Friday Happy Hour: Toast Barbados’ Independence With Rum Sixty Six Family Reserve
It’s Independence Day in Barbados today, so naturally we’re celebrating with rum!
Barbados is the birthplace of the quintessential Caribbean spirit, after all, and it sure doesn’t hurt that some of the world’s very best blends are still produced there.
If you know your Barbados history, then you’ll understand why there’s no better rum to be sipping today…
The reason lies in the rum’s very name, Sixty Six, which is a nod to the year 1966 when Barbados gained its independence from the UK. Truth be told, though, Rum Sixty Six is ideal for most any day you feel like treating yourself to something exceptional.
I enjoyed my first taste of it with Patrick a couple February’s ago while liming at the bar at Daphne’s, a happening dining spot located right next to The House in the heart of St. James that just happens to be one of the finest restaurants in Barbados. With one sip of Sixty Six it was readily apparent that this particular rum more than matched Daphne’s chops, perhaps even elevating the place a few notches on its own accord.
What makes Rum Sixty Six so special? Two things: history and the tremendous care that goes into its craftsmanship.
Let’s start with history… Notice the words “Family Reserve” artfully printed in cursive on the label? They’re not just there for show. Rum Sixty Six was really and truly reserved just for the Seale family back in the day.
Five generations of Seales have been making rum in Barbados since as early as 1820, developing a large local and international following with such popular brands as Doorly’s, Old Brigand and Foursquare. The Seale’s were stingy with Rum Sixty Six, however, keeping it all to themselves for years. From the Rum Sixty Six website:
RUM SIXTY SIX Family Reserve is genuinely reserved for family; it is an allocation given exclusively to the British branch of the family which emigrated in the 1960s.
It’s only been a few years that those of us outside the family could get a taste! Realizing all the extra-special effort that goes into making Rum Sixty Six may explain why…
Whereas most rums are the product of distillation in one type of still, the Seale’s blend rums from both column and copper pot stills to make Rum Sixty Six. The combination is electric, bringing together the softer, nuanced flavors typical of column stills with the more robust character you get from copper pot stills to birth something truly unique.
The extra-special touches don’t stop with the stills either. The Seale’s employ a two-stage process to the aging of Rum Sixty Six that absolutely ensures the optimal quality of the finished product.
Rum Sixty Six is initially aged for a period of eight years in small American white oak barrels formerly used to age Bourbon. At that time, the Seale’s give a taste and separate out the casks with the very best product. These “elite” casks then sit for another four years before being filtered at low temperature, bottled and made available to the world.
Well, the luckiest parts of the world, anyway…
The Seale’s only produce about 112 barrels of Rum Sixty Six each year, a small batch that speaks to this fine blend’s formerly full exclusivity.
Still, getting your hands on a bottle is as easy as clicking here and placing an order. All the online retailers listed here ship worldwide, making it easy for just about anyone to join the first family of Bajan rum, at least in their finest spirit…