Albion, or the confusion between a still, a distillery and an estate.
Another iconic Guyana Demerara still is the so-called Albion still.
The Albion still was a metal Savalle still from the former Uitvlugt Estate. In the nineteen seventies only three distilleries continued to distill rum in Guyana: Enmore, Diamond and Uitvlugt. The Uitvlugt Distillery was closed down in 2000, whereupon the Diamond Distillery remained the only distillery in Guyana.
The Modern French Savalle Four-Column Still from Uitvlught (indicated on labels as is especially favoured, because according to the website, it is possible to produce nine different marks on this still. On the German website cocktalsoldfashioned.de we found the following information: “Savalle is a French manufacturer of stills, which build this variant of a column still for the Uitvlugt Distillery. According to Carl Kanto both of the stills are as good as identical and have been in fact used at Uitvlugt before being shipped to Diamond. This is contradicting the information found at the English website of DDL. But in this case I tend to believe first hand information instead of a text, which probably was translated and altered here and there by marketing people. The Savalle Stills are used for a multiple number of marks. To the exception of the El Dorado 12 and 15 blend, all are using one or more mark of the Savalle Stills.”
Nowadays, DLL uses the following stills:
■1x Wooden Coffey Still from the Enmore Estate
■1x Single Wooden Pot Still from the Versailles Estate
■1x Double Wooden Pot Still from the Port Mourant Estate
■2x French Savalle Four-Columns Stills from the Uitvlugt Estate
■3x Two-Columns Metal Coffey Stills
■1x Two-Columns Metal Coffey-like Still
■1x Five-Columns Metal Continuous Still
■1x Re-Rectification Still
■2x Metal Pot Stills
But strangely enough: rum bottler/importer Velier mentioned on its Albion 1994 rum that it was produced in a Wooden Coffey still. So either they made a mistake, or the ‘Albion’ on their label doesn’t refer to the still that has been used, but to the cane, that might have been from the Albion sugar estate. Albion is a town in Guyana, and home to the largest sugar manufacturer in the Caribbean region. And to complicate things even more: this estate is not to be confused with another Albion Sugar Estate…in Jamaica.
Later this weeek we taste for you the above mentioned Velier’s Albion 1994