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South Louisiana Success Stories: Bayou Rum

Mar 17, 2020

What does success in South Louisiana look like? It looks like Bayou Rum: A small-batch rum distillery that’s making a big splash in the global, high-end spirits industry.

In only seven short years, Louisiana Spirits, the parent company of Bayou Rum, has experienced incredible growth and continues to expand its selection of premium expressions under the Bayou label. Bayou Rum attributes success to its homegrown approach for delivering an exceptional product that’s as unique as the place it’s named after.

Born on the Bayou

One of the oldest distilled spirits, rum is an alcohol made by fermenting and distilling molasses or freshly-pressed sugarcane juice. Although production occurs worldwide, the top rum producers are in the Caribbean, Philippines, and India—that is, until three friends and Louisiana natives, brothers Tim and Trey Litel and Skip Cortese, had a stroke of genius while sitting in a duck blind. With the Bayou State as one of the largest sugarcane producers in the world, cultivating more sugarcane than any Caribbean nation, the friends questioned why there was no domestic rum business in the United States or, more specifically, in South Louisiana. The rest is history.

In 2013 they opened Louisiana Spirits Distillery in Lacassine, La. with a goal of setting the standard for U.S. premium, high-end sipping rums and creating a destination where rum-lovers, locals, and tourists alike could experience the vibrant Louisiana culture and enjoy their product.

Their vision quickly turned into reality. Paying tribute to their Cajun heritage, Bayou Rum is made with 100% natural, unrefined Louisiana molasses sourced from the oldest family-owned and operated sugarmill in the United States, M.A. Patout & Son. The local, raw ingredients are distilled in traditional copper pots, aged in bourbon and sherry casks, and bottled in-house for a final product that’s hand-crafted with care and passion for a difference you can taste.Bayou Rum production line

With six locally-inspired expressions to choose from, it’s no surprise that the Bayou Rum packaging design is an homage to Louisiana’s rich culture evoking the tradition and heritage of the region’s unique landscape and thriving culinary scene. The growing portfolio of signature spirits includes: Bayou White, Bayou Spiced, Bayou Select, Bayou Reserve Rum, Bayou Single Barrel, Bayou XO Mardi Gras, and Bayou Pink.

But the obsession doesn’t end with their Louisiana roots—the Bayou Rum family is dedicated to sustainability as much as they are quality. With a strong commitment to minimizing the overall impact on the integrity of the Bayou State’s unique ecosystem, the two main by-products of the distillation process—vinasse, a thick sugar-based residue, and residual alcohols—are recycled into cattle feed and sent to biofuel plants, respectively.

Success Starts Here

In 2015, Louisiana Spirits was approached by Stoli Group—a major U.S. distributor of alcoholic beverages and a subsidiary of SPI Group, a global brand builder for premium and super-premium spirits—who saw great potential in the company and its line of distinguished products.

Already on its way to becoming known as “America’s Rum,” Louisiana Spirits experienced rapid, global growth with the help of Stoli’s strategic advisement and distribution resources and a market primed for success thanks to consumer demand for authentic, small-batch products. In 2018, Louisiana Spirits announced that it was acquired and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stoli.

And there’s no end in sight for this bayou-born company’s continued growth. The Lacassine distillery underwent an expansion of its facilities in 2019 to accommodate the demand for the hand-crafted rums and has two more expansion phases slated for the future. The $8 million expansion included a brand-new Barrel Library to house its expanded inventory and an Event Center to host special events and exclusive tasting sessions. Since opening its doors in 2013, Louisiana Spirits has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, making the distillery a hot-spot for locals and tourists alike. With its expansion and renovation, the company has solidified its reputation as a major destination, boosting the local economy and attracting a vibrant mix of visitors to the area in the process.

Louisiana Spirit’s latest innovation is the launch of its Bayou Reserve Private Barrel Program. Announced in August of 2019, the company is the first in its category to offer bars, restaurants and other partnering vendors the opportunity to taste and hand-select private barrels of Bayou Rum to offer exclusively to their own customers and clientele.

Bayou Rum tasting

Whether you’re touring the distillery, strolling through the gallery that celebrates Louisiana’s sugarcane industry, or tasting one of the company’s signature rums—Louisiana Spirits is dedicated to creating an experience as special and vibrant as the Louisiana culture that defines their hand-crafted spirits.

The Spirit of South Louisiana

With more than 100 prestigious awards from tasting competitions around the world and its award-winning visitor center, Louisiana Spirits’ Bayou Rum is the epitome of homegrown success in South Louisiana.

Leveraging the unparalleled business spirit with the passion and dedication to their craft, Louisiana Spirits created a remarkable product that goes beyond the boundaries of what people expect, and all it took was the right environment.

South Louisiana offers a strong support system and cooperative culture for a business climate that is built to sustain growth and foster success. With business-friendly policies and competitive incentives, it’s no wonder South Louisiana is a welcoming home for emerging business and talent like that of Louisiana Spirits.

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