Barbados is official home of the world’s oldest rum pot still

Barbados is official home of the world’s oldest rum pot still

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley led a group of dignitaries, including Industry Minister Marsha Caddle, for the recommissioning ceremony of the ‘Rockley Pot Still’ held at the West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) on Friday 12th January 2024. The event was also attended by members of the WIRD team.

Affectionately known as the Rockley, the pot still, an integral part of the rum making process, lay dormant for approximately 50 years. In 2022 the intense refurbishment procees began and saw teams from Barbados and Europe lovingly invest over 2,000 working hours and significant funds in its restoration which was based on old blueprints found in the distillery vault.
Affectionately known as the Rockley, the pot still, an integral part of the rum making process, lay dormant for approximately 50 years. In 2022 the intense refurbishment procees began and saw teams from Barbados and Europe lovingly invest over 2,000 working hours and significant funds in its restoration which was based on old blueprints found in the distillery vault.
The drink seen in the still is known as a Coco Colada and you can experience at the Stades Visitor Centre in Brandons, Mighty Grynner Highway

According to David Pym, Pesident and Current owner of John Dore Coppersmith, the Rockley was made by James Shears and Sons, a British coppersmith who operated from 1785 to 1891. Therefore, the Rockley was produced circa 1780s. WIRD’s records show that it was last used locally in the distillation process between 1936 and the 1960s. 

During the Prime Minister's tour at the newly renovated Stades Visitors Centre, she was met by the WIRD team.
During the Prime Minister’s tour at the newly renovated Stades Visitors Centre, she was met by the WIRD team.

This ceremony signalled the official return home for the Rockley and its return to active service creating timeless Barbados rum. It also joins a collection of exceptional and original pot stills WIRD already owns. The event was also a timely event for the organisation, which recently celebrated its 130th anniversary.

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