Bottle #45: Myers’s Original Rum Cream

Somewhere in the collection I’m sure there will be a bottle of now-undrinkable Bailey’s Irish Cream. But its presence is already being felt. As I talked about in Bottle #38, Godet white chocolate liqueur, Bailey’s success in the 1970s spawned a whole host of imitators and competitors. Including tiny bottle #45, Myers’s Original Rum Cream. And yes, that’s Myers’s, with two letters “S”.

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At the time this bottle was first marketed in 1982, Myers was a well-known and longstanding rum brand. It had been founded in 1879 by Fred Myer and his sons, who were merchants in Kingston, Jamaica. It’s actually hard to find out much about the history of the company and the brand, so I have to give a shout out to Matt Birchard of the Liquor and Liqueur Connoisseur podcast, who had the most comprehensive take on it which you can listen to here. The brand was propelled to success when Planter’s Punch became popular, first during Prohibition and then afterwards, and became very successful by advertising itself as THE Planter’s Punch rum right on the label of the bottle. Tiki cocktail pioneer Trader Vic specified Myers’s rum by name in several recipes in his 1946 Book of Food and Drink.

By the 1950s, 90% of all Jamaican rum consumed in the United States was from Myers, and 75% in the UK. So if you’ve been a My Tiny Bottles follower for a while, you can probably guess what happened next. (If you guessed Seagram’s take a shot of rum!) As part of its rise to international spirits domination, the Seagram company bought Myers in 1954.

Myers is a dark rum, sometimes described as a black rum. The flavor profile has changed over the past few decades, but in the 1950s it would have been a rich and flavorful pot-stilled Jamaican rum, with a ton of burnt caramel flavor, aged for several years in big wooden barrels and bottled at 48.5% ABV.

While this would have been great for Tiki cocktails and Planter’s Punch, the times they were a-changing, and heading into the 1970s the market was changing a lot! Vodka and tequila and white rum were on the rise, and Seagram’s started introducing other lighter flavored rums as line extensions under the Myers’s brand. This included the launch of Myers’s Rum Cream in 1982.

Bailey’s Irish Cream had been released in the UK in 1974 and the US in 1979, and throughout the 1980s other companies took a page from their book and started adding cream and sugar to their spirits. Most did not last, and that included Myers’s Original Rum Cream. Things looked good at first. I found a newspaper article from 1983 reporting on the party the company held to celebrate making its 100,000th case. But by 1986 there were newspaper ads inviting anyone with a group of 20-40 people to write in and request a tasting. A company rep would come right to your house and provide samples of M.O.R.C. (yes, that’s what they called it) to anyone who wanted to try it. Neither the marketing strategy nor the nickname are signs of a thriving brand! A 1987 New York Times article ranked it in the bottom third of its tasting of sixteen cream liqueurs, and that’s one of the last references to it I can find online.

Which means this tiny bottle is most likely from 1982 to 1987. And undrinkable, although it is really interesting that it’s not ALL solid. The cream has congealed into a layer in the middle of the bottle, with liquid above and below. But I’m not going to open and investigate it any more than that!

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Bottle #45: Myers’s Original Rum Cream

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Somewhere in the collection I’m sure there will be a bottle of now-undrinkable Bailey’s Irish Cream. But its presence is already being felt. As I talked about in Bottle #38, Godet white chocolate liqueur, Bailey’s success in the 1970s spawned a whole host of imitators and competitors. Including tiny bottle #45, Myers’s Original Rum Cream. And yes, that’s Myers’s, with two letters “S”.

At the time this bottle was first marketed in 1982, Myers was a well-known and longstanding rum brand. It had been founded in 1879 by Fred Myer and his sons, who were merchants in Kingston, Jamaica. It’s actually hard to find out much about the history of the company and the brand, so I have to give a shout out to Matt Birchard of the Liquor and Liqueur Connoisseur podcast, who had the most comprehensive take on it which you can listen to here. The brand was propelled to success when Planter’s Punch became popular, first during Prohibition and then afterwards, and became very successful by advertising itself as THE Planter’s Punch rum right on the label of the bottle. Tiki cocktail pioneer Trader Vic specified Myers’s rum by name in several recipes in his 1946 Book of Food and Drink.

By the 1950s, 90% of all Jamaican rum consumed in the United States was from Myers, and 75% in the UK. So if you’ve been a My Tiny Bottles follower for a while, you can probably guess what happened next. (If you guessed Seagram’s take a shot of rum!) As part of its rise to international spirits domination, the Seagram company bought Myers in 1954.

Myers is a dark rum, sometimes described as a black rum. The flavor profile has changed over the past few decades, but in the 1950s it would have been a rich and flavorful pot-stilled Jamaican rum, with a ton of burnt caramel flavor, aged for several years in big wooden barrels and bottled at 48.5% ABV.

While this would have been great for Tiki cocktails and Planter’s Punch, the times they were a-changing, and heading into the 1970s the market was changing a lot! Vodka and tequila and white rum were on the rise, and Seagram’s started introducing other lighter flavored rums as line extensions under the Myers’s brand. This included the launch of Myers’s Rum Cream in 1982.

Bailey’s Irish Cream had been released in the UK in 1974 and the US in 1979, and throughout the 1980s other companies took a page from their book and started adding cream and sugar to their spirits. Most did not last, and that included Myers’s Original Rum Cream. Things looked good at first. I found a newspaper article from 1983 reporting on the party the company held to celebrate making its 100,000th case. But by 1986 there were newspaper ads inviting anyone with a group of 20-40 people to write in and request a tasting. A company rep would come right to your house and provide samples of M.O.R.C. (yes, that’s what they called it) to anyone who wanted to try it. Neither the marketing strategy nor the nickname are signs of a thriving brand! A 1987 New York Times article ranked it in the bottom third of its tasting of sixteen cream liqueurs, and that’s one of the last references to it I can find online.

Which means this tiny bottle is most likely from 1982 to 1987. And undrinkable, although it is really interesting that it’s not ALL solid. The cream has congealed into a layer in the middle of the bottle, with liquid above and below. But I’m not going to open and investigate it any more than that!

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