Belize Rum Trip
coming soon.....

The Rumelier was lucky enough to meet one of the owners of Travellers Rum Distillery while attending the Rum Renaissance in Miami, Florida, 2012. The owner was at the festival representing One Barrel Rum, their flagship rum. While talking to Amanda Perdomo, the daughter of the founder of the distillery Don Omario Perdomo, she said that The Rumelier would be welcome to visit the distillery at any time. So began the sowing of the seeds for another great rum adventure in the Caribbean.

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One Barrel Rum from Belize.

The Distillery, Belmopan

The Rumelier had flown via Miami to Belize City and then onto Placencia, after a quick touch down in Dangriga. In Placencia, a sleepy coastal town, he met up with rumconnection.com's Mike Streeter, a regular rum travel buddy for The Rumelier.

After sampling many of the local rums, the following day they took the scenic two hour drive up to Belmopan, where the Travellers Rum Distillery is located. The roads have been improved dramatically over recent years making the drive very enjoyable and comfortable.

Once in Belmopan they met three members of the Perdomo family, owners of the distillery at the Bull Frog Hotel. The group then took the short drive to the distillery down a bumpy dirt road on the edge of the city.

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Entrance to the Travellers Distillery, Belmopan.

Once within sight of the distillery, the tall column stills and still house could be seen off in the distance, a regular sight in many Caribbean countries. On closer approach the group arrived at a big steel gate that had the Travellers logo painted on it, (shown above) the entrance to the distillery. The gate opened and the group proceeded into the relatively small distillery.
Upon arrival The Rumelier was introduced to the distiller infront of the column stills. There are two sets of stills, an original one column still (shown further below) enclosed in a tall red still house. Alongside is the newer three column still (shown below). Neither still was operational at the time of the visit which made things a little quieter than normal. 

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The three column still at Travellers.

In front of the stills was where the molasses is delivered and stored. The molasses is stored in several stainless steel storage tanks and later pumped to the fermentation tanks inside the distillery buildings. The distillery uses locally produced molasses. The molasses is produced in an area of the country called Orange Walk, which is about an hour north of Belize City. It is then delivered to the distillery in large stainless steel tanker trucks.

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Single Column Still at Travellers Distillery.

The Heritage Center, Belize City

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A barrel rack in the aging warehouse.

The Travellers Heritage Center is located in Belize City. This where the rum is aged, blended and bottled. There is also a small museum, a retail store and most importantly a sampling bar on the premises. Guide tours of the facility are offered for a small fee, which includes extensivesamples of the rums and other liquors produced at the facility.
The Rumelier was given a guided tour by company employee Julian. First stop on the tour was the aging warehouse. This is where the magic of oak and time work their magic in the hot tropical temperatures. There are over 3000 barrels slowing their rum in the open warehouse.
During the tour several samples of rums are handed out at regular intervals to demonstrate the different stages of aging rum, from the One Barrel all the way up to the newly released rum that was developed to commemorate the royal visit of Prince Harry to Belize.

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Washing used bottles for recycling.

Next stop on the tour was to see the recycling section of the facility (shown above). Here there were many ladies washing used rum bottles that were being cleaned for reuse. All the new bottles are normally imported from Mexico, so not only is this a cost saving exercise it has an environmental benefit as well. They can clean up to 150 cases of bottles a day.

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The bottling room at Travellers Distillery.
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The sampling bar at the Heritage Center with host Julian.

Company History

Like many countries in and around the Caribbean sugar used to be a very important economic commodity and was widely grown all over the region. Belize was no exception, there were many plantations growing cane and as a result distilling thier own rum. Rum was available to everyone.

The founder of Travellers, Jaime Omario Perdomo Sr. (pictured below) decided to open a bar in 1953, which he called Travellers. The bar at the time was situated on the edge of Belize City and was frequented by people travelling in and out of the city.

Travellers started by selling imported liquors and beers aswell as locally made rums. Many bars back then used to buy rums and blend them themselves and add their own label to the bottle.

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Don Omario Perdomo and his wife Perla.

As Dom Omario's rums began to become more popular he had to import rum from outside Belize, one country he tried was Barbados. He however wanted to produce a consistent blend of rum for his customers. This was when he entered into an agreement with Luis Espat who agreed to build a distillery in Belmopan where they could produce their own rum, distilled from locally grown molasses.

In 1989 Don Omario decided to buy the distillery from Mr. Espat after he decided to sell it. The Perdomo family now had complete control of the rum production, from the still to the bottle. Several upgrades continue to this day, which have enhanced all aspects of the rum production for the company.

With Don Omario's passing his children continue to develop his creativity and foresight and take the company from strength to strength.

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An old rum label in the museum using Barbados rum.
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Old Copper Pot Still in the Heritage Center.
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Even the hermit crabs drink One Barrel in Belize!!
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