Tag Archives: rum distillery

Grenada

Grand Anse, GrenadaWe have spent the last week in Grenada getting to know the country a little better. We took the bus one day from the small town of Woburn (we were anchored just off the town in Clarke’s Court Bay) into St George’s and then onto Grand Anse. Grand Anse is supposed to be the nicest beach on Grenada. It is very pretty, a few miles long and white sand. Many of the beaches here have black sand due to the volcanic origin of the island. We had a delicious lunch of grilled mahi-mahi with mango salsa at Jenny’s Restaurant. Of course that was not what we ordered but as it took an hour to arrive we ate it. The restaurant had a great setting at the end of the beach.
Karen with some locals We took a day tour of the island with Cutty. Our first stop was at a private garden where Cutty showed us some of the local fruits, spices and herbs. Then we stopped at the Annandale Falls where we were greated by some local women with baskets of fruit and flowers on their heads. It costs a US dollar to have ones picture taken with them but it was worth it!
Annandale Falls, Grenada The falls were impressive considering there has been a drought here for the last 3 months. The water was cool but the locals like to put on a show for the tourists by jumping into the pool. Ricky was our favorite jumper…
Cutty and MonkeyAfter the falls we drove into the Grand Etang National Park. Cutty had brought some bananas for the residents and they were quite determined to get them!
Cocoa Beans, GrenadaWe stopped to have a tour of the cocoa processing plant. Here is where the cocoa pods are put in sweat boxes, covered with banana leaves and fermented for eight days. Once the beans are ripened they are moved to drying trays out in the sun. Here the staff walk through them twice a day to move them around to help with even drying. If it starts to rain, the trays can be pushed into the buildings. Once fully dried they are put into sacks for export. Some is made into chololate bars by The Grenada Chocolate Company. Unfortunately, the Chocolate Company no longer gives tours…
Patty at River AntoineThen we were off to River Antoine Rum Distillery. We had lunch there before Patty gave us a tour of the distillery. We were too late to see them crushing the sugar cane, they had been doing it in the morning, but we did see the rest of the process. River Antoine has been making rum since 1785 and only makes an overproof white rum with a minimum 75% alcohol content. It makes a great rum punch!
Nutmeg, Grenada As if that was not a full enough day we then toured the nutmeg processing facility in Grenville. Martin, our guide , was very informative. Grenada had been the second largest producer of nutmeg prior to Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. In those years they produced 6 million pounds of nutmeg per year; now they only produce 600,000 pounds. Nutmeg is covered by mace that needs to be removed prior to drying. The mace takes 3 months to dry, the nutmeg takes 2 months. The nutmeg is placed in trays 3 inches deep and stirred twice a day to help dry and prevent mildew. Once the nutmeg is dried it is placed in water to determine the quality of the nut. The ones that float have less oil and are of lower quality. The nuts are then redried for about 4 days. The high quality nuts are exported as is. The lower quality nuts are sorted again for “looks”, any discoloured ones become quality 3 and are used to make nutmeg oil. The quality 2 nuts are sold but do not command as high a price.
Fish fry, GouyaveSV TootLast night Cutty took several boaters to the Gouyave Friday Night Fish Fry. This is a small town on the western coast of Grenada that is the fishing capital of Grenada. Many locals fry up fish, shrimp, lobster, plantains, breadfruit, etc and sell them at stalls along several streets. A steel drum band entertains as one wanders from stall to stall tasting. Of course there is also beer and rum to try. We had a great meal enjoying the company of our new boating friends, Marlene and Michael from SV Toot.
We are now preparing to sail to Trinidad for our scheduled haul out on April 19th.

Macoucherie Rum Distillery

Water wheel at Macoucherie Sugar Cane Field, DominicaWe hired Martin Carriere of Providence to take us to Macoucherie Estates where they make rum near Salisbury on the west coast of Dominica. The rum distillery was established by a French family, whose name remains unknown. The distillery was acquired by H.D. Shillingford in 1942. They grow their own sugar cane and crush it using an old fashioned waterwheel, the same way that they having been doing it since the late nineteenth century. Macoucherie rums are the only rums on the island distilled from pure sugar cane juice, still carrying the features which characterized sugar cane crushing in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries.
Cane crushing at Macoucherie The sugar cane juice is put into 2000 Imp gallon tanks; it takes 3.5 days to crush enough sugar cane to fill one tank. Two pounds of yeast and yeast food is put in with the juice and allowed to ferment. The fermentation takes 4 to 5 days. Then the juice is moved to the distillation column. The heat is provided by a boiler in which they burn wood and coconut husks.
They make 60,000 litres per year of rum. The white rum is sold as Macoucherie White. Some is aged for 12 to 14 months in oak barrels and is sold as Macoucherie Red. Then some of the white rum is flavoured with spices: cinnamon, maze and Bois Bandé (considered an aphrodisiac by the islanders) and is called Macoucherie Bois Bandé.
Macoucherie rums of Dominica Rum that is made with the sugar cane juice is very distinctive from that made with molasses. The smell and the taste is very sweet. We have only found a few rums in the Caribbean made this way and we always buy a bottle…

Virgin Gorda, BVI

Richard at Leverick Bay We had a great sail to Virgin Gorda, Karen had the max spead of 7.4 knots on the way. We plan on spending the next few days here; a weather window to St Maarten opens on Thursday where our friends Jeanne & Tim will be meeting us on February 21. We are on a mooring ball at Leverick Bay, at the south end of North Sound.

Callwood Rum We spent a few days on a mooring ball at Trellis Bay, Beef Island. That is where the airport is and there is a bridge that connects that island to Tortola, the main island in the British Virgin Islands. We took a taxi to Cane Garden Bay for lunch. We had wanted to stay there when we left Jost van Dyke but the swells were too strong. There is a rum distillery there and of course Douglas came with us. The distillery crushes cane starting in March so we were a bit early to see the process. But we were able to see the equipment that is used and to sample the rum. A bottlte is now on our boat…
Cane Garden BayWe stopped for lunch at Rymer’s; we had conch fritters to start and we each had lobster salad, yum!
Road TownWe hitched a ride back to Road Town with a group from the cruise ship (they had started in Punta Arenas Costa Rico, went through the Pananma Canel and were headed for Miami: nice cruise!!) We wandered the streets of Road Town and to the charter company’s dock. Nice location but not too many boats out cruising…
We hope to explore North Sound over the next few days.

St Lucia Distillery

Marigot Bay, St Lucia Today we took a local taxi to the St Lucia Distillery not too far from where we are currently on a mooring ball in the beautiful mangrove lined bay called Marigot Bay.
Yolanda gave us a nice tour of the site and then we were able to spendSt Lucia Distillery as long as we liked in their sampling room with their 23 different products.

The St Lucia Distillery tour started with a brief history of the company. It was started in 1932 and they used to grow and process their own sugar cane. By 1963 the demand for cane sugar had collapsed and they now import their molasses from Guiana.
The molasses start in the fermentation vats with yeast and water and allowed to brew for 40 hours. By then it is at 5% to 8% alcohol.
It is then moved to the analyzer column where it is distilled to 98% alcohol content. The specialty rums are distilled in copper stills and only get to 85% alcohol.
The rum is then put into wooden barrels that have been purchased from Jack Daniels. It is aged from 2 years for light rum to 12 years for their high end brands.
St Lucia Distillery On our way to the tasting room they had a display of customs from Carnival. I think I could enjoy being in a parade but my neck and arms might get pretty tired!

Grenada

St George's water frontOn Thursday May 14th we left the Grenadines and headed for Hillsborough, Carriacou to check into Grenada.  This was one of the few islands that required all crew to visit the immigration office.  We are not sure if this was a result of the swine flu that seems to be making its way around the Caribbean.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We left the next day for St George’s and took a slip at the Port Louis Marina.  We were surprised at how few boats were there considering how reasonable the rates were.  We were joined on our dock  by a $9 million Oyster 82 and a $6 million Oyster 62 (which is available to buy for anyone with a bit of spare cash…).  Snowaway looks pretty small beside those sailboats.

Rum Distillery, GrenadaRum Distillery, GrenadaWe explored the island and enjoyed tours of three rum distilleries; Westerhall does not actually make its own rum anymore but imports rum from Trinidad, blends and bottles it, and sells it as Grenadian rum.  The first distillery we visited was Clarkes Court, the second was Westerhall and the final was the River Antoine Rum Distillery.  Clarkes Court produces one of our favourites, Old Grog, while we had trouble drinking the very strong River Antoine rum.

Mona Monkey, GrenadaIn the mountainous heart of Grenada is the Grand Etang Forest Reserve.  There is a lake in the crater of an extinct volcano and unfortunately the day we stopped the views were foggy.  However, there is a visitor centre where we were able to feed bananas to the local Mona Monkeys.

Nutmeg tree, GrenadaGrenada is known as the Spice Island and its most important spice is nutmeg.  The fruit of the nutmeg tree is used to make jam, syrup and liqueurs.  The red mace covers the nut that holds the nutmeg.  Hurricane Ivan in 2004 destroyed over 90% of the nutmeg trees and they are just starting to come back.  This has had a very negative effect on the economy with the loss of employment (particularly to the women).

BB's Restaurant, GrenadaWe tried several of the local restaurants and our favorite was BB’s Crabback Caribbean Restaurant.  Mike and Richard had the goat curry and claimed it was the best meal they had had in the Caribbean!!