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Angostura Bitters (Dr. J.G.B. Siegert & Sons) Ltd.
Only 29 of 50 labels are shown. Underplayed labels are variations with minor differences.
Angostura International Ltd|
Fernandes Distillers (1973) Ltd., Laventille
Trinidad Distillers Ltd.
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THE STORY OF ANGOSTURA® BITTERS
Originally from Germany, Johann Siegert, a doctor of medicine, left his homeland in 1820, the call of adventure ringing in his ears. He was bound for Venezuela, to join with Simon Bolivar in his fight against the Spanish throne. Bolivar then appointed him Surgeon-General of the Military Hospital in the town of Angostura.
Dr. Siegert was above all a scientist. A scientist with a keen enquiring mind. He had seen soldiers battered by the enemy from without and within, by severe fevers and internal stomach disorders.
From the beginning Dr. Siegert was determined to wrest a cure from nature itself and after four years of trial and error, researching and analysing the qualities of tropical herbs and plants, he finally arrived at a unique blend of herbs which he called “Amargo Aromatico” or aromatic bitters. The year was 1824. Dr. Siegert hoped to use the bitters to bring relief to his patients, his small circle of family and friends, but these events were to prove otherwise. From these humble beginnings an international industry was soon to rise.
In 1830, Dr. Siegert exported his unique aromatic bitters to England and Trinidad. By 1850, he had resigned his commission in the Venezuelan army, to concentrate on the manufacture of his bitters, since by then demand had leapt ahead of supply.
By the time Dr. Siegert died in 1870, his reputation and that of his Angostura® aromatic bitters were internationally established. Dr. J.G.B. Siegert & Hijo, a partnership with his son, Carlos, was established in 1867 by Dr. Siegert. Two years after the death of Dr. Siegert, the name was changed to Dr. J.G.B. Siegert & Hijos, to include younger brother, Alfredo Siegert.
HOME TO TRINIDAD
In 1903 Carlos Siegert died followed in two years by Luis, making Alfredo the sole owner of the secret formula for Angostura® aromatic bitters.
Alfredo speculated in several business projects and lost heavily, great sums of money, and the House of Angostura passed into the hands of its creditors.
The company survived some hard times, a bid from a US distributor and another from a Canadian business man, both of who would have transplanted the industry outside of Trinidad. They were unsuccessful. Some forty years later, the company was back in the hands of the Siegert family.
THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA GROUP
By the turn of the century, the Company ventured into the rum market, at first just in bottling bulk rum from other distillers. After years of intensive research in fermentation and distillation processes, the Company installed a state-of-the-art distillery in 1945 heralding its entry into the production of rum on a major scale. By the end of 1960, the Company had extended distribution of its products to over 140 countries across the world, becoming well known internationally for its high quality rums in addition to the now world famous Angostura® aromatic bitters
On November 1st 1985, the Company was extremely honoured when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II visited the plant on her state visit to Trinidad and Tobago.
Within the past few years, Angostura has doubled its overall distillation and storage capacity in Trinidad with average production levels rising from 1.3 million litres in 1960 to 20 million litres in 1998. At the turn of the century, rectification capacity increased to 50 million litres. More than 95% is exported to consumers all over the world.
The core business of the House of Angostura is now located on a 20 acre complex in Trinidad and includes its administration facility, a museum, art gallery, auditorium, merchandising shop, wine and spirits retail outlet, dining room and hospitality suites which facilitate visitor tours. In 1997, the Company installed a new manufacturing facility for its line of sauces which was previously packaged in the United States of America. Increasing sales of Angostura® aromatic bitters have continue to define the taste of international and Caribbean cuisine.
Angostura is part of Angostura Group. The Group’s ultimate parent company is C L Financial Limited, a company incorporated in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Angostura Holdings Ltd (AHL) is incorporated in Trinidad and Tobago and its subsidiaries are engaged in the manufacture and sale of rum and other spirits, Angostura bitters, the bottling of alcoholic beverages, production and sale of food products and the holding of long-term investments. In the local market, AHL enjoys a dominant position with over 90% of market share despite increasing competition from domestic and foreign producers. On the international scene, AHL has significant leverage of its brand name with its bitters product and is certified ISO 9000 and 9004 with regard to environmental standards and manufacturing process requirements.
AHL’s subsidiaries include
- Angostura Ltd. (TT) 100%
- Trinidad Distillers (TT) 100%
- Fernandes Ltd. (TT) 100%
- Anstor Ltd. (TT) 100%
- Servis Ltd. (TT) 100%
- Angostura Int’l Ltd. (USA and Canada) 100%
- C.V. Finer Foods Inc. (USA) 100%
- Todhunter Int’l Inc. (USA) 51%
- Todhunter Imports (USA) 51%
- Silver Rock Enterprise Inc. (BVI) 100%
It was perfect for Angostura when eighty percent of its production was high-quality, light-flavored bulk rum.
Bacardi had a controlling stake in the firm until 1997, and most of the Bacardi sold in the Caribbean came from here.
Parent company C.L. Financial has moved from nowhere to global player in record time; it controls Todhunter/Cruzan, owns Scotch distiller Bum-Stewart, Hine Cognac, and has stakes in distillers in St. Lucia, Surinam, and Poland. Importantly, it is Trinidad-owned.