A Gentleman and a Distiller

Personal circumstances have led me to neglect Rumpundit, but Thierry’s death spurs me back to business and I will do more from now on.

I last met Thierry in New York at the Financial Times “Business of Rum” supplement launch. He was there, not because he was a huge financial player, but because all of us involved respected the quality that Barbancourt represented, not least because of the adversity of conditions in Haiti.

At the conference, I reminded him of what he had told me years before – and he had forgotten. Smiling, he told me in his soft French accent, “Ian, you know, Bacardi are very clevèr.”

“How?” I asked.

“If you look at zeir advertizements, they always want you to drink zeir rum with something else!” he said.

I have to say recent Bacardi products  from Facundo mean it is no longer true but it was a wonderful put down – that could be said of many other mass sale rums!




The man behind Haiti’s best-known export, Barbancourt rum, dead at 65

Rum moving up

Remy along with Campari/Appleton taking rum to premium heights.


SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
Added 26 August 2015

BARBADOS’ DISTINCTION of being the birthplace of rum is about to be “leveraged” like never before. Fresh from acquiring Mount Gay Rum Refinery and Mount Gay Plantation in St Lucy for a combined $28.7 million, French alcoholic beverage company Remy Cointreau has sanctioned a plan that will see its Barbados subsidiary, Mount Gay Distilleries Limited, giving consumers a taste of the world’s first “luxury” rum in six to seven year’s time.
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It is a key part of a deliberate strategy – fashioned four years ago – to elevate the 312-year-old Mount Gay brand to premium and super premium status, thereby ensuring its survival and growth.
Detailing the strategy in an interview with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY, Mount Gay Distilleries Limited managing director, Raphael Grisoni, revealed that the company would now be involved in producing its special new rum, which is targetting the high end market, from the field to the bottle.
Mount Gay has contracted the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) to manage Mount Gay Plantation, and is working with the Sugar Cane Breeding Station and a team of “specialist” consultants, including agronomists, to produce its own “high quality” molasses for the “single estate rum”, Grisoni said.
“We made a deal with BAMC, so they are grinding for us and we are collecting the molasses from them, which is segregated, so it is really our molasses coming from our plantation. The rum produced will be something very high end, very expensive, because it will be very scarce and of course the growing super premium rum market is there so it will be beneficial, of course, for Barbados to have such positioning,” he said.
“It’s the early stage. We took over the plantation, we got the first harvest and our molasses. It’s not a common molasses, we have a special quality, so we are extracting less sugar from the cane so we have a better quality molasses, and we started our first distillation last month. So it’s really fresh and the product will go out in six to seven years.
“On the plantation, there is an old plantation house and an old windmill. So slowly we are going to refresh that and make it nice. Today, all of the plantation management is externalised with BAMC but with our guidelines. We are expecting them to manage our plantation by the book, we want an exceptional management and thanks to our consultant agronomist, we set up the standard on which we want the BAMC to operate,” he added.
Grisoni said the expectation was that in the end Mount Gay would have a product “that will deliver because of the quality of the cane, and because of the processes we are going to use will be unique”.
He said there was a market of affluent consumers who were “looking for unique, scarce, small batch products”, and the company was looking to capitalise on this in an international marketplace where no one was currently selling true luxury rum for between US$500 and US$1 000 a bottle, except the occasional special edition.
“It is really something unique and I think this is the way we should go forward. It was also a way to show we believe in the sugar industry. Purchasing a plantation is already a sign that we believe in this industry and we are willing to invest and it’s a significant investment. This is just the beginning. What I know is that overall luxury products are on the rise,” he asserted.
“There are more and more rich people who are demanding exclusive products and we have all the attributes to deliver those luxury products and we need to leverage our heritage. We were born more than 300 years ago in this area in St. Lucy. This is our story and it was logical to build on that and I am totally convinced that there is a consumer for that.
“It’s great but it’s also difficult for us because it’s new. Before, we were really only in the distillation, aging and blending. Now we are becoming farmers, so as you can imagine it’s quite complex. But thanks to God, we have great specialists on the island, we have great agronomists who are, of course, helping us in order to do it properly.”
– See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/71435/remy-upscale-rum#sthash.9Z4qvpPi.dpuf

Dancing on the Cap’n’s Grave?

As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico Hopes to Keep the Rum Business Lucrative With New Distillery

Published at 1:15 pm, July 8, 2011

Photo Credits: As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico is Hoping to Keep the Rum Business Going With New Distillery

Near San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former pharmaceutical plant is being transformed into a rum distillery in hopes of helping the economy recover from the loss of Captain Morgan rum.

The new distillery is being developed by Club Caribe Distillers LLC, a local bottler of Coca-Cola, and agreements to produce rum in bulk for third parties has already been made. However, the company is also looking to break into the U.S. market with new products: a white rum called Club Caribe, a spiced rum called Black Roberts, and Ron Carlos, a dark rum.

“We see a great opportunity to increase the demand for local rum in the United States,” said Alberto Rivera, senior vice president and principal finance officer for Club Caribe.

When at full capacity, the plant should be able to produce 10 millions gallons of rum per year, though as part of the 20-year deal, only 2 million gallons of rum will be produced in the plant’s first year. It is scheduled to be opened in early 2012.

Club Caribe is expected to employ 25 people and invest $10 million in machinery and equipment in the former GlaxoSmithKline building. In the first year, it is believed the plant’s production will eventually generate $20 million in revenue for the island.

As Captain Morgan leaves the island, the U.S. commonwealth is expected to lose $140 million in. The rum producer is moving “next door”, to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The rum industry has created 4,500 direct and indirect jobs. It also provides the government with around $400 million annually in rum rebate revenue.

The new distillery is located in the mountain town of Cidra, Puerto Rico.

And Did Trelawney (Gold) Die?

“And did Trelawney die” was the song of the Western Men, whose defeated prisoners might well have ended up as indentured labour in Jamaica. Trelawney Gold did die, but who knows it might be coming back – in spirit at least! Rumpundit.

Husseys make another half-billion bet on Long Pond

Published: Sunday | April 3, 2011 2 Comments

A front view of the Long Pond Estate in Clark's Town, Trelawny. The factory has a history of being the largest employer in the community and used to produce the famed Trelawny Gold Rum.
A front view of the Long Pond Estate in Clark’s Town, Trelawny. The factory has a history of being the largest employer in the community and used to produce the famed Trelawny Gold Rum.

Mark Titus, Business Reporter

Hussey family, controlled Everglades Farms Limited is investing more than US$6 million (J$515 million) to modernise the Long Pond sugar estate that was shuttered after a disastrous start to its first year as a sugar manufacturer in the 2009-10 season.

Long Pond then churned 1,400 tonnes of sugar, easily the worst in the history of the plant.

Two years ago, Everglades acquired Long Pond in a package that includes the Hampden Estates, both located in Trelawny, but was forced to sit out the 2010-11 crop year after it was agreed that substantial work was needed in order to realise the potential capacity of the new assets.

“When we acquired the assets, it was in very bad condition, and we got no opportunity to see how it ran,” Outman Hussey, Everglade’s design and special projects manager, told Sunday Business in an interview on Wednesday.

“When we did take over, the first thing we saw that did not make sense was the oil usage,” said Hussey, a director of the company and professor of architecture at Howard University.

“You could not supply Bunker C oil by a tanker fast enough …”.

Hussey said Everglades relied on the evaluation of the engineers from SCJ Holdings to diagnose the problem and come up with the solution solution, but came to regret that decision.

“Records will show that we did everything that was recommended to be done and more, but when we started the factory the following season it was very apparent that it was not going to happen,” he said.

The Husseys, known mainly in tourism and horse-racing circles, brought in international experts and evaluators in the industry, and is now accepting bids for the engineering work to be done which will see Long Pond retrofitted to ensure that the factory can churn sugar cane throughout the season once commissioned.

The new crop year kicks off at around December.

“It is hard when you are used to doing business in a more private setting to come in a business that is constantly in the public domain, but we think we now have the right people in the right place to now do things the right way,” a more reserved Andrew Hussey, also a director, said.

This will include returning the boilers to the design specifications that they were made for, and eliminating the use of oil at the factory, relying totally on bagasse.

Everglades’ business plan goes beyond sugar production and calls for a diversified product: rum and tourism.

“In diversification, you have to look at what the region is, what the region has to offer, and what the resources are in terms of materials, lands, the people, and the skill level, and then you can determine the matrix,” Andrew said.

Tourism is a key part of the company’s plan, which details a tourism product that includes a rum museum for Hampden, a sugar cane museum for Clark’s Town, and tours of the great houses and sugar cane mills now being refurbished. Horses are also being bred on the properties.

The family said their entry into sugar was easy, as the senior Hussey, Laurie, had been a cane farmer years ago, supplying the Bernard Lodge factory in St Catherine.

“Our dad does not want to see land waste, and what that has done for us as the younger ones is help us to see empty land as not good,” said Andrew.

Everglades employs almost 40 persons on the estates’ farms where crops such as cabbage, lettuce, tomato, pak choi, sweet pepper, hot pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, Irish potato, string beans, carrot, sweet corn, pumpkin, sweet potato, pineapple, cantaloupe, water melon, thyme, escallion, and onion are planted for the hospitality industry in Western Jamaica.

“In this model, you come to Everglades and there will be a number of different job opportunities, whether it is in rum, horses, sugar, or tours,” said Outman.

“Sugar is very important in the mix of our diversified products because we will need sugar more now than before, especially good, organic sugar. And that is why the cane farmers must know that they are a very important part of our plans going forward. We will need their cane to complement ours to produce the quality sugar we intend for a proper return on our investment,” he said.

The entire plan will be rolled out over a five to 10-year period. For now, the Husseys say the next milestone is packaging and marketing their own branded sugar.

The family says its sales of bulk rum to Europe are up 30 per cent since 2009, and they will be developing a warehouse for rum storage. They were unwilling to speak to the details of the project, however.

Hampden has launched a new spirit, Rum Fire, in partnership with Red Stripe Jamaica as its distributor. The Husseys hope to capture 20 per cent of the Jamaican rum market over time. The market is dominated by Wray and Nephew.

Both Hampden and Long Pond figured prominently during the heyday of sugar production in western Jamaica, and at one time, were chief sources of income for residents of Clark’s Town and other Trelawny communities.

However, in the last two decades, sugar hit a steady decline and the estates and their equipment aged.

At the turn of this decade – the 2000-01 crop – the two factories produced a combined 20,000 tonnes of the sweetener, 5,000 tonnes of which came from the smaller estate, Hampden.

The tonnage, quoted by itself, tells little, but consider that just three years before, in 1997, Hampden alone, which had the capacity for 15,000 tonnes, was churning out 12,000 tonnes of sugar.

Despite the availability of some 1,284 hectares of land for planting cane, only 676 hectares were put into cultivation for the 2000-01 crop.

The estate, which was teetering on the brink of financial ruin and had been rescued by the Government in the 1990s under the bailout programme for the financial sector, would later be placed in receivership.

Before that time, the estate was controlled by the Farquharson family.

The records show that during the 1997-2002 period, Hampden sustained losses of more than J$45 million.

Long Pond and other sugar assets were last in private ownership under a deal in 1993 that gave 51 per cent control to a Wray and Nephew-led consortium, that included Cliff Cameron’sManufacturers Investment Limited and Booker Tate Limited of the United Kingdom.

Each private partner held 17 per cent, whereas the Jamaican Government retained a minority 49 per cent.

The state would eventually re-acquire the SCJ after the consortium failed to turn the company into a money-maker.

Under the deal with Everglades, the new owners must maintain 60 per cent of the leased lands for sugar-cane production or related products for 15 years.

The deal covers the two factories and surrounding 40 hectares of land, plus an additional 7,100 hectares, which are leased for US$40 per hectare per annum for the first 10 years of the agreement.

For 2010-11, the company has planted 5,000 hectares of new cane, and will plant an additional 1,408 hectares of cane over the four years to follow, which is projected to yield 280,000 tonnes of cane in the next five years.

“This means businesses in the communities will see an increase in trade, taxis will have more passengers to carry, and there will be additional opportunities for employment,” said Outman.

“So in essence, we are mixing green infrastructure with traditional, infrastructure, and in that way, we are conducting a business while preserving the heritage.”


85 Lashes Rum!

Glazer’s to distribute Amalgamated’s rum across Missouri

St. Louis Business Journal – by Kelsey Volkmann

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 12:32pm CDT

Jesse Jones 

Amalgamated Brewing and Distilling Co. said Thursday it reached a deal with Glazer’s to distribute Amalgamated’s 85 Lashes Rum beyond St. Louis to throughout Missouri.

Amalgamated, a craft brewer and micro-distillery in St. Louis led by President Jesse Jones, hand distills its rum in small batches.

The expanded distribution deal is expected to boost Amalgamated’s revenue this year by $500,000 to approximately $3 million, Vice President Brad Wheeling said.

“Glazer’s is in every bar, restaurant and liquor store,” he said.

Amalgamated’s previous distributor, Classique, is a smaller, specialty distributor, he said.

Wirtz Beverage Group distributes 85 Lashes in Illinois.

Amalgamated also owns and operates Jake’s Steaks on Laclede’s Landing and The Stable in Benton Park.

Amalgamated Brewing and Distilling Co. said Thursday it reached a deal with Glazer’s to distribute Amalgamated’s 85 Lashes Rum beyond St. Louis to throughout Missouri.

Amalgamated, a craft brewer and micro-distillery in St. Louis led by President Jesse Jones, hand distills its rum in small batches.

The expanded distribution deal is expected to boost Amalgamated’s revenue this year by $500,000 to approximately $3 million, Vice President Brad Wheeling said.

“Glazer’s is in every bar, restaurant and liquor store,” he said.

Amalgamated’s previous distributor, Classique, is a smaller, specialty distributor, he said.

Wirtz Beverage Group distributes 85 Lashes in Illinois.

Amalgamated also owns and operates Jake’s Steaks on Laclede’s Landing and The Stable in Benton Park.

Red Stripe Adds White Stripper!

Hampden ‘Fires’ up rum market: Red

Of course the title is unfair – but irresistible. Sadly export markets are not easy for white overproof rum… which is an acquired taste, albeit one acquired by so many locals in the Caribbean. Rumpundit.

Stripe to be sole distributors of new local spirit

Published: Wednesday | March 16, 2011

Sabrina Gordon, Business Reporter

Red Stripe, sole brewers and bottlers of beer in Jamaica, has inked a deal with the Hussey family-owned Everglades Farms to be the exclusive distributor for Hampden Estate’s first-ever bottled rum for the local market.

Hampden Estate, located on a 5,600-acre property in Trelawny, normally produces bulk rum for the European market, but has now ventured into bottling a white overproof rum brand, Rum Fire, to be marketed locally. The product is expected to be available on shelves islandwide by the end of March.

It is the first time that Hampden has produced rum for sale in the local market.

“Hampden has never come out with a local brand, and to get to this market is the premium part of the business,” Andrew Hussey, director at Everglades Farms, told Wednesday Business.

In terms of the partnership with Red Stripe, Ruth Hussey, board chair at Everglades Farms, said, “Rum Fire white overproof rum is an exceptionally smooth rum from Hampden Estate, and we wanted to partner with a world-class quality company with the requisite marketing skills, sales penetration and impressive infrastructure to make Rum Fire the consumers’ first choice for white overproof.”

The agreement calls for Red Stripe to market, sell and distribute the product.

Spokespersons for both Everglades and Red Stripe declined to provide information about the pricing strategy and other details about the deal.

However, Brian Pengelley, sales director at Red Stripe, believes the product will find favour with local consumers.

“The attractive price point, as well as the exceptional drinkability of Rum Fire, will find favour with Jamaican consumers,” Pengelley said in a press release.

By entering the rum market, the deal also represents a milestone for Red Stripe, the island’s sole beer-producing company.

However, it will not be its first venture into the spirit market since it already distributes a range of spirits on the local market for its parent company, Diageo.

“Rum Fire rum marks a new chapter in Red Stripe’s drive to round out its spirits portfolio,” said Pengelley.

“White overproof rum has long been a preferred drink by many Jamaicans, but there have always been too few options,” said Pengelley.

Rum Fire will compete with other brands on the market, the most popular being Wray and Nephew white overproof rum.

Along with the Long Pond Sugar Factory in Trelawny, Hampden Estate is operated and managed by Everglades Farms.

Hampden Estate, which has existed in Jamaica for close to 300 years, is the only distillery in Jamaica that specialises exclusively in the making of heavy-pot still rums. The estate exports between 400,000 and 500,000 litres of absolute alcohol annually to Europe and, to a smaller extent, South Africa.


Kraken puts tentacles into TV

Kraken Hokum – but Enjoyable


US: Proximo Spirits gives The Kraken TV push

By: just-drinks.com editorial team | 15 March 2011

Proximo Spirits has lined up a television advert for its black spiced rum brand The Kraken.

The ad, which breaks next month across a number of cable networks, including ESPN, forms part of a marketing programme including a website, social media presence, a national sampling programme, an online merchandise store and an iPhone app.

The Kraken, which is named after a mythical giant squid, was launched internationally 18 months ago.

Formed in 2007, Proximo’s portfolio includes Three Olives Vodka, 1800 Tequila, Stranahan’s Whiskey and Hangar One Vodka.

Poles Apart in Colombia with Dictador

Wandering around the Las Vegas International Bar and Night Club show is an otherworldly existence. Model Agencies from as far away as LA had been tapped to provide skimpily clad marketing assistants, but Dictador’s stand stood out.  Its models in kitschy festishistic outfits matched its black bottles, coated in sensual rubber smooth enough to make anyone think that they had incorporated lubricant in the glass.

Dictador is a Columbian Rum born, or rather reborn, of an unusual match. Polish fashion designer Tomasz Bogdanski was on vacation in Cartagena when he tasted the product made by Hernan Parra Arango’s family distillery. Hernan’s father had urged closing the business down,  but he wanted to keep it going, and Bogdanski’s capital and global sales team, not to mention his design and marketing skills led to the happy combination with Hernan as the President and Mariusz Jawoszek as Chairman.

But the rum is almost as smooth as the bottle!  Selling in 12, 20 and XO, it is a mature rum, subtle but with the oak overtones and clearly has no sugar added. Solera rums often tend to be on the sweeter side but in this is a rum for grownups, and in fact won a gold medal in the Polished Palate  category in. It has already been selling worldwide, including in China, and is now launching in the US.

In solidarity with the Dictador!

Holey Dollar

Love the headline! Rum Pundit

Dollar Strengthens on Divine Intervention

Published on Mon, 14/03/2011, 11:43:03



By Jordan Gelbart

Australian owned rum Holey Dollar has continued its winning streak at international spirits competitions, being awarded ‘Master’ and ‘Gold’ status at The Spirit Masters Series.

The series is held by The Spirits Business Magazine with the Rum Masters section of the competition independently judged by a panel of industry experts.

Holey Dollar Rum Cask Strength (75.9 percent ABV with a RRP of $84.99) and Holey Dollar Rum Overproof (57.2 percent ABV with a RRP of $64.99) were both awarded ‘Master’ status, the highest accolade that can be awarded by the panel.

Holey Dollar Rum Premium (40 percent ABV with a RRP of $39.99) was awarded ‘Gold’.

Holey Dollar has received some of the highest honours in the spirits category, taking out ‘Best in Class’ for the past two years at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

“It’s wonderful that the International market is recognising the quality of the rums that we are creating but what’s even better is seeing how Australian consumers are embracing the ‘buy local, think global’ concept,” said master distiller at Holey Dollar Stuart Gilbert.

“The growing group of Holey Dollar Rum drinkers are people that are passionate about discovering something a little bit different and enjoy consuming the highest quality, world-class products, but at the same time, appreciate something that is actually close to home and 100 percent Australian family owned company.

Holey Dollar Rum is named after the coins with holes punched out that, significantly, superseded rum as the main form of currency in NSW after the Rum Rebellion.

Privateer Rum opens shop

The Spirit of a Privateer: Privateer International Opens Distillery

Posted on 03/10/11 at 11:00pm by webmaster


The Spirit of a Privateer: Privateer International Opens Distillery

Andrew Cabot opens rum distillery in Ipswich, MA

Ipswich, MA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 10, 2011

It was an economic instigator for the American Revolution. George Washington insisted on having it at his 1789 inauguration. Early in the history of the country, it was a ubiquitous campaigning tool. And prior to the Revolutionary War, the average American consumed three gallons of it per year.

Rum is the common thread running through these events in the early history of the American Republic. And the name Andrew Cabot (1750-1791) was associated with the manufacture of one of the earliest rums ever made on American shores. Cabot, along with his business partners, owned a rum distillery in Beverly Massachusetts, along the Atlantic Coast, just north of Boston. They smuggled their molasses into the country in defiance of British tariffs and laws. Once America declared independence from Britain, the economics of distilling rum changed, and Cabot divested his distillery to focus on increasing his interests in privateering.

Today, the namesake Andrew Cabot, six generations removed from the original, is carefully handcrafting fine American rum in Ipswich, MA.

Distilled from premium ingredients, in small batches, and with an obsessive attention to quality, Privateer Rum is a touchstone to an era when rum was America’s most prized spirit.

“There was an irresistibility and inevitability to this mission,” said Andrew. “And it quickly became clear to us that Privateer was positioned to fill an important gap in the ultra premium rum market.”

Bill Owens, President of the American Distilling Institute, concurs: “During the American Revolution, a war privateer and successful businessman from Massachusetts named Andrew Cabot was also busy distilling rum. Nearly three hundred years later, his descendant by the same name is using the original family approach to create his own craft-made rum. It is amazing to me that the great American spirit of ingenuity, freedom and independence can carry across so many generations, and nothing carries this tradition better than the art of distilling.”

Privateer’s award-winning master distiller Eric Watson said, “Privateer Rum will be like no other rum available in America today. Our proprietary approach combines the best of old and new world practices, resulting in levels of character and complexity that often are not found in ultra premium rums today.”

Privateer International, the name of the distillery, refers to the twenty-five privateer vessels that the original Cabot owned in whole or part during the American Revolution; these were fast and maneuverable vessels that hunted British merchant ships across the North Atlantic and from Canada to the Caribbean. Rum was the second entitlement of the sailors in this fleet, the first being their shares in the large prizes they captured from British merchants.

The rum that bears the Privateer label embodies the rebellious American spirit, and is currently available by the barrel at the Privateer Distillery, 28 Mitchell Road, Ipswich, MA.

For more information, visit http://www.privateerrum.com


For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/3/prweb8197858.htm