An anniversary is a unique moment in time. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past while looking to the future with anticipation. And rum distillers Flor de Cana have used the occasion of their 130th anniversary to simultaneously blaze a path forward for distilling while staying true to the roots that made them one of the world’s best rums.
Founded in 1890 by Italian adventurer, Alfredo Francisco, Flor de Cana is nestled at the base of the active San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua. Constantly expelling ash and smoke, the volcano asserts itself in every bottle Flor de Cana produces. The minerals that seep from San Cristobal naturally enrich the water that begins distillation, giving it a unique flavor and texture base. The ash it spews nourishes the molasses used to sweeten it, giving the rum enough natural savor that the distillery need not add further sugars or artificial flavors. Together, these elements set up a sweet but dry core that delights the palette, without overwhelming.
Aged for 25 years in the high temperature and humidity of Nicaragua, Flor de Cana’s 130th Anniversary Rum has a unique opportunity to create a long-term relationship with its oaken home. With more than 100 years of practice under their belts, the distillers at Flor de Cana have mastered the climates high evaporation to build a deep and mature flavor profile, starting with the barrel, that reveals new layers with each sip. Enthusiasts have called it the ultimate sipping rum, noting rich oak tastes mixed with savory sultanas and smooth vanilla flavors.
The rum is only the beginning, though. Since their earliest days, Flor de Cana has shown unprecedented care for the people behind its product. They’ve run schools for employees since the early 1900s and began offering medical services to staff mid-century. Now managed by the fifth generation of Francisco descendants, Flor de Cana has evolved its rich history of caring for its employees into one of caring for the entire world. In the transition to the 21st century, they began planting 50,000 trees a year and distilling using 100% renewable energy. In recent years, they’ve taken this even further, capturing all CO2 from the fermentation process for recycling, and achieving Fair Trade certification. This makes Flor de Cana one of the first spirits manufacturers to comply with rigorous social, economic, and environmental requirements that prove they care as much for the planet, as they do their rum. With its 131st year beginning, Flor de Cana is poised to provide leadership in not only the creation of succulent premium rum but also in how we create spirits. What better way to toast them (and your taste buds) than with a snifter of the 130th Year Anniversary Rum?
words by Russ Martonis