Edmundo B Fernandez Inc
- One of the treasures of Puerto Rico is certainly Ron del Barrilito. By no means the largest brand on the island, Barrilito is known to all who take their rum seriously. And no tour of Puerto Rico’s rum would be complete without at least tasting this spirit.
After graduating from engineering school in France in 1871, Pedro F. Fernández returned to the Haciendo Santa Ana in Bayamón, Puerto Rico to live with his family who had emigrated from Spain in the late 1700’s. Sugar cane was grown on the family estate and like most plantations of the day a small still was part of the sugar works on the property.
Rum was made by many people at that time but Señor Fernández’ secret blend of ingredients and aging made his rum special. His friends named his rum “ron del barril” or rum of the barrel.
In 1880, Pedro Fernández began selling his rum commercially. His unique blend has held a special place in the hearts of Puerto Rican rum drinkers ever since.
Today you are encouraged to visit the hacienda where a few of the original buildings still remain. It is refreshing to see this oasis of history in the fast developing metropolis just outside the capitol city of San Juan.
The foundation of the wind mill built in 1827 now serves as a office next to the aging warehouse which was built right after World War II. Since all of the surrounding land has been developed and there is no longer a source of sugar cane to make rum on the property, bulk alcohol is bought from Bacardi and blended with the special formula to make Ron del Barrilito.
This is only blended rum that I know of that is actually blended before it is aged. Barrilito is also unique in that the barrels are larger than those found at other rum warehouses, about 132 gallons. When one of the 3000 barrels is almost empty is it is refilled from the blending room adjacent to the aging storeroom at very nearly the strength that it will be bottled at years later.
The secrets of the blend are a closely guarded family secret but it is interesting to note that unlike the whisky barrels used elsewhere in the Caribbean to age rum here oak wine, barrels from Europe are employed to work their magic on the blend.
Only two products are bottled here at Edmundo B. Fernández, Inc. The blue label or Two Star which was introduced after the end of prohibition and the dark blue, Three Star. The stars are found on the neck band above the label that has been recognized for years as a truly unique Puerto Rican rum.
Two Star is aged a minimum of three years and is best enjoyed with ice and a little water. Three Star is aged a minimum of six to ten years and has a fuller flavor. Both labels show the French influence of the founder and depict a cherub offering the highest quality liquor to the mythological gods of Olympus. The initials P and F are for the founder Pedro Fernández. The silver and gold medals won in expositions have also been incorporated into the label.
To visit this friendly facility take Highway #5 from Bayamón toward Cataño and get off at Kilo 1.6. On the west side of the highway look for the signs and the trees that are part of the hacienda. The public is welcome Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 11:45 and from 13:00 to 16:45. Manuel B. Fernández, the president, and his brother Edmundo will welcome you to their family operation. If you have trouble finding this place call 787 785-3490.
Only 11,000 cases of these spirits are sold annually with distribution almost exclusively on this island but much of this fine rum goes back home with Puerto Ricans who have moved to the States and Canada. Ron del Barrilito is an especially popular gift for the holidays. This is also the best place to buy this rum by the bottle or case.
While I was here I was given the rare opportunity to sample rum that had been in the barrel since the warehouse was built in 1946. This was my first taste of rum that was older me and I can only say that it exceeded my expectations. But I shouldn’t have been surprised, I have enjoyed Ron del Barrilito for years. Both of these rums can be a little hard to find so stock up while you are here. Que Rico.
- There are 2 products in our database bottled by Edmundo B Fernandez Inc.
- Barrilito - Ron del Barrilito Three Star
- Barrilito - Ron del Barrilito Two Star