Rum

The Standards of Identity for rum are fairly simple and straightforward. Rum is an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice of sugarcane, sugarcane syrup, sugarcane molasses, or other sugarcane by-products, produced at less than 190o proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to rum, and bottled at not less than 80o proof; and also includes mixtures solely of such distillates.

The quality factors for rum are the same as for the other distilled beverages we have examined. As the Standards of Identity state, there are several types of sugarcane products which may be used and this is a critical factor. Others are the yeasts used for fermentation, the type of fermentation, the distillation system, the aging time and materials, and the skill of blending.

Ingredients.

Sugarcane Juice This is simply the juice extracted by milling the sugar cane. It is not in widespread use in large scale commercial rum making.

Sugarcane Syrup. The syrup is obtained by evaporating water from the cane juice to produce a brown viscous liquid which has a higher sugar content than does the juice.

Molasses. Also called "blackstrap" molasses, it is a residue of sugar production and the most commonly used fermentation material. The sugar in the syrup is crystallized and separated from the other solids by centrifuging it at high speed. A typical composition of Puerto Rican blackstrap molasses shows about 60% sugar but this can vary depending on the quality of the sugarcane, the degree of evaporation, and the efficiency of the processing.

Other By-Products. "Skimmings" and "Dunder" are also used as fermentable materials. Skimmings are the froth which is removed from the heating pans following lime treatment of the cane juice to remove impurities. Dunder is a residue from previous distillations and is allowed to undergo a bacterial fermentation. In a technique similar to that used to make "sour mash" bourbon, the dunder is used to begin new alcoholic fermentations. Like sour mash it helps control the pH and buffers the fermentation as well as aiding in flavor development.

Choice of Yeasts. Some rums are made using only natural fermentation - that is, the yeasts available in the environment are the only ones used to begin the fermentation. This is often termed a "wild' or "spontaneous" fermentation and can last from five to ten or more days depending on the availability of free yeast spores and temperature conditions. Other rums are fermented using selected and cultured strains of yeast and the fermentation lasts from two to four days. The longer, slower, natural fermentation permits development of more congeners and this affects the character of the distilled product.

Distillation Systems.-Both multicolumn continuous distillation systems and pot stills are used for rum production. With pot stills, the familiar double distillation technique is used and only the middle portion of the second distillation becomes rum. As with other products we have studied, the continuous distillation systems result in higher proofs and lighter, more delicate, spirits.

Rum is produced all through the Caribbean Islands and, while there are many types, they can be simply characterized as either light-bodied or full-bodied. The differences between the two types has to do mostly with the method of fermentation and the system of distillation used.

Light Rums.-The best known of the light rums are the ones from Puerto Rico. Light rums are also made in the Virgin Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico. Cuba, in fact, was the original home of Bacardi, which is now, by a wide margin, the largest selling spirit brand in the United States and the world. A light-bodied rum is made by fermenting molasses with specially selected strains of yeast, and distilling in continuous stills over a proof range of 160-180o.

Maturing is done in previously used cooperage which may or may not have been charred. Puerto Rican law requires a minimum of one year in wood and it may be aged longer. An age statement is permitted on the label, but is not required. The less time spent in wood, the lighter and more neutral the product. Fuller and more distinctive rums will result from increased wood aging.

The younger rums, those with the lightest taste and body, are marketed as white or silver. Rums which are deeper colored and more highly flavored are aged a minimum of three years and are termed gold or amber. Caramel is used to adjust the color and make it uniform.

Rums are characteristically dry tasting, with a slight molasses flavor. The gold style is more mellow and distinctively flavored relative to the white, but it too is considered a "light" alcoholic beverage.

Full-Bodied Rums.-The best known examples of this style would be the Jamaican rums. They are fermented from molasses which has been augmented by the addition of dunder and natural yeast spores are used. The fermented liquor is double distilled in pot stills at a proof of from 140-160o. Maturation is done in large oak casks called puncheons. These rums require more aging than do the light styles because of their full body and greater congener content. The typical dark color however is not due to wood, but is controlled by the amount of caramel added.

A traditional Jamaican rum is very dark, full-bodied, pungent tasting, and has a buttery molasses aroma and flavor. It is more popular in Great Britain than in the United States, where the trend for several years has been towards the lighter beverages.

Other Styles.-In between the extremes of the Puerto Rican light style and the Jamaican heavy style are the rums from Haiti, Martinique, Guyana, South America, and Batavia, located in Indonesia, on the island of Java. In Haiti and Martinique, fermentation is carried out with sugarcane juice, not molasses, and the resulting liquor is pot distilled. They are medium to full-bodied, the best are full of flavor, and can develop a fine, mellow bouquet.

In Guyana, along the Demerara river, molasses is distilled using column stills. Demeraran is much darker than even Jamaican rum, but it is lighter- bodied and not so pungent tasting. It is famous, or infamous, as the case may be, for bottling at up to 151o proof, a practice which has been adopted by rum producers in other countries.

Arak is a rum distilled from molasses in Batavia, aged there for some three to four years and then sent to Holland for an additional four to six years aging. Although it has some brandy characteristics, it is used much as is any other rum.

New England rum as a type is obsolete and no longer (since 1968) is listed in the Federal Standards of Identity but it has a long history in the United States. Distilling of imported molasses into rum was the largest manufacturing industry in the American colonies prior to the Revolution. New England rum was also the fulcrum of an unsavory trading triangle. The rum was used to purchase slaves in Africa, the slaves were exchanged for molasses in the West Indies, and the molasses was then distilled into more rum in New England.

There is also a product, produced both in Puerto Rico and Jamaica, called "Liqueur" rum. These are aged in wood for long periods, up to 15 years, and have some of the characteristics of fine brandies.

History:

Rum was drink of English pirates on the Spanish Main and the Caribbean and was served to British soldiers in the line in winter.

Rum is the base for the Royal Navy's grog. "The word "grog" is derived from the nickname of Admiral Edward Vernon, the English naval officer after whom George Washington's estate was named. The Admiral was known as "Old Grog" because he wore a shabby coat made out of grogram, a coarse fabric woven from silk and wool. He insisted that his men take a daily dose of rum and water as a precaution against scurvy. The diluted tipple eventually became known as "grog." Wines and Spirits; part of the Time-Life Foods of the World series. Alec Waugh, page 36.

Rum production began in the Caribbean with the arrival of the Spanish colonists. One of the first crops they introduced to the New World was the sugar cane which, in turn, was introduced into Europe from China. On his first voyage, in 1492, Columbus visited three islands; the Bahamas, Cuba and Hispaniola (the Bahamas, he took to be India, Cuba and Hispaniola he thought were the coasts of Asia and Japan). On his return visit, in 1493, Columbus took sugar cane experts and several hundred sugar cane shoots from the Canary Islands. They were planted at what is now Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic (on the island of Hispaniola which the DR shares with Haiti).

All the islands in the Caribbean, which curve from Cuba to Venezuela, make some rum, even if it is not an important commercial activity.

Moonshine in the islands is known as:

  • Bushie - Guyana
  • Hammond - St. Kitts
  • L'Esprit d'Amour - St. Lucia

Rum was the drink in 17th century Europe and 18th century American colonies. Rum production was the number one commercial industry at the time of the American Revolution. British taxes and rum trade restrictions were very unpopular and an additional cause of the American Revolution.

In the 19th century, Demon Rum was the Temperance movement's symbol of the evils of alcohol. During Prohibition, alcohol smugglers were called "Rumrunners"; offshore ships were known as "Rum Rows."

Quality Criteria of Rum:

  1. Variety and quality of cane.
  2. Cane materials used for fermentation (molasses, cane juice etc.).
  3. Soil in which the cane grows.
  4. Variety of yeasts and type of fermentation.
  5. Quality of local water.
  6. Type of distillation (pot/column)
  7. Proof of distillation
  8. Maturation: type of wood, age of wood, length of aging.
  9. Blending

Ingredients:

  • Sugar Cane Juice: Contained 10-12% sugar. Extraction was done by passing the cane through successive rolling mills. The dry cane fiber could also be macerated in water for additional sugar extraction. Rum distilled from the fermented juice is light and matures quickly. Generally not the choice for commercial rum production.

  • Sugar Cane Syrup: A brown. viscous liquid. It is produced by evaporation of the water from cane juice in a vacuum distillation. It is used in blends to increase the sugar and extract contents of light flavored rums.

  • Skimmings: After treating cane juice with lime to separate impurities, the froth is removed from heating pans. This are the skimmings and they have considerable sugar.

  • Molasses: A residue of sugar processing. The sugar content varies according to the quality of cane, degree of evaporation and crystallization, and the efficiency of centrifugation (separation of the sugar crystals from the molasses). This is the most commonly used fermentation substrate and its sugar content is, on the average, a little over 50%.

  • Dunder: The residue from a previous distillation which is introduced during fermentation. The dunder undergoes a bacterial fermentation prior to use. Its value is in the provision of bacteria that aid fermentation and create valuable flavor and odor compounds. Dunder contains up to 3% organic acids, mostly acetic and butyric, and aids in reducing the pH (increasing the acidity) of the mash before fermentation.

  • Yeasts: Experimentation over the years has resulted in the isolation of specific strains of yeasts that are selected for their ability to produce the best rum flavors.

Aging and Blending:

There are four styles of rum used for blending:

1. White; without much flavor, often treated with charcoal to remove harshness.

2. Light; has some congenerics, thus some flavor and character.

3. Medium; contains congenerics, is matured in oak.

4. Heavy; contains congenerics, matured in oak, often has additives (colors, sugars, esters and so forth). Esters are formed from alcohol/acids reactions. They have fragrant and pleasant odors.

The relationship between depth of color with age or quality is not a meaningful one; at least not in the sense it is with the whiskies we have studied. Caramel coloring is used to obtain standard and consistent colors. The coloring is produced by heating sugar solutions to about 180 degrees F. to evaporate the water and caramelize the sugars.

Blending, so critical to the success of whiskies (Canadian, Scotch, Irish) is important with rum also; many rums are blends of pot and column distilled spirits.

Characteristics:

The lighter style came from islands that were originally settled by the Spanish; Cuba and Puerto Rico for example.

The heavier styles came from islands with a continental or British influence such as Barbados and Jamaica. They are darker, fuller bodied and flavored and were a more suitable drink in cooler climates.

Labeling:

  • White or Silver = at least one year of aging.
  • Amber and Gold = at least three years of aging. They also would be colored with caramel for color consistency.
  • Additional age = more flavor and increased mellowness and smoothness.
  • Dark rum (for Planter's Punch) is generally aged 5 or more years and they are drier with a smooth full-bodied flavor and more distinctive, caramel, odor.

RUM PRODUCING COUNTRIES AND BRANDS:

CUBA:

The original home of Bacardi, the world's largest selling spirits brand. The Bacardi family left after the revolution and relocated to Puerto Rico. It is column distilled and light-bodied. The sugar cane and rum industry really got its start with the revolution in Haiti towards the end of the 18th century. At that time, Haiti had the most important sugar industry in the world and the unrest opened the door to others. By 1848, there were three modern distilleries in Cuba and continued development of the product led to a new style of rum, light Cuban rum (by the middle of the 19th century). It was a product very much in tune with changing tastes in drinking.

Don Facundo Bacardi y Maso came to Cuba from Catalonia in Spain as a boy of 14 in 1830. He eventually went into business as a wine merchant and was very involved in the development of the "new style" of rum. In 1862 he formed Bacardi y Cia and made Ron Bacardi fir the first time. By 1876 "Ron Bacardi" won a gold medal at the International Exposition in Philadelphia, at which time Don Facundo Bacardi retired and turned the business over to his three sons. In 1892, Bacardi rum was prescribed by a court physician for the future King Alfonso XIII of Spain who was suffering from grippe which no one could cure. Bacardi eventually received a letter from the royal palace in Madrid thanking them for the supply of a liquor "which has saved his Majesty's life." Permission was granted for the company to use the royal coat of arms on all 'Ron Bacardi' labels.

When the United States aided Cuba in their struggle for independence from Spain, the American soldiers brought a new drink to the island, Coca Cola. The story is that, one afternoon in 1898, an American lieutenant, after ordering a rum, noticed some other officers drinking Coca Cola. He thought to mix his rum with some Coca Cola, everyone liked it and they christened it a 'Cuba Libre' in honor of the newly won independence of Cuba.

Following the revolution in the late 1950's and the nationalization of the Bacardi enterprise, the family left and settled in Puerto Rico. The World Court upheld their rights to the Ron Bacardi label and Cuba began producing Havana Club rum. The Bacardi company lost an estimated $100 million from the confiscation.

PUERTO RICO:

Home of Bacardi and the world's largest producer of rum. It is column distilled and is the prototypical light rum although Bacardi now makes a full range of rum styles. Bacardi is today also produced in Mexico, the Bahamas, and Spain.

Don Sebastian Serralles immigrated from Catalonia in Spain to Puerto Rico in the early 19th century and went into the sugar plantation business. His son, Juan, with other members of the family, expanded the estate following Don Sebastians death and, in 1865, bought a pot still and began making rum - the first "Don Q", in honor of the legendary Don Quixote. In 1903, they installed the first continuous still in Puerto Rico.

The United States had assumed sovereignty over Puerto Rico at the same time they did Cuba, at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Thereafter, whatever went on in the rum business in Puerto Rico was increasingly tied to the United States. Prohibition halted production (legal production; many owners made fortunes during Prohibition), but it also made the large distillers appreciate, for the first time, the potential of the American liquor market.

Following Repeal, the distillers immediately began expanding. Cuban Bacardi became involved in Puerto Rico at this time. Rum imported from Cuba was subjected to import duties that rum from Puerto Rico (technically, part of the United States) was not, so Bacardi established, and gradually built up, production in Puerto Rico. This began in 1936 and, in 1940, the US Supreme Court confirmed their right to use their trademarks on rum produced in Puerto Rico.

The quality of Puerto Rican rum was not very good at this time but economic realities forced the island to improve it. Puerto Rico was at this time very backward; in fact it has been described as a tropical slum, and the unemployment rate was some 65%. The US Government decided to give Puerto Rico payment equal to the excise duties paid by importers of their rum. This obviously gave the government a vested interest in the amount of rum sent to the United States.

The problem was the quality; it was not good enough to attract much interest in the more sophisticated American market. Thus, the government also had a vested interest in improving the quality. They engaged a Cuban chemist who was now resident in Puerto Rico, Rafael Arroyo, to undertake scientific studies regarding rum distillation and production at the University of Puerto Rico.

These were probably the first scientific studies ever undertaken on the subject. Whatever good they might have done, and rapid progress was being made, was undercut by W.W.II. The demand then shifted to quantities of liquor to ship to the United States to replace their spirits. US distillers, as they were forced to during Prohibition, switched production to industrial alcohol. There was also a huge continental demand for Puerto Rican rum (along with Cuban and Haitian).

The result of all this was a dramatic decrease in the quality perception of Puerto Rican rum. Aged rum reserves were quickly shipped and soon the distilleries were exporting rum to the United States and elsewhere that was not only inadequately aged, but has been described as barely drinkable. This was of no consequence at that time, because the Americans would drink just about anything, but it did serious damage to the quality image of rum from Puerto Rico. The result was predictable; following the war, when Americans once again could get American, Canadian, and Scotch whiskies, sales of Puerto Rican rum dropped dramatically. The same thing happened in Europe.

The government decided to take action of a much more intensive nature than their pre-war support of scientific studies at the University. This effort was led by Luiz Munoz, president of the Puerto Rican senate, Jaimé Benitiz, chancellor of the university, and Arturo Roque, director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. The government had, of course, been taking in considerable money from the United States policy of returning whatever was collected from the rum importers. In the four year period, 1943 to 1947, some $215 million was collected, and, by 1981 it accounted for 14% of the gross national income of Puerto Rico. Due to the change from a developing, to a partially developed, country, less of this money was required for hospitals, roads, schools and so forth and more was available for the quest of quality improvement and increased export.

The first step was the passing of the Mature Spirits Act; this established aging periods for exported rum. It also provided for the exclusion of neutral spirits and immature rums in the blends. A Rum Pilot Plant was established to undertake fundamental research into the techniques and procedures of all aspects of rum production, from the growing of the sugar cane, to the aging and blending of the spirits. It was under the direction of Dr. Victor Rodriguez-Benitez, a distinguished Puerto Rican chemical engineer.

"Pre-war and wartime Puerto Rican rum had been as heavy-bodied as Jamaica rum, dark and sweet. It was what Germans always liked, but Americans only in extremis. What character should it be given to please American taste now that normality had been restored? Dr. Rodriguez-Benitez and his team decided it should be a distillate which was very light and eliminated the 'fusel oil' and 'aldehydes' which created unpleasant hangovers and stomach upsets, and left just enough acetic acids and esters beneficial to rum which, on aging, would reach a certain concentration the degree of concentration giving the aroma and taste that they wanted the world to associate with Puerto Rican Rum. So their brief was to design a model distillation column capable of producing such a rum, together with a micro-biology laboratory where yeast strains could be studied which produced rum of the desired quality." (Rum, Yesterday and Today, Hugh Barty-King & Anton Massel, William Heinemann, Ltd. London, 1983, page 148)

The plant was ready in 1952 but, even if a new, more pleasing style of rum could be produced, the word had to be gotten out in the American market. In 1950, Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States and, as part of the general effort to promote themselves, an office, 'Rums of Puerto Rico' was set up. Their brief was to promote Puerto Rican rum in general, not any specific brands. It is a matter of historical evidence that they succeeded. In 1959, taxes on rum sales were about $30 million; in 1981, they were $250 million, and by the 1980's, Bacardi had become the largest selling spirits brand in the world.

At this time, another potentially serious problem arose the shortage of suitable molasses. The situation had deteriorated to the point where Puerto Rican distillers were importing 80 of their molasses, mostly from the Dominican Republic. The Pilot Plant investigated growing sugar cane not for sugar crystals, but for cane juice. The juice was concentrated into syrup in the normal manner but, instead of allowing crystallization into sugar from which blackstrap molasses was made, it was injected with an enzyme, invertase, to produce hi-test molasses with 75% sugar.

Bacardi Rums. Puerto Rico:

The blending of the various types of Bacardi rums is the most important phase of the rum-making process. It is during this phase that the rums are blended according to a secret process an formula perfected by the founder, don Facundo di Bacardi. It is only after this quality control step has bee taken that the rum can proceed to be bottled.

In the 1980's, the company developed and patented the Bacardi Corporation Anaerobic Water Filter Treatment System. The process, which takes place in two state-of-the-art, 3.5 million gallon waste disposal digesters, uses micro-organisms to "eat" the waste material left from the distillation process. During the process, the micro-organisms give off a usable clearer gas (mostly methane) which provides about 70% of the total energy needs of the distillery while reducing its dependence on oil.

Bacardi Dark Rum: Blended gold rum from Puerto Rico. It starts as a blend of the same light spirits as Bacardi Light-Dry but is aged in oak for up to two years rather than one. It is charcoal filtered before aging but not filtered after, like the Light-Dry. The aging in oak produces a smooth, amber rum with a fuller body and woody flavors.

Bacardi Select Rum: Imported dark rum from Puerto Rico. A blend of selected aged rums which are charcoal filtered for smoothness before aging in oak barrels for one to four years. Bronze, cola color. Sweet, molasses nose. Candied flavors. Finishes with flavors of black coffee.

Bacardi Light-Dry Rum: Imported blended light rum from Puerto Rico. The number one selling distilled spirit in the world. Clear in color. Aged in oak for at least one year. Charcoal filtered before and after aging for smoothness. Semi-dry, slightly candied nose. Minerally, peppery finish. Can be mixed with anything from cola to tonic to fruit juice.

Bacardi Limon Rum: A blend of Puerto Rican rum and natural citrus flavors. Intense aromas of citrus. Flavors of lemon, lime, and sugarcane. Long-lasting, sweet, lemon finish. Good served on the rocks or with fruit juice or tonic.

Bacardi Spiced Rum: A blend of golden rums and Caribbean spices that is mellowed in oak barrels. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Good mixed with Coke, fruit juice or in a pinã Colada.

Bacardi 151 Rum: Premium gold rum imported from Puerto Rico. Substantially higher proof than most other rums. Usually used to make exotic drinks such as Mai-Tais and Zombies.

The Bacardi Rum Distillery Tour

San Juan, Puerto Rico

    • What a better way to spend a balmy afternoon in Puerto Rico than to visit one of the island's most popular tourist attractions - the BACARDI Rum Distillery Tour. The tour, which showcases the largest rum distillery in the world, exposes visitors to the history, quality and safety involved in producing the world's best selling distilled spirits.
    • Here is just a preview of the many things a tourist will see during his or her visit to the BACARDI Rum Distillery. Visitors begin the BACARDI Rum distillery tour at the firm's landmark "bat" pavilion where they will board sleek, new trams. The trams, which chauffeur more than 125,000 visitors annually, whisk eager-eyed tour-goers past a sculpture commemorating Bacardi Corporation's 50th anniversary to a tall white building, "The Cathedral of Rum" - the distillery.
    • Upon entering the first floor of the distillery, guests will get a glimpse of what rum production was like almost 100 years ago. Here, they will be able to see oak barrels used in the aging process, an old sugar cane wagon similar to the one used in the days of don Facundo. Additionally, tour-goers will learn about the significance of BACARDI Rum's famous Bat Device, as well as other aspects of the company, such as its moderation campaign.
    • Next, tourists will be escorted to the fifth floor of the distillery where they will enter the Hall of Rum - a collection of the beverages made by Bacardi Corporation. Tour-goers will be able to see all the various types of rum: Light, Dark, Black, Añejo and Reserve.
    • Excursionists then proceed to the second floor to witness the birth of rum. There, they will learn about the fermentation process of the molasses and the fact that it takes 100 gallons of molasses to produce one barrel of rum. After the fermentation process, the "wine" or spirits of the alcohol are distilled to separate the alcohol from water and other impurities. The distillates are then pumped into oak barrels where they will age and mellow until they are ready to be blended.
    • The blending of the various types of BACARDI rums is the most important phase of the rum-making process. It is during this phase that the rums are blended according to a secret process an formula perfected by don Facundo. It is only after this quality control step has bee taken that the rum can proceed to be bottled.
    • In the 1980's, the company developed and patented the Bacardi Corporation Anaerobic Water Filter Treatment System,. The process, which takes place in two state-of-the-art, 3.5 million gallon waste disposal digesters, uses micro-organisms to "eat" the waste material left from the distillation process. During the process, the micro-organisms give off a usable clearer gas (mostly methane) which provides about 70% of the total energy needs of the distillery while reducing its dependence on oil.

Captain Morgan, Puerto Rico

Captain Morgan Private Stock Rum:

A premium spiced rum made from fine Puerto-Rican rum blended with spice and other natural flavors. Medium amber/orange color. More mature and less spicy aromas than the Original Spiced Rum. Flavors of spice and vanilla that complement the sweet rum. The aftertaste is of butterscotch and sherry. Serve on the rocks with a twist of lemon or lime or with mixers. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a **** (highly recommended) rating.

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum: A blend of Puerto Rican rum, spices, and other natural flavors. Honey color. Spicy, honeyed nose that includes aromas of nutmeg, coriander, and cinnamon. Creamy texture. Flavors of molasses, honey, and spices. Long, tropical-fruit finish with just a slight bite. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating.

Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay: A blend of Puerto Rican rum and natural coconut flavors. Replaces Captain Morgan's Coconut rum.

Ron Llave Blanco Supreme Rum:

Imported light (clear) rum from Puerto Rico bottled in the U.S. Nose of sugarcane. Slightly warm on the tongue. A typical white rum that is good for mixing.

BERMUDA

Gosling Black Seal Dark Rum, Bermuda:

Gosling's Black Seal Rum and the establishment of the Gosling family in Bermuda began long ago. In the spring of 1806 James Gosling, the oldest son of William Gosling, wine and spirits merchant, set out from Gravesend, Kent, England on the ship Mercury, with 10,000 of merchandise, bound for America.

After ninety one desperate days on becalmed seas their charter ran out, and they put in at the nearest port, St. George's, Bermuda. Rather than pressing on for America, James opened a shop on the King's Parade, St. George's, in December 1806.

By 1824 James had long returned to England and his brother Ambrose rented a shop on Front Street in the new capital of Hamilton for 25 a year. The Goslings maintained a store at this location for 127 years. In 1857 the firm, known as Ambrose Gosling and Son was renamed Gosling Brothers. Three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda. After much experimentation in the blending process, the distinctive black rum was formulated and offered for sale.

Although positioned within the same category with other imported specialty rums, Gosling's Black Seal Rum is distinct and unique due to its color, full bodied flavor, refinement, compatibility with mixers and sippability. Gosling's Black Seal Rum 80 proof and Black Seal Rum 151 proof are full flavored dark rums, blended and bottled in Bermuda. Part of Black Seal's appeal is its association with Bermuda as an oft visited highly desirable destination.

A "deep, assertive and highly flavored" rum are the words competition judges at the World Spirits Championships used to define Gosling's Black Seal Rum. Scoring 96 of a possible 100 points, Black Seal was rated "superlative" and awarded a Platinum Medal, a distinction shared by only one other spirit.

The World Spirits Championships is the largest international spirits judging in North America, with all tastings sponsored by the Beverage Testing Institute Inc. (BTI). All known producers of spirits are invited to enter. BTI's panel of knowledgeable professionals perform their judging without consultation, under optimum conditions, working slowly to prevent palate fatigue. BTI is a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) the world's largest product testing and standards association.

Over the years Gosling's Black Seal Rum has become has become synonymous with Bermuda. Its is an essential ingredient in Bermuda fish chowder, adds the island flavor to Bermuda Rum Swizzle, and is the tempest in Bermuda's favorite cocktail - the Dark n' Stormy

A family business for nearly two centuries, Gosling's is Bermuda's oldest business house, and is the largest exporter of a Bermuda made product.

Gosling's also exports cans of pre-mixed Dark 'n Stormy (Black Seal Rum & Ginger Beer) in a striking package design.

Bermuda's "national drink" had its start in the highly successful ginger beer factory run as a subsidiary to the Royal Naval Officer's Club. It wasn't long before it was discovered that a splash of the local black rum was just what the piquant ginger beer was missing. The name is said to have originated when an old sailor, holding aloft the thunderhead in a glass, observed that the drink was the "color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under". Probably followed by, "Barman, I'll have another - Dark 'n Stormy".

'Kindred Spirits' gives it *** (recommended) rating. 'Wine Enthusiast' gives it 96 points.

JAMAICA:

The classic full-bodied, pot distilled rum. The best known brand is Meyers, the Planters Punch rum; others are Lemon Hart and Appleton. The distinguishing characteristic of Jamaica rum is its full body and pungent flavor. The very dark color is not natural, but comes from caramel. Jamaican law stipulates that coloring can only be done with sugar-based ingredients. Interestingly, one of the famous Jamaican rums, Appleton, uses caramel obtained in London.

The industry developed under British influence along with Barbados. An author, AC Barnes, writing in Sugar Cane in 1964 about 19 century distillation methods said "The whole process was in the charge of a distiller upon whose experience and skill, entirely unaided by any scientific knowledge or chemical control, the success of the distillery depended. He tolerated no interference, was highly suspicious of any attempted innovation, and jealously guarded the secrets of his mysterious procedures, only imparting any of his knowledge to an apprentice selected by him who paid a substantial fee to be allowed to learn something of the intricacies of distillery operation. When fermentation was sluggish, a dead animal, a large piece of meat or some other fancied corrective would be pitched into the offending vat."

The best Jamaica distillers had, by the end of the 19th century, taken over from the Barbadians as the top rum producers. In fact, by then, sugar making in Jamaica had become a by-product of rum production rather than the other way around, as was typical. In 1945, Seagram's of Canada founded Captain Morgan Rum Distillers. They began as blenders, but eventually bought the Long Pond sugar estate and rum distillery.

Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum:

Appleton Estate is the oldest and most famous of all of Jamaica's sugar estates. It is nestled in the fertile Nassau Valley on either side of the Black River in the Southwest of Jamaica.

The origins of Appleton Estate date back to 1655 when the English captured Jamaica from the Spaniards. Frances Dickinson, whose grandsons Caleb and Ezekiel were the earliest known owners of the Appleton Estate, took part in that conquest of Jamaica, and it is believed that Appleton Estate was part of the land grant that Dickinson received as reward for his services.

Appleton Estate was an established rum-producing sugar plantation by the year 1749, and it has been in continuous operation for two and a half centuries.

Today, Appleton Estate comprises a total of nearly 4,614 hectares (I 1,402 acres) with 1,500 hectares (3707 acres) in sugarcane cultivation. It also has its own sugar factory and rum distillery which are among the most modem and well equipped in Jamaica. The factory can produce up to 160 tons of sugar per day, and the distillery has a production capacity of ten million litters of rum on an annual basis from both pot stills and column stills.

Appleton Estate Rums are a unique style of rum produced only in Jamaica. Estate rums date back to the days of the old plantations, when special rums were developed exclusively for the tables of the estate's absentee owners. Wray and Nephew still makes this style of rum at Appleton Estate and controls every aspect of production.

APPLETON SPECIAL JAMAICA RUM

Appleton Special Jamaica Rum is estate distilled at Appleton Estate. It is a blend of full-flavored traditional pot still rums and lighter character modem column still rums. These rums are aged separately in oak barrels and afterwards hand-blended to produce a fine medium-bodied golden rum. This rum has a fuller nose and taste than Puerto Rican gold rum which is made only from column stills, however Appleton Special Jamaica Rum is mild and smooth; it won't overpower cola or your favorite mixer and it is incomparable in coladas.

Tasting Notes - Appleton Special Jamaica Rum

"A medium-bodied golden rum that has a delicate and fruity bouquet with a hint of exotic spices - ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. This smooth, mild rum is easy on the palate. An ideal mixer, it adds complexity and excitement to any drink.

Alain Belanger - Meilleur Sommelier Du Canada 1997

APPLETON ESTATE V/X JAMAICA RUM

Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum is an exceptional blend of "estate rums"- the result of nature's best: Sugar cane grown and ripened on the estate; pure spring water filtered by nature as it percolates underground for miles through the Cockpit Country; and a special natural yeast found in Appleton sugar cane. Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum is a blend of several marks of rum, but the heart of the blend is slowly distilled in small batches in the Company's old copper pot stills. Once distilled, the rums are aged in small oak barrels. Finally the Master Blender combines the rums of the various marks and ages in large vats. After a period of "marriage," this distinctive style of "estate rum" is born. Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum has a golden color and a rich aroma. Its smooth rich taste allows it to be enjoyed on the rocks, but it also goes well with soda, tonic, cola or a splash of whatever!

Tasting Notes - Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum

"Its deep amber color is the perfect reflection of its golden aura. Remarkably smooth, refined and rich taste. Its delightful bouquet is an example of aromatic complexity - a blend of dry fruits such as apricots and orange peel with a hint of vanilla. Enjoyed best when served straight at 20 degrees centigrade to 22 degrees centigrade, or for the fiesta touch serve Appleton Estate V/X with cola, soda or tonic with a twist of lime."

Alain Belanger - Meilleur Sommelier Du Canada 1997

APPLETON ESTATE 12 Y.O. JAMAICA RUM

A very old and fine blend of "estate rums." This rum carries a 12 year age statement on its label which is consistent with the youngest rum in the blend, but it also has rums which are considerably older. Long years of tropical aging in oak gives the product the hue of dark mahogany. Its bold character, yet smooth taste, invite comparisons to the finest old cognacs. Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Jamaica Rum can be sipped in a snifter but is also extraordinarily good as a topper adding roundness and intensity to coladas, Mai Tais and other fancy rum drinks. More importantly, it's judged in blind taste tests to be the finest.

Tasting Notes - Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Jamaica Rum

"Nice amber, shiny color with golden reflections. Intense aromas of dried fruits, apricots, vanilla and spice. Ample in the mouth with rich and creamy flavors. Powerful and spicy, Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Jamaica Rum is an authentic rum where power and generosity unify."

Alain Belanger - Meilleur Sommelier Du Canadal997

APPLETON ESTATE 21 Y.O. JAMAICA RUM

Not all rums are the same. The best rums are aged to allow for the blends to mature and their taste to mellow. These two words mature and mellow ultimately describe Appleton Estate 21 Year Old.

The rums that make up Appleton Estate 21 Year Old have been carefully selected by our Master Blender for the unique character, flavor and bouquet that they bring to the blend. These rums, which have been aged for a minimum of 21 years, are hand-blended using Appleton's time-honored techniques and then placed in oaken vats for over two years to allow the blend to marry. The result is a robust, medium-bodied rum with a light bouquet that is smooth and easy on the palate. Whether it is enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of water, Appleton Estate 21 Year Old is a rum that has come of age, and is destined to be enjoyed (by liquor connoisseurs) all over the world.

Tasting Notes - Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Jamaica Rum

"Very deep and shiny color with golden reflections. A fragrant bouquet with a mixture of vanilla, orange peel, musk and cocoa. Once aired you perceive the nutty and wooden aromas that are created by lengthy aging in wooden casks. Appleton Estate 21 Year Old is a unique rum that is best when served at 20 degrees C - 22 degrees C on those special moments."

Alain Belanger - Meilleur Sommelier Du Canadal997

APPLETON WHITE JAMAICA RUM

Appleton White, unlike many other white rums is aged and then filtered slowly through special charcoal. This results in a rum that is smooth, brilliantly clear and light bodied with a subtle taste and delicate aroma. Rum drinkers the world over appreciate the mixability of Appleton White, the perfect complement to fruit juices and coladas.

Tasting Notes - Appleton White Jamaica Rum

Clear and smooth with a crisp, clean taste. An exceptional blend of fine Jamaican rums, Appleton White Jamaica Rum has a fruity bouquet with the aroma of coconut and pear, perfumed with lychee. Always the perfect complement to fruit juices, Appleton White Jamaica Rum may prove to be even more exciting if served straight, with or without ice.

Alain Belanger - Meilleur Sommelier Du Canadal997

'Kindred Spirits' gives Appleton **** (highly recommended) rating. 'Wine Enthusiast' gives it 94 points.

Myers's Original Dark Rum:

Dark rum imported from Jamaica. Founded in 1879, Myers's is the number one premium imported dark rum in America. Made with 100% Jamaican molasses without preservatives. A blend of up to nine select rums. Matured for up to four years in white oak barrels. Very dark brown, bronze color. Aromas of citrus, black pepper, cayenne, and anise. Semi-sweet flavor with hints of cocoa. chocolatey aftertaste.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Brugal Anejo Rum, Dominican Republic:

Imported dark rum. Auburn color. Aromas of butter, oak, hazelnuts English toffee and controlled spirit. Semi-sweet flavors of caramel, molasses, honey, and chocolate. Extended, sweet finish with a touch of butterscotch. Can be served like a fine brandy or cognac in a small wine glass. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a **** (highly recommended) rating.

HAITI:

Sugarcane juice is used rather than molasses. The best known product is Barbancourt. Louis Barbancourt, an immigrant from Bordeaux, France, bought a sugar plantation in 1765; it was called then, and still is, Habitation Barbancourt. The slave rebellion, inspired by the revolution in the ruling country, France, came at the turn of the century and resulted in the independent state of Haiti in the western half of the island of Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic occupies the other half). Barbancourt somehow survived the Slave Revolt of 1802 and, in fact, thrived, because the freed Africans proved to be much better customers than they had ever been as slaves. Within 100 years, the inhabitants of Haiti became the biggest rum drinkers in the Caribbean.

It is said that the excellence of the Haitian rum was a result of the traditional French skill in distilling brandies. The spirits were double pot distilled, just as in cognac.

Barbancourt Rum, Haiti:

Rum was first produced in Haiti in the early 1700s by European settlers who brought their distilling knowledge from France. Barbancourt joined the ranks of Haitian rums in the mid-nineteenth century when it was introduced by the Gardére family, who are still responsible for it.

Honored for centuries as the "Rum of Connoisseurs," Rhum Barbancourt is produced in the style of classical French cognac. Distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged in white oak barrels, the distinctive, full-flavored Haitian rum has carried on the tradition of the pioneers who first introduced the fine art of distillation to the Magic Island.

The expensive process of fermenting only hand-cut, freshly expressed sugarcane juice, instead of molasses, is still carried out today at the only distillery of its size sheltering a cane milling unit and distilling capabilities under one roof. The lush, rich amber color and taste are beyond comparison, having won numerous accolades and international prizes for its unsurpassed quality and excellence.

Three Star Aged four years. Excellent straight, on the rocks or mixed. Full of character and versatile quality. Will enhance any rum drink.

Five Star Aged eight years. A full-bodied premium "Reserve Speciale" dark rum with a velvety character, catching the flavor of the Caribbean.

Estate Reserve Aged fifteen years. Selected from the private stock of the Gardére family, a limited quantity is released each year and made available to connoisseurs. The "cognac of rums."

The producers feel it is best enjoyed straight in a snifter, or on the rocks with a slice of lime, Rhum Barbancourt is recommended by culinary connoisseurs as well. It has been honored in Haitian cookbooks, which specifically call for "Barbancourt" instead of rum.

MARTINIQUE:

Richly flavored rums that are highly regarded. Sugarcane juice is used rather than molasses. Two popular brands are St. James (a Jamaica-style rum), and Clément (the famous wine writer, Alexis Lichine, was told by Charles Clément in 1966 that he aged his best rum for 12 years). Both Martinique and Guadeloupe were called upon by France to increase their rum production when a series of disasters struck the wine and brandy industry. First the vine disease oidium hit the brandy distillers between 1853 and 1857, followed by the even deadlier phylloxera. In 1891, brandy production in France was less than one-tenth of what it was in 1880. With this impetus, the rum industry in the French colonies increased rapidly. By the time the volcano Montagne Pelée erupted around the beginning of the 20th century, Martinique was producing more rum for export than any other island in the West Indies. This disaster resulted in the destruction of every distillery in the rum capital, Saint Pierre, along with about 30,000 people. By the time W.W.I came along, production had increased substantially and the war boosted production even more. Rum for the troops was needed and the production of France's own distilleries was down.

St. James Rum, Martinique:

Like different qualities of wine, you find different qualities of rum. What makes the difference is whether they have the spirit of the rum or not; that is the sugar-cane aroma embellished to its extreme refinement. You cannot find this particular spirit everywhere, because the sugar-cane has its favorite lands and climates : both ideal in Martinique. All the rest belongs to men's skills. They are the only one who can make a great rum with all the faith, skills, love and tenacity required to compete with the best hard liquors.

But all the rums are not born equal.

Indeed, some manufacturers use a derivative sugar-cane product : molasses, a residue of the sugar manufacture. The alcohol resulting from its distillery is then enriched with strong aroma substances and a natural food coloring, the caramel. This industrial rum or sugar-manufacture rum is as much different from an agricultural rum as an ordinary wine from a great wine.

The agricultural rum is directly distilled from the vesou , the delicious cane-juice that you drink just like that in the islands. After being filtered and decanted, the vesou spontaneously ferments for one or two days, before being distilled in alembics. The distiller gives it through his expertise and skills only known by himself, a balanced aroma.

A bit of distilled water will bring the alcohol degree from 70 to its level of commercialization. The agricultural rum has another advantage, it ages in a better way and for a longer time than any other in those oak barrels from Limousin that will give him its golden-brown color and the inexpressible presence of a great alcohol. It does not matter if the evaporation reduces the quantity : for Saint-James, quality is priceless.

When they come out of Martinique's largest Saint-James wine stores, the various kinds of rum Ambré are carefully mixed together in order to refine their aromas just like one does with the cognacs.

Aged for a short or longer time, bottled in France or the Caribbean, all the rums Saint-James come in the same square-shaped bottle than the one designed by the priests two centuries ago to facilitate their shipping on boats. So, while you are sailing the sea, if you find a square-shaped bottle, grab it, for sure it is a Saint-James.

The Different Steps To Make Saint James Rum

1. The sugar-cane is crushed as soon as it arrives at the distillery: you get the green juice also called "vesou".

2. The "vesou" is filtered, cleaned and purified, it stays then to ferment.

3. After 24 to 36 hours of fermentation in large containers, you get the must.

4. This must is distilled and a colorless rum comes out of the alembics.

5. Analyzed, checked and stocked, the rum will then age more or less according to what type of quality you want to obtain: white, golden or old.

GUADELOUPE:

A French colony with a political history similar to Martinique; the rum is good but not as highly regarded.

BARBADOS:

Uses both column and pot distilled spirits in the blends. Sugarcane juice is used rather than molasses. Fine rum, medium-bodied and flavored. Mount Gay is the best known brand. It is probably the world's oldest rum brand, dating from 1663. Production dates from British planters who were aware of the product's commercial potential. In 1670, a Captain Price planted sugar cane on a 175 acre estate when a blight ruined his entire crop of cocoa trees. 70 years later, in 1741, his grandson was producing 3,000 gallons of rum yearly. By 1776, at the time of the American Revolution, his production was up to nearly 16,000 gallons and accounted for about 14 of his estate's revenue (the remainder coming from sugar). In the London market, it was known as "Barbados water" and was more highly regarded, along with the Jamaican rums, than any other rums (18 century). All Barbados rum was pot distilled until 1926 when the first continuous still was installed.

Rum - Barbadian Gold

Each year throughout the world Barbados rum is becoming available in more and more countries. Visitors to Barbados have the added advantage of savoring Barbadian "liquid gold" in the same environment that it is produced - the land of rolling fields of sugar-cane and sunshine.

Barbados rum, in terms of quality, is without question one of the very best rums produced anywhere in the world. Barbados nationals have been privy to this knowledge for years, but recently the news has been spread far and wide.

Though rum is a spirit, what makes it unique is the fact that it is produced from the juice of sugar cane. It is usually made, in actual fact, from molasses. This is the thick treacly liquid left behind after sugar has been extracted from the cane juice.

Though it could never be claimed that rum distilling was invented in Barbados, it has been a long and distinguished tradition. It was here that rum was first exported and the use of the word "rum" was first recorded. The production of rum was already firmly established as early as the 1640s even though the island was first settled in 1627.

It is theorized that because life was always "rumbustious" in the taverns of the Bridgetown waterfront that this is where the name "rum" was probably first coined. Soon great amounts were sold to visiting ships as rum quickly became very popular with seafarers. Rum first made its appearance in English ports and elsewhere in this manner. "Rum Punch Houses" were opening in England by the late 1600s and in London society rum became the fashionable drink.

With sailors rum has always been popular and the English Royal Navy introduced their "rum ration". There is an interesting historical link between current times and those early days in the use of the word "grog". Even today grog is still used to represent rum. Throughout Barbados expressions such as to "sink a few grogs" are still widely used. It was in 1731 when one Admiral Vernon of the Royal Navy ordered a rum ration to be diluted due to drunkenness and discipline problems that the word "grog" was invented. The sailors, being clearly disappointed, gave the mixture the same nickname for the man who had given the order to dilute the rum. Because of a grogam cloak he frequently wore, Vernon was known as "old grog". Hence rum became known as grog. Today rum is much more refined yet people still refer to "firing a grog or two".

Mount Gay Rum

Based on a tattered deed dated 1703,it is known that Mount Gay Rum is one of the oldest rums in the world. For almost 300 years, this Barbados rum has been hand crafted at the same location, using the finest Barbados sugar cane and pure coral filtered spring water.

Mt. Gay Eclipse Rum: Imported amber rum from Barbados. Aromas of nuts, oak, biscuits, and vanilla. The flavors reflect the nose without the oak. Long-lasting, slightly sweet aftertaste. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating.

Mt. Gay Extra Old Rum: Blended dark rum from Barbados. A blend of single and double distilled rums which are aged in hand-crafted, charred oak Kentucky bourbon barrels for five to twelve years. The single distilled rum add aromatic notes of oak and vanilla. The double distilled rum brings notes of vanilla, apricot and banana. Light bodied, smooth with rich oak character. Can be served neat, on the rocks, with soda or your favorite mixer.

Cockspur Gold Rum:

Imported rum from Barbados. Amber color. Aromas of ripe melon, cinnamon, and hay. Medium-bodied. Slightly medicinal, flavors of tobacco and cereal. Aftertaste of honey and chocolate.

TRINIDAD:

Said to be of high quality but not necessarily distinctive character.

Caroni Rum, (from their Web Site)

Why do we use molasses in the production of our rums?

Molasses is a final by-product in the production of sugar. In its raw form, no more sugar can be crystallized from it by the factory process, but it still contains a high percentage of sugar. In addition, molasses contains a large number of minerals and non-sugar organic compounds. The non-sugar organic compounds are essential in the production of rum since most of the flavor and aroma characteristic of rum originate in these compounds.

What are congeners?

During the fermentation process a number of constituents called congeners are manufactured. Only some of these congeners are desirable, and one of the objectives of the distillation process is to remove the undesirable congeners. These congeners, also called rum flavors, are major constituents of heavy-type rums, and are necessary when blending to give the rum its flavor and character.

What is a heavy-type rum?

After the rum has been separated from the fermentable wash during distillation, the condensate produced contains a high percentage of congeners, and it is from this condensate that the heavy-type rums are obtained.

What is a light-type rum?

After the desired amount of heavy-type rums are obtained, the remaining condensate is then rectified to produce light-type rums. The light-type rum forms the body of a rum during blending, with heavy-type rums being added for flavor. Once the rum meets the specifications of a premium grade from aging, it can be sold locally or exported as aged rum.

Why do we dilute rums before aging?

After distillation, light-type rums are about 94.5% alcohol by volume. At this strength, evaporation would be too rapid, so the rum is diluted to about 80% before aging.

Why do we age rums?

Aging is an oxidation process during which chemical changes take place which result in an improvement in the rum's flavor.

Why do we age rums in oak wood barrels?

We use oak wood because it does not contribute any offensive odorous or tastes to the rum during the aging process. It has also been proven that rum does not age properly in stainless steel or glass containers.

Why are the insides of the barrels charred?

The staves of the barrels are charred during the manufacturing of the barrel. This charred wood however, actually deodorizes any bad odorous in the rum during aging, while also adding some color to the rum.

How much of the rum is lost due to evaporation during aging?

Since rum is a bonded product, the Customs and Excise Division only allows a 2 percent per year loss so as to ensure that the maximum excise is collected. It is the rum producer's responsibility to ensure that the loss does not exceed this limit, either through evaporation or negligence.

How long do we age rums for?

The Caroni Rum division ages heavy-type rums for a minimum of 6 years, and light-type rums for a minimum of 3 years. However, Caroni has rum that is 20 years old.

What is a mature rum?

A mature rum is one which in the opinion of the blender has aged enough to have all the specifications and characteristics required for blending the rum. This is judged by the smoothness and mellowness of the rum when appraised.

What is a blend?

A blend is a mixture of light and heavy-type rums of different ages, that have been carefully analyzed and selected for characteristics specified by a blender for a particular formula. Before blending, the selected rums of a particular type and age are bulked together.

Why do we bulk rum?

Rum is bulked together before blending to ensure that there is a high degree of consistency in the final blend.

What is Puncheon Rum?

Puncheon rum is a high proof light-type rum. Caroni Puncheon Rum is 75% alcohol by volume, while Stallion Puncheon Rum is 78%, the strongest rum produced in Trinidad and Tobago for local consumption.

What gives gold rum its color?

The initial color in a Gold Rum is attained from the barrels during the aging process. A final adjustment to the color is made by adding a food coloring called Caramel. The degree of the color of the rum is the manufacturer's choice, and can be measured by the use of a tintometer.

Why does White Magic Rum have no color?

White Magic is a light-type rum, which is blended using aged rums. What little color it attains during the aging process is removed by a chemical process.

AUSTRALIA

Bundaberg Rum, Australia:

It took twenty years from settlement in 1860 before Bundaberg made its name as Australia's sugar center.

Commercial sugar cane production began in 1872 and by the 1880's the area was experiencing a sugar boom with two dozen crushing mills in operation. Kanaks, brought from islands in the South Seas, alleviated the shortage of labor in the mills and in the fields. Bullock drays, a mainstay of rural Australia in the 1800's, transported the precious molasses to the distillery.

1888 saw The Bundaberg Distilling Company incorporated - in 1889 the distillery produced its first rum, a total of 22,500 gallons.

In 1892 the Waterview sugar mill started its own distillery, in direct competition to the Bundaberg Distillery, however it was destroyed by floods in 1903.

On February 7 1907, the Bundaberg Distillery burnt down. It was soon rebuilt to supply rum to the Australian troops in WW1.

Fire once more, in 1936 devastated the distillery.

Fortunately, it was insured and within three years the factory was rebuilt and production of the famous Bundaberg rum resumed.

During the Second World War, the Australian Government took all rum stocks for the armed forces, the Royal Navy and the American Military.

In the 1950's, The Bundaberg Distilling Company sold all its rum in barrels, overproof, to agents who bottled the rum with their own labels.

In 1961, the company took greater control of the precious product and awarded the sole rights to the marketing of Bundaberg rum outside Queensland to Australian Rum Distillers.

Sam McMahon developed the distinctive square bottle and put the now famous bear on the label.

The seventies witnessed great change - the company decided to bottle its own product in 1974 and begin an international drive to tell the world about "The Spirit of Australia".

Innovation continued in the eighties. In 1985, Master Distiller Dr Lou Muller put aside one vat of Bundaberg rum which was destined to become Bundaberg Black rum.

In 1993, Bundaberg Distilling Company combined two famous products to make Dark and Stormy. The combination of Bundaberg rum and Ginger Beer blended two unique flavors into a product which was distinctly Australian.

Australia's premium quality rum, Bundaberg Black, was released in 1995.

Since 1996, Bundaberg Distilling Company has increased its international marketing activities for Bundaberg rum.

Processing

Sugar cane is a giant tropical grass which thrives on North Queensland's rich volcanic coastal flats. The processing season is from July to November when sugar content reaches its maximum and cane is harvested by giant machines. The sugar cane is transported to the Millaquin sugar mill and crushed to extract the juice.

The juice is purified by adding lime, crystallizing the sugar which is separated in centrifuges like large spin dryers. The liquid remaining after no more crystals can be extracted is molasses, a rich black syrup commonly known as Black Gold. It is this precious liquid which is used to make Bundaberg rum.

At the Bundaberg Distillery, the molasses is clarified. Pure water and a specially prepared yeast solution are then added. The mixture is piped to large fermenting tanks where it stays for 36 hours.

The Wash Column

  • The fermented liquid enters the top of the continuous distillation column and seeps down through level after level of horizontal trays.

  • High pressure steam is fed in at the bottom of the column and is forced up through the liquid causing a steady steam of alcohol vapor to emerge from the top of the column.

The Condensers

  • The vapor condenses, forming a liquid which is stored in a receiver until there is sufficient volume of liquid to be transferred into the pot still.

  • The pot still is like a giant kettle.

  • Steam is again applied to the liquid, forcing it to leave the pot still where it is once more condensed and transferred to the raw rum receiver.

  • The clear liquid is transferred from the raw rum receiver into huge 60,000 liter American white oak maturation vats where it sits for more than two years.

  • These vats are important to the final taste and color of the rum.

The vats are housed in specially constructed bond houses designed to minimize temperature fluctuations. During the maturing process, the master distiller samples and tests the rum to ensure that both taste and aroma are developing to produce a quality rum worthy of the Bundaberg name. After this traditional aging in oak, the mature rum is ready for bottling.

VIRGIN ISLANDS

Ron Roberto White Rum:

White rum from the Virgin Islands.

GUYANA:

Both the sugar and the rum are known as "Demarara." Not notable for their fruitiness, but rather for their very dark color and rich and distinctive flavor. One-third is pot distilled.

UNITED STATES

New Orleans Rum:

New Orleans rum is unique because of the sugar cane used to make it, and the place where it is made. The cane used for New Orleans is grown exclusively in Louisiana, and is famous for its high sugar content and unique flavor although it can cost as much as ten times the price of offshore cane. The cane molasses is fermented, and the resulting mash distilled in small batches in New Orleans, which means N.O. is the only rum distilled within the continental United States. A single mash run is a little less than 100 gallons, a fraction of the amount pumped through by giant in-line distillers. "We like to refer to our method as craft distilling" says Mark Stewart, Celebration's master distiller. "It takes a bit longer and is more costly, but the rewards are great." "That's right, New Orleans Rum is distilled in small batches, not continuous feed process. Our hand crafted custom made still is monitored by a master distiller the entire distillation process, always searching for consistent quality."

From the still, New Orleans Rum goes into single oak barrels for aging. According to the distiller, "the smoothness and slightly smoky flavor is due in large part to the single barrel aging. This type of treatment is similar to methods employed in the making of cognac or single malt scotch, and results in a beautiful amber colored liquor with a great mouth feel." New Orleans Rum contains no added perfumes, colors or flavorings. Finally, New Orleans is bottled at 86 proof, slightly higher that the 80 proof rating of most standard rums.

An All-American Rum From New Orleans

By: T. Soloman

New Orleans, LA - The Celebration Distillation Corporation, has introduced "N.O. New Orleans Rum." The new rum made its debut at January's National Beer, Wine and Spirits Convention in Las Vegas, where it was praised as "unique," and "smooth" by many of the professionals who attended.

"We set up a booth at a national show before we had national distribution, just to see how the professional market would react" said Dean Pulley, Celebration's marketing director. "The response was phenomenal. We had bar and restaurant owners from across the country wanting to place orders immediately. Inquiries are also pouring in from food, beverage and trade magazines daily."

"N.O." rum is unique because of the sugar cane used to make it, and the place where it is made. The cane used for N.O. is grown exclusively in Louisiana, and is famous for its high sugar content and unique flavor. The cane molasses is fermented, and the resulting mash distilled in small batches in New Orleans, which means N.O. is the only rum distilled within the continental United States. "We like to refer to our method as craft distilling" says Mark Stewart, Celebration's master distiller. "It takes a bit longer and is more costly, but the rewards are great."

From the still, N.O. Rum goes into single oak barrels for aging. "The smoothness and slightly smoky flavor is due in large part to the single barrel aging" said Stewart. "This type of treatment is similar to methods employed in the making of cognac or single malt scotch, and results in a beautiful amber colored liquor with a great mouth feel." Finally, N.O. is bottled at 86 proof, slightly higher that the 80 proof rating of most standard rums.

The national market for super premium rums is heating up according to Dean Pulley. "Celebration's story lies in the passion of our small company for the art and craft of the distillation process," says Pulley. That passion was passed on to the company by founder James Michalopoulos, who tells HappyHours.com he got into the distilling business by "coincidence."

"I was visiting a friend and patron in Switzerland who happens to be one of Europe's leading cognac flavorists," said Michalopoulos. "He and his wife had produced some home made liqueurs, and I was intrigued by the possibility of doing the same in New Orleans with local produce." That notion grew into a full blown business, and against all odds, Celebration Distillation became the U.S. mainland's only premium rum distillery.

For more information, e-mail the Celebration Distillation Corporation at: norum@bellsouth.net.

Malibu Rum:

Coconut flavored light rum . Clear. Sweet coconut aroma. Intense coconut flavor with no hint of alcohol. 'Kindred Spirits' gives it a *** (recommended) rating. Good mixed with fruit juices, cola, and other sodas.

SUMMARY OF RUM DISTILLING COUNTRIES

CUBA

  • Molasses and Column Distillation
  • Don Facundo Bacardi Y Maso; Catalonia,
  • Spain to Cuba in 1830 at age of 14. Founded Bacardi Y Cia in 18762 and 1st made "Ron Bacardi."
  • 1876 = first Gold;
  • 1892 = King (future) Alfonso XIII of Spain;
  • 1898 = Cuban Independence & Cuba Libre.

PUERTO RICO

  • Molasses
  • Column Distillation

JAMAICA

  • Molasses;
  • pot distillation;
  • spontaneous fermentation.
  • Meyers, Appleton, Captain Morgan (owned by Seagram's since 1945.

HAITI

  • Sugarcane juice;
  • double-pot distillation.
  • French; influenced distillation and aging philosophy.

MARTINIQUE

  • French;
  • when phylloxera nearly destroyed the French vineyards, rum production in Martinique increases.
  • Around 1900, Martinique produced more rum for export than any other island in West Indies.

GUADELOUPE

  • French.

BARBADOS

  • Column and pot distillation
  • Uses cane juice
  • Medium-bodied and flavored
  • Mt. Gay is probably the world's oldest liquor brand and dates from 1663.

GUYANA

  • Demarara rum
  • 1/3 pot-distilled.
  • Noted for dark color and distinctive flavor.



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