Rum Production

St Abbs Reserve Rum begins its life as sugarcane on select plantations in Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica.

The 15 individual marks that define the spirit of St Abbs Reserve Rum are all fermented from molasses, a natural by-product of sugar production and the historical source of all traditional Caribbean rum.

This fermented molasses is distilled at its country of origin before these young rum spirits undergo some early stage blending in Barbados & Trinidad.

Our column still marks are produced across all four of our source countries, but our richly flavoured pot still marks are produced only in Jamaica & Guyana. Each individual mark brings a different characteristic to St Abbs Reserve Rum and they have all been carefully selected for the key aromas, flavours and textures that they bestow on our blends.

Our old rums are all handpicked for aging on the island of Barbados, spending their time in small 200 litre Bourbon casks where they take on the character of the whiskey-soaked, charred-oak before they are surrendered t our blends. These pre-used charred American barrels are what lend our reserve rums their rich flavours with charcoal filtering providing our distinctive smooth textures.

Our core collection of signature marks are then rested at a historic blending house who have traded Caribbean rum since well before the time that our St Abbs sailed on her final voyage. It is here that our core rum spirits are married together to raise our flagship age bottling St Abbs Captain’s Table XO, and our aged white rum bottling St Abbs Cask Silver.

St Abbs Reserve Rum, your kindred spirit, raised on the 14th June 1855.

Rum History

The story of the St Abbs is soaked in rum trading history and this sailor’s sugarcane spirit has been documented and glorified as saving the souls of the marooned survivors, but it is not a symbol of how our favoured to was used in the years after it was conceived.

Rum was a stock item on long haul voyages and was a part of the crew’s rations. It was traded and dispensed globally, used as currency, played a part in the slave trade and may well have been a major contributor to the American war of independence.

It has a dark history that began over 300 years before the St Abbs came to her legendary end. In 1493 Christopher Columbus set sail on his second voyage to the Americas, carrying among his varied cargo a hoard of sugarcane cuttings from Spain’s Canary Islands, along with a Spanish sugar production expert.

These sugarcane samples were first transplanted onto the island of Hispaniola (now Dominican Republic & Haiti) with the intention of sending refined sugar back to Spain. The climate for cane was perfect across this newly discovered region and the crop flourished.

The western ‘sugar-rush’ created such demand for refined sugar that by the 1600’s it became one of the world’s most valuable commodities. At one point in its history sugarcane became even more valuable than gold and Europe’s largest powers battled fiercely for agricultural territories.

As hundreds of plantations emerged throughout the Caribbean, the need for plantation workers grew and the shameful slave triangle was established. The first and very fiery rum spirits are often accredited to the enslaved plantation workers, brought by force from the African continent, who distilled naturally fermenting molasses in an attempt to dampen the distress of their shocking living conditions.

This darkly rooted, harsh and fiery spirit is the birth place of rum and the naissance of the diverse & wonderfully celebrated range of traditional Caribbean cane-born spirits that we know today.

The slave trade was abolished throughout the commonwealth and across all territories possessed by the East India Company in 1843, five years before the St Abbs was built and later commissioned to the EIC to ship rum fro London to Bombay for the Navy of India, a hazardous voyage that she would never accomplish.

St Abbs Reserve Rum, your kindred spirit, raised on the 14th June 1855.