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Barbados – The Birthplace of Rum

Barbados – The Birthplace of Rum

Considered to be the birthplace of rum, Barbadians hold this deliciously complex nectar in high regard. Roughly 1,500 rum shops scattered about in just 166 square miles, is evidence to show just how much this drink means to the locals. The quality of our rum is based on the finest sugar cane, the aromatic molasses and the pure coral-filtered water. It’s not only the quality of the ingredients but also the talent of the blender who ensures that every bottle delivers the unmatched appearance, aroma and taste.

Thought to be one of the world’s oldest distilled spirits, Barbados first started producing rum in the
17th century and has continued to supply the world with top quality liquor ever since. Now enjoying over 350 years of experience in the distillation process, Barbados is the place to go if you want to sample the good stuff, and at the same time, learn a little local history. Barbadian rum has not only become an essential part of the local economy, but it also represents part of the island’s heritage, and the Barbadian art of living.

As one of the island’s oldest distilleries, Mount Gay Distilleries has been producing rum since 1703 and is one of the world’s oldest brand of rum. Mount Gay continues to create some of the island’s best rum and now offers its prized produce worldwide. Mount Gay Distilleries offers the opportunity for visitors and locals alike to visit the distillery and see how it’s done.

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Mount Gay isn’t the only rum distillery in Barbados though. Located on the gentle southern slopes of the St. George Valley in St. Philip you can find the Foursquare Rum Distillery and Heritage Park – producing the Family Reserve “with a character and complexity achieved by long and careful ageing in oak.” Foursquare is a historic site, it being the first sugar plantation established on the island in 1636. The distillery isn’t the only point of interest on the property – there are several other attractions including a folk museum, sugar machinery museum, and a glass fusing studio.

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St. Nicholas Abbey, another rum distillery, did away with mass production and mechanical systems in favour of the more traditional rum-making process. Embracing traditions that made Barbados rum famous, St. Nicholas Abbey’s rum is produced entirely from the pot still distillation. After the cane juice is extracted and fermented, it is distilled in small controlled quantities and then aged to perfection in the finest bourbon oak casks.
With a beachfront view, you really can’t beat the location of the West Indies Rum Distillery. The distillery opened in 1893, and unlike St. Nicholas Abbey, the distillery uses the latest techniques in distilling to ensure the production of rum is of the highest quality. West Indies Rum Distillery produces the popular rums Cockspur and Malibu, and was also handpicked by the American country singer Kenny Chesney for his line of rums called Blue Chair Bay Rum“beach made and beach aged.”

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When exploring our piece of paradise, you’ll see lots of colourful rum shops buzzing with activity. Be sure to stop in, have a drink – or fire a shot, as the locals would say.

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