Brand: Holmes Cay

Origin: Travellers Distillery, Belmopan, Belize

Still: Column

Age: 16 years

Finish: ex-Bourbon

ABV: 61%

Rum distillery branding often focuses on the heritage of the estates whose names they bear, or the immovable natural/geopgraphic features that defines the distillery grounds. For Travellers Distillers Ltd. founder Jaime Omario Perdomo Sr. (aka Don Omario), the name celebrates those who frequented his first spirits-focused venture: a bar in Belize City catering to transient visitors.

Founded in 1953, Don Omario's Travellers bar started to craft a unique blend of rums to use behind the bar, which was a tradition of Belizean establishments at the time. Eventually, amidst success, competition for source rums to use in blends, and a desire for blend consistency, Don Omario joined with business partner Luis Alberto Espat to build a distillery in Belmopan.

Holmes Cay Belize 2006 brings an expression of this Belizean rum to the American market. Originally distilled through Travellers' column still after a 36-40 hour fermentation, this rum was then shipped to their aging/blending/bottling facility in Belize City, where it was matured in ex-Bourbon cask #151 for 16 years. Holmes Cay bottled this 100% tropically-aged single cask at 61% ABV.


Caramel, medium viscosity


Dates, vanilla, raspberry, currant raisins, hint of bubblegum, grilled peach


Raspberry, raisins, cinnamon, dates, bubblegum, cranberry jam, mesquite spice rub


Medium-long, dry, spicy; cinnamon, vanilla, cranberry jam, oak, mesquite spice rub

Rating: 8/10


Belize 2006 is a really incredible rum. It's packed with spice and fruit in a way that only long tropically-aged rums can provide. I really enjoy the journey that the rum takes you on, as each stage is distinct and allows each note to be individually parsed.

Dates, vanilla, raspberries, and raisins lead the nose, with a hint of bubblegum coming through, as well as a touch of grilled peach. The raspberry and raisin are seen again on the palate, which transitions into spicy cinnamon, meaty dates, and then a mix of gum, tart-yet-sweet cranberry jam, and trails off with a mesquite BBQ spice rub that carries some smokiness. These are all carried on into the dry and spicy finish, with some oak and vanilla adding on.

Holmes Cay proves yet again that they pick some wonderful single casks. It's a treat to try rum from Belize, since the country is not well-represented in our corner of the US, even amongst IBs. Here's to hoping we can see more Travellers rum in the near future!

Further Reading