Barbancourt 2004 Silver Seal 11 Year Old
A 2004 vintage Haiti rum, bottled by Silver Seal in 2015.
Silver Seal was founded by Ernesto Mainardi in 2000. This was Mainardi's second bottling company after the esteemed Sestane in 1979. Both companies were sold to Massimo Righi, proprietor of Whisky Antique, in 2010. Since then the company has produced a steady stream of high quality rum to add to its sought after back-catalogue.
Haiti's national spirit is Clairin, an rum-style agricole spirit. There are are 532 distillers of the product on the island. However, Haiti is also home to the world renowned Barbancourt distillery, where this was produced.
The Barbancourt distillery on Haiti was established in 1862 by Dupré Barbancourt, a native to the Charente region of France. Aside from his family (who still own the distillery to this day), he also brought with him a sophisticated knowledge of the double distillation technique used to produce some of his homeland’s finest cognac. Dupré had no children, so when he died the distillery passed to his wife’s family, the Gardères, who still own it to this day. It was Jean Gardère who modernised the operation, moving to a new distillery in 1949, right in the centre of the sugarcane fields of the Domaine Barbancourt. Proximity to its natural resources increased production and transformed the company from a local business to a global export brand. Replacing the old pot stills with a three-column continuous still was also a key factor, however the original double distillation regime was retained. Despite losing a third of its stock during the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the distillery thankfully survived, and remains an important player in rum production to this day.