THE BIRTH OF A BEVERAGE
Barbados, Caribbean, 1631. On 21 miles of palm-fringed island, the spirit rum was born. Molasses formed the basis of the drink, a viscous by-product of the sugar plantations. That sticky syrup was mixed with water. The result? Drinkable alchemy.
First known as ‘Rumbullion’ and ‘Kill-Devil’, 17th century rum was not the smooth spirit it is today. It was hard, unsophisticated and dangerous — “a hellish and terrible liquor”. Back then, nobody dreamed that a tiny island paradise would spawn a beverage revolution; that sliver of sand in the North Atlantic, that paradise of sugar....
TODAY’S ROARING RUM TRADE
Today, Bajans drink over 250,000 cases of rum a year and 1600 rum shops operate on the island. The country attracts over half a million visitors in tourist season thanks to pristine beaches and that mighty molasses. But there is one Barbadian rum that truly captures the spirit of the people, delivering notes of aromatic spice, tantalizing tropical fruits, luxurious vanilla, and silken caramel.
BAJAN 1966 carries on age-old Caribbean traditions with a rum worthy of its name. It’s the epitome of a nation and its visionary people, brimming with culture, heritage and taste. The motto of Barbados is ‘Pride and Industry’ which perfectly captures the spirit of the country. On a tiny island, in the middle of the Atlantic, we made something out of nothing.
IF SUGAR WAS QUEEN, MOLASSES WAS KING
From 1643, sugar and rum production became the mainstay of the market, with the drink transcending class and race. Pirates, sailors, plantation workers and society’s upper echelons all enjoyed a glass...or case. Windmills dotted Barbados’ landscape, powering over 500 sugarcane factories. The island’s rum trade was booming — transitioning from grass roots endeavor to global undertaking.
BAJAN 1966 IS A RUM FOR LIFE
Our regal, barrel-aged rum was named in honor of Barbados’ Independence which was granted on November 30th, 1966 after 300 plus years as a British colony. Dominated by a lucrative sugar industry, once run on the blood, sweat and tears of African slaves, this historic date marked more than our emancipation — it sparked cultural and economic change.
Rum is still the essence of Barbados, the DNA of the nation. Old-timers even call it, “the nectar of life,” there through heartbreak, romance and exultation. Day and night, on palm-fringed streets, families, friends and strangers-just-met are seduced by its dark and delicious taste. You could say that rum is the oil in our engines, the beat behind our rhythm, the spirit of Barbados.
Half a century may have passed since our Independence, but our country celebrates in serious style when November rolls around. We revel in 50 plus years of emancipation, hosting parades, socials and festivals.
BAJAN 1966 is the people’s rum, a drink for any occasion. Relax, unwind and sip that tipple. Be inspired by the spirit of freedom.
BAJAN 1966 Alchemy
BAJAN 1966 is an alchemical mix of limestone-filtered water, midnight molasses and the joy that coursed through the veins of our people when Barbados gained Independence. Our emancipation from British rule is more than a date, it’s in the very DNA of our nation. The spirit of freedom continues to flourish — in fertile soils, in emerald sugar cane, and in every drop of our seductive rum. It’s even carried in the northeast trade winds which helped bring our drink to the world.
Water: Barbados is formed of porous coral limestone which acts as a natural filter for the island’s deep spring of groundwater. Our water is some of the purest in the world, only adding to our rum’s impeccable quality.
Molasses: Barbadian sugar is celebrated globally for its superior grain and taste. In the 18th century, its by-product molasses was known as ‘Black Gold’, due to its economic significance. Viscous and sweet, Molasses is a full-bodied syrup that truly pops with flavour. It’s the liquid that remains once the sugar cane has been boiled and its crystallized sugar extracted.
BAJAN 1966 is made at an award-winning and environmentally friendly distillery in the heart of Barbados situated on an 8-acre former sugar factory that dates back to 1636, where fine rums have been made for nearly 100 years. Our rum is distilled using a proprietary blend of column and pot still distillates resulting in a complex, layered and robust rum that tantalizes the palate.
Fermentation begins when molasses and the island’s limestone-filtered water are combined with a special yeast. This process is conducted outdoors, under the bluest Barbados skies, a tradition originating in the 18th century.
The rum is aged in heavy-charred American oak barrels, which previously housed bourbon. This process delivers additional flavours and aromas, unlike other rum brands.
BAJAN 1966 is unadulterated, meaning no added sugars, flavours or perfumes have been added to the blend. It’s an impeccably smooth sipping rum that can be enjoyed by absolutely everybody.