According to the adage, you can make a bad wine from good grapes, but you can't make a good wine from bad grapes. The same holds true for sugarcane and rum. Both grapes and sugarcane are products of their environment. Their quality is greatly affected by genetics and their terroir, meaning the conditions in which they were grown, factors such as soil composition, rainfall, amount of sunshine and the area's microclimate.
As it turns out, there are few places on Earth more conducive to cultivating sugarcane than the Philippines in the South Pacific. Likewise, there is likely no more prestigious variety of cane than Negros Sugarcane, which is a descendant of the original, indigenous Asian sugarcane dating back to the first millennium B.C. It easily pre-dates the cane that Columbus brought to the Caribbean by 2,000 years. This special Asian sugarcane is at the heart of all-world Tanduay Silver Asian Rum.
Established in 1854, Tanduay Rum is made in Manila, Philippines. The individual rums used in its blend are distilled in a technologically advanced, five-column still and then matured in charred American white oak barrels for upwards of five years. Prior to being bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof) the finished blend is lightly filtered to remove its oak-induced color.
A few moments alone with this sensational spirit will make it perfectly clear why Tanduay has become the world's second largest rum brand. The achievement is well earned. Tanduay Silver has a faint straw color, a lightweight, satiny smooth body and a generous bouquet of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee and spice. Its wafting aromatics are well worth the price of admission. The soft, cool entry quickly expands bathing the palate with the sumptuous flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel and mocha. The fade is long, warm and spicy. From start to spectacular finish, Tanduay Silver Asian Rum is a bona fide drinking pleasure.
The venerable portfolio also includes Tanduay Gold Asian Rum. Other than its lustrous, rich golden hue, its principal point of distinction is the constituent rums in its blend are barrel-aged seven years, The addition time in wood was well spent. After being allowed to breathe for a few minutes, the rum's bouquet fills the glass with spicy, bakery fresh aromas. Although its palate is slightly spicier than the Silver, the shared flavors of dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and ground coffee shine through.
Both rums are modestly priced, making them ideal candidates to feature in a wide array of classic and contemporary cocktails. That said, these rums are something special, so do yourself a favor and first taste these gems neat. You may well decide to not mix them with anything else. It would be a savvy decision.