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Diamond Distillery

Diamond Distillery is a notable establishment in the world of rum, situated on the banks of the Demerara River in Guyana. It is the last remaining distillery in a country that was once dotted with sugar estates and their accompanying distilleries. This single facility is the custodian of over 300 years of Guyanese rum-making heritage, a tradition that is steeped in both history and the rich, tropical terroir of the region.

The distillery itself is part of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), which is famed for producing the internationally recognised El Dorado rum. The story of Diamond Distillery is not just about producing rum; it's about preserving a legacy. With the consolidation of various estates and distilleries in the 20th century, Diamond Distillery became the repository of a variety of stills from across the country, each with its own distinct characteristics and history.

Among these stills, the distillery houses some of the rum world's most revered and unique heritage pieces. The Port Mourant still, a double wooden pot still from the 18th century, and the Versailles single wooden pot still are two such treasures. They impart to the rums a depth and complexity that are impossible to replicate with modern apparatus. The use of these wooden pot stills is a link to the history of rum-making and gives the Diamond Distillery's products a unique place in the pantheon of premium spirits.

The Enmore wooden Coffey still is another heritage piece of the distillery, a testament to the ingenuity and tradition of rum production in Guyana. The still's wooden structure influences the spirit with a distinct profile that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Each of these stills contributes to the complex blends that make up the distillery’s various rum expressions.

Diamond Distillery is also known for its rich Demerara rum, which is produced using molasses that comes from local sugar cane. The Demerara region is renowned for producing some of the world’s finest sugar cane, thanks to its nutrient-rich soil and favourable climate. The molasses derived from this cane is particularly high in sugar content, which leads to a fuller, more flavourful rum.

The ageing process at Diamond Distillery also contributes to the rum’s distinct character. The tropical climate of Guyana accelerates the interaction between the rum and the oak barrels, allowing for a faster maturation process compared to spirits aged in cooler climates. This results in a rum that is rich, smooth, and packed with flavour.

Furthermore, Diamond Distillery engages in environmentally conscious practices. The facility operates with a high degree of self-sufficiency; it recycles spent wash (a byproduct of the distillation process) as fertiliser in the cane fields and utilises the bagasse (residual sugar cane fibre) as fuel.

The rums produced at Diamond Distillery have garnered international acclaim, with El Dorado rum being their flagship brand. The range of El Dorado rums is vast, including aged expressions that are savoured by connoisseurs around the world. These rums are not just spirits; they are ambassadors of Guyanese craftsmanship and heritage.

Moreover, the distillery has been a driving force in rum’s premiumisation, creating expressions that rival fine cognacs and whiskies. Their offerings include rums aged for extended periods, some for over 25 years, which showcase the extraordinary complexity and sophistication that rum can achieve.

Diamond Distillery doesn't just make rum; it tells the story of Guyana, its land, its people, and its history through each bottle. It serves as a reminder of a time when sugar and rum were the lifeblood of the Caribbean, and it carries forward the torch of a craft that has defined the region for centuries. For rum enthusiasts and historians alike, Diamond Distillery isn’t merely a place where spirits are made—it’s a living museum, a beacon of tradition, and a testament to the enduring legacy of Guyanese rum.

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