What a pleasure to discover a new rum day after day. There’s no need to go to trade fairs or tastings, because thanks to advent calendars, cane or molasses spirits from all over the world come to you! You’ll just have to restrain yourself from opening everything at once… Meet Joshua Singh, the founder of 1423 and “24 days of rum”.
Can you tell us about your professional background ?
Before I went full time with 1423 I spend 10 years with a local news cooperation in Odense. We published several subscriptions news papers, local papers, radio station and web sites for news. I was an advertisement consultant there.
How did you get interested in rum?
1423 was started in 2008 by me, my older brother and one of our childhood friends. Back then we had a small group that used to meet up every 2 months to drink whisky, eat good food and have fun. One day our group ended up at a local whisky festival and it was here we had the opportunity to taste real rum! Before that our experience with rum was Bacardi, Captain Morgan, and other cheap supermarket brands for mixing as teenagers.
When we arrived at the festival, we were offered to try rum at the very first stand, we kindly declined and told the gentlemen behind the table to give us whisky and not waste our time with rum. Little did we know that just that same afternoon the same gentlemen would change our lives. After a day of drinking whisky, we ended up at the same stand at the end of the show, mood was great and I dare say we were all a little drunk. The man got us convinced to taste his rum.
He lined up 5-6 bottles and started from one end to bring us in and teach us about rum. At the time we had finished we were convinced! Rum was amazing. Just 2 weeks later 1423 was born and we started planning for our very first bottling that turned into “1423 1st Edition”
How did you come up with the idea for 24 days of rum?
Back when we started 24 Days of Rum, we had seen several local cavistes in Denmark that were making their own versions, simply opening 24 different bottles and sampling them out for local clients.
Several of the shops were looking for an easier concept that could do the same but just easier, so we decided to produce it in cooperation with the brands we were distributing in Denmark and produce around 2.900 the first year. It was a massive success and they sold out within 2 weeks just in Denmark.
The year after we expanded the project, worked more closely directly with producers across the world and started introducing them to other European countries though our partners as well.
What is the principle of 24 days of rum (how does it work?) ?
The concept is simple, 24 rums from 24 different countries, build in the style of an advent/Christmas calendar. So each day in December leading up to Christmas eve you can open a new door and find a miniature of premium rum.
It comes with 2 tasting glasses and a folder for you to keep score as well so you can remember your favorites. Finally for anyone willing to learn a little extra and make it a full experience, you can go onto www.24daysofrum.com that goes online every 1st December, here you have an interactive calendar with a new door opening every day from 1-24st December where you can read more about the bottle of the day, get all the technical information, see pictures and videos from the producers as well as rate the rum and discuss it with everyone else.
How did you choose the bottles?
Every year the planning starts 2 years before, so when you are reading this we will have already decided which 24 rum will be part of the project next year.
Due to our work in the industry with our other brands and our own distribution we are in contact with many producers throughout the year and meet many of them at rum festivals or events across the world where we can introduce them to the concept and show them the box.
Choosing them is never easy, we decided a couple of years ago to always go for 24 different countries to make sure the box represents a good variation of styles and traditions as well as we do not include any unaged rum in the box.
Most of the rums are on top taste tested before they are included to make sure the quality is there.
Aren’t you afraid that customers won’t be able to wait and open several boxes at once?
This always happen!, oi was no different as a kid when the calendar included chocolate instead. All we hope is that no one posts the content online and spoils the surprise for the many others who enjoy waiting.
We also see every year that many prefer to save the bottles and open and enjoy them in weekends or days where they don’t have to worry about going to work at least, so they have more time to enjoy.
Will there be a calendar every Christmas? Or maybe several times a year?
We are now on the 8th year of the calendar and the rum world keeps growing and every year we keep finding new interesting rum. So there are definitely no ideas about stopping. We will however keep it with one new edition every year.
You have to remember that creating the box is 2 years of work every time to try and make the perfect experience so producing more and several times per year would be almost impossible.
Have you already chosen next year’s vintages?
Next years edition is already in planning and we have chosen about half of the rum that will be included. We will continue the next few months in talks with distilleries and brand owners across the world and follow the feedback for this years edition before we make the final choices.
What are your tastes in rum?
It depends a lot on the mood, atmosphere and who I am enjoying the rum with. For festive occasions you would usually find me with a cocktail in hand, preferably a daiquiri or Mai Tai with a heavy Jamaican influence.
For sipping something special I usually turn towards old Demerara rum or high ester Jamaican and for a casual rum I would grab a glass of Worthy Park Single Estate or our own Companero Gran Reserva.
But again my favorites tend to change sometimes, I am fortunate to be able to taste a lot of rum all the time and there is always a new great experience out there waiting.