Puerto Rico

 

Puerto Rico Distillers, Inc.

Ronrico West Indies Cocktail

Ronrico West Indies Cocktail
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Ronrico Gold Label

Ronrico Gold Label
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Ronrico Purple Label

Ronrico Purple Label
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Ronrico Purple Label

Ronrico Purple Label
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Ronrico

Ronrico
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Rumdinger

Rumdinger

History

In 1862 was in Arecibo established company "Roses y García" by Miguel Roses Bisbal and Sebastián García. In 1868 Roses, García and Cía. started production of rum. Sold it as product of "Casa de Roses".

In 1889 bought Don Miguel and his brother Don Antonio Roses Bisbal in public auction Hacienda Santa Barbara and founded company to producing sugar and brandy.

In February 2 of 1911 was established Puerto Rico Distilling Co. One of its distillery is in Arecibo.

José Víctor Olivar Ledesma


The Arecibo distillery of Puerto Rico Distillers Inc on the north of the island produced no brand of its own. The company, of which Carlos Rossi was President, was at least 51 per cent owned by the Seagram Company (by which name Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Ltd of Canada became known from 1974). It was geared mainly to distilling spirit for Seagram's 'Ronrico' brand marketed in Canada (and a little in Puerto Rico), and to the different specifications of a multitude of blender customers who, as they said, they 'did business as'. These companies, with their separate blending and bottling plants, warehouses and marketing organisations, were referred to by PR Distillers as their 'DBAs'. Each of these rum 'producers', some of which once distilled their own spirit in their own distilleries and still had the word 'destileria' in their name, blended the various types of distillate which they bought in bulk from the Arecibo distillery (and sometimes rum from outside Puerto Rico which PR Distillers had bought in) and put the finished product in bottles. The labels bore the words 'produced and bottled by'. The distillate taken by the DBAs however accounted for only a small proportion of PR Distillers' annual output.

Seagram introduced four year old 'Granado' Puerto Rican rum to America in 1968, the product of one of PR Distillers' customers Destileria Ron Granado, who had their plant close by at Arecibo. Other DBAs were Barcelo Marques & Co whose 'Tres Estrella Gran Reserva' and 'Palo Viejo' brands were produced at Camuy, the latter as Blanco ('Magia Blanca') and Oro; Compania Ron Llave of Arecibo who made the 100 year old brand 'Ron Llave Supremo' also in Blanco and Oro. The Ronrico Rum Company produced 'Ronrico' Blanco and Oro at their Arecibo plant, as well as 'Ronrico 151'. Seagram were promoting 'Ronrico' rum hard in North America and looked forward to increasing overseas sales even further. The Ronrico Company had ageing warehousing facilities at Arecibo for 97,000 white oak barrels containing five million gallons of rum up to six years old and were planning to add to it. The bottled rum for the American market was taken to San Juan for shipment as 'Ronrico' White Gold and Purple Label. White and Gold were of the same quality and both light- bodied, but white, recommended for mixing, was paler and drier than Gold and more suitable as a straight drink or mixing with soda or Coca Cola. Purple was specially distilled for cooking purposes. Other rum producers on the island were Edmundo B Fernandez Inc of Bayaman, whose brandy type 'Ron Barrilito', was originally made as a result of the Spanish Government prohibiting the sale of cognac in Puerto Rico, and was exported in small quantities to USA; the Trigo Corporation who introduced their new 'Paso Fino' rum liqueur in 1980, a very sweet cordiale at 60 proof Gerardo Abascal Junr for whose dark 'Ron Matusalem' there was a certain sale in Florida; Fred L Myers & Son Co whose 'Myers's Rum', Platinum White and Golden Rich were produced at Arecibo and labelled 'Puerto Rican Rum'; Destileria Tropical ('Riondo' Very Fine and Rare); Compania Ron Merito ('Ron Merito' White Label); Mercedita Distilling Co ('Don Juan' Light and Dry); Old San Juan Distilling Co of San Juan ('Ron Extra Fino'). All these obtained their distillate from Puerto Rico Distillers Inc of Arecibo.


Serrallés took its big leap forward in 1985 when it acquired the assets of Puerto Rico Distillers, Inc., a subsidiary of the giant Canadian liquor firm Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Ltd. The acquisition of Seagram's manufacturing facilities in the towns of Camuy and Arecibo, as well as the brand names sold locally by that firm (Palo Viejo, Ron Llave and Granado), enabled Serrallés to more than double its sales volume.

[Source: The Rum Experience by Luis Ayala, 2001, p.117]


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Last modified: May 18, 2003 Created by Petr Hloušek
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