Distilleries, Plantations, Estates, Merchant Bottlers and Independents
The genesis for this page came from my attendance at the German RumFest in 2014, where I realized I wanted to put out some words about specific small (often new, or relatively unknown) companies that were making rums, and found almost nothing out there. Of course, it’s not a terribly original idea — Marco of barrel-aged-mind does as good or better a job, for example, the Cocktail Wonk does major research on the subject, and there are many informative online articles around, as well as books like Luca Gargano’s Atlas du Rhum, Dave Broom’s Rum and the outdated-but-still-interesting Rums of the Eastern Caribbean by Ed Hamilton. These cover major distilleries, mostly in the Caribbean, very nicely indeed.
But really, there still isn’t enough; and in writing my reviews and doing my research on rum makers who are not in these “traditional” locales, or came into being really recently, I find a dearth of information all in one place, in English, that sums up most of the pertinent information about a particular producer who is not covered in such references because they are too new, or too small, or too far away…I always have to hunt around, and while fortunately multi-lingual, it’s a long hard slog nevertheless.
So I began this series to add in some small way to the total of knowledge we need about the rumworld. For the most part I don’t bother writing about large companies (or old ones) which have been covered in depth by others’ published works too often for me to bring anything new to the table. The ground has been trodden already, and so I focus on independent bottlers who create limited ranges of their own (Velier, Rum Nation, Compagnie des Indes, etc) or rum makers from outside the Caribbean, from new and exciting places like Reunion, Mauritius, Japan, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Pacific Islands, and so on.
The posts listed below link to specific essays about each one, and in each I’ll give a small rundown of available information and what products they have…though the reader is to be warned that such lists of products are not to be construed as exhaustive – I lack the time to do the ongoing research on annual releases, and my focus will be on those companies whose products I have reviewed (at least to begin with).
This is a work in progress, and it’ll be slow. There are thousands of rums in the world, more being made all the time, and many hundred producers. Note that this is not a review series. Yes I like some of the brands (and will say so where this is the case), but the emphasis here is less on subjectivity and more on the history and heritage (and future plans, if known)…as best as they can be unearthed. Where possible, I’ll work with the companies to get the details from them – it is accepted that this provides free publicity to the companies as a trade-off to getting some facts into the open. In that vein, readers are encouraged to share information about the subject and contribute any details they can. Have fun reading, and share a comment or two if you wish.
- Oct 2014 – Velier (Italy)
- Nov 2014 – Rum Nation (Italy)
- Jan 2015 – Nine Leaves Distillery (Japan)
- Jul 2015 – Ocean’s distillery (Spain)
- Jan 2016 – Compagnie des Indes (France)
- Dec 2016 – The Heisenberg Distillery (Guyana)
- Feb 2017 – L’Esprit (France)
- Mar 2017 – Savanna (Réunion) (mini bio)
- Mar 2017 – Moscoso Distillers / Barik (Haiti)
- Aug 2017 – The Renegade Rum Company (UK)
- Feb 2018 – Banks DIH (Guyana)
- Jul 2018 – Fernandes Distillers (Trinidad) (mini bio)
- Feb 2019 – Takamaka Bay (Trois Frères Distillery, Seychelles)
- Mar 2019 – Isautier (Réunion) (mini-bio)
- Apr 2019 – Domaine de Séverin (Guadeloupe)
- Mar 2020 – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (UK)
- Jul 2020 – Mohan Meakin (Old Monk, India)
- Jul 2021 – Poisson / Pere Labat (Marie Galante)