west indies rum distillery barbados geographical indication

West Indies distillery opposes Barbados GI proposal

20 January, 2020

The West Indies Rum Distillery has appealed the implementing of a Geographical Indication for Barbados rum which was put forward by Mount Gay, Foursquare and Saint Nicholas Abbey.

West Indies Rum Distillery, acquired by Maison Ferrand in 2017, has appealed directly to the political leadership of Barbados and demanded to mature Barbados rum outside of Barbados.

The three distillers which agreed on the indication are the largest bottlers of Barbados rum and together hold more than 90% of the island’s aged reserves. Under the GI, Barbados rum will be required to be matured in Barbados.

“The value of rum increases as it matures. We cannot afford the loss of forex earnings by letting this production step happen outside of Barbados,” said Larry Warren, Saint Nicholas Abbey.

The proposed GI has no restrictions on the type of stills used, long and short fermentation techniques are allowed and either fresh juice, syrup or molasses may be used. Any yeast may be used, but non-saccharomyces strains must be native.

The GI also retains a requirement for the use of Barbados water to make Barbados rum and maturation must be in new oak or in refill casks from a list of recognised wine and spirit denominations.

“Until this day, Mount Gay uses the same water sourced from our centuries’ old well to make our rum,” said Raphael Grisoni, MD, Mount Gay Rum.

Age statements must refer to the youngest spirit and vats are not acceptable for age statements while the addition of sugar syrup and flavourings is prohibited; however, caramel colour under strict guidelines, will be allowed for consistency.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.