John Watling’s Distillery has marked the start of 2019 by exporting its namesake rum to the US and selling it online via its website.
The Bahamian company, located at the 1789 Buena Vista Estate in downtown Nassau, has hired Park Street Imports as its US distributor while Passion Spirits will make the product available for online sales through www.johnwatlings.com.
John Watling’s, named after a 17th century buccaneer, said in a statement that its sales expansion drive began on January 2. Its rums are named after Watling, the English buccaneer who in the 1670s landed on San Salvador and named it after himself.
The rum are crafted from two distillates made from hand-cut sugarcane molasses that are aged in The Bahamas for one to seven years in order to produce the Pale, Amber, Single Barrel and Buena Vista rum brands.
John Watling’s staff pass the light distillate through a filter containing charred coconut husks. This charcoal removes unwanted congeners or flavour components that are not desired in the final product.
The barrels selected for ageing are medium toasted, made from American white oak and previously used to make Bourbon. Close to five percent of the distillate being aged is lost annually due to evaporation, and is known as the “Angel’s Share”.
Once the distillate has been aged for two to seven years, the master blender employs close to 175 years of Spanish, French and English know-how to craft each rum. After blending, the rums are left to rest for 24 hours. During the filling process no pumps are used in order not to bruise the rum.
John Watling’s employs 20 Bahamians instead of machines to fill, cork and hand label each and every bottle. The company’s environmental commitments require the least amount of mechanisation possible, which is why each bottle is hand-numbered and a sisal plait - hand woven by a female cooperative in Cat Island and South Andros - is carefully affixed to the neck of each bottle.
John Watling’s says its rums are the only Bahamian spirits listed as “recommended” by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, Illinois. They have been recognised and honoured by “The Fifty Best” in New York City, New York; BarLife Magazine from the Czech Republic; Rum Bahamas in Nassau, Bahamas; Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami, Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, Illinois; and the Concurso de Ron in Madrid, Spain.