For a local rum distiller in the Cayman Islands, the area’s reputation as a diving hot spot extends well beyond seeing plentiful marine life.
other rum manufacturers, Grand Cayman’s Seven Fathoms Distillery ages its fermented sugarcane and molasses in wooden
barrels located seven fathoms (42ft/13m) underwater. The craft micro-distillery’s co-founder,
Walker Romanica, got the idea for this unusual process after reading a
biography of the Bacardi family. In the 1700s and 1800s, the Bacardi rum
company attributed their numerous awards to the fact that the distillery was
located near railway tracks. The constant rattling of the barrels kept exposing
the liquor to different parts of the wood, for a more even distribution of barrel
molecules throughout the spirit.
that under the sea there is a unique humidity, pressure and temperature profile
that’s impossible to replicate on land. The constant push and pull of the waves
does the traditional distiller’s job of rotating the barrels. Ever since one of
the company’s first barrels was discovered (and returned safely), the company has
kept the underwater aging location top secret.
West Indian history immersed in the rum trade, the Seven Fathoms Distillery produces
the only spirit made entirely in the Cayman Islands. The rum goes down smooth
and dry, and features distinct sugarcane and citrus notes and earthy, oaky
vanilla flavours. (It’s meant for sipping, not shooting.) About 200 people a
week take the Seven Fathoms Distillery tour, offered from Monday to Saturday, which
includes a rum tasting and a walk-through of the refining, aging and blending
can be ordered at Binny’s
in the US or the Whisky
Exchange in the UK.