More than a decade ago, Stephen Carroll, former global marketing director at Remy Cointreau visited Negros Occidental in the Philippines and saw all the sugarcane haciendas. Being a man of intellect, he then asked the logical question: “Where’s the rum?”
When he received no real response, he decided to do something about it. The result? A fine rum fit for neat drinking.
The rum uses the noble cane, which is native to Southeast Asia and considered to be the best quality sugarcane. Prized for its high sugar content and soft rinds, they’re harvested from October to May. The harvest is then milled by existing ages-old Negros sugar mills, where the juices are extracted and concentrated into molasses, what Carroll refers to as Don Papa’s “black gold.” After the molasses are distilled, the resulting distillate is then aged for at least seven years in two kinds of casks: ex-bourbon barrels and proprietary sanded, toasted, and roasted American oak casks. The combination of first fill ex-bourbon casks and their special sanded, toasted and roasted casks really help bring out the fruit and vanilla notes in the wood. These casks, in particular, bring a lot of natural colour. With these, the molasses based rum benefits from added complexity and the vanilla notes inherent in American oak are really enhanced. The extremely hot and humid climate expedites the whole maturation process, producing dark, intense and richer rums.