The West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association Inc. (WIRSPA) recently organised an educational event about Authentic Caribbean Rum for spirits influencers and journalists from the United States and Canada.
Guests had the opportunity to see the production of rum from sugar cane through to finished product.
Twelve brands from the region, including Clarkes Court and Westerhall Estate from Grenada also took advantage of the opportunity to present and taste their finest rum selection with journalists.
Visiting spirits professionals from the US and Canada were recently introduced to regional rum producers through brand presentations and tastings that showcased the quality, diversity and versatility of rums under the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque.
General Manager of Grenada Distillers, Lester Andall and Damon Dubois Marketing Manager of Westerhall Estate were on hand to talk to journalists about the company and undertake a tutored tasting of their most premium rums.
The event which took place in the Dominican Republic was part of the educational campaign for the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque and brands.
Thirteen (13) opinion leaders from the spirits industry in North America were present to learn about Authentic Caribbean Rum brands and the Marque of quality and provenance and the importance of the rum industry in the socio-economic development of the region.
In addition attendees visited four different rum facilities in the Dominican Republic and Haiti to see sugar cane growing, milling, fermentation, distillation, ageing & blending through to finished product.
Speaking to local journalists and international press, Chairman of WIRSPA, Dr. Frank Ward spoke of the socio-economic importance of rum to the region.
With indirect employment in excess of 100,000 people, around US$550 million in foreign exchange and US$300 million in taxes linked to the industry it is the key agro-industrial sector for governments and provides a critical lifeline for local communities, as many production facilities are located in economically challenged rural areas of our region.
Andall of Grenada Distillers said, “Grenada has a long history of rum making, and we think our Old Grog premium offering reflects some of this rich history and heritage”.
“It was very well received by the drinks professionals, as was our local favourite, Clarkes Court Special Dark”, he added.
“We were pleased to present our recently re-launched Westerhall Estate 10 XO alongside our well known Plantation brand, both were enthusiastically received”, remarked Damon Dubois of Westerhall Estates.
“It always is a surprise for international rum experts to find that our small countries can produce high quality premium brands that stand shoulder to shoulder with the big global brands”, he said.