St. Lucia Distillers Ltd.
- The Barnard family had been making rum at their Dennery Factory Company for three generations before a joint venture merged the resources of the Geest Distillery and the Dennery Factory Company. The new company was formed to better respond to the changing business environment in St. Lucia and the Caribbean. When the island economy shifted from sugar cane to bananas, the Dennery Factory Company was faced with the increased costs and logistics of importing molasses, essential to the production of rum.
Today, St. Lucia Distillers Limited is located on the site of the old Geest Distillery, once a part of the Sugar Manufacturers mill in Roseau, just south of Marigot, on the west coast of St. Lucia. Since 1972, the joint venture that kept the Bernard family's distillery interests alive has evolved in many ways. The equipment from the two aging distilleries, which formed the joint venture, was replaced in the second half of the last decade with a new two-column still. In 1987, East Caribbean Distilleries Limited was formed and another joint venture with Duncan, Gilbey and Matheson International Limited led to the diversification of other spirits that could be produced with the modern still. The introduction of gin, vodka, and brandy not only opened new markets for products distilled and bottled in St. Lucia, but also opened the door to the exportation of bulk alcohol to Europe and Africa.
As chairman of St. Lucia Distillers Limited, Laurie Barnard overcame many obstacles in order to succeed in what he considered a small distillery. A commitment to quality control, as well as a diversity in production and distribution, is serving this company well. But to remain competitive in the growing market, many decisions must be made that will affect the future of the distillery.
St. Lucia Distillers Limited bottles a variety of rum products, from white fresh rum to aged and blended products. The most popular white rum is known locally as simply Denros or Strong Rum. As the label indicates in big red letters, this is strong rum. At 80% alcohol by volume, this is one of the strongest over proof rums in the islands. Notice that the label states 140 proof; this is British proof and translates to 160 US proof. Plenty strong, and the base for most of the spiced rum found in St. Lucia. Five-gallon plastic containers of this white rum are quite popular in the small rum shops, where it is combined with a variety of fruits and spices and known appropriately as 'spice.'
The premium white rum, Bounty Crystal White Rum, with its blue-and-silver label, is popular as a smooth white rum. Bottled at 40% alcohol by volume, this rum is nicely suited for cocktails and the exotic rum drinks that have become so popular in North America and Europe in the last few years. The best selling rum in St. Lucia is Bounty Rum, a blended rum, bottled as clear and amber, available everywhere for slightly less than the imported rums sold on the island. This amber rum is representative of the Eastern Caribbean taste and is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. For a heavier taste, Buccaneer Rum is bottled at 43% alcohol and, although not as dark as some of the heavy dark rums in the Caribbean, is popular in cocktails and the fruit-based punches served in most hotel bars.
Since the first edition of this book a distillery tour has opened to the public. This is one of the most popular tours on the island and all of the products can be tasted here. Call the distillery at (758) 451-4231 or inquire at your hotel activities desk.
- There are 12 products in our database distilled by St. Lucia Distillers Ltd..
- Admiral Rodney
- Bounty Crystal
- Bounty Rum
- Buccaneer Rum
- Castries Rum Cream
- Chairman's Reserve
- Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum
- Denros Strong Rum
- Five Blondes
- Kwéyól Spice Rum
- Old Fort Reserve
- Ron D'Oro