Plantation Rum owner buys Barbados distilleryBy Amy Hopkins
Maison Ferrand, maker of Plantation Rum, has acquired the historic West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) in Barbados for an undisclosed sum, marking the company’s first foray into distillation outside of France.
As part of the deal, Ferrand will also have access to Jamaican rum stocks since WIRD is part owner of National Jamaican Rum Company, which runs the Monymusk and Long Pond distilleries.
Jamaican rum is said to be the “second source” of rum for Plantation, while Barbadian rum provides the “backbone” of the brand’s vintage editions and special blends.
Since 2003, Ferrand has selected rum from different Caribbean distilleries to age and blend for Plantation Rum. The company also produces the Cognac Ferrand and Citadelle Gin brands at its facility in Cognac, France.
“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.”
WIRD has continually produced rum since the 19th century. Maison Ferrand said it hopes to “tap back to the early roots” of the distillery and restart production of its “ancient” pot stills, one of which has been dormant for almost 100 years.
Ferrand also said that WIRD will “continue to honour” is third party production contracts with other brands.
“We control the production of our Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin because we own the facilities in Cognac,” continued Gabriel. “We love challenging ourselves to make the best there is and it requires total commitment.
“We wanted the same holistic involvement for our Plantation Rum so this investment is the natural course of things for us. We are both excited and humbled by what lies ahead.”
In 2015, Maison Ferrand released its pineapple-infused Plantation Rum – Stiggin’s Fancy as a permanent annual limited edition.