Long Pond

Founded in 1753, Long Pond is a sugar estate and distillery in the Jamaican Parish of Trelawny, which is also home to Hampden Estate. Back then, Long Pond was just one of many sugar estates, the majority of which have been shut down or consolidated over the course of history due to falling sugar prices. These consolidations led to larger and larger areas of sugar cane owned by the surviving sugar estates. Today, Long Pond Distillers Limited is part of National Rums of Jamaica (NRJ) while the Long Pond Sugar Estate, together with Hampden Estate, has been bought by the Hussey family in 2009. The structure behind NRJ is described in the article on Clarendon. Long Pond distillery had to close in 2012 due to leakages at their dunder storage tanks. Pictures suggest that commencing production would require massive repairs and investments but apparently they have resumed operations earlier this year. They have started fermentations at the beginning of 2017 and perhaps even the first rounds of distillation.

long pond pot still
Pot stills at Long Pond Distillery. Photo by Matt Pietrek.

Besides a column still (see featured image), Long Pond has two pot stills (see photo above). Most of the rums that found their way to Europe and that have been bottled with the Long Pond tag on them come from one of them. Why do I emphasise the latter point? Long Pond is not a proper brand as the distillery doesn’t bottle its own rum (they distill rum for some NRJ products though). Most of the rum produced at the distillery is sold in bulk to private companies and brokers, who in turn might re-sell it again. What is more, only a tiny fraction of the rum that makes it to brokers also makes it to independent bottlers. The rest goes into cheap blends, the German “Rumverschnitt” (which isn’t even actual rum) and into things such as baking extract or perfume. Column still rums from Long Pond are rather uninspiring while their pot still rums can be anything from good to excellent, varying between the batches. They mostly fall in the Wedderburn category and have a somewhat nutty profile with notes of exotic fruits and, occasionally even old cheese.

The following is a list of Long Pond’s marks and their corresponding ester ranges in g/hlaa:

0-20:           CRV
20-50:         CQV
50-90:         LRM
90-120:       ITP/LSO
120-150:     HJC/LIB
150-250:     IRW/VRW
250-400:     HHHS/OCLP
400-550:     LPS
550-700:     STC^E/ STC♥E
1200-1300: TECA
1300-1400: TECB
1500-1600: TECC

While I have no clue about the meaning of most of these marks, we can speculate about some of them and have a very good idea about others. VRW should stand Vale Royale Wedderburn, whose still has been acquired by Long Pond after Vale Royale’s closure. Apparently the mark has been carried over. The famous 1986 batch carries the mark IRW and should be closely related. For a long time we believed that LPS stands for Long Pond Single Rum due to Rum Albrecht’s 1993 imports but in hindsight this probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. STC^E or STC♥E as Velier put it, most certainly stands for “Simon Thompson Cambridge Estate”, and is therefore another historical leftover adopted by Long Pond. Finally, the continental flavoured marks TECA, B and C might be associated with the Tilston Estate but I shall be looking a bit deeper into that in the future.

Tasted rums from Long Pond:

The photos are provided courtesy of Matt Pietrek.