This is a blog that will take you through the Rum lifestyles of a fine group of people that enjoy the fun and pleasure of fine rums. We will travel to distilleries, partys, and Rum Events to bring you the Rumstyles of all those we come in contact with.
St. Nicolas Abbey, 15th Century Barbados Sugar Plantation
The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the
Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered that
molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into
alcohol. Tradition suggests rum first
originated on the island of Barbados.
A viscous liquid would seep out of the
pots, and sugar would be left behind.That liquid was molasses. Today we know molasses as a
delicious sweetener found in gingerbread, poured over pancakes and an
ingredient in baked beans, but in the 17th century, planters in Barbados
couldn’t give the sticky and messy liquid away. Slaves and livestock ate some of the molasses,
but for the most part, it was an annoying bit of industrial waste. For every two pounds of sugar that was
produced, there would be a pound of molasses.
Colonial planters were swimming in this sticky stuff. There was no good use for the stuff nor was
there an export market, so planters resorted to dumping most of the molasses
into the ocean.
Sugar Factory at St. Nicholas Abbey
someone eventually figured out a use for this molasses. By mixing the Molasses
with water and adding some naturally occurring yeast found on the cut cane
stocks left behind in the field, they found that this industrial waste would
ferment. This was the basis for what was
in those days as Kill-Devil or rum.
It is said that the first distillation of
the fermented molasses occurred in the sugarcane
plantations of the Caribbean island of Barbados. Later, distillation of these alcoholic
byproducts concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, producing the first
true rums. Tradition suggests rum first originated on the island ofBarbados,
but in the area of 1620’s, rum production was recorded in Brazil. A liquid identified as rum has been
found in a tin bottle found on the Swedish warship Vasa, which sank in 1628.
Wind Driven Sugar Cane Crusher
A 1651 document from Barbados stated, "The chief fuddling
they make in the island is Rumbullion, otherwise know as Kill-Devil. “Kill-Devil is made of sugar canes distilled,
a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor”
Time and distilling, fermentation and aging skills has brought rum a
long way to what it is today. It is one
of the finest categories of brown spirits on the market today.