Wine Importing and Marketing Services

Will Barbados Rum Finally Get Its Own GI? It’s Possible.

Image Courtesy of Mount Gay Rum

St. Nicholas Abbey is a beautifully preserved 17th-century Jacobean mansion and sugarcane plantation, complemented by a kid-friendly heritage railway and, crucially for drinks enthusiasts, a self-sufficient rum distillery. It even produces its own hand-sanitizer, which smells like a mere squeezed lime away from a perfect daiquiri.

Barbados is rum heaven. It’s regarded as its birthplace, after all.

Rum is the country’s largest export and a key draw for tourists. Maximizing its economic potential is paramount for the local economy to thrive, particularly in the aftermath of the declaration of independence from the British Crown, in November of 2021.

And yet, unlike neighboring regions such as Martinique and Jamaica, Barbados rum is yet to have its own geographical indication (GI).

Sugarcane / Image Courtesy of Mount Gay Rum

Admittedly, a GI has long been on the table. A first proposal was presented to the local registrar in 2016 but did not go through as a result of disagreements among the island’s four distilleries: Remy Cointreau-owned Mount Gay, Richard Seale’s Foursquare, St. Nicholas Abbey, and the island’s largest firm, Maison Ferrand-owned West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD).