Thu | Jul 2, 2020

Hampden Estates adds rum capacity

Published:Sunday | May 31, 2020 | 12:24 AM
Hampden Estates is now powering its boilers with LNG.
Hampden Estates is now powering its boilers with LNG.

Rum distillers Hampden Estates says it is looking to boost output by 45 per cent after a US$1.5-million investment.

The producers of Rum Fire, Hampden Estate, and bulk rum for export, which is owned by the Hussey family-controlled Everglade Farms, has tripled the warehouse space it uses for ageing rum, added two 5,000-gallon copper pot stills, and increased cane-crushing capacity.

Managing Director Andrew Hussey says the company made the investment to meet increased and future demand for rum, measured in litres of absolute alcohol, or LAA.

“When Everglades Farms Limited acquired Hampden in 2009, it was producing only 140,000 LAA. This has increased significantly over the past decade, with the volume of confirmed orders for 2020 being 1,300,000 LAA.” Hussey told the Financial Gleaner.

He says the expansion was financed by borrowings from JMMB Bank and would position the company to do more exports, a segment that accounts for 95 per cent of its production.

“Hampden Estate Single Rum is one of the tropical aged rums distributed worldwide, with over 40,000 bottles being sold in Europe and the UK [United Kingdom] alone in the first quarter of distribution. We also have the Great House rum, which was originally intended to be sold locally in the distillery gift shop but which, due to worldwide demand, is now being produced for the international market,” Hussey said.

Hampden also produces unaged rum which is supplied to the food, liquor, and perfume industries, he said.

The additional storage for aged rums will grow capacity from 2,700 barrels to 11,700 barrels, Hussey said. The addition of the two stills will allow the company to produce about 33,000 barrels of rum, up from around 23,000, Hussey added.

The company is also addressing its operational efficiencies, including conversion from Bunker C fuel to LNG to fire its boilers, through a ­partnership with New Fortress Energy.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com