On Grenada you will find many rum factories, but the oldest is River Antoine Rum Factory. Not only is it the oldest rum distillery in Grenada, but one of the oldest within the entire Caribbean region. Started in 1785 and still made in the same style. In fact, the water wheel that provides the mechanical energy even today was first built in 1840.
I have visited many rum factories over the years and this one is one of my very favorites. That is because it feels like you have stepped back in time as soon as you get here. The water wheel still crushes sugar cane to get juice out. They have the same conveyor belt carrying the cane to the top of the crusher and then down it goes. What comes out is crushed cane. It gets hauled out along a track and then dumped down the hill of crushed cane. I was absolutely astonished at the amount of crushed cane everywhere. The piles were 15-20 feet high and seemed to go on forever.
The juice on the other hand runs into another building where it is fermented in copper pots. I am not going to lie, this stuff looked disgusting……with that said I still had to dip my finger in and try it. It tasted sweet. From there it goes into the stills and is brewed to such a high potency it is considered explosive and not allowed on airplanes.
The bottling is done by pouring the aged rum (done in barrels for 1 month to years) into a round igloo water cooler and then using the spout to fill the bottles. To say their production is limited is an understatement. In fact, there is not enough rum for the islands demand, much less to export it.
The potency is high enough that when I tried a sample my eyes bugged out, nose hair singed, and fire seemed to come out of my mouth. I had to shake my head back and forth to clear the brain. WOW!!!! Haha