Emporia Brands is re-launching its Chairman's Reserve rum in the UK after recovering from the impact on export stocks of a fire at its Caribbean distillery a few years ago.

The company was rebuilding stocks of aged rums at the distillery on St Lucia, and was ready to tap the growing opportunity offered by golden rum, a spokesman said.

Chairman's Reserve is, with its £16.95 price tag, positioned as a "high quality good value offering." It would will be up against stiff competition, Emporia admitted. Aged rums became a focus for producers last year as the golden rum category grew in popularity across Europe. UK sales were up 36% to £70m [Nielsen 52w/e 31 October 2008].

Diageo is looking to tap into the boom, buying super-premium rum Zacapa earlier last year, and is now trialling golden Venezuelan rum Pampero in the UK.