want accessible, premium & interesting flavours – especially craft gin drinkers in search of something new.

5. Benefits that the rum industry has given you?

The most amazing circle of friends & colleagues

6. What´s another thing you are passionate about, in addition to rum?

Exercise & getting fresh air – keeping a healthy mind & body is essential, especially when running a business.

7. What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

By the log fire with friends

8. Favorite drink + Recipe?

Old Fashioned: 50ml Belgrove Hazelnut Rum, 10ml salted caramel syrup, 2 dashes chocolate bitters, ice.

9. Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

When you understand a drink and a category more, I think the appreciation & enjoyment is so much higher.

10. Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?

Taste many, and find what works for you – don’t necessarily stick to what other people tell you is good – we all have different palates.

11. Is the commitment to sustainable development the key of success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world?

I think in most industries sustainable development should be key to what we call success, even though often sustainability is sacrificed for increased short term profit, but I think now more than ever consumers are making the effort & sometimes cost sacrifice to drink better & more ethically.

12. Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?

Dave Marsland, I’ve met him many times, but not seen him in the last year, for obvious reasons – he was an absolute gentleman when I was starting Belgrove – made a lot of time for me, offered his insight, very supportive, a top bloke!

13. What are your next goals in the rum industry?

Bring out our new flavour in 2021, and get both flavours in to the hands & the glasses of drinkers around the world.

14. Plans you have when you leave the rum industry?

I’ve got no plans to leave the rum industry! It’s full of wonderful people; bartenders, rum drinkers, especially online – there’s a wonderful group of friendly people in the Spiced Rum Club on Facebook – such a great community.

15. Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

A lot of people are cautious about new spirits, and might have had a few rough nights on rum in the past and need a hand navigating towards some of the delicious rum based drinks out there.

16. What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?

Don’t be afraid of the rum category – there are lots of different rums out there, even if you think it isn’t for you, just look a little further.

17. How can people learn more about you?

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NVR9QY8

Cocktails: https://www.belgroverum.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/belgroverum/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/belgroverum/

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