French spirits producer Maison Ferrand, known for its award winning cognac and rum, has purchased the 124 year old West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) in Barbados for nearly $13 million US. Maison Ferrand produces and globally distributes Plantation rum.
Introduced in 2003, Plantation Rum uses the company’s knowledge of cognac ageing and finishing to select, age and blend rums from a variety of Caribbean distillers. It produces some of the most award-winning rums in the world and with this purchase the company has shown it is willing to put a long-term commitment into Plantation Rum production.
WIRD currently produces Cockspur Rum as well as a number of contract rums in Barbados. But Plantation is not only acquiring their Barbados rum facility, they also are gaining a one-third ownership of National Jamaican Rum Company which operates Monymusk Distillery and owns the famed Long Pond Distillery.
“We are production guys and having our own distillery in the Caribbean has been a dream for many years,” says Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor of Maison Ferrand. “It is like getting married, we wanted to find a great match, one for life and we have found it in West Indies Rum Distillery and the exceptional rum makers there. The team there is as passionate as we are and we can’t wait to start producing delicious rum together.” (BevNet.com)
The best news coming out of this deal is that Maison Ferrand “plans to tap back to the early roots of this historic distillery and its very rich heritage. The distillery has some ancient pot stills, one that is possibly the oldest in the Caribbean and has been dormant for almost 100 years.” They want to bring a number of the historic stills acquired back to life producing rum again. This is a dream come true for rum lovers worldwide as supplies from Long Pond, closed in 2012, have begun to dry up so prices have begun to skyrocket for their remaining supplies.