A Rich History
Monymusk Plantation Rums is distilled and blended by National Rums of Jamaica Limited, The name Monymusk comes from the sugar estate bearing the same name which produced rum and sugar before the abolition of slavery and continues to support the distillery with rich Jamaican molasses.
National Rums of Jamaica Limited wholly owns the Long Pond Distillers Limited which is world renowned for its rich pot sill rums, the Innswood location which is an aging and storage facility and seventy three per cent (73%) of Clarendon Distillers Limited.
In Jamaica, rum is produced by the fermentation of cane molasses obtained as a by-product of the raw sugar industry. The molasses is pumped to the distillery from the sugar factory or by truckloads and discharged into storage tanks. The molasses is diluted with water to a certain brix and the mixture is channelled into large containers where yeast is added for fermentation. During Fermentation, the yeast through its enzymatic metabolic activity breaks down the sugar content in the molasses into alcohol and carbon-dioxide gas. The alcohol produced in the wash ranges from six point five (6.5%) per cent to seven (7%) per cent.
Two different types of fermentation processes are applied depending on whether Light or Heavy Rum is being produced.
For Light Rums, the fermentation is controlled; the yeast is kept with limited contamination with other microorganisms. For Heavy Rums, fermentation is spontaneous/natural and various types of microbial flora are mixed with the yeast.
Controlled fermentation takes between thirty (30) and forty (40) hours.
The end of the fermentation is signalled by the absence of carbon dioxide ‘bubbles.’ The wash that remains is called ‘dead wash’ and this substance is distilled in columns, cooled by a condenser and collect as bulk rum. With natural fermentation, dead wash emerges between seven (7) and ten (10) days. For aging, the rum is stored in special wooden barrels in a specially conditioned warehouse. Different types of aged light and heavy rums are blended for both aroma and taste.
Clarendon Distillers Limited (CDL) is located on six acres of land in Monymusk, Lionel Town, Clarendon.
The distillery was initially owned by the Monymusk Sugar Factory which began its operations in 1901 and is among Jamaica’s oldest sugar and rum producing estates. Historical information from the Jamaica Sugar Industry suggests that in 1901, the estate was owned and operated by the Honourable Colonel C. J. Ward. In 1916, ownership of the facility was transferred to the Lindo Brothers and they maintained possession until 1928 when the estate was sold to Clarendon Plantation Limited. By 1929, there was another change of ownership; this time, the estate was acquired by the United Fruit Company.
The United Fruit Company maintained ownership until 1936 when the Jamaica Sugar Manufacturing Company and Clarendon Plantation Limited purchased it. By 1937, ownership was transferred to the West Indies Sugar Company and this company oversaw operations until 1976 when the ownership of the estate was transferred to the Government of Jamaica in the form of the Sugar Corporation of Jamaica
The Sugar Corporation of Jamaica divested its interest in rum in 1980 and the operation of the distillery came under the control of National Rums of Jamaica. The distillery remained a wholly owned subsidiary of National Rums of Jamaica up to 2006.
National Rums of Jamaica’s Innswood facility, located in Innswood St. Catherine began operations as a distillery in 1956.
It was owned by the Innswood Sugar Factory. The distillation aspect of the factory was transferred to National Rums of Jamaica in 1980. The facility specialized in Continuous Still/ Column Still rums. Distilling operations at this plant ceased in 1993.
Since 2000, the facility has been used as an aging and blending facility for the portion of the rum produced by the Clarendon Distillery and the Long Pond Distillery that is not exported. The facility is also used for the preparation of denatured rum that is sold for the production of rubbing alcohol, bay rum and cosmetics.
The Long Pond Distillery, situated in Clarke’s Town, Trelawny, emerged from a series of amalgamations and acquisitions that date back to the seventeenth century.
The Distillery was owned by the Long Pond Sugar Factory and the associated estate up to the time of its divestment in 1977.
Earliest recorded owners of the Long Pond Sugar Estate was Sir Simon Clarke, 9th in the line of the Baronet in the Clarke family from Cheshire, England. In 1921, Messrs Sheriff and Company, Scottish distillers, purchased the estate. By 1945, other estates such as Cambridge, Linton Park, Belmont, Lottery and Water Valley were brought under the Long Pond name. In 1949, the Kinloss Estate was also acquired and brought under the Long Pond name.
By 1953 the estate was owned by the Jamaican government and it was sold in this same year to Seagrams Limited of Montreal Canada which needed a steady supply of rum for the Captain Morgan brand rum. The Government of Jamaica bought the Trelawny Estates in 1977 and renamed it the National Sugar Company of Long Pond. In 1980, National Rums of Jamaica was incorporated to assume the distillery assets of the National Sugar Company.