Having been traveling and working around the Philippines for almost ten years it is fair to say that I have not only heard of, but have had my fair share of Tanduay Rum and indeed the many other fine products produced by the wonderful people at Tanduay (such as Tanduay ice – a Smirnoff Ice clone), but it was only on my last trip to Cebu that I really started thinking about the product.
On a billboard I saw a sign that boldly stated “Tanduay Rhum the worlds best rum 4 years running”. Now I like Tanduay a lot, but having lived for 3 years in the caribbean and considering myself somewhat an officado on all things rum, found this tone quite the statement. I do indeed like Tanduay, but best in the world i’m not quite sure about. Best rum in the Philippines, sure, best rum in Asia, probably as I can’t actually name another rum thats made here, despite all the sugar cane, but the world, not so sure about.
Tanduay can trace its origins back to the 1850’s and unsparingly the Spanish, before morphing into the Tanduay Distillery, Inc in 1935.
Fast forward 80 odd years to now, and well Tanduay Rum is not only the national drink (maybe after San Miguel beer), but you can buy all different styles and vintages, as well as their own range of alco-pops known as Tanduay Ice. Tanduay Ice should (and will) get its own blog, but this was long an obsession of mine. For the longest time flavors consisted of “white”, “red” and “blue” although they’ve since branched into non-colored flavours, such as cranberry, lemonade, and even a “light” version with less sugar. As usual I digress…..
So, as to the rum itself and my ingrained snobbery (I used to live in the Cayman Islands). Tanduay Rhum is not the best rum in the world. It generally has a funny orange color when compared to the rums of the caribbean, as well as a weak and even watery taste.
I’m sounding like a hater, but that really is not the case, Tanduay is not without its charms. In fact some of the negatives, like it not being too overbearing make it a perfect easy summer drink. And lets look at the facts! A bottle of rum for $1 in the shops or $1.50 in a restaurant is pretty good value.
Apparently there’s even a Tanduay Rum USA! Well thats what happens when you put an embargo on Cuba. Havana Club is actually the best rum in the world, sorry Tanduay Rhum, but at least you’re still the best rum in the Philippines.
Update; This as one of my more popular blogs deserves an update when an update is due. It is now due! It would appear that whilst still not in my opinion the best rum in the world, Tanduay Rum is often not only the best selling rum in the world (kinda tied with Bacardi), but also one of the best selling liquor brands in the world.
Now if this is screwing with your head get ready for more madness. Tanduay is not even the top selling liquor in the Philippines, that prestige goes to Fundador Brandy, the THIRD best selling brand in the world.
The truth well and truly is more crazy than fiction