Bristol Spirits

There are now around 10 rums in the Bristol Classics list, most of which have been aged in cask in English warehouses for between 10 and 25 years. Each is from a single still, or a single estate. Interestingly the rums exhibit a range of styles easily equal to that perceived in fine Cognacs or Malt Whiskies.

It is a basic principle that Bristol Spirits bottle only small lots of rum -three or four casks -so the list is continually changing. All are bottled at the relatively high strength of 46% abv., which is considered the optimum for tasting fine spirits. None is chill-filtered. As the range became more widely known and distributed, the company started to experiment with 'finishing' the ageing in different casks, such as new French oak, ex-Bourbon white oak, and casks that had previously held Port and Madeira.

In order to provide an 'entry' brand at an approachable price, Bristol Spirits now bottles The Caribbean Collection. This is a blend of golden island rums, matured in England for an average of five years, at 40% abv; and "G&G", a blend of very young white rum from Guyana and Guadeloupe, at a very high 59% abv. according to Caribbean tradition. John Barrett is the driving force and founder of Bristol Spirits, which specialises in the 'early landed' principle when it comes to ageing spirit. It was back in the 18th Century that the English discovered there was a significant difference between Cognac aged in English cellars to that aged in the Charente region. Barrett over the years became a specialist in this arcane trade, and formed close links with the most celebrated distillers in Cognac and Jarnac, later spreading his net to some of the finest Armagnac and Calvados. Rum is the most recent spirit to get the company's early- landed treatment.

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