Rum, Rum…and More Rum

Rum rum

“A visit to Bar­ba­dos with­out rum is like a visit to the Sahara with­out sand.”

This quote epit­o­mizes the link between this tiny, 166 square mile island, and rum. Rum has become a huge sta­ple of Bar­ba­dos’ cul­ture and by exten­sion econ­omy. While it is said that rum is the old­est dis­tilled spirit in the world, one thing is for cer­tain is that it is the old­est dis­tilled spirit in Bar­ba­dos. This arti­cle will detail a brief back­ground of rum in Bar­ba­dos, as well as list most of the rums locally pro­duced across the island.


Qual­ity wise, Bar­ba­dos rum is one of the best and most pres­ti­gious in the world. Some even refer to Bar­ba­dos as the home of rum. The rum pro­duced by this island is avail­able world­wide across Europe, the US and Canada. Rum is a spirit and is made from the juice of locally pro­duced sugar cane. After sugar is extracted from the cane juice, the liq­uid remain­ing is molasses, which is used to pro­duce rum. Therein lies the deep asso­ci­a­tion between rum and sugar, two of Bar­ba­dos’ biggest sta­ples. It has been stated that rum pro­duc­tion began from as early as the 1640s. Bar­ba­dos’ rums have been known to be the finest, strongest and smoothest in the world.

Rum Dis­til­leries in Barbados

As stated pre­vi­ously, Bar­ba­dos has been pro­duc­ing rum since the 1600s, mark­ing over 350 years of pro­duc­tion. The three major rum dis­til­leries located across Bar­ba­dos are:

  • Mount Gay Dis­til­leries Ltd., located along the Spring Gar­den Highway
  • The West Indies Rum Dis­tillery located in Black Rock
  • The Four Square Rum Dis­tillery (and Her­itage Park) located in the parish of St. Philip.

These dis­til­leries pro­vide guided tours where you can learn about their his­tory, the his­tory of their rum and of course sam­ple some of their most exquis­ite fla­vors and fine spir­its. St. Nicholas Abbey Plan­ta­tion House, also has a rum dis­tillery where their pro­duce their own local rum as well.

List of Rums in Barbados

For a small island, there is a plethora of rum brands locally pro­duced in Bar­ba­dos. This is why Bar­ba­dos is so pop­u­lar when it comes to rum. Many vis­i­tors to the island not only ensure they sam­ple a few of these fine fla­vors, but they also ensure to take a bot­tle (or five) with them back home. We have tried to make the below list as exten­sive as pos­si­ble, but there are so many locally pro­duced rums and spir­its that some may be miss­ing from this list. The most pop­u­lar ones, sorted by their brands/​distillers are as follows:

West Indies Distillers

Ø Cock­spur Five Starwest indies rum

Ø Cock­spur 12 Year Old

Ø Green Apple Splash

Ø Pineap­ple Coconut Splash

Ø Rum Punch

Ø Mal­ibu Rum

RL Seale

Ø R L Seale’s 10 Year Old

Ø ESA Fields White

Ø Old Brig­and


Ø Foursquare 1998

Ø The Real McCoy 3 Year Old

Ø Foursquare 9 Year Old Port Cask Finish

Ø Foursquare Spiced Rum

Ø Rum Sixty Six Fam­ily Reserve 12 Year Old

Ø Foursquare 2004 (bot­tled 2013) — Bris­tol Spirits

Ø The Real McCoy 5 Year Old

Ø The Real McCoy 12 Year Old

Ø Mahiki Rum

Ø Rene­gade Bar­ba­dos 6 Year Old

St. Nicholas Abbey Nicholas abbey rum

Ø St Nicholas Abbey 5 Year Old

Ø St Nicholas Abbey 10 Year Old

Ø St Nicholas Abbey 15 Year Old

Ø St Nicholas Abbey White Rum


Ø Doorlys 3 Year Old

Ø Doorly’s 3 Year Old — 1990s

Ø Doorly’s 5 Year Old

Ø Doorly’s XO Rum

Ø Doorly’s 12 Year Old

Ø Doorly’s Macaw White Rum

Mount Gay Rummount gay rum

Ø Mount Gay 1703

Ø Mount Gay Eclipse — 1990s

Ø Mount Gay Eclipse

Ø Mount Gay Black Barrel

Ø Mount Gay Extra Old

Ø Mount Gay Extra Old — 2000s

Ø Mount Gay Silver

Ø Mount Gay 12 Year Old 2000 Rum (cask 15) (Dun­can Taylor)

Ø Mount Gay Rum (Sugar Cane Brandy) — 1990s

Ø Ponche Kuba

Editor’s Pick

It is no sur­prise that Mount GayRum heads this list, as it is not only the old­est rum brand cur­rently in exis­tence, but it is eas­ily the main sig­na­ture spirit of the island. Mount Gay Rum has been dis­tilled in Bar­ba­dos since 1703. With a vari­ety of fla­vors wait­ing to wet the tip of your tongue, you can never go wrong with a nice shot of any Mount Gay product.

With over 1500 rum shops in Bar­ba­dos high­light­ing the impor­tance of rum to Bar­ba­dian her­itage, there is no short­age of places where you can pick up a glass (or two) or a bot­tle (or five). So many selec­tions, so many fla­vors, so do not miss your oppor­tu­nity to try some of the best rum in the world, right here in Barbados!

© Photo 1 taken from Bar​ba​dos​.org
© Photo 2 taken from Tele​graph​.co​.uk
© Photo 3 taken from Han​schellinnissltd​.com
© Photo 4 taken from Dalmer​an​prop​erty​.com
© Photo 5 taken from Had​coltd​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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