Black Tot Day! 31 July 1970-2010 RIP

Ian Williams, Rumpundit, commiserates Black Tot Day.

Saturday  31 July is the 40th Anniversary of Black Tot Day when the Royal Navy abandoned the daily grog ration for its sailors. Do hoist  a dark rum to mark the occasion. The British decision to abandon a centuries-old tradition of high octane fighting spirit and replace it with high megaton Trident submarines has proven to be a financial and naval disaster. When it waived the rum rules, Britannia abandoned all pretension of ruling the waves!

The first reference to Navy rum was by Samuel Pepys, who although best known for confiding his sex life to his diary, was the civil servant in charge of the Navy. He authorized the Navy in the Caribbean to issue rations of rum to the sailors based in Jamaica.

Soon, however, rum was a major constituent of the Navy’s fuel supply. Admiral Vernon, after whom George Washington’s home Mount Vernon was named, decided that it was better for the health and safety of his ships and crew to mix the rum with water before issuing it, and to issue the half pint in two servings. He was known as  “Old Grog” because he wore a waterproof cloak made of “grogram,” a mixed fabric that served before oil-skins and that gave the name to the mixture.

His orders were that the grog was to be mixed in a “scuttled butt.” The idea that scuttlebutt was sailor’s chat around the water cask is a post-Prohibitionist invention. It was the rum barrel that loosened the tongues of the eagerly waiting tars.

Navy regulations insisted that once the grog had been mixed, it had to be served promptly, otherwise it would thrown overboard, because it went “flat.” I’ve experimented with Pussers, still made to the original recipe, and it’s true! While the rum is in a colloidal suspension in the water the droplets of rum hit the tastebuds and taste as strong as normal spirits but once they are dissolved it tastes like watered rum!

The US Navy initially adopted British grog rations but then under influence from the growing whiskey industry, swapped over to what was presented as a more patriotic spirit after 1806. During the Civil War, the US Navy abolished the ration completely, perhaps taking advantage of the connection between abolitionism and prohibitionism, both of them gaining the upper hand with the departure of Confederate personnel. However it was only the ratings who were deprived.  It was not until 1913 that officers were coerced into official abstinence.

In contrast, the British Admiralty was frankly scared of the mutinous consequences  of depriving ratings of their historical entitlement, and it kept issuing Royal Navy rum, until 1970, when they overcame public nostalgia by breathalyzing the pilot of  a nuclear submarine after he had drunk his ration.

In fact, for centuries, the Royal Navy had maintained naval supremacy despite often inferior technology compared with its Spanish and French rivals, because its crews, pressganged or volunteers, outfought their enemies. And looking at it analytically, the major observable difference was the rum ration, which is why wanabee naval powers like Czarist Russia and Japan also served up rum.

British captains and admirals still have the discretion to order “Splice the mainbrace!” for special occasions, however, and naval lore is still steeped in rum, which in Britain was known as “Nelson’s blood,” since allegedly the devoted tars donated their rations to bring the Admiral’s body back from Trafalgar to London.

I checked it out in the Gibraltar library in the contemporary newspapers, and sadly,  the Admiral’s body was carried back to London pickled in Spanish Brandy, aguardiente. Perhaps the tars did not want to waste the good stuff… but I have not been able to prove or disprove the story that the coffin was drained by the time it arrived in Britain. The tars might have preferred rum – but any spirit in a drought was long-standing tradition.

This week Sukhinder Singh of Speciality Drinks in London launched Black Tot – an exclusive bottling of Navy Rum over 40 years old – a find for rum-drinkers equivalent to discovering Tutankhamen’s pickled stiff, except the archaeologists never brought the young pharoah back to life, while the old rum has indeed been revived. It  was in sealed ceramic flagons allowing its unique biochemistry to play out over almost half a century.

In the Admiralty, the most coveted job was to sit on the committee that each year assessed what proportions of Jamaica, Trinidad and Demerara rums was consistent to maintain the formula, and Speciality’s experts have topped up the work of all of those departed palates to ensure that the bottles live up to expectations.

If you can’t get some, then up spirits on Saturday with any dark rum and shed a tear for bygone glory!

El Dorado, forever Gold

IWSC reveals spirit winners The International Wine & Spirit Competition unveiled its spirit medal and trophy winners last night at a tasting held in conjunction with The Worshipful Company of Distillers at the Innholders’ Hall in London.

iwsc.jpg The event offered guests the opportunity to taste their way through 200 of this year’s award winning spirits and liqueurs.

Among the top performers were Janneau, whose Armagnacs won six medals, including a gold (best in class) and El Dorado Rum, which also won six medals, including three gold (best in class), and the IWSC Trophy for Rum 2010.

Three gold (best in class) among its six medals helped Svedka to scoop The Purity Vodka Trophy in a competitive category, although Smirnoff’s flavoured range also performed strongly.

For the whiskies, Glenmorangie, Caol Ila, Laphroaig and The Balvenie topped the single malt Scotch categories, with Hankey Bannister taking The William Grant Independence Trophy for Blended Scotch Whisky and Suntory’s The Hakashu triumphing to win The Brown-Forman Trophy for Worldwide Whiskey.

Sainsbury’s topped the supermarket medal table with two gold (best in class) medals for its Superior Dark Rum and Dún Léire Single Malt Irish Whiskey 8 YO, as well as four silver medals for its Taste the Difference 12 YO Armagnac, Taste the Difference XO Cognac Single Cru Grande Champagne, Taste the Difference Blackfriars London Dry Gin and Taste the Difference French Brandy XO.

Tesco won a gold (best in class) medal with its Finest 12 YO Whisky, in addition to two silvers for its whisky, a category which also saw the Co-op take three silver medals and one for Waitrose.

In one of the more surprising results, Oliver Cromwell 1599 Premium Gin, an own label gin from value retailer Aldi scooped the Gin & Vodka Association Trophy for Gin in a victory that was hailed as being just as important for the retailer as it is for the brand.

IWSC competition director Frances Horder said: “Aldi’s success in the IWSC may come as a surprise to consumers but they have been steadily gaining credibility in the industry for their spirits category in recent years, winning the International Wine and Spirit Competition European Retail Spirits Buyer Trophy in 2009.

“We are delighted for the buying team and their suppliers for their deserved success and we hope this award will give consumers the reassurance and guidance they need to pick this product off the shelf.”

For full results, visit the IWSC website:

•    The Purity Vodka Trophy: Svedka Vodka
•    The IWSC Trophy for Sake: Kiwami-Daiginjo Sakura-Muromachi Muromachi Jidai
•    The IWSC Trophy for Shochu: Hallasan Hoboksul Shochu
•    The Gin & Vodka Association Trophy for Gin: Oliver Cromwell 1599 Premium Gin
•    The Spirituosenakademie Trophy for Fruit Spirits (Distilled): Acquavite di Pere Williams Reserve
•    The IWSC Trophy for Tequila/Mezcal: Sierra Tequila Reposado
•    The IWSC Trophy for Rum: 15 Year Old El Dorado Rum
•    The IWSC Trophy for Pomice Brandy: Le Giare Grappa Afinata Amarone
•    The Distell Trophy for Grape Brandy: KWV Laborie Alambic
•    The IWSC Trophy for Cognac: Origin ‘Le Reviseur’ Extra Single Estate Cognac
•    The William Grant Independence Trophy for Blended Scotch Whisky: Hankey Bannister Blended Scotch Whisky 40 YO
•    The IWSC Trophy for Single Malt Scotch Whisky (No Age Stated): Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX Single Malt Scotch Whisky
•    The IWSC Trophy for Single Malt Scotch Whisky (15 Years and Under): Caol Ila 12 YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky
•    The Whyte & Mackay Trophy for Cask Strength Scotch Whisky: Laphroaig 25 Year Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
•    The IWSC Trophy for Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Over 15 Years): The Balvenie Portwood 21 YO Single Scotch Whisky
•    The Brown-Forman Trophy for Worldwide Whiskey: The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky 18 YO
•    The IWSC Trophy for Liqueur: VVH Vodka Caramel Liquor

Appleton 30 hits UK

Appleton launches 30-year-old rum

| Print |
Written by Carol Emmas
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Appleton Estate is launching a rare 30-year-old rum in the UK market that has a world wide distribution of less than 1500 bottles.

The Appleton Estate 30 Year Old Jamaica Rum will be available in luxury and boutique accounts.

Each bottle is packed in a burgundy foiled cylinder printed with a cork stopper and carries a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity.

Barnaby Rodgers, Appleton Estate brand manager UK, said with only 1,440 bottles in total available World-wide, high interest is expected amongst connoisseurs and collectors alike.
“This rum has a unique history – starting life in barrel at its Jamaica home, and spending 30 years resting and maturing in tropical paradise. It was hand blended to create a unique marque of which the youngest rum would be 30 years old when the ultimate time came for bottling.”

SF catches on to Agricoles

Paul Clarke, Special to The Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle July 25, 2010 04:00 AM  Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle

Rums made from fresh sugarcane will be featured at Bar Agricole, a SoMa bar and restaurant scheduled to open Aug. 15.

It’s hard to find the concepts of “fresh” and “seasonal” in the realm of booze itself. Most liquor is defined more by engineering and aging than by any nuances in the raw ingredients. But alcohol has a fly-in-amber capacity to capture a flavor and preserve it. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent, or more increasingly popular, than in rums made from fresh sugarcane.

“Good spirits are reminiscent of that from which they’re made,” says Thad Vogler, a partner at Bar Agricole, a SoMa bar and restaurant scheduled to open Aug. 15 that shares its very name with this type of rum.

Vogler says he values rums – and other spirits – that maintain a flavorful link to their raw ingredients. “More and more you’re seeing people paying attention to the provenance of a spirit’s raw material. That’s the last ingredient in the cocktail renaissance.”

Rum generally is rising in popularity, and as more brands of cane-based rum have become available in recent years, its distinctive flavor has set cocktail shakers in motion. Though overshadowed by rums made from molasses, cane rum has sparked enough Bay Area interest that Alameda’s St. George Spirits is making its own cane rums in partnership with local bars. One of these, Agua Libre, was specially made for Bar Agricole and will premiere with the bar’s opening.

Welcome changes

These are welcome developments to cane rum’s longtime evangelists.

“This is a community of drinkers that appreciates bold and interesting flavors; it’s a natural next step to be discovering” cane rum, says Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove.

Cate says the grassy, herbaceous flavors found in these rums give them a natural appeal for drinkers accustomed to the peppery spark of tequila or the subtle grainy flavor of scotch. “As a result, it’s easier to get people who are already into scotch and tequila to venture into rum,” he says.

More than 90 percent of rum is made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar processing. Cane-based rums, however, are distilled from the fermented juice of fresh-cut sugarcane (or, in some cases, a syrup prepared from this juice). French territories and former colonies including Martinique, Guadeloupe and Haiti produce some of the most prized cane rums, or rhum agricole. (There’s some debate among rum experts about whether Haitian rum is a true agricole.) But other regions, including Trinidad, Guatemala and, now, California, produce notable cane rums. Brazilian cachaça is likewise made from sugarcane juice or syrup, but different production methods make it a close though distinct relative.

Young cane rums have a crisp vegetal snap, with a peppery aroma similar to blanco tequila and a flavor that can be sharp, dry and grassy. With barrel aging, familiar notes of caramel and vanilla creep in, but aged cane rums maintain a botanical depth and ornate earthiness that keep them lively even after years in the barrel.

The most stringent rules regarding rhum agricole are in Martinique, which as a French territory maintains an Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) designation similar to those applying to Champagne and Cognac.

Most distillers crush fresh-cut sugarcane immediately after the season’s harvest, then distill the rum at a low potency – often around 70 proof – which maintains more of the sugarcane’s alluring character (molasses rums are typically distilled at more than 90 proof). Some rum is sold after a brief rest, while the remainder is barrel-aged, often in casks made of French oak, which impart more gentle characteristics than the robust flavors from the more typical used bourbon casks.

Though there are excellent molasses-based rums, Vogler notes that cane rums have an aroma and flavor that owe more to the sugarcane itself than to the oak barrel in which it was aged. By maintaining this fragile link to raw ingredients, these rums flirt with the notion of terroir, a sometimes awkward concept in the realm of spirits.

“In a molasses-based rum, you have detritus from the industrial process in the material, whereas with a cane rum you have a true agricultural distillate – it comes from something living,” Vogler says.

And these rums have blossomed on the back bar in recent years. Around five years ago, the U.S. premiere of Martinique rums from Neisson and La Favorite prompted interest among bartenders. Enthusiasm has grown thanks to other agricoles such as Rhum Clement and Rhum J.M. Other intriguing cane rums include Depaz from Martinique, Barbancourt from Haiti, Batiste from St. Barts, and Duquesne, a Martinique rum that’s expected to be available this summer.

Contrast to molasses

And bartenders have been inspired by these rums’ contrapuntal flavor to the molasses-based standards. Bar Agricole will carry several Martinique rums, and the rum-oriented Smugglers Cove has more than 25 cane-based rums (including Eurydice, its own cane rum custom-made by St. George), utilized in drinks such as Three Dots and a Dash. In Los Angeles, Caña Rum Bar has around 20 cane rums, and at Painkiller, a recently opened tiki bar in New York, co-owner Giuseppe Gonzalez says he serves more rum agricole than any other bar in the city.

Gonzalez says cane rums have a leathery, medicinal edge that makes them particularly desirable in a complex-flavored drink.

“All the things that are character flaws in other spirits, in rum agricole it’s an attribute,” he says. “When you’re making a punch and you need something that adds character and another element you just can’t nail down, it’s perfect.”

That might explain the appeal that prompted the creation of the California version, which Bar Agricole will feature. In 2007, St. George Spirits began distilling Agua Libre rum from fresh sugarcane grown in Brawley (Imperial County), aging it for 2 1/2 years in French oak barrels. About half of the initial 760 bottles are allocated to Bar Agricole. The remainder will be sold around the Bay Area.

For distiller Lance Winters, a cane-based rum fits perfectly with St. George’s fresh-ingredient philosophy.

“I love to put a product in front of someone and say it’s a tropical drink made of pure California sunshine,” he says. “If you’ve ever spent a day lying in the grass, you know the smell.”

Agricole Presidente

Makes 1 drink

Thad Vogler at Bar Agricole remastered a Havana classic, swapping an earthy rhum agricole from Martinique for the lighter Cuban-style rum.

  • 1 1/2 ounces Neisson Blanc agricole rhum
  • 1/2 ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon Small Hands or other grenadine syrup
  • 1 teaspoon curacao liqueur
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • — Lemon twist, for garnish

Instructions: Combine all ingredients, except the garnish, in a mixing glass. Fill with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Note: Dolin Blanc is not the same as dry vermouth. Substitute another blanc or bianco vermouth as needed

Paul Clarke is a contributing editor at Imbibe magazine and publisher of the blog the Cocktail Chronicles. E-mail comments to

This article appeared on page KK – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:

Dancing Pines..

July 27, 2010

Dancing Pines Distillery to release spirits in August

By Carl McCutchen
Loveland Connection

Kimberly and Kristian Naslund are supporters of hands-on quality craftsmanship.
They like the results that a little extra handling and meticulous crafting can provide.

That’s why when their new distillery, Dancing Pines Distillery, 1527 Taurus Court, No. 110, opens in August in Loveland, customers won’t see large, automated machines producing spirits.

Instead, it’s more likely they will see Kristian behind the copper-colored, imported Spanish still, working on the couples’ next creation.

“There are so many automated things you can do — the bottlers, the machines to make the stuff,” Kristian said. “But we really want to be involved.”

Being more hands-on means spending a little more time to brew up their recipes, but the Naslunds don’t mind.

The couple believes putting in the extra work, and keeping big machines out, will help make their distillery a little more tasteful.

“We think that will help us,” Kimberly said. “We want to create a top-shelf product that will be a little different because it’s handmade. It doesn’t come out of a big industrial still and it doesn’t look like an oil refinery.”

Even though their still is currently empty, the Naslunds, and their other partner, Christopher McNay, don’t see it staying that way for long.

“We’re hoping the first of August to make our first batch,” Kristian said.
But it won’t be a big one.

The Naslunds not only plan to be more involved in the distilling process, but they also plan to produce their spirits in small quantities. They’re not doing it as a way to keep their product in high demand, but rather to help control the quality.

Additionally, they don’t plan on using traditional extracts to create their product, but will rely instead on raw materials.

“All of our stuff will be made from raw ingredients,” Kristian said. “The base for our rum will be molasses. We’ll do a light rum, an aged rum, and a spiced rum which will have spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.”

Kristian plans to make the rum the first spirit that Dancing Pines will pump out.
After that, he’s not quite sure.

“We’ll eventually put out a gin and probably vodka, because everyone puts out vodka and it’s easy to make,” Kristian said. “We’re also going to start aging bourbon.”

The Naslunds also have two liqueur recipes they are hoping to launch, with one being a chai flavor and the other coffee flavored.

While nothing is brewing quite yet, the Naslunds are excited to finally see an end coming to a few years of tough work.

They have always been home brewers of beer, but got the idea to distill alcohol while visiting Kristian’s father in Spain.

Since distilling in your basement is illegal in Colorado, the Naslunds figured they would take a shot and turn it into a business.

That was two long years ago.

During that time, they not only spent countless hours completing paperwork and filing for permits, but that’s also when they picked up the inspiration for the name of the distillery.

“We bought a little cabin and refurbished it, but we had some obstacles going into that. We had bears, frozen pipes, everything seemed to go wrong,” Kimberly said. “We lived with all these blizzards and during one blizzard we had some music playing and looked out the window and these trees looked like they were about to fall over from the snow, but they were swaying perfectly to the music. In the middle of all this chaos, these trees were just so peaceful.”

Now, the Naslunds are hoping their little distillery can be the peaceful tree in the middle of the chaos.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and we’re ready to go and finally make something,” Kimberly said. “It’s exciting to get to that point.”

For more information, visit or check out the Dancing Pines Facebook page.

Burr, baby Burr, rum tastings!

Cartavio Rum Tasting
Thursday, August 12

at the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant

The Robs will be hosting a tasting event featuring outstanding rums from Peru. You’re invited to sample these rums with us at the Mai Kai on August 12.

The Cartavio line of rums is gaining much attention lately, winning awards and turning heads among rum enthusiasts. Be among the first to sample these outstanding products now available in South Florida.

Save The Date: Thursday, August 12, 6 to 8pm.

Join us for some fine cocktails designed by the Mai Kai bartenders, sip on some excellent luxury rums and enter your name in the contest to win a bottle of Cartavio XO rum.

Space is limited, so please RSVP online soon using the link below.


date    Thursday, August 12
time    6:00 to 8:00pm
location    Mai Kai Molokai Bar
address    3599 N. Federal Hwy
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
cost    $10
Drop us a line anytime. Let’s talk about rum!

Guam Rum!

Made In Guam: Local distillers hope to find niche in island’s alcohol industry

By Erin Thompson • Pacific Daily News • July 15, 2010

Valentino Perez knows first-hand what a tricky art distilling alcohol can be. The owner of Guam’s Own distillery, Perez has spent months perfecting the recipe for rum and whiskey.

“There’s a ton of technical knowledge involved,” says Perez, whose Guam’s Own products have been on retail shelves since March.

A former financial analyst and commercial banker, Perez decided to put business and science skills — he has an undergraduate degree in engineering and a master’s in business — to work.

“I have a good history in chemistry and physics,” says Perez. “And that coupled with the fact that I used to brew beer back in college, made the learning curve extremely short.”

Using a still in an Anigua warehouse, Perez says he worked to perfect the distillation process, which uses fermented carbohydrates and sugar to create a “mash.” If the distillation from the mash isn’t just right, you can end up with a product that’s rough going down, says Perez.

“We’ve had a lot of trial and error with this, we’ve come up with a product that we absolutely adore,” says Perez. “We’re very proud of how smooth our product is.”

But, it’s not just the technical process of making the spirits that Perez had to get the hang of. Like many local entrepreneurs, Perez has had to struggle with how to market the product in a place where more established, off-island brands can actually be cheaper than locally made products.

“It’s extremely hard to be competitive with anything made on this island,” says Perez.

He’s hoping the business will find a niche market for people seeking products made on island, as well as those seeking a smooth shot.

So far, so good.

Irene Mesa, owner of the Hagåtña cafe Barista Blends, decided to switch from her usual brand of rum to Guam’s Own to make the her cafe’s rum cake. The result is a light and fluffy dessert with a edgy rum bite. She says that interest from her customer base increased when she told them she used locally produced rum for her popular rum cake.

“You actually get a lot of people wanting to try it, and get a lot of good feedback about it,” says Mesa. “They have said ‘yeah, this does taste better,’ compared to the one I used before.”

Mesa says despite the rum’s higher cost, she now prefers it to other brands.

“His product is really good so I consider it more of a premium product, compared to the rums I buy,” says Mesa.

While the distillery currently only offers rum and whiskey, Perez says he has experimented with vodka, and hopes to soon roll out a line of aguayente — the name for a traditionally home-brewed local spirit that roughly translates as “moonshine.”

“It’s a matter of going back to tradition,” says Perez.

And although the company faces tough competition on an island where locally made doesn’t necessarily bring an immediate cachet to the minds of consumers, Perez hopes that the quality and unique local stamp of the product will attract locals and tourists alike.

“This is not some off-island company saying ‘Hey, here’s stuff made on Guam,'” says Perez.

“It’s kind of cool when you can say I know the guy that made that.”

Sandals Plays Footsie with El Dorado

Rum and tourism lime together. Shrewd move on both parts. Shame about Appleton.. Rumpundit.

Sandals strike rum deal with Demerara Distillers
Al Edwards
Jamaica Observer
Friday, July 23, 2010

SANDALS Resorts International, operators of the largest chain of luxury all-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean, has signed a deal with Demerara Distillers Limited to supply El Dorado aged rums to all its hotels across the region.
This new agreement signals the end of an over 20-year supply agreement with J Wray & Nephew, the producers of the world renown Appleton Rum.
Speaking to Caribbean Business Report from Kingston yesterday, the Chairman of Sandals Resorts International Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart said: “We have had a phenomenal relationship with J Wray & Nephew for over twenty years, and over that period we have seen both our brands grow and prosper. Anybody anywhere in the world can tell you that Appleton is one of the finest rums in the world and a credit to Jamaica. It is one of our finest exports, and over the years many companies have coveted it. It will continue to prosper and go on to greater things.”
Vice-president International Marketing of Demerara Distillers, Komal Samaroo presents documents for CEO Sandals Resort International, Adam Stewart (centre) to sign at Sandals’ head office in Kingston on Tuesday. Making sure all goes well is Sandals Group Director, Corporate Communications, Rachel Mclarty.

Demerara Distillers is one of the oldest rum producers in the world and has been in existence for over 300 years. Hailing from Guyana it has an extensive range of aged rums to fit all categories. The El Dorado brand with its flagship 15-year-old rum was launched in 1992. The El Dorado brand continues to win acclaim and is heralded as one of the finest rums in the world. All its rums are made at the Diamond Distillery using Guyana’s famous Demerara sugar.
Demerara Distillers Vice-President for International Marketing, Komal Samaroo said: “Demerara Distillers Limited, takes special pleasure in this new relationship with Sandals. Our El Dorado range of aged Demerara rums has a history of delivering excellence and quality to the world for over three centuries. In more recent times, Sandals has similarly packaged the Caribbean experience and delivered it to a global market with equal excellence and quality. So here are two Caribbean companies geographically at the two ends of the region but sharing the same passion for delivering the best of the Caribbean to the world.”
CEO of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, said that with over 900,000 visitors a year, Sandals will be able to expose El Dorado Rums to a wide international market, giving them a taste of the Caribbean. He went on to say that it was the coming together of two great Caribbean companies and that Sandals has always sought to extend a welcoming hand to other Caribbean businesses in the true spirit of Caricom.
Speaking from the Jamaica Observer’s Food Awards held at Devon House last night, Adam Stewart said: “This partnership with Sandals Resorts International and Demerara Distillers Limited is both timely and symbolic of the members of the Caribbean Community shaking hands as neighbours and pulling the region closer together. I am thrilled about the prospects for growing our brands and building on our own track records of taking quality Caribbean products to the world.”

Polo & Rum

Smatt’s Rum hosts Jamaica International Polo at Royal Berkshire Club

Levi Roots at the Smatt's International Jamaica PoloThe Smatt’s Jamaica International Polo took place on Sunday 4th July, at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, continuing Jamaica’s long held association with the sport. As well as the spectacle of the Eduardo Moore Polo Final itself, guests were treated to a fabulous afternoon of Jamaican music, a BBQ lunch and a glamorous after party hosted by Rogue London during the evening.

The event was attended by around 200 guests, including His Excellency Anthony Smith Johnson, the Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, various polo press and enthusiasts, the Jamaica Tourist Board and product partners including British Airways. Jamaican TV personality and chef Levi Roots also attended, providing some of his speciality ‘reggae reggae’ marinade for the lunchtime BBQ.

The event was hosted by Smatt’s Rum, which is produced in Jamaica, and sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, who hosted media at the event as part of their sports marketing strategy.

Liz Fox, Regional Director at the Jamaica Tourist Board, said “This was a great opportunity to interact with young, wealthy consumers who travel regularly and tend to stay in luxury accommodation. As one of the world’s premier polo destinations, Jamaica offers the  chance for the polo ‘jet-set’ to pursue their passion for the sport, whilst enjoying the Island’s spectacular beauty and exclusive resorts.”


For more information or images please contact:

McCluskey International
Kate Popham / Matt Kelly
T: 020 8237 7979

About Jamaica Tourist Board

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist and Convention Bureau by the World Travel Awards (WTA) from 2006 to 2009, while Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote as the World’s Leading Cruise Destination, the Caribbean’s Leading Destination and the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination.

JTB offices are located in Kingston, Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Web site at, or call the Jamaica Tourist Board on 020 7225 9090

New old Canada Rum

Charlottetown pub offering unique brand of Island-made rum print this  article

The Guardian

The Merchantman Pub in  Charlottetown is selling its own unique brand of rum called Merchantman  1897. It is distilled by Prince Edward Island Distillery in  Hermanville, near Souris. From left are Julie Shore, master distiller,  Donna MacNeill, pub customer, and owner Peter Hyndman. Guardian photo by  Brian McInnis
The Merchantman Pub in Charlottetown is selling its own unique brand of rum called Merchantman 1897. It is distilled by Prince Edward Island Distillery in Hermanville, near Souris. From left are Julie Shore, master distiller, Donna MacNeill, pub customer, and owner Peter Hyndman. Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

It’s been over 100 years since rum was last distilled legally on P.E.I. but the drought has come to an end with the Merchantman Pub now offering an Island-made rum on its drink menu.
Over 100 guests packed the pub and got a sample of Merchantman 1897, brewed by Prince Edward Distillery in Hermanville, Sunday before it was officially made available to the public today.
The amber rum is barrel-aged, all natural, non-filtered and double distilled to give it a unique flavour of caramel and apricot with a hint of vanilla.
Peter Hyndman, owner of the Merchantman Pub, said he is happy to be the only establishment on P.E.I. to be able to offer the Island-made rum.
“I find it is important to be a leader in the industry to try to introduce a new product to the consumer and celebrate the fact we are the only location on P.E.I. to do this,” Hyndman said.
The rum is a joint venture between the Merchantman Pub and Prince Edward Distillery and the recipe has been modified a few times since the process to create it was started almost three years ago. Merchantman 1897 is exclusive to the Merchantman Pub and an agreement is in place to ensure it will only be available at the location.
He came up with the idea and the name Merchantman 1897 because 1897 was the year his great-grandfather, Charles Hyndman, with the company Hyndman and Morris, stopped producing rum on P.E.I., Hyndman said.
“I thought, ‘Why isn’t there someone producing rum on P.E.I.?’”
He is thankful to the P.E.I. Liquor Commission for licensing the rum and making it possible to have such a unique product available at his pub, Hyndman said.
“They are very supportive of local people on P.E.I. to try to support new products.”
Julie Shore, owner and master distiller of Prince Edward Distillery, said the rum is as natural as possible and a true Island-made product.
“It’s just what we create and what the barrel creates. It’s just a true rum,” Shore said.