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The Rum Producing Regions of the World

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Rum Regions

The Caribbean is the epicentre of world Rum production. Virtually every major island group produces its own distinct Rum style.

Barbados produces light, sweetish Rums from both pot and column stills. Rum distillation began here and the Mount Gay Distillery, dating from 1663, is probably the oldest operating Rum producer in the world.

Cuba produces light-bodied, crisp, clean Rums from column stills. It is currently illegal to ship Cuban Rums into the United States.

The Dominican Republic is notable for its full-bodied, aged Rums from column stills.

Guyana is justly famous for its rich, heavy Demerara Rums, named for a local river, which are produced from both pot and column stills. Demerara Rums can be aged for extended periods (25-year-old varieties are on the market) and are frequently used for blending with lighter Rums from other regions. Neighbouring Surinam and French Guyana produce similar full-bodied Rums.

Haiti follows the French tradition of heavier Rums that are double-distilled in pot stills and aged in oak casks for three or more years to produce full-flavoured, exceptionally smooth- tasting Rums. Haiti also still has an extensive underground moonshine industry that supplies the voodoo religious ritual trade.

Jamaica is well known for its rich, aromatic Rums, most of which are produced in pot stills. Jamaica has official classifications of Rum, ranging from light to very full-flavoured. Jamaican Rums are extensively used for blending.

Martinique is a French island with the largest number of distilleries in the Eastern Caribbean. Both pot and column stills are used. As on other French islands such as Guadeloupe, both rhum agricole (made from sugar cane juice) and rhum industriel (made from molasses) are produced. These Rums are frequently aged in used French brandy casks for a minimum of three years. Rhum vieux (aged Rum) is frequently compared to high-quality French brandies.

Puerto Rico is known primarily for light, very dry Rums from column stills. All white Puerto Rican Rums must, by law, be aged a minimum of one year while dark Rums must be aged three years.

Trinidad produces mainly light Rums from column stills and has an extensive export trade.

The Virgin Islands, which are divided between the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Island. Only the US Virgin Islands still produce Rum, predominately making light, mixing rums from column stills, although there are some fine dark and aged sipping Rums made by the most significant producer Cruzan. These Rums, and those of nearby Grenada, also serve as the base for bay Rum, a classic aftershave lotion.

Guatemala and Nicaragua are noteworthy in Central America where a variety of primarily medium-bodied Rums from column stills that lend themselves well to aging. They have recently begun to gain international recognition

Brazil produces vast quantities of mostly light Rums from column stills with unaged cane spirit called Cachaça (ca·sha·sa) the best-known example.

Venezuela makes a number of well-respected barrel-aged golden and dark Rums.

The United States has a handful of Rum distilleries in the south, producing a range of light and medium-bodied Rums that are generally marketed with Caribbean-themed names.

Canada’s 300-year-old tradition of trading Rum for dried cod fish continues in the Atlantic Maritime provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia where golden Rums from Antigua, Barbados, and Jamaica are imported and aged for five years. The resulting hearty Rum is known locally as Screech.

Europe is primarily a blender of imported Rums. Both the United Kingdom and France import Rums from their former colonies in the Caribbean for ageing and bottling. Heavy, dark Jamaican Rums are imported into Germany and mixed with neutral spirit at a 1:19 ratio to produce Rum verschnitt. A similar product in Austria is called Inlander Rum.

Australia produces a substantial amount of white and golden Rums in a double- distillation method utilizing both column and pot stills. Rum is the second most popular alcoholic beverage in the country after beer. Light Rums are also produced on some of the islands in the South Pacific such as Tahiti.

Asia Rums tend to follow regional sugar cane production, with white and golden Rums from column stills being produced primarily in the Philippines and Thailand.

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Thursday, November 23, 10:10 pm

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