The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The West Indies Rum and Spir­its Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Inc. (WIRSPA) re­cently or­ga­nized an ed­u­ca­tional event about Au­then­tic Caribbean Rum for spir­its in­flu­encers and jour­nal­ists from the United States and Canada. Guests had the op­por­tu­nity to see the pro­duc­tion of rum from sugar cane through to the fin­ished prod­uct. Twelve brands from the re­gion, in­clud­ing St. Lu­cia Dis­tillers also took ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity to present their finest rum se­lec­tion.

Vis­it­ing pro­fes­sion­als were in­tro­duced to re­gional rum pro­duc­ers through brand pre­sen­ta­tions and tast­ings that show­cased the qual­ity, di­ver­sity and ver­sa­til­ity of rums un­der the Au­then­tic Caribbean Rum Mar­que. Michael Speak­man, Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor of St. Lu­cia Dis­tillers was on hand to talk to jour­nal­ists about the com­pany and un­der­take a tu­tored tast­ing of their most pre­mium rums.

The event, which took place in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic was part of the ed­u­ca­tional cam­paign for the Au­then­tic Caribbean Rum Mar­que and brands. At­ten­dees vis­ited four dif­fer­ent rum fa­cil­i­ties in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic and Haiti to see sugar cane grow­ing, milling, fer­men­ta­tion, dis­til­la­tion, age­ing and blend­ing through to the fin­ished prod­uct.

Speak­ing to lo­cal jour­nal­ists and in­ter­na­tional press, Chair­man of WIRSPA, Dr. Frank Ward spoke of the so­cio-eco­nomic im­por­tance of rum to the re­gion. With in­di­rect em­ploy­ment in ex­cess of 100,000 peo­ple, around US$550 mil­lion in for­eign ex­change and US$300 mil­lion in taxes linked to the in­dus­try, it is the key agro-in­dus­trial sec­tor for gov­ern­ments and pro­vides a crit­i­cal life­line for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, as many pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties are lo­cated in eco­nom­i­cally chal­lenged ru­ral ar­eas of our re­gion.

Michael Speak­man of St. Lu­cia Dis­tillers said, “We strive to dif­fer­en­ti­ate our­selves with unique prod­ucts, and this event was an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to show­case some of these. We fea­tured our well known Chair­man’s Re­serve and our For­got­ten Casks, which has a great story be­hind it, and this re­ally strikes a chord with writ­ers. We also had Ad­mi­ral Rod­ney there, and as af­ford­able su­per pre­mium rum, we are now in the po­si­tion of hav­ing to limit or­ders be­cause our aged stock can’t keep up with de­mand.”

Sales and Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor for St Lu­cia Dis­tillers, Michael Speak­man ex­plain­ing how Chair­man’s Re­serve

gets its won­der­ful taste.

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