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Caribbean spice isle of Grenada makes great rum too

One of only 2 distilleries powered by water wheels.
One of only 2 distilleries powered by water wheels.
Photo by Maggie Dobbins

The southern Caribbean island of Grenada is known as the spice island as they grow nutmeg, mace, cloves, cinnamon and chocolate.  They also make some nice rums and two distilleries are well worth visiting, albeit for very different reasons.

Old grog dates back to the earliest early days of rum, when the finest of Grenada's rum was shipped to the navy of King George III. In order to identify the King's rum, the casks were marked G.R.O.G., which is the abbreviation for Georgius Rex Old Grenada. Old grog rum maintains Grenada's tradition of producing the finest blend rums. It is an aged spirit that is copper-gold in color, medium bodied, with a tropical fruit and spice flavor, and oak elements that linger on smoothly.

The distillery at Clarke's Court has been in operation since 1937, and is the largest distiller in Grenada. It is situated in the southern part of the island in woodlands valley, in the parish of St George's

Clarke's Court Old Grog rum is still a popular local rum.  Clarke's Court makes a range of rums and mixed rum drinks like Fruit Punch and Spiced Rum.  They also make a white rum, better known as Jack Iron that is 69% alcohol.  Sort of like white lightening.  This is not for the faint of heart or stomach as it burns as it goes down your gullet.

If you visit Grenada, you must visit the River Antoine Rum Distillery.  It is located up in the north east part of Grenada and you can combine a visit here with a visit to an old Creole plantation, and maybe even a waterfall for a lovely day off the beach. 

Nothing has changed in this distillery for hundreds of years.  It is one of only two sugar cane mills powered by a water wheel in the eastern Caribbean.  All of the equipment is very basic.  And very organic.  All byproducts are reused.  What we now call "green".  What has just always made sense.

They have been making rum here since 1753 and the only nod to machinery are the cars and trucks that bring the workers here each day. 

There is a great tour that describes the process of making rum and then you are brought to the bottling room, which is nothing more than a barn like structure.  Here you sample their white rum, aka Jack Iron.

They hand you a shot of rum and a shot of water.  The water is to quell the fire in your body after sipping this rum.  75% alcohol.  It is so strong, they will tell you you are not allowed to take it on the plane as it is considered too flammable.

As on all Caribbean islands, rum shops are everywhere.  But on Grenada, these overproofed rums are widely available.  Just take care!

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  • Pauline 5 years ago

    Some visitors to rum factories have found those overproof rums a bit much, but they are interesting to taste and sip.