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Old 12-31-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
JIsurfer
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Default Which island

Thinking about taking a quick little trip down to the Caribbean this summer. Any suggestions on which island has the best local/hard to find rum?

I went on a trip to Freeport a couple summers ago and enjoyed a bottle of Ricardo Dark. It was a whopping $8 a bottle, but was smoother than any $8 rum I could get in the states. My father-in-law and I did some great bonding over that bottle and a couple cigars.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:28 AM   #2
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Looking at Barbados. It's got surf, cigars, and quite a few rum distilleries. Anybody been there, that can tell me anything?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #3
Rob L
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Been several times... Got married there. Haven't done any distillery tours. Quite simply, I love it there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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There are three distilleries in Barbados - Mount Gay, The West India Rum Distillery and Foursquare.

Mount Gay doesn't encourage visits to its distillery, but you can visit the "factory" just north of Bridgetown where they perform all the other stages of the production process such as refining, ageing, blending and bottling.

The West India Distillery is where they make Cockspur. I'm not sure if you can visit or not, but someone else will know. This used to be the Malibu Visitor Centre, and if you can visit it's very close to the Mount Gay factory.

Foursquare can definitely be visited. It's situated in the east of the island and it's where they make Doorly's, Old Brigand, ESA Field and Foursquare Spiced. Also, Pickwick Cricket Club's home ground is Foursquare Park, right next to the distillery.

Have you considered Grenada? It also has three distilleries - Clarke's Court, Westerhall and River Antoine.

When I was last there, in 2006, Clarke's Court weren't doing any tours, but I believe that that has now changed. They make about a dozen different rums, and you can sample all of them.

Westerhall don't distill their own rum any longer, but they import rum in bulk and age, blend and bottle it. Their Westerhall Plantation Rum is one of my favourites and is probably the best rum you'll find in Grenada and one of the best in the entire Caribbean.

At the opposite end of the island is River Antoine where they make "Rivers" in two different strengths: 69% alcohol and 75% alcohol. Only the first of the two is allowed on board an aircraft. Both of them are unaged, raw, white rums straight from the still, so don't expect too much in the way of quality. However, the distillery is well worth a visit, even if you don't sample the rum, as they have been making rum in exactly the same way for well over 200 years.

The Grenadian rums tend to be very difficult to find outside of Grenada, whereas most of the Barbadian rums are exported to many parts of the world.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
Ruminsky Van Drunkenberg
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Isn't St Nicolas Abbey also on Barbados?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Yup... and I'd probably make that my first tour.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:13 PM   #7
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There's also RL Seales and Mt. Gilboa. Hopefully my wife is on board with me sampling all these rums.

Never thought of Grenada, but now that you mention it, I'll look into it. Thanks
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
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Default St Nicholas Abbey

Sorry, I forgot about St Nicholas Abbey. It's also the oldest house in Barbados.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Does Plantation Grande Reserve do tours?
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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As for Grenada a lot of their rums are overproofed and can't be taken home. I've read they will x-ray and take in out of your luggage as it's hazardous goods. I might be wrong though.

Barbados is ok. St Nicholas Abby is more than a rum tour so it's easy to drag the family along. Their still is a thing of beauty. A must do. Mount Gay is a more commercial tour with collections room, small theatre and tasting room. It's ok I've you done a lot of other touristy sites firsts, a B attraction IMO. Avoid Foursquare. Its in a out of the way location and there is a reason you won't find much info on the web. Sure it's cool to walk amongst the barrels and see the plant (on your own self guided tour) but that's in and the shop was empty!!! Well there was a bar with a lot of locals and not inviting at all. I saw a TV show where they visited Foursquare in better days and the gift shop was full of cool items. I guess they've given up.

St Lucia has Chairman's but BOTH times we drove by my wife wasn't willing to go in. Getting anywhere on the island took FOREVER so we were either late getting somewhere or going back to the resort starving for lack of places to eat. Beautiful island though.
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