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Black Tears – The Island Rum Co.

The Island Rum Co. (TIRC) is made up of 2 parties. 1 half is a Cuban called Enrique who comes from a strong lineage of rum producers. His family lost everything post revolution and he has worked to rebuild what they had. He is partnered by two Norwegian Entrepreneurs. The 2nd half is the Cuban Government. The official partnership is the first of its kind since that of Havana Club. This is a proper 50/50 partnership NOT just a distribution deal. TIRC own a sugar mill, a distillery and two ageing houses plus over 7,300 barrels of aged/ ageing rum! The parent brand is Vigia one of Cuba’s most respected rum brands.

Presentation wise Black Tears Spiced Rum come in a tall bar style bottle. It is squared off though rather than rounded. Towards the top of the neck the Black Tears logo has been embossed into the bottle. It also has Island Rum Co. and Lagrimas Negras down alternate sides of the bottle.

It’s sleek and modern and very eye catching. It is sure to catch the eye of any Kraken “enthusiast”. It is bottled also at 40% ABV. Many Spiced Rums are now labelled as Spirit Drink as they fail to even reach the 37.5% ABV required by EU law to be labelled as a rum.


This base rum is noted on the bottom of the label as being Ron Vigia, which is produced at the same distillery as Ron Mulata. Namely Heriberto Duquesne, which is located in the central region of Cuba at Villa Clara. It is owned by the Cuban Ministry of Sugar. Black Tears Spiced Rum has been over 10 years in development. The Cubans have very tight controls over export of their rums and persuading them to allow a Dry Spiced Rum to be produced took time. The rum has also been re-formulated numerous times to get it just right.

Black Tears Spiced Rum takes its name from a traditional Cuban song “Lagrimas Negras” (Black Tears) which was written by Miguel Matamoras way back in 1929. It is still very popular in Cuba.