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Hemingway Rum Company
From Iconic Photo to Iconic Bottle: TricorBraun Collaborates with Hemingway Rum Company to “Craft” a Timeless Legacy
The iconic 1946 photograph of celebrated author Ernest Hemingway sitting outside his home in Finca Vigía Cuba, enjoying a drink with a decanter behind him not only preserves a moment in time but also inspired the introduction of an exclusive, prestigious rum for both drinkers and collectors to enjoy. In true Hemingway fashion, the photo unfolded a story.
Embodying Hemingway Through an Ultra-Premium Packaging Experience
In 2023, to commemorate Hemingway Rum Company's 10th anniversary on the author's birthday —July 21— the spirits brand planned to unveil "Ernest," a limited edition luxury rum. The exclusivity of the rare blend, according to Lindsey Kops Mundy, vice president, Hemingway Rum Company, is based upon hand-selecting rums, expertly blended, then finished for an extended period; first in new, 36-month air-dried staves in heavy toasted American white oak barrels before double finishing in both Cognac casks and Armagnac casks.
“There aren’t many luxury rum brands available in the spirits category, so we seized an opportunity to craft an extraordinary offering to honor Hemingway’s legacy,” said Kops Mundy. “Our mission is to weave the spirit of Hemingway and storytelling into everything we produce, including the product packaging. Therefore, we wanted to create a minimalist but expressive bottle —like the characteristics of Hemingway’s writing— that would stand out and last forever.”
Hemingway Rum Company, which owns the largest archive of Ernest Hemingway photos, shared the iconic photo with TricorBraun to inspire the company to create a 750-mL custom bottle that would mimic the decanter while emulating the timeless prestige synonymous with Hemingway himself.
“While Hemingway Rum Company needed a custom packaging solution with a distinctive and ultra-premium look, the tactile experience of premium glass was just as important to produce a lavish feel,” said Garrett Mager, regional sales manager, TricorBraun.
After designing a rendering for the “Ernest” bottle, TricorBraun collaborated with a high-end glass partner in the company’s expansive network of suppliers that could both manufacture a quality bottle and bring the elegant crystal decanter-style bottle to life.
“The embossing of the brand’s logo on the back of the bottle creates a textured effect to captivate consumers, and the distinctive cursive script of the ‘Ernest’ signature on the front is enhanced through silk-screening,” said Jeff Bersch, product design engineer and intellectual property engineer, TricorBraun. “From a tactile standpoint, the weight of the glass bottle and the thick base convey a sense of ultra-premium quality.”
The elegant decanter bottle is adorned with a crystal decanter topper for shelf display. However, Hemingway Rum Company also sought a travel cork to preserve freshness.
“Hemingway had been collaborating with its own vendors to develop a gold travel cork for the “Ernest” bottle. However, they encountered sizing issues with the cork that proved challenging to solve. When I brought this matter to TricorBraun, Garrett reacted quickly, recommending a supplier partner with a solution,” said Kate Busch, procurement director, Hemingway Rum Company. “This greatly benefited us as the supplier was spot-on in fixing the cork design, which, in turn, enabled us to meet our launch deadline.”
Busch added that Garrett remained involved in this process, maintaining daily communication, and even making an in-person visit to the plant to ensure the timely resolution of the issue.
The Launch of “Ernest” Rum: A Story with an Extraordinary Ending
Only 400 bottles of “Ernest” were unveiled with early purchase access available to the Hemingway Social Club VIP members one day before the public launch. All 400 bottles of Ernest sold out in just four and a half hours.
"While we knew this inaugural release was special, we were blown away by the immediate response. Our Social Club members were so eager to get their hands on it, they crashed our site. We didn't even make it to the official launch day,” said Kops Mundy. “TricorBraun helped our project come to life from a photo and concept to a bespoke and refined package we are truly proud of, one that is worthy of the exquisite rum inside.”
Kops Mundy also added that TricorBraun demonstrated unwavering commitment by supporting Hemingway Rum Company “thoroughly in scouting, securing, and managing multiple premium vendors to bring the glass, decoration, crystal closure and travel cork together for a seamless and luxurious final package. It was also evident that Garrett and his colleagues were proud to be part of this effort.”
Hemingway Rum Company, according to Kops Mundy, looks forward to future collaborations with TricorBraun to explore ideas for other spirits products within the brand portfolio.
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