- The largest of the distilleries in Grenada, Clarke’s Court is part of the Grenada Sugar Factory Ltd. Built in 1937 in the southeastern part of the island, the Woodlands factory produces sugar, fancy molasses, rum, and methylated spirits. Five hundred local farmers grow and harvest the cane processed at the factory. Since the sugar refinery and distillery are integrated, they can make the most efficient use of the cane that cost EC $120 per ton in 1995. Depending on the production schedule of the sugar refinery, a combination of fresh cane juice, concentrated cane syrup, and molasses are fermented to make rum. During the cane-cutting season, from February to June, fresh cane juice is used as it is available. In the fall, cane syrup is used since it can be stored longer than the fresh juice, which is unavailable in the fall.
The time required for fermentation varies according to the ingredients used in the wash—eight days for fresh cane juice to only three to four days for concentrated cane syrup. After fermentation wine, or dunder, is then distilled in a two-column continuous still. About 100,000 imperial gallons of rum at 95% alcohol are produced annually. Distilling the rum to such a high purity helps reduce the variations in the final product normally associated with fermenting different raw materials.
The bagasse from the crushing operation is the primary energy source for the sugar-processing operation. But fuel oil is used in the boiler to make steam for the distillation process. Distillery personnel are working hard to reclaim the solids from the leeze, or spent wash, collected from the distillation column after the alcohol has been distilled. By filtering the leeze and collecting the filter cake, usable products for paper production can be made. Utilizing these by-products as raw materials for other manufacturing processes reduces the amount of pollution generated, and produces additional revenue for the distillery.
The principal product of this distillery is Clarke’s Court Pure White Rum, 69% alcohol by volume (138 proof). This rum is clearly the best-selling rum in Grenada and is drunk straight or with a dash of Angostura bitters, which gives the drink a pleasing color. Water, or some other chaser, is usually drunk on the side.
After watching several men and women enjoying themselves at lunch, I joined them for a drink and was pleasantly surprised. A splash of bitters really adds a lot to a shot of over proof rum. But make sure you have a glass of water in your other hand to chase this one. It’s hard to ask for water when you can’t catch your breath! If nothing else, you will amuse all who are eagerly watching your reaction to their favorite drink.
In 1997, Spicy Rum, also bottled at 69% alcohol by volume, was introduced. This blend of locally grown spices and strong rum captures the taste of Grenada. If 138 proof is a little strong for your taste, Clarke’s Court also bottles Kalypso White Rum at 67.5% alcohol by volume or 135 proof. This is blended with “different water” and a little less alcohol. But this is still over proof rum. Superior Light Rum, bottled at 43% alcohol by volume, is aged a minimum of six months in used barrels. Once aged, the rum is filtered to remove the color acquired from the oak barrels. Many people will not drink a rum that is not clear. If you prefer a darker rum, Clarke’s Court Special Dark Rum is also aged six months and then colored with caramel to give it a more pleasant, brown color.
All of the distilleries in Grenada use some of the same 750ml bottles. Paying EC 50 cents for recycled bottles contributes to a lower cost and helps ensure their supply. You won’t see a lot of bottles on the roads in Grenada. The newest blend from Clarke’s Court is Old Grog. This premium blend of rums up to ten-years-old is much smoother than the other rums bottled here. This is also the oldest blend of rums on the island.
All of these rums can be tasted at the new visitors center and gift shop at the distillery in Woodlands.
- There are 11 products in our database distilled by Grenada Sugar Factory.
- Clarke's Court #37 Blend
- Clarke's Court Agricultural Rum, Agriculture
- Clarke's Court Kalypso White Rum
- Clarke's Court Lemon Rum
- Clarke's Court Old Grog Rum
- Clarke's Court Original White Rum
- Clarke's Court Pure White Rum, Clarke's Court
- Clarke's Court Rum Sorrel
- Clarke's Court Spicy Rum
- Clarke's Court Superior Light Rum
- Special Refined Grenada Dark Rum