Cruzan Rum Distillery Tour
St. Croix USVI, U.S. Virgin Islands
An exciting trip into the past awaits you when visiting the historic Cruzan Rum Distillery, located in the heart of the island. (St. Croix USVI) See how rum is made and experience the history involved in this old craft.
Watch "coopers" at work prefabricating barrels as they have for centuries and see the old windmills used for power before electricity was available. When you're done, sample a bit of St. Croix USVI from our gift shop. Duty free Cruzan Rum, our famous Cruzan Rum Cakes, caps and t-shirts make great gifts and mementos of your trip.
How Cruzan Rum is Made:
- Our high quality sugar cane molasses is received from Caribbean Sugar Plantations.
- The molasses is diluted with tropical rain water, pumped from our St. Croix aquifers.
- Our proprietary yeast cultures are added to the molasses and fermentation begins. The fermentation temperature is controlled to ensure optimum quality and flavor as sugars are converted to alcohol by the yeasts.
- Our Master Distiller supervises the distillation in Cruzan's modern, five-column stainless steel and copper still, producing a fine, clear rum distillate.
- The hand crafted American oak barrels are filled with the rum distillate.
- The rum barrels are laid down in our barrel warehouses to age for a minimum of two years - some for twelve years or more. As much as half the rum can be lost to evaporation. The precious spirit remaining now is Cruzan Rum!
- After barrel aging, the rum is charcoal filtered and diluted to 80 proof with a little more St. Croix rain water.
- Cruzan rum is bottled on our modern, stainless steel bottling lines.
- After years in the making, you can find Cruzan Rum, "the World's Finest Rum," at your local store, bar or restaurant.
Cruzan Rum History
Located the US Virgin Islands of St. Croix, the story of the Cruzan Rum Distillery begins back in the 18th century. Established in 1760, this distillery was known for more than just the quality rum that it produced, though the rum is what has made St. Croix one of the most highly visited islands in the USVI. Cruzan rum is second to none in quality and in reach. It is, quite frankly, the most popular rum in the Virgin Islands --which is nothing to sniff at considering that rum is a major export from the Caribbean. You would be absolutely remiss if you made a trip to St. Croix and neglected to visit the distillery and sample the incredible taste and aroma of the sassy libation.
Particularly interesting is the distillery’s complicated relationship with the government in periods heavily intertwined in the throes of prohibition --13 years (from 1920 to 1933) in which the distillery was completely stalled for production. During this era, of course, no rum was to be consumed or sold to decrease the amount gluttony and debauchery that defined much of the early 20th century --the whole world in the heat of war. Of course, with most countries that banned alcohol in the 20s, St. Croix had its was of keeping their rum on the public conscious and readily available for public consumption --otherwise it wouldn’t be the incredible business that it has been for the past 250 years.
Cruzan Rum Distillery is a highly accessible tourist attraction. Located just a few minutes’ walk from Centerline Road, those who desire to get a closer look at the infamous distillery have but to follow their noses and their taste buds --the aromas wafting through the warm Caribbean air cannot be mistaken for anything but one of the best quality rums in the world. St. Croix no longer harbours any sugar mills, so how the distillery functions is quite a fascinating wonder. As a result of the lack of sugar, there is no molasses available with which to make the rum that the public so readily consumes. St. Croix, of course, must import the molasses from South and Central America. Once the molasses arrives and given the opportunity to ferment, Cruzan Rum ages the beer and creates the heavenly taste that dances along the taste buds of the drinker just as the waves of the sea dance upon the shore of St. Croix.
One of the most anticipated trips for tourists to take is to the Cruzan Rum Distillery. Though there’s nothing stopping you from following your senses to the distillery on your own merits, it would benefit you greatly to take a tour and have a guide take you through the distillery and allow you to sample the rich textures of the place in and of itself. Not only will you be able to see the rum being created, you’ll be able to watch the traditional --albeit, archaic-- churning of the beer with the huge windmills --put in place before electricity was every available. You’ll be enlightened on the remarkably natural way in which the rum is created --the molasses is made with the sugar cane from areas in the Caribbean; the molasses is then diluted with the tropical rain waters pumped from the St. Croix aquifiers. Once fermented, the beer is placed in the American crafted wooden barrels to age properly and give the concoction its levels of purity and richness --ranging from the milder Light-Dry and Dark-Dry rums (bottled at 80 proof) to the more powerful Cruzan 151 White and Gold (used mostly in punches or for cooking --as the proof is actually 151).
This remarkable, historic relic in the heart of Frederiksted makes for one of the most enlightening and engaging activities you’ll experience on St. Croix. You’ll not only get a chance to view the remaining ruins of the original distillery, you’ll be able to be wrapped in some of the most intoxicating scents of the Caribbean. Visit the Cruzan Rum Distillery and get a first hand look --and taste-- of what the Caribbean has to offer.