To say that Chris Blackwell possesses a Midas touch would be a severe understatement. The international entrepreneur’s greatest claim to fame may be introducing the world to reggae through his founding of Island Records and subsequent discovery of Bob Marley, but the highlights on his resume don’t end there. Take, for instance, his Island Outpost hotels – each one unique, intimate and stylish, with an authentic West Indian vibe that make them especially ideal for our Uncommon Caribbean brand of travel.
Just as you couldn’t go wrong in following Blackwell’s ear for music, and you can’t go wrong in following his eye for hotels, it’s a safe bet you won’t go wrong following his taste for his latest venture: rum.
The launch of Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum (AKA: Black Gold) in 2008 actually marked a return for Blackwell to his family’s roots in the rum business, which stretch all the way back to the 17th century. The Blackwell family at one time even maintained management and ownership of Jamaica’s famed Wray & Nephew distillery, which produces and distributes Blackwell Rum today.
The story of Black Gold, and of Blackwell himself, is beautifully represented in the short video above. I met Blackwell at a party in New York soon after he launched Island Outpost in the mid-90’s and I can tell you he was just as cool and laid-back then as he is in this video.
Watching all the absolutely alluring footage of Jamaica’s natural beauty and listening to Blackwell’s easy-going lilt makes me want to hop the next flight to MoBay right now! At the very least, I plan to spend this Saturday trying to get my hands on a bottle of Black Gold so we can post a review as part of our Friday Happy Hour series.
Wish me luck!