Rockley Still 1986 High Spirits 17 Year Old
High Spirits are the second bottling company started by Nadi Fiori, co-founder of the acclaimed Intertrade. Like many of his contemporaries, his bottlings are known for their artistic labels. In 2008 High Spirits bottled a series for the renowned collector, Valentino Zagatti to celebrate his 50th year of buying whisky. These and many of the earlier High Spirits releases are highly collectible.
This is a Barbados rum which was distilled in 1986.
The Rockley Still is a near-mythical piece of machinery. The tiny copper pot still was once used on the Rockley sugar plantation to make rum, and was moved to the West India Rum Distillery on Barbados in the early 20th century. It has however, been inactive for over half a century, with the distillery merely producing Rockley Still "style" rums. This is one of them, and no less of a rarity in its own right.
The West India Rum Distillery, more commonly referred to by the acronym, WIRD, is a historic distillery in Barbados that has been producing rum since the 19th century. It currently operates four still sets, two of which are four-column stills. The newest of them is Canadian made, and the older one installed by English coppersmiths, John Dore, in 1975. The other two are pot stills, both connected to vintage rectifying columns, the oldest of which dates back to 1893. In the later 20th century the distillery was best known for its Cockspur rum brand, and in 1985 became one of the founding partners in National Rums of Jamaica, the holding company that owns Long Pond and a share of Clarendon. In 2017 however, Cockspur was sold off to a company called Woodland Radicle as WIRD was acquired by Maison Ferrand, a cognac producer established in 1989. The company had branched out into gin-making in 1995, and its purchase of WIRD completed its journey from independent rum bottler to distillers, following the introduction of its acclaimed Plantation Rum label in 2003.