Jamaican Rum Marques Roundup

If you’re obsessed with Jamaican rum and its history, on this page you’ll find all sorts of super-geeky details about Jamaican distilleries, the history of the Jamaican Spirits Pool, rum marques and much more.

Let’s kick things off with a comprehensive list of Jamaican rum marques being made today.

All Jamaican rum distilleries make a variety of distillates, from very light rums, up to extremely flavorful and funky. Each batch of rum falls within one of their “marques. Jamaican distilleries register their marques with the Jamaica Spirit Pool.

A note on “g/hL AA”: The commonly used measurement for esters is grams per hectoliter. This is typically written as g/hL AA, or grams per hectoliter of absolute alcohol. For example, an ethyl acetate measurement of 1 g/hL AA means there’s one gram of ethyl acetate in each hectoliter of spirit. (Water in the spirit is ignored.) One gram is about 0.03 ounces. A hectoliter is about 26 U.S. gallons.

Some famous marques from times past include:

  • Common Clean (80-150 gr/hL AA)
  • Plummer (150-200 gr/hL AA)
  • Wedderburn (200-300 gr/hL AA)
  • Continental (700-1600 gr/hL AA)

You may recognize the Plummer and Wedderburn names, as they’re referenced in regards to Smith & Cross.

If you want to dig deeper into Jamaican distilleries, start here.

In reading below, it’s worth noting that the highest ester level allowed for export by Jamaican regulations is 1600 gr/hL AA.

Hampden Estate

NameEster Level gr/hL AANotes
OWH40-80 Owen W Hussey (???)
LFCH90-120 “Lawrence Francis Close Hussey” (Per Christelle Harris)
LROK300-400“Light Rum Owen Kelly” ?
HLCF500-600 “Hampden Light Continental Flavoured” ?
<>H900-1000 Aka “Diamond H”
HGML1000-1100 (or, 1100-1200) Hampden George MacFarquhar Lawson (?)
C<>H1300-1400C “Diamond H”
DOK1500-1600Dermot Owen Kelly-Lawson

Sources:

Long Pond

NameEster Level gr/hL AANotes
CRV0-20
CQV20-50
LRM50-90
ITP/LSO90-120
HJC/LIB120-150
IRW/VRW150-250Vale Royale Wedderburn – Marque taken over from Vale Royale distillery.
HHHS/OCLP250-400
LPS400-550 Long Pond Special (?)
STC^E550-700
TECA1200-1300
TECB1300-1400
TECC1500-1600

Sources: Personal communications

New Yarmouth

NameEster Level gr/hL AANotes
NYE/P95-150
NYE/W150-250
NYE/CR250-350
NYE/HM500-700
NYE/RR900-1000
NYE/WM1300-1400
NYE/WK1500-1600

Sources: Personal correspondence

Clarendon/Monymusk

NameEster Level gr/hL AANotes
MLT / MBS / MLL< 60 Column still
MBK / AH60-90 Common clean
CHP / MPG90-125 Common clean
EMB125-175 Plummer style
MMW200-300 Monymusk Wedderburn (?)
MLC500 Monymusk Light Continental (?)

Sources: Personal Communications

Worthy Park

NameEster Level gr/hL AANotes
WPEL< 60Worthy Park Extra Light
WPL60-119Worthy Park Light
WPM120-239Worthy Park Medium Light
WPH240-360Worthy Park Heavy Light
WPEUp to 800Worthy Park Extra

Sources:

Appleton Estate

 

NameEster Level gr/hL AANotes
APELAppleton Extra Light (?)
APCCAppleton Common Clean (?)
APSP / APSJ

Sources:

  • Personal communications

Jamaica Spirits Pool Background

A bit of history about the Jamaican Spirits (Rum) Pool is found in an obscure document:

In August 1931, at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Sugar Manufactures’ Association, (a) it was decided to take steps for the formation of Rum Pool and (b) to ask Government to pass a “Rum Regulation Law by which no Sugar Manufacturer would be allowed to make in his 1932 crop more than 50% of his average production of the three previous crops. Such a law was enacted and became effective as the Rum Regulation Law 1931 (Law # 25 of 1931).

FORMULATION OF RUM POOL AND RUM RATIONLIZATION
Formulation of Rum Pool and Rum Rationalization were influenced by the success achieved in the formation of the Sugar Pool, and the Jamaica Sugar and Rum Manufacturers Limited was born.

The objective of this company, inter alia, was to promote and regulate the manufacture and marketing of sugar, rum and the by-products of the juice of the sugar cane. Then in March 1932, the first two Agreements were signed between all the local rum manufacturers and the company (the rum pool).

As you would have heard the principle underlying the formation of the Rum Pool was that only rum or alcohol which was ordered in advance by a buyer would be made, so as to keep supply and demand in equilibrium. This obviated the tendency to over produce by utilising all available molasses. It was not until 1951 however that our first export of surplus molasses was made. I believe that the Commission has also been informed as to the manner in which the Rum Pool was governed historically.

Based on inequities which occurred outside of the Rum Pool, it was agreed from as early as 1937 that the “Rum Pool Agreement” must never be discontinued. This was also the recognition of those who were against the Regulation Agreement and that there would be disastrous consequences if the Rum Pool was abolished.

Defunct Jamaican Distilleries

Years are last known operations

  • Barnett: Medium rum.
  • Bernard Lodge: Light rum.
  • Bog (1948): Incorporated into Monymusk. Medium rums
  • Cambridge (1947): Incorporated into Long Pond. High ester rums.
  • Caymanas Estate: Light and medium rum.
  • Frome (1938-1968): Many marks, up to light continental flavoured.
  • Georgia (1939): High ester rums. Destroyed by fire.
  • Gray’s Inn
  • Green Park (1955):  Plummer rum.
  • Holland: Light rum
  • Innswood: Wedderburn. Incorporated into National Rums of Jamaica.
  • Ironshore (1951):
  • Jamaica Sugar Estates
  • Kew (1949): High ester and Wedderburn rum. Light rum.
  • Raheen (1947): Incorporated into Appleton. Light rum.
  • Richmond-Llandovery: Plummer rum.
  • Rose Hall (1960):  Light rum.
  • Serge Island
  • Sevens: Light rum.
  • Vale Royale (1959): Incorporated into Long Pond.  Made Wedderburn rum.

Known Jamaican Distilleries in 1934

At the onset of the Spirits Control Act:

OwnerDistillery
Jamaica Sugar Estates Ltd.Duckenfield
Seaforth Sugar & Rum Ltd.Serge Island
Gray’s Inn (Jamaica) Central Factory Ltd.Gray’s Inn Central
Richmond-Llandovery Ltd. Richmond-Llandovery
Sheriff & Company (Jamaica) Ltd.Long Pond
Vale Royal Estates Ltd.Vale Royal
Barnett Ltd.Catherine Hall
Rose Hall Ltd.Rose Hall
Hampden Estates Ltd.Hampden
The West Indies Sugar Co. Ltd.Frome
The West Indies Sugar Co. Ltd.Monymusk
J. Wray & Nephew Ltd.Appleton
Holland Estate Ltd.Holland
Sevens LimitedSevens
New Yarmouth Ltd.New Yarmouth
Caymanas Estates Ltd.Caymanas
Worthy Park Ltd.Worthy Park
Innswood Estate Ltd.lnnswood
Bernard Lodge Sugar CompanyBernard Lodge
United Estates Ltd.Bybrook

Known Jamaican Distilleries in 1965Jamaican Distilleries 1965

Note: This page is a work in progress. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have corrections or information to share!