New in-store distillery opens

Distiller Jordan Telford pours the first bottle of Tortuga’s Cayman-made rum for company owner Robert Hamaty. – PHOTO: GARY FRANKLIN

The Tortuga Rum Company is producing and marketing its first Cayman-made rum.

The company, famous for its rum cakes and liquor stores, has built a new distillery at its store in Seven Mile Shops.

Visitors get a literal window into the production process. The distillery, behind a large glass window, can be seen from the shop and tourists can learn how rum is made and bottle their own to take home.

“It brings a new experience to the store,” said Robert Hamaty, owner of the company. “There have been some changes in the industry and we have to do something a little different.”

The still produces small batches of rum for sale at that location only.

Mr. Hamaty said if the venture was successful, he would try the same thing at his West Bay store.

Jordan Telford, the distiller, said he would show tourists how the process works and they would have the chance to taste the rum and take it home.

“The focus is on quality, not quantity,” he added.

He said he was happy with the results of the first batch but believed the rum would get better with age.

Michael Delevante, who designed the still, said he believed the rum could be as good as any produced in the Caribbean.

“It is very good already, but aging is going to make it better,” he added.

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