The easternmost of the Caribbean Islands, Barbados is a rum lovers dream. There are three distilleries on this beautiful island where legends have been born and continue to thrive.
The anchorage is actually a lot better than it looks on the chart making the roughly hundred mile slog to windward worth the trip. You'll be greeted with a smile and plenty of Bajan hospitality.
The island is dotted with rum shops where you can get a bite of flying fish, cous cous and some seamoss to wash down the rum. Unlike many of the neighboring islands where strong rum is the order of the day, Bajan's don't drink a lot of overproof rum and the taste tends to favor aged rums.
In Barbados the best rum is the one in your glass.
In his log, Captain Thomas Walduck wrote, ". . . upon all the new settlements, the Spanish do make, the first thing they do is build a church, the first thing the Dutch do upon a new colony is to build them a fort, but the first thing the English do, be it in the most remote parts of the world or amongst the most barbarous, is to set up a tavern or drinking house."
Only twenty years after the English established the first colony here in 1627, there were 120 drinking houses in Bridgetown. Lying to windward of the Caribbean island chain, Barbados had one of the best natural defenses for a naval attack and Bridgetown became a favorite place for soldiers and sailors to recuperate from the rigors of military life.
One of the more popular places of pleasure was a rum shop owned by Rachel Pringle. One night she saw it nearly destroyed by a group of naval officers that included Prince William Henry, the Prince of Wales. Not wanting to ruin their fun, she continued to serve the thirsty sailors until they were ready to go back to their ship in Carlisle Bay.
Early the next morning, Rachel hired a boat and presented the hung-over prince a bill for the damages. Being a gentleman, the prince promptly settled his account. By the time the sailors came ashore that night, Rachel was negotiating for a building that was to become the first hotel on the island.
An unnamed visitor to the island about that time described the white, unaged rum from the pot stills in use at that time as "a hot and horrible liquor." The technology of rum making has advanced significantly since the 17th century, but pot still rum continues to be used in many of the aged blends bottled in Barbados today. Many of these blends are heavier and more flavorful than those found on the other islands in this book.
Bajan rum is unique, and the melange of rum here makes it easy to find something that you haven't tried before. It is also hard to pick a favorite. I found the best rum in Barbados is the one in your glass.
- There are 5 sugar cane spirit distillers in this database from Barbados.
- Foursquare Distillery
- Mount Gay Distilleries Limited
- Mount Gilboa Distillery
- R. L. Seale & Co. Ltd
- West Indies Rum Refinery
- There are also 2 companies in this database blending/bottling sugar cane spirits from Barbados.
- Hanschell Innis Ltd
- St. Nicholas Abbey