Colombian rums have earned renown for their style, impeccable quality and tremendous depth of flavor. To a large degree their delectable character can be attributed to the nature of the sugar cane used in production. The other part of the story is Colombia's long history distilling rum, a lucrative trade begun by colonists during Spain's 300-year reign. A marvelous illustration of just how sensational these rums can be is Ron Viejo de Caldas Gran Reserva Colombian.
The iconic brand is produced at Industria Licorera de Caldas in Manizales, the provincial capital of Caldas high in the Andes at 7,200 feet above sea level. Located in the shadow of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, the 90-year old distillery is now equipped with state of the art column stills and sources its virgin sugar cane honey from the Cauca River Valley, one of the few places in the world where sugar cane is cultivated all year round. Each of the distillery's rums is a blend of spirits selected for the individual attributes they contribute to the whole.
Ron Viejo de Caldas Gran Reserva is a glistening bronze beauty matured in charred American oak for a minimum of eight years. The aging rum is exposed to an unbroken succession of hot humid days and clear mountain nights. During its stay in wood, the rum develops a deep bronze hue, a silky light-bodied body and a generous bouquet loaded with alluring chocolate, citrus, spice and toasty oak aromas. It's endowed with a lush palate of caramel, brown sugar, cocoa and vanilla. The 80-proof Gran Reserva is an eminently satisfying experience from start to slightly smoky finish.
The esteemed distillery also produces two other exceptional marques. Ron Viejo de Caldas is barrel-aged for three years. It has a light copper color and a succulent bouquet of raisins, citrus and licorice aromas. The finish reveals the flavors of citrus, dried plums and Macadamia nuts.
Ron Extra Viejo Juan de la Cruz is aged for 5 years in American white oak barrels. It has a radiant copper hue and notes of cinnamon, caramel and roasted nuts. The palate features an array of bakery-fresh flavors and long, satiny finish.