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

More News from Barbancourt

Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt Suffers Quake Damage

Dan Marsteller
Posted: January 25, 2010

Rhum Barbancourt’s Port-au-Prince distillery will not resume production for at least a month following significant damage sustained during the Haitian capital’s recent earthquake. One of the facility’s exterior walls fell, and barrels of aging rum were destroyed along with equipment inside the plant. Two of Rhum Barbancourt’s employees died in the quake, while around one-fifth of its staff of 430 lost their homes, the distiller said.

Immediate supply disruption of Rhum Barbancourt in the U.S. will likely be lessened by the fact that the producer shipped stock the day before the earthquake, but when precisely the distillery will again be up and running is uncertain. The company recently formed a long-term distribution pact with Crillon Importers, making the New Jersey-based importer Barbancourt’s exclusive North American distributor.