Bahamas Rums

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Rum Being Stored for Transhipment to Other Islands
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Many Families Made Fortunes on Nassau Harbour.

Bahamas Rums
The Bahama archipelago is a chain of islands in the Atlantic Ocean that is not as famous for its rum production as other Caribbean Islands, such as Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad or Puerto Rico. It however, does have a rum culture like many of the other islands. It presently has a large Bacardi Distillery in Nassau, that unfortunately is due to close its doors in April 2009. Along with Bacardi, several other brands of rum are produced and bottled in the Bahamas, brands like Ricardo, Don Lorenzo and Ole Nassau Rums to name a few. Ron Matusalem was also once produced in Freeport, Bahamas for many years, before leaving to be produced at its present location in the Domincan Republic.
The Bahamas does have another illegal side to its rum culture or history, and this was the infamous bygone days of the rum runners during the years of Prohibition. After the American Civil War a temperance movement began to form in the United States, and people were preaching the evils of alcohol and what damage the demon rum and liquor were causing to their society. As a result it was decided to prohibit the sale of alcohol in the United States, by a government act called the Volstead Act. This was introduced in 1920 but repealed in 1933. However during this time many Bahamian families amassed great fortunes from the illicit smuggling of rum and other liquor into the United States from various locations in the Bahamas.
The majority of the rum and liquor was imported in large ships from Europe and especially Great Britain. Once these large ships reached the safety of Nassau Harbour they would unload their cargo to smaller boats for delivery dockside at the harbour. Once the smaller boats were unloaded at the dock, the rum was stored in a network of warehouses, to be stored until it was ready to be smuggled into the United States. These warehouses became effectionately known as rum row. In many cases much of the cargo was reloaded to be delivered to other locations in the Bahamas such as Bimini or West End, Grand Bahama.
US ships often flying under the flag of another country, so as to avoid detection by the US Coast Guard, would load up their cargo of rum and head out into the safety of international waters. They would then head for their location somewhere up the east coast of the US, anywhere between Florida and New Jersey, with Florida only being a 60 mile boat ride from some ports in the Bahamas. When they reached their final destination they would often unload their cargo to smaller faster boats with a shallow draught, that would allow them to sail up shallow rivers and escape any chasing Coast Guard boats. These boats were referred to as rum runners. Many men many fortunes from this illicit trade, but many also spent long terms in jail if they were caught, but it was often worth the risk.
In more recent times these same routes have been used for smuggling other cargo into the US, such as humans and drugs. Today the rum is traded legally and it has become an important source of revenue for the Bahamian Government, both from import and export duties.

Nassau Harbour, Bahamas in Days Gone By.
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Rum was stored in warehouses on the docks called "Rum Row".

Harbour Island Rum Refinery

Harbour Island or "Briland" as it is known by it's residents is one of the oldest settlements in the Bahamas and once served as the first capital of the Bahamas. The first settlement was founded over 300 years ago, almost 100 years before the United States became a nation.

The early adventuring residents of this 3 mile long and 1 mile wide island were skilled shipbuilders and farmers. In the late 1800 's Dumore Town became a respectable shipbuilding and sugar refinement center.

Sugar refinement became an important skill in the early part of the 20th century when alcohol production and consumption was outlawed in the United States. Dunmore Town went into full production refining sugar and producing rum and understandably it became a very popular place. Unfortunately sugar and rum are no longer produced there today.

The Rumelier is still resaerching this story and will update whenever he finds any more information.

The Bacardi Bat Statue in Nassau, Bahamas.
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The Bacardi Distillery, Nassau, Bahamas.
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Bacardi, Nassau, Bahamas
Bacardi Limited has been producing rum in Nassau, Bahamas since 1965, but unfortunately it is due to close its doors in April 2009.
New trade arrangements have meant that Bacardi no longer has to pay heavy import duties into Europe from Puerto Rico and that has meant that it is no longer financially viable to continue with its distillery operation in the Bahamas. The production of rum will be moved to the companies main facility in Catano, Puerto Rico, which is six times larger that the Bahamain operation. The distillery in Nassau currently employs 114 people. Bottling operations will cease first, followed by distillation and then aging.
Bacardi is supposedly the only company actually distilling rum in the Bahamas and was the first major product to be exported from the islands.
The rum facility is situated on the island of New Providence and it performs all phases of rum production, from fermentation and distillation to aging, blending and bottling. Bacardi export about 7 million cases of rum to Europe every year from this 61 acre sight. The most prominent building on the sight is the triangular five story distilling tower. The tower houses five distilling columns and has a total production capacity of 27 million litres of distilled spirit a year. Once the rum is distilled, it is put into charred oak barrels and placed in one of seven massive warehouses for aging. Each warehouse has a capacity of 44,000 barrels each. Here the rum is slowly aged to perfection.
Bacardi also has a dedicated shipping terminal for bulk rum export at Clifton Pier. The terminal has ten stainless steel tanks that can store up to 10.5 million litres of Bacardi rum. The rum is transferred to shipping vessels through a special underground pipeline that runs from the tanks out to the "dolphin", which is the docking system. Once the rum is safely on board the ship it is taken to Europe for bottling and distribution.
If you are interested in buying the Bacardi Distillery or would just like to see some photos of the site click on the link below:-

A Bacardi Tanker Truck Departs the Distillery.
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The Trucks Transport the Rum to Clifton Pier.
The Entrance to the Bacardi Distillery, Nassau.
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There are two of these buildings for security officers.

Bacardi Visitors' Pavillion

The Visitors' Pavillion at the Bacardi Plant in New Providence is a favourite for visiting tourists to the island. Guests can tour the plant and relax after to enjoy some Bacardi Rum and exotic cocktails.

The Bacardi Distillery offers free tours and samples of a wide array of rums after your tour has finished. The tour begins in the main visitor welcome pavilion of the distillery, and guests touring the facility are offered a rum sample right at the beginning of the tour. From there, a walking tour of the distillery lasting about 30 minutes begins. On the tour you will get to see inside of one of the aging warehouses which is full of oak barrels holding the slowly aged rum. A history of Bacardi Bahamas Distillery is given, along with information about the process of distilling the rum.

After the tour the guide will offer more samples of rum and then take eveyone over to the gift shop. In the gift shop rum is available for purchase at a fraction of the cost of regular liquor stores along with souvenir t-shirts and other items.

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Bacardi 8 Back Label, Product of the Bahamas.
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Bacardi 8 is one rum produced in the Bahamas.
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Bacardi 8 is one of The Rumelier's Favourite Rums.
The New Bacardi Store in Nassau, Bahamas.
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NEW BACARDI CONCEPT STORE

The Bacardi family has opened up a new concept store in downtown Nassau, Bahamas. In a move seen by many local people to appease the local population after Bacardi's decision to close it's Nassau distillery, it has opened a two storey retail store that will not only sell it's complete range of alcoholic products, but it will also sell a complete range of branded items from t-shirts to golf bags. Among the liquors being sold will be some of their limited addition products, such as Rubi Rey, Bacardi Reserva Limitada, Dewar's Signature and Aberfeldy Single Malt.

The store has been opened by Juan Bacardi, who is owner of the Bahamas based liquor company, Bristol Cellars and is located steps away from the historic straw market on Bay Street and the cruise ship terminal. It is set to become only Bacardi's second store, the other one is at the Casa Bacardi Visitor Center in Puerto Rico.

While the distillery is closing down in the near future, it is great to see that Bacardi will have a lasting legacy in New Providence and the Bahamas. Hopefully the new store might become a small museum for the closing distillery, so that every local person that has some loyalty to Bacardi and it's range of rums will be able to look back with fond memories at the distillery

For a video of the official store opening click on the link below:-

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkUs6xthl7g

The New Bacardi Concept Store.
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The Old Todhunter Warehouse in Freeport, Bahamas.
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The Production of Rum has been Moved to Nassau.

Todhunter-Mitchell, Bahamas


Company History:

Todhunter International, Inc. produces alcoholic and nonalcoholic products, as well as by-products and related products. Its primary business is in rum, brandies, wines, and various other spirits, some of which it bottles itself--most notably under the Cruzan Rum and Porfidio Tequila labels--and some of which it sells to other beverage companies, who bottle it. In addition, it bottles various light alcoholic drinks, including wine coolers and cocktails, for other liquor companies. Alcohol-related products and by-products include vinegar, cooking wines, industrial alcohol, and residuum, a by-product sold as animal feed. Todhunter had more than $75 million in annual revenues in 1998.

1960s Beginnings in the Bahamas

Todhunter was founded in 1964 by A. Kenneth Pincourt, Jr., who into the 1990s remained the company's chairman. As for its unusual name, there is undoubtedly a story behind it, but it is not one the company relates in its promotional literature. Established in the Bahamas, where it was able to operate tax-free, the company continued its ties with the island nation long after it moved to its U.S. mainland location in West Palm Beach, Florida.

During the 1970s Todhunter began to experience explosive growth, and in 1987 it signed a wine cooler production agreement with a giant in the spirits industry, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. In 1989 it bought up all of the production facilities in Florida belonging to its biggest competitor and on October 13, 1992 made an initial public offering (IPO) of its stock. At that time the stock was traded on NASDAQ; five years later, in October 1997, the company would switch to the American Stock Exchange (AMEX).

Thus the early history of Todhunter, with the exception of its offshore founding, is not unlike that of most American companies. The production of rum, in which Todhunter participates, has an exotic reputation, however, due to its association with the West Indies and the rich history of that region. When Todhunter acquired the Cruzan Rum label in the mid-1990s, the company also acquired an intriguing history. Todhunter makes much of the latter in its promotional literature.

In recent years Todhunter-Mitchell has moved its bottling operation from Freeport in Grand Bahama to the Commonwealth Brewery in Nassau, New Providence.

Ricardo Rums
Ricardo 151
Ricardo Banana
Ricardo Coconut
Ricardo Dark
Ricardo Gold
Ricardo Mango
Ricardo Pineapple
Ricardo White

An old Todhunter Mitchell Barrel on Display.
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Ricardo Rums are bottled in the Bahamas.
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These rums are produced by Todhunter-Mitchell.
Commonwealth Brewery, Nassau.
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Don Lorenzo Rums are also made by Todhunter.
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Don Lorenzo Rums

Don Lorenzo 151

Don Lorenzo Banana Rum

Don Lorenzo Coconut Rum

Don Lorenzo Dark Coconut Rum

Don Lorenzo Dark Reserve

Don Lorenzo Gold Reserve

Don Lorenzo Light Reserve

Don Lorenzo Mango Rum

Don Lorenzo Pineapple Rum

 

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Ole Nassau Rums from the Bahamas.
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 Burns House

Burns House Limited is the largest importer and distributor of beers, wines and spirits in The Bahamas, tracing it's roots to 1918. Burns House was incorporated in 1953, and in 1969, Burns House was sold to General Bahamian Companies Limited and acquired by Associated Bahamian Distillers and Brewers Limited (ABDAB) in 1981.

Wholly-owned subsidiaries of Burns House are the Cellars Wineshop Limited, Thompson Brothers (Wines & Spirits) Limited and Robertson & Symonette's (Wine & Spirits) Limited.

Headquarters are on John F. Kennedy Dr, Nassau. The principal office and warehouse including a retail outlet, consist of about 55,000 sq ft.

Under the umbrella of Burns House, there are thirty eight outlets, under the names of Ole Nassau Duty Free Shops & Beverage Depots, strategically located to service consumers in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco Eleuthera, Andros and Exuma.

Burns House has the exclusive distributorship for a number of leading brands of wines, spirits and beers, in addition to importing, market ready goods, Burns House has the franchise for bottling various brands of products including:
- Gilbey's Gin with Coconut (an exclusive Bahamian product)
- Ole Nassau Rums & Liqueurs - voted number one and five best tasting rum in their category by Caribbean Week Newspaper.

Ole Nassau Rums

Chick Charney Gold Rum

Chick Charney Light Rum

Jack Malantan 151

Jack Malantan 5 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

Ole Nassau Banana Liqueur

Ole Nassau Coconut Liqueur

Ole Nassau Gold Rock

Ole Nassau Pineapple Liqueur

Ole Nassau White Rum

Ole Nassau Yer Ho 7 Year Old Rum

Fire In De Hole Rum from the Bahamas.
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The Famous Nassau Royale Policeman & Friend.
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The Bahamian Female Vintage Bottle is Very Rare to Find Today.
The House of Rum, Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama.
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Although promising from the outside this store only had a small selection of rum.
An old rum ad from a guide book, Nassau, Bahamas.
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1961