What sets craft rum apart?
Unlike industrial rums, craft rums can have a distinct flavour. For the uninitiated they can be 'different' or 'stronger'. Craft rums tend to be bolder, more complex and layered and may have a higher alcohol content. But why?
I recently came across information by a global group called Women Leading Rum that sums it up nicely:
1. Craft rum is often made in small batches and often in traditional copper stills, which can impart a unique flavour profile to the rum. Soltera Rum is produced in a traditional copper pot still and distillation is a hands on process for every single distillation.
2. Unlike industrial rums, which are often only made from molasses, many craft rums are made from a mix of molasses and sugar, or only sugar cane juice, providing for more complexity, even fruity and floral profiles. Soltera Rum uses a mix of molasses and raw sugar and fermentation is a handcrafted process too.
3. Some craft rum distillers age their rums in unique barrels such as ex-bourbon, ex-sherry or even ex-wine barrels, which can impart unique flavours and aromas to the rum. Soltera Rum uses 120 - 220-litre ex-bourbon barrels. On the other hand, industrial rums may use massive (thousands of litres) wooden vats to age their rum, meaning less surface area of wood to spirit, and then additives for flavour and colour are added.
4. Some craft rum distillers use techniques such as pot stills that require a double or even triple distillation, which can result in a higher-proof rum with a more intense flavour profile. Soltera Rum is a double distilled pot still rum, and the spirit run (the second distillation) is a very long, drawn out affair for the smoothest spirit possible.
5. Craft rum is often bottled at higher proofs than industrial rum because the distiller feels that the spirit sings best at a certain proof, which isn't always the stock standard 40%. This will apply to Soltera's ultra-premium range as its released in the years ahead.