We source most of our rum barrels from Jamaica.
Jamaica has a rich history of creating some of the most complex rums in the world. The rum barrels we source have aged a sugar cane based rum for several years. The rum barrels arrive fresh emptied with up to a liter of barrel proof rum still inside. These potent barrels will certainly add an intense flavor to your beverage or food product.
What makes Jamaican Rum Special?
Jamaican rum has a high ester count which give aromas and flavors across the spectrum, most particularly fruit flavors like grapes and berries, bananas, and pineapple. Jamaican producers learned early on that such naturally occurring compounds could be generated through longer and less-controlled fermentation, and by creating conditions suitable for ester formation. Higher-ester Jamaican rums may ferment anywhere between one and three weeks, or even longer compared to other island rum producers which ferment for one to three days.
Esters come from alcohol and acid—alcohol is created during fermentation, and you can add more acid to juice it along. Dunder is basically stillage—the dark goop left behind after a pot-still distillation run—and it is rich in such acids. This material is added to fermentation and it binds and creates more esters. In addition, the substance “muck” is added to create even more esters. Muck is essentially a biologically rich bacterial culture similar to the “mother” of vinegar, nurtured along for generations, a brew of molasses, cane juice, dunder and other organic substances, its sugar content sometimes nudged with the addition of bananas or pineapples or jackfruit.
The result can be a spectacularly pungent rum, with an ester count (calculated as the number of grams of esters per hectoliter of pure alcohol) that may reach into the thousands. (By comparison, a light Puerto Rican rum may carry an ester count of less than 20.)
Yes, like most rum barrels, our Jamaican rum barrels have bungs on the bilge and on the head of the barrel. We have a special process in place to ensure each head bung is watertight enabling them to be used and stored horizontally. Each head bung is thoroughly inspected. If necessary, the bung hole is re drilled and a replacement bung is installed. The barrels are then pressure tested with our barrel steamer. Lastly, a layer of wax is then added to the head bung as a precaution. Rum barrels do not always look pretty, but we take all necessary steps to make them fillable.