When it comes to artisanal products, craftsmen want customers to be educated in order to appreciate their products better. However, divulging production techniques and trade secrets tend to backfire. It removes much of the allure and romance surrounding the product. That didn’t stop Destileria Limtuaco from providing detailed information of how they made their latest offering, Very Old Captain Artisan-Crafted Dark Rum.
The rum is made using fresh blackstrap molasses from Central Azucarera Don Pedro in Batangas. It is fermented using high-quality distiller’s yeast to develop the desired flavor profile of a good dark rum. After fermentation the complex and lengthy processes of distillation and maturation begin. The production was overseen by alcohol industry veteran Robert Piggot who is now Product Development Consultant for Destileria Limatuco.
Destileria Limtuaco doesn’t hide the fact that it uses two distillation methods: batch and continuous. Batch distillation uses the traditional copper pot still. It preserves the “impurities” resulting in a flavorful and full-bodied rum. However, it requires skill and costs more to produce rum using this method.
On the other hand, continuous distillation uses a modern column still. This produces a lighter, smoother and less flavorful rum as much of the “impurities” are removed in the process. Continuous distillation is more efficient in that it yields more rum compared to batch distillation.
Rums made using both distillation methods are then aged separately in charred ex-bourbon barrels made of American oak. They are subsequently blended to reach an “equivalent of eight years”. Destileria Limtuaco says their rums are aged between five to six years which is equivalent to eight years in cooler climates. Adding more years would leave the barrels almost empty due to the higher rate of evaporation in tropical climates.
Very Old Captain is labeled a dark rum because it was made with molasses. However, the amber orange hue it has would also classify it as a gold rum. Rum-making has varying standards that is why the definition changes depending on the country or maker. It seems there is more of the continuous distilled rum than the batch distilled rum in the final product based on the light hue and light-medium body.
The nose is a mix of fruits and wood which gives way to caramel and molasses. The palate is quite similar to the nose with plenty of caramel and some spice in the background. It is easy to drink neat with just the right amount of sweetness, hardly any alcohol burn at the back of the throat and a medium-long finish. It’s not a particularly exciting rum but it doesn’t break the bank either.