- List of Puerto Rican rums
Rum("ron" in Spanish) producing has long been an important part of Puerto Rico's economy since the 16th. century. While sugar caneharvesting has virtually disappeared in Puerto Rico (except for a few isolated farms and agricultural experiments), distilleries around the country still produce large amounts of rum every year.
Partial list of current Puerto Rican rums
Bacardi- the best selling brand of all, bottled in the town of Cataño, across San Juan Harbor from the city of Old San Juan.
Boca Chica Rum
Ron del Barrilito
*Ron Cañita Cura'o (Extra Strength)
Rums once produced in the city of Mayagüez
The city of Mayagüez had various rum producing companies, some of which were contractors for
United States- and Bahamian-based public and private brands. The most successful was José González Clemente y Co. (JGC); other companies were: Ron Oro Nativo (RON, whose parent company was Seagram), Alfredo Vega Toro y Co. (AVT), Baltasar Cruz y Co. (BC), Luis García y Co. (LG), Julio Maldonado y Co. (JM), the Mayagüez Rum Company (MRC), and "Primitivo Grau y Co (PG). Among the brands produced in Mayagüez were (bottler in parentheses):
*Christopher Columbus Rum (RON, credited as being bottled by the Christopher Columbus Rum Co.)
*Government House Rum (MRC)
*Myer's Rum - bottled once in Mayagüez by JGC, later bottled by Destilería Serrallés, Inc. in Ponce
*Reserva Especial (RON)
*Ron 738 (LG)
*Ron Delicias (JM)
*Ron El Campesino (JM)
*Ron El Invencible (BC)
*Ron Imporico (JCG) - an imitator of Ronrico
*Ron Latino (AVT)
*Ron Mister Kuba (JM)
*Ron Oro Nativo (RON)
*Ron Patria y Cuna (JGC)
*Ron Rey de Copas (BC)
*Ron Superior Escudo (BC) - an imitator of Ron Superior; use of the name was discontinued due to an injunction by JGC
*Ron Superior Puerto Rico (JGC) - the best known brand, which lasted from 1909 until the company's closing in 1980.
*Ron Caneca (PG) - Known to this day for the flask-shapped bottle. Now produced organically by descendents of Primitivo Grau.
*Ron Toro Negro (LG)
*Ron Yagüez (LG)
Samples of all these brands or their labels are kept as part of the historical collection of the
Castillo Serrallésin Ponce.
Rums produced in the city of Arecibo [Oliver, José Víctor, Historia licorera de Arecibo]
The main rum producing enterprise in Arecibo is Barceló, Marqués y Co. Its current flagship brand is Ron Palo Viejo.
(Correction - Ron Palo Viejo is now owned by Serrallés, who's flagship rum is Don Q)
Rum has been produced in Arecibo since the second half of the 19th. century. Roses, García y Co. was bottling their "Ron de la Casa de Roses" as early as 1868. Ron Llave dates from 1891, and by 1893 they were purveyors of rum under license from the Royal house of Spain.
There were several rum producers in Arecibo by the beginning of the 20th. century. Most of them merged into a single entity, the Puerto Rico Distilling Co., which was formally incorporated on February 2, 1911. The new company eventually became the principal supplier of partially refined or final product to rum companies in Mayagüez and Bayamón. During
Prohibitionthe company turned into producing denaturalized alcohol, bay rum(up to 265 different brands of bay rum were eventually produced at the main distilling plant, including the best-selling Alcoholado Superior 70 and Alcoholado Santa Claus) and other industrial products. Rum production returned in 1934, with Ron Candado. A joint venture with Florida Cane Products, Inc. spawned a new corporation, Ronrico, in 1935, which had considerable success selling rum in the United States. A new distilling plant was opened in 1942.
The following are rums produced in Arecibo (or in nearby Barceloneta while the holding company was Arecibo-based:
*Ron Tres Estrellas
*Ron San Isidro
* Ron Palo Viejo (Produced in Camuy, near Arecibo)
Rums produced in the city of Ponce
The main rum producing enterprise in Ponce is Destilería Serrallés, Inc., which has been producing rum in site since 1865, with some interruptions. Its flagship brand,
Ron Don Q(short for Don Quixote, the favorite character of one of the Serrallés family heirs) dates from 1932. Don Q is still a popular brand in Puerto Rico.
Some holding companies for rum labels were based in the nearby town of Adjuntas.
Rums produced in the city of Bayamón
Ron del Barrilito(two-star and three-star varieties)
Ron del Barrilito's production process is considered by experts to be the closest thing to that used traditionally to distill rum in the 19th century. Some outside reviewers also consider it to be Puerto Rico's best rum. The company producing it was founded by
Edmundo Fernandezin the early 1800s. It has produced its rum inside a brick and mortar windmill tower located originally within a sugar cane plantation, the "Hacienda Santa Ana", now an industrial park in the outskirts of Bayamón. Its yearly production run is a limited one.
Cañita or illegal rum production
In addition to those brands, illegal artisans of "
moonshine" rum, nicknamed "Cañita" (not to be confused with the current "legal" brand, which merely adopted the popular term, and which had a precursor in the late 1930s) or "Pitorro" rum, tend to operate in Puerto Rico, particularly around the Christmasseason. The word "pitorro" is actually a corruption of the word "pintorro", an Andalusian term used to depict inferior-quality wine or rum that had a weak color (hence the name). Clandestine rum operations are rather uncommon nowadays in Puerto Rico, given the fact that sugar cane production has dwindled in Puerto Rico since the closing of government-owned "centrales" or mills. Nevertheless, authorities confiscate many "cañita"/"pitorro" rum productions every year. A town renowned for its "pitorro" production is Añasco, given its proximity to Mayagüez (rum production talent and recipes) and its former (and current, in some areas) harvesting of sugar cane.
* [http://www.rumcapital.com Official Rums of Puerto Rico website]
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