Cockspur Five Star Barbados Rum

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Cockspur rum was founded by Valdemar Hanschell in 1884. He was of Danish descent and came to Barbados via the Virgin Islands where he had worked for several years in the ship brokerage business. Settling in Barbados, which had become one of the biggest shipping ports in the Western Hemisphere at that time, he founded a ship chandlery, supplying to visiting ships – ropes, sails, salt, fresh fruit, meat and of course rum. Through the years, business thrived and so too did the popularity of Cockspur rum. He took on a partner, expanded his trade into exports and became Hanschell Larson.

Cockspur became known internationally, continued to grow and through a later merger, Hanschell Inniss was formed. That company still blends and bottles Cockspur today at the West Indies Rum Distillery. The origins of rum on the island reach back to 1637, when Dutchman Pieter Blower brought in the first sugar cane plants from Brazil. By the 1640s sugar plantations and factories were developing and molasses – the cane juice residue – was being distilled into a spirit known as kill devil. Made in simple pot stills, adjacent to the wind driven sugar mills on each plantation, kill devil helped to make the planters wealthy. They sold it to taverns and ships, and by 1650 over 200 thousand gallons of the fiery liquid were being produced. The first recorded use of the name rum bullion appears in 1651 by an unknown visitor to Barbados and shortly after it was abbreviated to rum. Hence Barbados is generally regarded as the birthplace of rum.

Cockspur Five Star Barbados Rum is matured slowly in American white oak barrels before being expertly blended to create the final product. Significantly smoother on the palate than many other brown spirits, the quality stands out whether it’s straight or mixed.


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