On the 12th of January, the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, presided over a ceremony to re-commission our Rockley pot still at the West Indies Rum Distillery, after some 50 years of inactivity.

A monument to distillation

Although WIRD records show that the Rockley was last used locally for distillation between 1936 and the 1960s, its history goes back even further.

According to David Pym, president and current owner of John Dore Coppersmith, the Rockley was first made in the 1780s by James Shears and Sons, a British coppersmith who operated from 1785 to 1891.

Furthermore, its return to service makes it the oldest working pot still in the world!

An intensive restoration

To make this historic moment a reality for the rum industry, an intensive restoration process began in 2021, based on old blueprints found in the distillery's archives.

Involving teams from Barbados and Europe, the restoration required more than 2,000 hours of work.

April 2022 - Restoration moves forward

A workers' moment

The Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said in her speech:

This is the fact that we can take something that was dropping on in the ground, outside in the yard, and with loving care restore it to its magnificent glory is a lesson for all Barbadians. […] It is a workers' moment because you are the one who keeps this magnificent old factory going.

Now, the Rockley joins the collection of exceptional and unique stills of the West Indies Rum Distillery, which recently celebrated its 130th anniversary, and will continue to produce our rums for years to come!