Tortola’s Legendary Callwood Rum Distillery


Caribbean Journal’s Alexander Brittell (“Rum Journal: Tortola’s Legendary Rum Distillery”) focuses on the historic Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola—one of the oldest distilleries in:

The boiler is smoldering, the smell of sugarcane alchemy pungent in the air, steps across the road from the beach. There’s a reason, after all, why they call it Cane Garden Bay.

Here, in an old stone building in Tortola, is one of the most precious corners of the history of rum in the Caribbean, a fundament of the British Virgin Islands’ cultural heritage.

This is the Callwood Rum Distillery, a sugarcane plantation and distillery whose history of rummaking dates back some 400 years. This place has survived for four centuries, with a brief interruption last year thanks to the installation of a new roof, until, four months after [Hurricane] Irma, it was back in operation. It just might be the oldest working rum distillery in the Caribbean. [. . .]

It’s a remarkable place to walk around, with a palpable sense of wonder and mystery, a dusty corner of rum lore, a largely forgotten distillery whose rums seldom make it beyond Beef Island Airport. It’s an important, venerable stop on the pilgrimage map for rum lovers. [. . .]


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