Our Amber rum begins with our base ingredients: Grade A Molasses and Real Boiled Brown Sugar (created by simmering pressed cane juice, we do not use brown sugar that is made from colored white sugar). We add these sugars to warm water, then add cool water bringing the temperature to 74F. Then we mix in a proprietary blend of yeast selected especially for our Amber rum. The yeast will eat the sugar during fermentation and replace it with alcohol. As they create these new molecules they also create much of the aroma and flavor in the spirit. Because our Amber rum is barrel aged we want to coax out bold flavors that bring richness to the spirit. After fermentation the liquid is referred to as ‘wash’ and it no longer has sweetness, and is in fact quite tart at a pH near 4. Instead it tastes of almonds, brown butter, toasted hazelnuts and figs. It finishes fermentation at about 8% abv (alcohol by volume).
One of the ways we break with tradition is to ferment for longer at a cooler fermentation temperature. Rum was traditionally a rushed spirit that was fermented at around 105 degrees in 24 hours (whiskey is about 5 days at 80 degrees). When yeast are in such a hot environment they may work more quickly, but they also are more stressed, releasing damaged and unremarkable flavors into the wash. By giving them a perfect home at 74-78 degrees, we allow them to thrive and produce more desirable flavors. We also ferment for 6 days. Most of the sugar is converted to alcohol in the first 48 hours, but the mingling of the yeast with the wash after this period gives richness and complexity to the spirit, just as it does in whiskey, wine and beer.