A LOCALLY-produced rum was launched in Cebu on Thursday. Don Papa, a premium aged small batch single island rum from Negros was launched at The Distillery in Banilad, Cebu.
“We want to introduce Don Papa in its home country first, the second largest rum market in the world after USA. And with Visayas generally a big rum market in the Philippines, we decided to tap Cebu, a key city growing quite rapidly in terms of consumerism,” said Stephen Carroll, founder of Bleeding Heart Rum Co. (BHRC), a two year old company that carries the Don Papa brand.
Don Papa general manager AJ Garcia said they saw an opportunity to penetrate the spirits segment in the region, with rum manufacturing upgraded to the premium category.
BHRC marketing head Monica Llamas said it was time for Filipinos to experience premium quality local product that is able to compete internationally.
Don Papa was first launched in Bacolod and then in Manila last July.
Carroll said they wanted to give the brand six months to evaluate its performance. He said it delighter consumers and sales figures went beyond their target.
Carroll clarified that Don Papa was not designed to compete with the country’s dominant brand, which has 99.9 percent of the market. He said they want to enter the high end market, in the 25 to 45 age bracket.
Don Papa was distilled three times in Negros and aged for more than seven years in American oak barrels at the foot of Mount Kanlaon.
The bottle is from France while the cork is from Portugal. The label was conceptualized by a London and New York design company.
The rum concept was inspired by the story of Dionisio Magbuelas, who is also known as Papa Isio, the Negrense hero of the Philippine Revolution during the Spanish colonization.
Don Papa is an independent brand, produced by BHRC in partnership with Ginebra San Miguel Inc.
BHRC also collaborated with mixologist Kathryn Eckstein to produce a range of cocktails to complement Don Papa. The selection is Coco Breeze, Liquid Butterscotch and Ka-Pag Serious Ka (Caprioska).
Don Papa is sold at suggested retail prices ranging from P980 to P1,000 in supermarkets, hyper marts and selected liquor stores and bars in Bacolod, Manila and Cebu. It was introduced in Duty Free Philippines last month and is the first local rum displayed in The Distillery outlets.