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Barbados has been credited as the birthplace or rum, and it’s an integral part of the island’s culture and history. That’s why there are rum shops all over the island. Commercial sugar production started in 1640, but even before that the settlers were growing sugar cane on a small scale and producing a drink called "Kill Devil", which is the ancestor of modern-day rum. It was a horrible drink, but life was hard and the settlers drunk a lot of it. Thankfully it has improved over the years, and Barbados produces some of the best rums in the world, which have been adored throughout history by famous figures, such as George Washington. The main distilleries are Mount Gay Distilleries, West Indies Rum Distillery, Foursquare Rum Distillery and St. Nicholas Abbey. Mount Gay Rum is the oldest existing brand of rum in the world and the distillery has been in operation since 1703. The process of making rum is refining the juice of the sugar cane into molasses, and then adding yeast and water. It then goes through the essential stages of fermentation, distillation, maturation and blending. The blender is extremely important in the process, as he or she blends the rum to maintain a consistent quality. Mount Gay has only had four Master Blenders over the last 40 years, and now they have their first female Master Blender – Trudiann Branker. She worked alongside the former Master Blender, Allen Smith, for the last five years.

St. Nicholas Abbey produces a premium, genuine single cask rum, with no blending. They grow their own canes on 400 acres of land, and then grind them on site and hand craft the rum in small batches. They even bottle by hand and their rum can only be purchased in Barbados at St. Nicholas Abbey.  You can taste the rum on site and even get your special bottle engraved. 


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