Sometime next month, the Captain Morgan’s Rum produced on St. Croix will begin finding its way through retail stores throughout the U.S. and into the hands – and mouths – of consumers, according to Dan Kirby, vice president and in charge of the Diageo distillery.
About 14 months ago, Diageo began producing the rum, which has been stored in oak barrels in two 100,000-square-foot warehouses built at the intersection of Melvin Evans Highway and West Airport Road.
After the rum has aged for a full year, it is drawn from the barrels and pumped into tanks, which are shipped to the company’s facility in Baltimore. There, they add what Kirby calls "our secret herbs and spices" and bottle it for sale.
Meanwhile, the empty barrels are filled with more raw rum for aging, and the cycle continues, Kirby said.
The Virgin Islands-produced Captain Morgan’s is now working its way through the distribution system to retailers across the country in bottles declaring that it was made in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The company has also produced a series of television commercials purporting to show the legendary buccaneer anchored off St. Croix.
Kirby said he has tasted the raw rum coming from the distillery, but admitted he hasn’t had a chance to try the finished product.
"But my understanding is that it’s outstanding, from what I’ve heard," he added.
Meanwhile work is continuing on the distillery’s $4 million, almost 8,000-square-foot visitor center, which Kirby said he expects will be open April 25. It will contain a display on the history of Captain Morgan – both the rum and the historical character, along with interactive exhibits, a bar and a retail store.