CULTURE AND HERITAGE FOR NEARLY 400 YEARS
Rum can confidently lay claim to being the most diverse of all of the world’s spirits. Despite several countries around the world laying claim to their own varieties, the Caribbean is celebrated as the spiritual home of rum. Rum has been intertwined with its culture and heritage for nearly 400 years.The spirit we know as rum today evolved with the sugar industry of the colonial Caribbean. Although cane spirits were being made wherever sugar was being grown (the plant itself originates in Papua New Guinea) long before sugar became a Caribbean crop, the rums of the Caribbean soon rose to the top of pile.
In the seventeenth century, the spirit found in the Caribbean was described as “hot, hellish and terrible”.However, a few years later a Dutch sea captain returning from the West Indies is reported to have written “the spirits are now smoother to the tongue and have acquired a golden colour during the voyage”. By the eighteenth century a hogshead of the finest aged Caribbean rum was reputed to be judged fit for George Washington’s inauguration party.
No doubt spurred on by this vote of confidence, Caribbean rum producers have spent the ensuing two centuries perfecting the arts of distillation, aging and blending. Today, almost all rum is aged in oak barrels, the magical process lasting up to thirty years or more and allowing the rum to acquire a golden to dark brown hue.As important as aging, the final stage of production is blending – truly an art form when it comes to creating the finest rums and the point at which a number of different incarnations of rum are skilfully combined with the personality of the islands and a shot of heritage to produce something uniquely, Authentic Caribbean Rum.