Deb and I toured the Cruzan Rum Distillery here on Island. It’s interesting that Diageo is building a facility very nearby to manufacture and warehouse their Capt. Morgan rum…. Cruzan Rum has been here for a very long time. Rum taxes and export rules change frequently. Just now – they bottle some rum here. They export quite a lot in barrel. They also export quite a lot of Day 1 old rum in big tanks that will eventually ride on semi-tractor-trailer trucks once it reaches Florida. There is apparently quite a tax benefit to ship it at this stage – maybe it’s not technically rum at this point – but some other product. They also export quite a lot of fusel oil – a waste product in making rum – the fusel oil is used in the perfume industry…. Hmmmm… given the smell from the fermenter tanks I’m kind of curious which perfumes I should consider avoiding….
The tour was interesting in that nowhere stateside would the public be allowed in an industrial facility so unguarded, unprotected, and so close to the manufacture of a product that will be released to consumers… I could have added anything I wanted to the fermenting tanks without notice by staff. The stairs we climbed were incredibly steep and corroded. There were hoses and pipes in any number of the “pathways” we walked. We wore no hardhats, eye or hearing protection. We were not continually warned to keep our hands at our sides, etc. It’s my experience that Cruzans have an expectation of common decent behavior from all of us. I like it here!
So – the pics from the day:
Next is a view of first the mixing tank and then a fermenter tank.
There is a significant amount of waste product that they dump. They send the very hot mix out on this open-air rack where gravity moves it at a good pace through a number of tiers and then into a pipe. It travels several miles through the pipe to the ocean where they are allowed to dump the now cooled waste. There are no chemicals – so they are allowed to dump with full permit.
The remaining pics are just my “eye”. I always enjoy banana trees with bananas growing. The red flower at the end of the cluster is pretty fascinating.
And that concludes your tour of Cruzan Rum. The benefit to being here in person is that after the tour they pretty much open the bar for us! And I do like rum!