FT Business of Rum Special Report with my article!

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dbc62760-0adf-11e5-98d3-00144feabdc0.html

 

June 26, 2015 6:44 pm
Caribbean rum strategy wants more sip and not mix

Ian Williams

Although rum is a global drink, made across the tropics and drunk in all climate zones, its name shows its deep roots in the English-speaking Caribbean. It first appeared in Barbados in the mid-17th century, as “Rumbullion, alias Kill-Devil . . . made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish and terrible liquor”. The pioneering distillers soon discovered that redistilling the first flow made it considerably less hellish.

In a further boost to palatability, the only way to export rum in quantity was in the oak casks that were the shipping containers of the day, and soon drinkers discovered that rum, above all spirits, benefits from ageing in oak.

By the turn of the 17th century Jamaica too had begun to make rum. It soon eclipsed Barbados in production and British West Indies rum dominated the world. To make rum, the colonists used molasses, the byproduct of sugar-refining. That gave the British an economic edge as well as rum expertise since, until the end of the 18th century, French and Spanish monarchs prohibited their colonies from producing any spirits that would rival their domestic industries.

Rum was appreciated in the heart of the empire as well. In 2011 an inventory of Earl Harewood’s cellars in England discovered bottles of Barbadian rum laid down in 1780. Once the encrusted cobwebs were polished off, Christie’s sold a dozen of the bottles for £78,255 in January 2014. It followed with 16 further bottles, raising another £135,713 last December. That gave bottles of aged dark rum a premium price of £11,162 each. It was a telling reminder that the fortunes of much of Britain’s landed gentry were in Caribbean plantations, sugar and rum — not to mention slavery.

The Royal Navy’s adoption of rum, usually Caribbean, as its restorative of choice certainly helped bulk sales, but a government-guaranteed market of millions of gallons of what one could call a “robust” rum might not have spurred premium quality. Although the Pussers brand, based on the Navy’s official formula, attracts devoted customers today it is open to debate whether the tradition or the liquor is the greatest attraction.

Even before the Harewood sale Anglo-Caribbean rum makers were rediscovering that premium, aged rums have a growing market that adds value for consumer and distiller alike. But brand-building is an expensive business, even more so with premium spirits that need decades of lead time to build and age stocks. Local Caribbean producers do not have the resources to build global markets. Nor is it enough to have a quality product, since makers have to tell discerning drinkers about it and supply the product in quantities that deliver economies of scale in a crowded market place.

Frank Ward of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association was prominent in the “Authentic Caribbean Rum” marque campaign, funded by EU “reparations” for ending trade preferences that had protected the Caribbean against Latin American competition. He notes that, with a few exceptions, the English-speaking Caribbean has concentrated on bulk rum production, selling their products to be bottled and branded by others. This surrenders the high, value-added ground to the bottlers.

The premium share of the market is expanding rapidly as drinkers treat aged rums as sipping spirits rather than as mixers for cocktails. Both Appleton Estate and Mount Gay, the market leaders in the region, have responded to this and adopted a similar strategy — maintaining high-prestige “flagship” rums and concentrating on premium blends of consistent age and quality and to some extent cutting adrift the local markets’ favourite cheaper brands. Significantly, Campari had taken over Appleton and Rémy Cointreau Mount Gay, so both had become part of large global companies with the resources to invest in production and marketing and the courage to risk upsetting local island consumers and build exports.
“Local Caribbean producers do not have the resources to build global markets”Tweet this quote

It appears that smaller brands, such as El Dorado or Angostura, will have to risk losing some of their local character. Deals with, and access to, the marketing resources of the leading spirits producers may well be what is required to make an impression on a waiting world.

Mr Ward believes the EU Caribbean rum programme did help smaller brands obtain more exposure. But he adds: “It takes years to build a brand of rum and the first programme [which] only ran 18 months helped some suppliers to diversify, but it has a long way to go”.

The smaller, yet distinguished brands from Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent have appreciative consumers but find it difficult to secure distribution, particularly in the US liquor market whose structure is a hangover from Prohibition. If these brands cannot fill a container, they are at an immediate disadvantage. The “Authentic Caribbean Rum” marque did help publicise these smaller entrants, but Mr Ward says the campaign benefited all rums worldwide.

Nonetheless, the investment in premium brand-building by companies such as Rémy Cointreau and Campari is raising the prestige of the whole rum category, something that is sure to continue.

Barbancourt 150!

When pushed to choose, I usually call Barbancourt 15 my favorite!

Rumpundit

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt Celebrates 150 Years With Special Edition

December 24, 2012 | 2:10 pm | Print

Above: the Cuvee 150 Ans

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt is launching a new special edition to mark the company’s 150th anniversary, the company announced.

Barbancourt’s Cuvee 150 Ans is a special blend in an art deco bottle developed in partnership with international designer Mickael Kramer.

Each crystal bottle will have its own unique number and a sandblasted Rhum Barbancourt anniversary logo.

While it will initially be available only in Haiti, the company said it would soon be expanding its availability to the United States and Canada.

Barbancourt has been produced continuously since 1862 (coincidentally, the same year that Don Facundo Bacardi started operations in Cuba), with the exception of a period following Haiti’s earthquake in 2010.

Rum Rebellion?

Rumpundit from the beginning of this saga has maintained that the Caricom countries have a great case for the WTO. Interesting point for the future… does the Puerto Rico statehood vote affect the subsidy down the line?

Rumpundit
Rum, rivalry, resistance

Sir Ronald Sanders

23 December 2012

THE Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade ministers issued a statement on December 11 stating that “Caricom countries continue to have serious concerns about the threat to the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States market resulting from the massive subsidies provided by the governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to multinational rum producers in those territories”.

After seven months of writing about this matter, I welcome this statement from the trade ministers underlying that “rum production and export are critical to the social and economic well-being of the region”.

Much valuable time has been lost and much has to be done quickly if the rum industry of the CARIFORUM countries is not to be displaced in the US market. CARIFORUM consists of the 14 independent Caricom countries and the Dominican Republic.

In previous commentaries I drew attention to the adverse effects on CARIFORUM countries if the USVI and Puerto Rico governments continue to provide massive subsidies to rum companies in their territories — derived from a tax refund from the US Federal Government called a “cover-over” tax. To recap, CARIFORUM countries stand to lose US$700 million in foreign exchange annually, the jobs of 15,000 workers directly employed in the rum industry, and another 60,000 jobs that benefit from it. Governments will lose over US$250 million in annual tax revenues.

I have also pointed out that bulk rum producers in some Caricom states have already lost contracts in the US market valued at millions of dollars because of the cheaper prices of the heavily subsidised USVI rum producers.

This situation will get far worse as these heavily subsidised companies increase production.

Because I had also pointed out that the CARIFORUM country that would be the biggest loser is Barbados, it is encouraging to see Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart stating in Parliament on December 18 that, “We cannot rule out the prospect of this matter reaching the WTO”, although he added, “but that is not the first-resort expedience”. Rum exports to the US market in 2010 were worth US$17.2 m to Barbados — twice as much as its exports to the European Union market.

Delay in taking firm action is not in the interest of CARIFORUM countries. The longer they wait to stop these subsidies, the more unfairly entrenched the subsidised companies in the USVI and Puerto Rico will become in the US market.

Diplomatic efforts have been made consistently during the past few months and, by all accounts, the Barbadian ambassador to the US, John Beale, has been particularly active. But these efforts have produced no meaningful results. A letter written on August 24 to US President Barack Obama by St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, as chairman of Caricom, has remained unanswered, and a previous letter on August 9, sent by CARIFORUM ambassadors in Washington to the US trade Representative, Ron Kirk, received a non-committal reply in October.

This led Caricom trade ministers, at their December meeting, to call on the US Government “to engage early with Caribbean rum-producing countries with a view to achieving an outcome that will support the continued competitive access for Caribbean rum to the US market”.

Frankly, there is not much chance of the US Government responding to that call, anymore than anyone should expect — as has been suggested — US Attorney-General Eric Holder to be helpful because “his parents were born in Barbados”.

The US Government did not pick this fight. Neither did the CARIFORUM countries. The local governments of the USVI and Puerto Rico have created the situation. Unfortunately for the US Federal Government, it has responsibility for the actions of its territories under international law and treaties. So, inasmuch as neither the US Government nor the CARIFORUM governments like it, they have a dispute on their hands, and it cannot be solved by diplomatic consultations alone. In the US, this is not a matter for the Government only; Congress also has a hand in it. And little or nothing will be done without compulsion.

The only compulsion is what some CARIFORUM governments appear reluctant to invoke, and that is to take the matter to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

CARIFORUM governments have received at least three expert legal opinions that WTO rules have been violated by the actions of the USVI and Puerto Rico governments, and they have an eminently winnable case against the US at the WTO. There should be no stopping them now.

Throughout its history, rum producers from Caricom countries have faced unfair rivalry. They have been compelled to resist, as recorded in the excellent account, Rum, Rivalry and Resistance by Tony Talburt, published by Hansib in 2010.

Resistance continues to be necessary to safeguard this spirit which is so deeply intertwined with our Caribbean civilisation. The Government of the Dominican Republic has shown its readiness to proceed to the WTO; indications are that Barbados may now be willing to join. All of the governments of the CARIFORUM countries have a duty of care to their people; they will be doing no more than fulfilling that duty by going to the WTO. At the very least, the governments of Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago should throw their weight behind the Dominican Republic and Barbados.

Those CARIFORUM countries that do not join resistance at the WTO will not only show no spirit, they will also be entitled to no benefits that may be awarded. And, if none of them do anything other than engage in the delaying exercise of diplomatic consultations with the US, more than the spirituous Caribbean rum will die; the Caribbean spirit of resistance will die too.

The US Trade Representative’s Office is expert at prolonging “consultations” and delaying WTO arbitration. But time is not on the side of CARIFORUM rums, as trade ministers agreed.

Sir Ronald Sanders is a consultant and visiting fellow, London University

Responses and previous commentaries: www.sirronaldsanders.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Rum–rivalry–resistance_13259063#ixzz2GLDKh0VE

Finding El Dorado – in Western Pennsylvania!

Fun time in Scranton… nice audience at the Everhart Museum, for a talk on rum history. They  became even nicer after sampling some of El Dorado range, 3, 8, 12, cream and spiced. Good effects: one wine connoisseur rushed off to a cigar bar while the 12 yr taste lingered . And they bought”Rum”  books!

Stayed over for the Xmas parade and took IAN & Owain to Steamtown. All those years on British Rail and the iron horses are still magnetic!

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.”

mark.titus@gleanerjm.com

Readings in Rum

Tolstoy, Dickens, Chesterton, rum permeates literature globally – Rumpundit

Scholar to Discuss Rum as a Symbol in Literature

Dr. Jennifer Nesbitt

Dr. Jennifer Nesbitt will share her research findings concerning rum as a symbol in literature.
3/30/2011 —

Jennifer Nesbitt, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Penn State York, will give a lecture entitled “Rum Histories: Drinking in the Past Postcolonial Atlantic Literature and Culture,” on Thursday, March 31 at University Park. Nesbitt, an Institute of Arts and Humanities (IAH) Resident Scholar for 2010-11, will speak at noon in Sparks Building, room 124. This is the first time a faculty member from York has been named an IAH Resident Scholar since the program began in 2003-04.

The IAH Resident Scholar program is jointly sponsored with the College of Arts and Architecture, the College of the Liberal Arts, and the commonwealth campuses. The program provides up to nine faculty members per year with one semester of release time from teaching, a $1,000 mini-grant for research expenses and/or materials, and the use of an office in Ihlseng Cottage at University Park.

Nesbitt joined the Penn State faculty in 2003. She specializes in 20th Century British literature, postcolonial literature, and women’s literature. She earned an undergraduate degree in History and Literature in 1987 from Harvard University, Cambridge, Ma., and a doctorate in English with a certificate in women’s studies in 1999 from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. She is originally from Winchester, Ma.

“This project has allowed me to look at the ways popular texts—everything from 1950s tour guides to cookbooks to the film “Pirates of the Caribbean”—inform the way rum works as a symbol in literature,” said Nesbitt. “Even the song “Rum and Coca-Cola” has a really interesting story behind it,” she said.

Kiwi Rum-mates

In fact, respect to the Royal New Zealand Navy, which did not abolish the grog ration until March 1990, almost two decades after the Royal Navy itself!

-Rumpundit

Rum and a reunion for sea dogs

SIMON WONG

Last updated 12:15 28/03/2011
Navy sailors from the original HMNZS Canterbury gathered in Blenheim for a reunion. From left, Gary Huffadine, Mort Anderson, Bob McKenzie, Dale Hobbs, Rod Shoemark, Brett Iggulden (centre back), Peter Atkinson, Doug Carson, Terry Brennan and Tom Baker.

SCOTT HAMMOND

UP SPIRITS: Navy sailors from the original HMNZS Canterbury gathered in Blenheim for a reunion. From left, Gary Huffadine, Mort Anderson, Bob McKenzie, Dale Hobbs, Rod Shoemark, Brett Iggulden (centre back), Peter Atkinson, Doug Carson, Terry Brennan and Tom Baker.

The men took part in what was a daily ritual for sailors called Tot Time, where work on the ship would stop at noon and the sailors would drink a gill of rum (four ounces) to fight off scurvy, and for Dutch courage.

A group of 10 sailors from the original HMNZS Canterbury honoured a naval tradition in Blenheim yesterday by swigging rum on the stroke of noon.

The men were all part of the 3L mess on the frigate when it was commissioned in 1971, and travelled from England, via the United States and Panama Canal, back to New Zealand.

They gathered for their annual reunion, the first held in the South Island, at the weekend.

The men took part in what was a daily ritual for sailors called Tot Time, where work on the ship would stop at noon and the sailors would drink a gill of rum (four ounces) to fight off scurvy, and for Dutch courage.

Bob McKenzie, of Wellington, was the president of the 21 men in 3L mess. He said the group formed a special bond from their time on the HMNZS Canterbury, and had become an extended family.

They drank from cups made from Bofor 40 millimetres L60 anti-aircraft shell cases, which had the men’s names engraved on them. One cup commemorated the three members who had died.

Mr McKenzie, formerly of Blenheim and a radio operator on the ship, said he had great memories of his year on the frigate in 1971, including the day Princess Anne commissioned the ship.

The members of 3L mess, who are now scattered throughout the country and in Australia, still meet regularly, he said.

Some of the men travelled to see the ship being sunk near Deep Water Cove in the Bay of Islands in 2007 after it was decommissioned in 2005.

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

Captain Morgan Rewards Archaeologists With Rum For Ocean Floor Find

by Deidre Woollard (RSS feed)
Mar 4th 2011 at 7:02PM

underwater archaeology captain morgan rumYou don’t hear about liquor brands getting involved in archaeology too often but the team of archaeologists has recovered six cannons from the site where “infamous privateer” Captain Henry Morgan’s ships wrecked in the 1600s is being rewarded with rum. Morgan is the namesake of Captain Morgan spiced rum. The ships crashed into a reef while carrying Morgan and a group of his men to raid Castillo de San Lorenzo el Real de Chagres, a fort that guarded the capital of Panama City. Morgan and his men were sailing up the river when his flagship, the Satisfaction, and multiple other vessels crashed into a reef and sank.

The Captain Morgan Rum Company has offered each adult member of the expedition team a barrel of their very own blend of rum, and plans to immortalize the team by renaming a section of the Captain Morgan distillery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in their honor.

“We cannot thank these brave archaeologists enough for recovering Captain Morgan’s lost cannons and returning them to us, as we all feared they were lost to the seven seas forever,” said a spokesperson for the Captain Morgan Society for the Preservation of Life, Love & Loot.

The company believes that there may be bottles of Morgan’s spiced rum that were aboard the Satisfaction and his other ships off the coast of Panama remain on the ocean’s floor waiting to be recovered. It has offered a reward as well as a role in a future advertising campaign to whoever who recovers them with the proviso that they do so responsibly and without damaging anything natural to environment.

Havana Trumps

Bacardi is losing friends and wasting money with this futile battle over a brand that was not theirs to begin with. They cannot win outside stacked US courts and create ill will everywhere else in the world. They have legitimate grouses against Castro, who turned on them after they bankrolled his rebellion, but this is not the way to vindicate themselves. – Rumpundit.

By DAVID ROMAN

MADRID—Spain’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of Pernod Ricard SA in a long-running dispute with rival Bacardi Ltd. over the rights to the Cuban rum trademark Havana Club, setting a likely precedent for other cases involving property taken over by Cuba’s communist government.

The ruling by the country’s top legal court represents the third time that Spanish courts have rejected Bacardi’s challenge against Pernod’s and Cuba’s ownership of the famous brand, after two previous decisions by lower courts. It also marks a significant legal victory for France’s Pernod, the world’s second-largest distiller by sales after the U.K.’s Diageo PLC, and the Cuban government, which has secured the rights to the brand in most countries.

ReutersA barman makes mojitos at the Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana, Cuba. The Havana Club company produces the rum and is a joint venture between the Cuban government and Pernod Ricard.

pernod0203

pernod0203

Pernod sells three and a half million cases of rum in 124 countries each year under the Havana Club name, through a joint venture with the Cuban government. That arrangement, which began in 1993, prevents Pernod exporting to the U.S. because of Washington’s longstanding trade embargo against Cuba.

Pernod and Bacardi have been locked in legal battles in Spain and the U.S. since Bacardi claims it has the rights to the trademark for the U.S. after it bought them in 1994 from the Arechabala family, founders of the brand early in the last century. The Arechabala family was stripped of its properties by the Cuban government after the 1959 revolution there.

Bacardi claims that the move by the Cuban government was illegal, and it released its own Havana Club in the U.S. in 2006. Unlike the rum sold by Pernod, Bacardi’s rum is made in Puerto Rico. Spain and the U.S. are traditionally the top two markets for the Havana Club brand.

In its ruling, Spain’s Supreme Court declined to take a stance on the legality of the expropriation under Cuba’s Law 890 of 1960, which nationalized the country’s entire economy.

The court added that its decision against the plaintiffs, Bacardi and the Arechabala family, is based on the fact that the legal register of the Havana Club brand in Spain, under the Arechabalas’ ownership, expired in the 1960s, and was later lawfully renewed and taken over by the Cuban government.

Bacardi wasn’t immediately available to comment on the ruling.

Bacardi last year won a key ruling in the U.S., when District Judge Sue Robinson in Delaware denied Pernod’s request for an injunction to bar Bacardi’s U.S. arm from using the brand name.