MoR Mobile β

New Users Please read the thread in the Introductions Section.
Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum

395 years ago in 1627, the English established the first colony on Barbados.

Search by Label Name
Other Searches
Ministry of Rum Blog
Rum Events
Member Map
Rum Producers
Retail Index
Bars & Restaurants
Distributor Index
Rum Importer Index
Frequently Asked Rum Questions
Rum 101
Test your Rum IQ
Rum Glossary
Rum Recipes
Ministry of Rum Giftshop
Trade Registry

Go Back   Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum > Off Topic > Caribbean Related Discussion
Forgot Password?
Register FAQ Members List Unregistered Posts Mark Forums Read

Caribbean Related Discussion

Getting around the islands can be half the adventure of discovering new rum.

    Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
Rum Runner
Senior Member
Rum Runner's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Posts: 1,493
Default Ron del Barrilito Tour

On Wednesday, January 28 I met Federico Hernandez, the organizer of the upcoming Puerto Rico Food and Rum Festival along with MOR member Rumelier. We had scheduled a tour of the Ron del Barrilito facility as well as the Bacardi plant. Here is an account of the Barrilito tour.

We arrived just after 10 AM. Federico drove right up to the production building. The doors were open and we walked into the bottling room where workers were busy boxing up a recent bottling run. Federico asked if Don Fernando Fernandez, the third generation family owner was available. A worker pointed up to an open loft “office” where Don Fernando was seated at a modest desk. Federico announced we had arrived for our tour. Don Fernando arose from his desk and leaned over the railing and said with a half smile, “This is it!” He came down from his office and we were introduced and exchanged the customary pleasantries that are part and parcel of Puerto Rican life.

After chatting a bit, Don Fernando had the chance to size up Rumelier and I and we were invited to tour the blending and ageing room. The excise tax man was instructed to open the heavy metal doors. As we entered we were hit by a wall of warm humid air that smelled delicious and wrapped around us like a warm blanket. The blending room consists of one medium sized wooden blending vat. Three smaller wooden maceration vats. And a series of small stainless steel and food grade plastic tanks marked numbers one through ten. After some extended conversation Don Fernando confirmed that the base rum is bought from Bacardi and that indeed 10 ingredients are used in making the blend that becomes Ron del Barrilito. It was indicated that in the blending vat mechanical mixing and aeration takes place.

The ageing rooms flank either side of the blending room. Small doors open to both of them. Here large beamed racks hold 132 gallon oak barrels that formerly held Spanish Sherry. The racks are stacked to carry the barrels four to five high. I could see various engravings on many of the barrel heads holding names of Sherry Houses that have long since vanished. The barrels are never moved from the racks unless they are in need of coopering. The rum is pumped in and out as needed.

We were then shown the shipping room where boxed cases await to be sent. This is also the receiving room where a large stainless steel tank is located to receive the incoming rum. There is a small plate and frame filter located there and it was indicated that the incoming rum receives a light filtering before proceeding to the blending room. The only other filtering Barrilito receives is upon bottling in what appears to be a series of canister type filters. Ron del Barrilito is not chill filtered and will haze if refrigerated.

No tasting was offered, and we did not presume to ask for one. In response to an inquiry as to purchase on site, Don Fernando indicated that a three pack of Three Star could be had for $US36.00 plus sales tax. Rumelier and I quickly took him up on that offer. While a worker gathered our three packs Don Fernando hand wrote our bills and made change from his pants pocket cash roll…down to the last cent. Business is business he exclaimed!

As our tour was winding down, I asked Don Fernando which version of Ron del Barrilito he liked the most and how he took it. With a smile he said the Two Star. He explained that he enjoys one or two Three Star’s in a snifter at the end of a day. But for a long session of dominos it is the Two Star poured over a glass of ice with a twist of lemon peel. My words cannot begin to express my admiration for Don Fernando. He is a soft spoken and gentle man. Strongly proud of his family and his product while maintaining a genuine modest demeanor.

We exited the production facility and were allowed to tour the grounds, viewing the family home Hacienda Santa Ana, the windmill tower, and the garage behind the Hacienda where a collection of antique cars in varying conditions are housed. The cooperage building was closed because the Master Cooper was on vacation.

What a wonderful tour. My thanks go to Federico for helping to make it possible. And to The Rumelier for making arrangements for our next tour at Bacardi. An account of that tour in a separate post.

Waylaid in the West Indies

Last edited by Rum Runner; 01-29-2009 at 04:17 PM.
Rum Runner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
Connoisseur's Cabinet Member
Paulipbartender's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London
Posts: 686

Sounds like real good fun RR! It's always a pleasure to meet the guys at the sharp end who pour their love into these rums. Passion is infectious wherever you greet it
IPBartenders - UK Mixology Professionals
Paulipbartender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 05:49 PM   #3
Count Silvio
Senior Member
Count Silvio's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Finland / Australia
Posts: 704
Send a message via Skype™ to Count Silvio

Fantastic article RumRunner and great pics!
Count Silvio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
Edward Hamilton
Edward Hamilton's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sailboat in the Caribbean and hotels.
Posts: 4,796

Some of those sherry casks were made from oak grown in forests where more than 200 years ago ships oak was cut by shipwrights to build the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria.
Edward Hamilton
Ambassador of Rum
Ministry of Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'm going to take it. In the meantime, the research continues.
Edward Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
Senior Member
JMac's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Surrey, BC
Posts: 527

it looked like a great time. Would have also loved that deal re 3 pack Barrilito.

I'm did you guys get the tour? I was told that due to its small operation (about 6 people) that tours were rare and hard to get...
JMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
Rum Runner
Senior Member
Rum Runner's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Posts: 1,493

The cooperage at Ron del Barrilito was amazing. I was sad that the Master Cooper was on vacation. I would have loved to talk with him. Maybe next time.

The shape of the barrels used are unique also and influence the ageing. As opposed to a "normal" squared off 55 gallon whiskey barrel, Ron del Barrilito's 132 gallon old Sherry barrels are elongated with a rather pinched end at the butt end of the cask.

Since Barrilito maintains a cooperage I believe they may be maintaining the barrels by Charring as needed.
Waylaid in the West Indies
Rum Runner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2009, 12:07 AM   #7
Senior Member
rumdog007's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 1,178

Very nice story! Since the first time I tasted the 3 Star, I knew that I had made a life long friend. The 2 Star has become one of my favoites with a squeeze of lime, some ice, and some coconut water. Luckily, both are readily available in SoCal.
"Person-to-person call for Kowalski. Person-to-person call for Kowalski.
Can you hear me, Kowalski
rumdog007 is offline   Reply With Quote

  Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum > Off Topic > Caribbean Related Discussion

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ron del Barrilito 5 Star? DNO Rum questions/discussions 16 09-01-2016 11:02 AM
Ron del Barrilito collectible Zurdo Rum questions/discussions 22 06-19-2015 01:40 PM
Ron del Barrilito 3 Star? missin44 Rum questions/discussions 12 11-03-2009 10:18 AM
Rum tour of the caribbean Guy stowell Rum questions/discussions 14 06-14-2008 11:48 AM
Cricket tour berksowl Caribbean Related Discussion 1 12-14-2007 01:15 AM

All times are GMT -3. The time now is 12:55 PM.

Rum Chat
Recent Posts
Doorly's 5 Year Old
posted by bunnyhugs
Hello from Wilmington NC
posted by Berbician
Hi everyone!
posted by Berbician
Where’s Ed ?
posted by bunnyhugs
Cigars like the LFD Football Edition 2022?
posted by patrickparker
Easter Special Offers at Waitrose
posted by Berbician
Info on a particular Dominican Republic rum
posted by pichousanelli
Last month this site was viewed more than 750,000 times by the best people in the world - those who appreciate rum.
Ministry of Rum on
facebook link
Follow @Ed_Hamilton on

vB ver 3.8.6 Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content on this forum copyright 1995 - 2014 Ministry of Rum.