Whether you are looking to “sail” around the Caribbean by sampling rums from all over or explore local distilleries pushing the edge of innovation, there is a rum waiting to knock your salty socks off!
Captain’s Home Port
Tortuga Rum Company, established in 1984, is worth a visit by any seaworthy sailor. Captain Robert Hamaty, president and founder, observed that when he visited other countries, he saw people buying local rums leading him to question “Why not Cayman?” Shortly after, Captain Hamaty, along with his wife Carlene, created Tortuga Rum Company and have grown it into an internationally recognised brand. Captain Hamaty shares, “Today Tortuga has a large variety of products, including our classic gold, light, dark, spiced and 140 proof rum. Additionally, we have rum-infused coffee and nine flavoured rums.” Of course, a favourite amongst locals and visitors are Tortuga’s mouth-watering rum cakes.
Thirsty for More
Scallywags looking to sample a wide range of vintages from near and far are encouraged to explore the impressive rum collection at Tukka. Located on the East End of the Island, Tukka boasts an awe-inspiring assortment of rums sure to satisfy any pirate-sized appetite. Rum Flights serve up 1-ounce servings of three different kinds of rum, or choose the One-Way Flight 1.5-ounce servings of one rum.
Harnessing innovation, local distillers Walker Romanica and Nelson Dilbert, founders of Cayman Spirits Co., took inspiration from the ocean when creating Seven Fathoms Rum. Named after its unique distilling process, this local rum is aged in casks seven fathoms deep, or 42 feet under the sea. “When we began, we were just a couple of friends with an idea for re-creating authentic, ocean-aged rum,” says Romanica. “We’ve come a long way since then, with a talented team, an expanded distilling facility and broad range of spirits.”
Cayman Spirits Co. also produces higher-end offerings from its Cask Release series, 1780 rum from Pedro St. James, Governor’s Reserve Rums (seven in total) and seasonal flavours such as Scotch Bonnet Rum. Pirates over the age of 18 can sample Cayman Spirits Co.’s many creations at one of its three locations. Romanica boasts, “The distillery is currently the #1 traveller-ranked attraction on TripAdvisor for the Cayman Islands.”
Across the High Seas
Seadogs looking to sample rums from around the world, but not get their sails too wet, should head over to Kaibo’s Rare Rum Bar. Brian O’Neill, Kaibo’s “rummelier,” has worked closely with owner Daniel Petts to create the impressive 140-bottle rare rum collection. “Kaibo is able to cater to beginner rum drinkers through to the serious rum connoisseur — pleasing all palates,” shares O’Neill proudly.
“Many years ago, Owner Daniel Petts recognised the lack of available quality rums both at Kaibo and on the Island. After all, we are in the Caribbean! Calling on his own passion for travel and quality rums, Daniel embarked on creating the perfect rum cabinet.”
When asked what to look for in a quality rum, O’Neil responded, “Whilst rum is a diverse spirit, personally I look for a dark amber colour, notes of smoke, dried fruits, vanilla and toasted nuts, and nose of leather and pipe tobacco.”
Tukka Collection Highlights
Ron Santiago de Cuba
25 Añejo, Cuba
One of the oldest rums from Cuba’s Santiago de Cuba area
25 years vintage, Guyana
El Dorado’s awe-inspiring vintage
Pyrat XO Reserve,
Aromatic and easy-drinking rum
DiplomÁtico Ambassador, Venezuela
Aged in bourbon casks
Flor de Caña
aged 25 years, Nicaragua
Rum undergoes distillation five times
Appleton Estate Joy
25 years, Jamaica
Delicate orange peel, ginger and spice
Author: Stacie Sybersma