Producing Rum the Grenada Way

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DRT
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Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by DRT » 11:19 Sun 26 Oct 2014

During my recent holiday I visited the River Antoine Estate which is said to be the only plantation on the island of Grenada that still produces rum directly from sugar cane grown on the property. The other distilleries on the island apparently buy-in molasses from other estates/islands.

This was perhaps the most unsanitary production facility I have ever seen. Every part of the process was described by our guide as being "old school" and the only evidence that we were not living in 1785 was that there were a few bits of plastic piping and barrels either in use or lying around.

The smell was quite horrific, particularly in the boiling room where the raw juice is heated to increase concentration and kick-off the fermentation process.

The estate produces three bottlings: a rum punch which is 22% proof; the standard white rum at 69% proof, and; a 75% bottling that would be ideal for stripping paint, all collectively known as "Rivers"* and seemingly enjoyed copiously in parts of the island. None of the products are aged in any way and the average time between harvesting the cane and bottling is around three weeks. The distillery produces 500 bottles per day, provided there is enough water in the river to drive the wheel.

Here are some pictures of the process…
00-The Plantation.JPG
00-The Plantation.JPG (103.5 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
01-The Wheel.JPG
01-The Wheel.JPG (58.45 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
02-The Cane.JPG
02-The Cane.JPG (109.91 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
03-The Machine.JPG
03-The Machine.JPG (73.48 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
04-The Raw Juice.JPG
04-The Raw Juice.JPG (109.33 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
05-The Boiling Room.JPG
05-The Boiling Room.JPG (107.02 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
06-Fermentation.JPG
06-Fermentation.JPG (104.75 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
07-Distillation.JPG
07-Distillation.JPG (72.6 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
08-Stoking the Fire.JPG
08-Stoking the Fire.JPG (93.94 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
09-Filtration and Bottling.JPG
09-Filtration and Bottling.JPG (94.89 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
10-The Bottling Line.JPG
10-The Bottling Line.JPG (91.1 KiB) Viewed 1756 times
A very interesting visit, particularly when contemplating the sad history of the place.


* the apostrophe crime is theirs, not mine.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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djewesbury
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by djewesbury » 11:40 Sun 26 Oct 2014

That is quite fascinating. You stopped short of saying that it was disgusting neckrot but I sense a subtext.

How did your Clint Eastwood t-shirt go down?
Daniel J.
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DRT
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by DRT » 11:57 Sun 26 Oct 2014

djewesbury wrote:That is quite fascinating. You stopped short of saying that it was disgusting neckrot but I sense a subtext.

How did your Clint Eastwood t-shirt go down?
I don't drink rum in any form so didn't feel qualified to comment. If pushed I would say that the rum punch was not as pleasant as others I tasted on the trip. The 75% stuff made my face go numb in the same way as a dentist injection in your top gum does. If that counts as "excellent juice" in the world of rum then this is top-notch stuff :wink:

I didn't have my t-shirt on as it was a cool 31°C that day so was wrapped up in my poncho and cowboy hat.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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djewesbury
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by djewesbury » 11:59 Sun 26 Oct 2014

Chewing a cheroot no doubt.
Daniel J.
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Andy Velebil
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by Andy Velebil » 15:28 Sun 26 Oct 2014

This was perhaps the most unsanitary production facility I have ever seen
I beg to differ. They are using a very clean white towel to keep the extra protein out. What more would you like? :roll:

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JacobH
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by JacobH » 12:20 Mon 03 Nov 2014

Andy Velebil wrote:
This was perhaps the most unsanitary production facility I have ever seen
I beg to differ. They are using a very clean white towel to keep the extra protein out. What more would you like? :roll:
I agree with Andy. When the output is at 75% it is hard to see how anything more is needed to keep things sanitary.
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DRT
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by DRT » 15:05 Wed 05 Nov 2014

JacobH wrote:
Andy Velebil wrote:
This was perhaps the most unsanitary production facility I have ever seen
I beg to differ. They are using a very clean white towel to keep the extra protein out. What more would you like? :roll:
I agree with Andy. When the output is at 75% it is hard to see how anything more is needed to keep things sanitary.
Which doesn't change the fact that the production facility is unsanitary.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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jdaw1
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Re: Producing Rum the Grenada Way

Post by jdaw1 » 18:29 Wed 05 Nov 2014

DRT wrote:
JacobH wrote:I agree with Andy. When the output is at 75% it is hard to see how anything more is needed to keep things sanitary.
Which doesn't change the fact that the production facility is unsanitary.
The IVDP used to provide spirit with the same I-am-a-monopoly care about quality.

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