Our Heritage

View of rum tank inside the Cruzan distillery

One Island. Countless Stories.

Follow the story of Cruzan® Rum.

Beginning in 1760 with the establishment of the land we make our rum on today—The Estate Diamond, the island of St. Croix and generations of the Nelthropp family have influenced each flavor, and left their mark on every barrel and batch. From everyone who shows up to run our distillery to the island we call home, our rum is named for the people and the place that made it all possible. To us, there would never be any rum without the Crucians who have always supported it all.


A Dutch-style windmill in 1760 would pave the way for the origins of Cruzan Rum.


Estate Diamond established.

A site with a sugar mill was founded, and would eventually become the Cruzan Distillery.

Part of the history of rum, the first batches of Cruzan were bottled in 1934.


Call it “Cruzan Rum.”

Created by locals seeking to make a rum unique to the island of St. Croix, the first batch labeled as “Cruzan Rum” is distilled and bottled.

View of one of the Cruzan distillery buildings in 1940.


Refining and redefining high-grade rum.

Over the next decade, pot still distillation is replaced by continuous column still production, leading to a rum with a smooth character.

Nelthropp twisting spin wheel


The Nelthropp era begins.

Cedric “Ceddie” Nelthropp joins Cruzan Rum. With deep roots on St. Croix, the Nelthropp family became synonymous with Cruzan Rum.

Photograph of Donald “Hardy” Nelthropp in 1982.


Donald “Hardy” takes charge.

Cedric’s younger brother takes over as president of Cruzan Rum, expanding the company and supporting St. Croix’s economic growth.

Gary Nelthropp takes a moment to examine a glass of Cruzan for clarity and perfection.


Gary Nelthropp & Cruzan step into the modern era.

Gary takes the top job at Cruzan Rum, and takes over as Master Distiller, continuing a family tradition now stretching back decades.

The Island Spirit Fund was formed and we see volunteers helping to clean up after a hurricane in 2018.


The Island Spirit Fund is established.

Set up in the wake of Hurricane Maria, the Island Spirit Fund was created to help victims and communities weather any storm.

Cruzan Rum label stamped on an oak barrel.

“Cruzan is not just about making great rum, it’s also about tradition and family.”

Master Distiller

More To Explore


From and of the island.

See the care and dedication it takes to create our smooth, one-of-a-kind rum on St. Croix.

Cruzan employee fills oak barrels with what will become Cruzan Rum.

Plan a trip or glimpse behind the scenes from home.

See up close how Cruzan is made and meet the people behind your favorite rum.


Choose Your Rum

Cruzan® Aged Light Rum
Core Rums

Cruzan® Aged Light Rum

Cruzan® Aged Light Rum glass bottle
Cruzan®Coconut Rum
Flavored Rums

Cruzan®Coconut Rum

Clear glass bottle of Cruzan® Coconut Rum
Clear glass Cruzan Coconut Rum bottle against a whitewashed wood background with a light blue paint swash.
Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum
Premium Rums

Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum

Glass bottle of Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum.