What’s in a Name?
John Watling’s is named after a 17th Century buccaneer nicknamed Pious Pirate, because he observed the Sabbath and forbade all forms of gambling aboard his ships. He was quite active and well known throughout the Caribbean and along the coast between 1680 and 1703. Around 1709 he sailed for San Salvador and named it after himself. In fact, the island remained Watling Island until 1925.
Making John Watling’s Rum
Every bottle of John Watling’s rum starts with hand-cut, fresh-pressed sugar cane molasses that is then filtered with charcoal made from local carbonized coconut husks. These fine distillates are sourced from across the Caribbean and aged in white oak bourbon barrels for up to five years. As the distillates mellow and age in their barrels, up to ten per cent of the liquid’s volume evaporates through the rum barrels each year—called “the angel’s share”. Nassau’s tropical climate speeds up the aging process, so even though John Watling’s rum is aged for five years, its taste and flavor development is comparable to that of a 12-year-old Scotch whisky.
John Watling’s Master Blender carefully monitors the aging process, using his expert knowledge (and proprietary techniques) to determine when the rum has been aged to perfection and is ready for bottling.
Once it’s met the Master Blender’s standards, the rum is bottled using the least amount of mechanization possible to ensure quality and the care of a hand-crafted touch. Finally, each bottle is adorned with sisal from Andros and Cat Island—a durable fiber traditionally used to make rope and twine.
Types of Rum
John Watling’s, known as “the spirit of The Bahamas”, produces four different kinds of rum at its distillery: pale rum, amber rum, Buena Vista rum, and single barrel rum.
Pale Rum – Smooth and light-bodied, this hand-blended rum is aged for two years in Bourbon barrels, resulting in rum with a woody character and dry finish.
Amber Rum – Medium-bodied, exceptionally smooth with a warm, peppery finish. This hand-blended rum is barrel-aged for three years resulting in flavors of vanilla and nut with a toasted woody and walnut aroma.
Buena Vista Rum – Smooth and harmonious, this blended rum is aged for five years in Bourbon barrels, creating a rum with rich notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla.
Single Barrel Rum – Bottled from the barrel at cask strength after a four-year aging period, John Watling’s single barrel rums are unique, full-bodied, and exceptionally smooth.
Visit John Watling’s Distillery in Nassau
Experience the history of The Buena Vista Estate and the care of the rum distillation process with a free tour of John Watling’s Distillery. The estate is open from 10am-6pm seven days a week, with the exception of Fridays when it closes at 9pm. Tour the property, get a first-hand look at the production and bottling process, enjoy a complimentary sample of piña colada and rum at the onsite Red Turtle Tavern.
“A must see quick trip — The grounds and old buildings are beautiful. Feels like a step back in time.”
— rfemgen, Trip Advisor