Friday, July 15, 2011

Montanya Distillers' Colorado Rum

Established in 2008 by longtime rum enthusiasts Karen and Brice Hoskin, Montanya Distillers produces high quality rum in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. Although most people associate rum with the Caribbean, throughout history the spirit has also been produced in the mountainous regions of Central America. The Hoskins have embraced this tradition and decided to honor the custom by naming their rum "Montanya". Although the word is usually spelled "MontaƱa", the Hoskins decided to Americanize the spelling mainly because they didn't want consumers to see their rum and think of Montana, the state north of Wyoming. Montanya Rum is a Colorado product through and through!

While the Rocky Mountains may seem like an odd place for rum production, it actually makes perfect sense. The main ingredient in rum is water - comprising 85% of the fermented wash and 60% of the final bottled product. Rum is distilled to about 140 proof and then has to be blended with water before it is bottled at 80 proof. Pure, natural water is very scarce in the Caribbean, but in Colorado the distillery is able to source crisp, clean snowmelt straight out of the pristine Boulder Creek.

Another benefit of Montanya's location is their altitude. The finest rums in the world are aged at altitude, including Ron Zacapa in the mountains of Guatemala. The temperature fluctuates from day to night, which forces more rum in and out of the barrel's oak pores. This results in a smoother, more flavorful spirit. Also, in warmer climates, rum fermentation attracts fruit flies and bats, but the Colorado Rockies doesn't have any of these pests due to their cooler temperatures and high elevation.

The freshness of the oak barrels also has an impact on the rum - Caribbean and Central American producers import their American Oak barrels from whiskey distilleries in the US. Montanya Distillers is closer to the source, so the barrels reach them fresh from the producer, who in this case, happens to be Stranahan's Distillery, another excellent Colorado-based company.

Both releases from Montanya Distillers are created from pure, high molasses content sugarcane that is American-grown and harvested by members of the Sugar Worker's Union. After distillation, both the Montanya Platino and Montanya Oro are aged in those fresh oak barrels from Stranhan's, imparting smooth, distinctive notes of vanilla, honey and spice. The Platino is then filtered using a coconut-husk charcoal plate filtering process which leaves the spirit clear and perfect for mixing.

Montanya Platino opens with soft, sweet aromas of vanilla and coconut which carry through to a full flavored, medium bodied palate. Complex notes of honey, coffee, baking spice and caramel are balanced by hints of spicy oak, with subtle flavors of toasted almond lingering through the finish.

The Montanya Oro retains its lively golden hue and is a rich, full bodied sipping rum with layered notes of toffee, honey, mocha, vanilla and espresso on both the nose and palate. A bold note of roasted coffee appears on the slightly smoky finish.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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