L&R Liquors, LTD Yesterday
The Old Master Distiller: Osvaldo Cuello
As a young man, Mr. Osvaldo Cuello, known by everyone as “Don Baldo” was enthusiastic about the art of distilling and blending spirits. He took advantage of every opportunity presented to him to learn about rum distillation. One such opportunity was given to him by Don Leonides Gonzalez, Tastel’s Rum distiller, who had an available copper pot-still. For the duration of his engagement with Don Leonides’ daughter, he received tips on how to manage a distillery. Don Leonides was passionate about imparting knowledge and sharing experiences about the distillation process.
Taking great initiative, Don Baldo, along with his father, Ignacio Cuello, and brothers purchased a small copper pot-still from Don Leonides. August 5th, 1961 marks the anniversary of a new distilling era; the first batch of rum is produced. The Cuello Brothers embarked into the production of strong rum which was sold to rum producers for blending.
However, Don Baldo was not satisfied with the sole production of "Strong Rum" and wished to expand into the blending of spirits. In the seventies, he regularly visited a friend in Merida, Yucatan who introduced him to a chemist who further imparted knowledge on the blending of alcoholic beverages. Don Baldo wanted to broaden his horizons and his new chemist friend was instrumental with the vision of mass production; this vision changed the rum industry in Belize. With this guidance, Don Baldo started producing white rum, colored rum, and many other blended spirits, refining the Cuello Brothers’ line of products.
The skills and expertise has been transferred to his two sons: Luis & Raul.
L&R, LTD Today
The Master Distillers: Luis & Raul
With decades of knowledge and experience in the rum industry, Don Baldo decided to pass the torch to the two people who he trusted would continue his legacy: his sons, Luis & Raul.
In 1993, the construction of the Old Master Rums’ distilling plant began and is the only distillery that can be called 100% Belizean. It is the only distillery which boasts the first column stills made by Belizean craftsmen.
April of 1996 commemorates the rebirth of Don Baldo’s legacy: L&R Liquors was founded. Luis and Raul have maintained the same distillation process with a few touches of their own. With every new generation, new products are added to the array of spirits. Recent delectables offered to a Belizean market are Hyper Premium Vodka, Extra Mature Rum, Na’ lu’um Cakao and Banana Liqueurs: spirits with a commitment to exceed expectations.
As the grandchildren to distiller, Don Leonides, and sons to the Old Master Distiller, it could be safe to say, it was their destiny to produce the finest rum in Belize.
L & R, LTD Tomorrow
Succeeding Master Distillers
L & R Liquors is to remain family oriented and passed on to a third generation of Cuello children.
The company plans to invest into an expansion of an institution to showcase its history and distillation process to the public. This change will include a basic tour of the distillery and an institution for sampling and rum purchase. It will eventually create alliances with other distilleries and establish a "Belizean Rum Trail" and invite tourists to enjoy an overall history and process of spirit distillation in Belize. L & R Liquors believes it is important to give recognition to all past and future distillers and this is a way of honoring distillers.
After it has properly established itself in Belize, it will strive to become available to Belizeans anywhere in the world and hold a place in the global competitive market.