Rum breeder, here is a very nice profession that seems to be successful for some, like Karukera or Guillaume Ferroni for example. And like all professions, there is a way to play it « amateur at home », with more or less success depending on the case.
Here, I’m going to tell you about the experience of a tasting friend, Pascal, who set out to age rum from La Favorite … all Under the very cloudy and temperate climate of the province of Liège , therefore in the center of the world.
The first step in his adventure is of course to find a barrel … New and probably small, because he doesn’t intend to use an old bourbon barrel of 180 liters or a Sherry Butt of 500 liters, finances are not endless.
It is towards the Allary cooperage that his choice will be made, and it is logically with the 5 liters version that he will go.
Once the barrel arrived in our beloved Belgium, the first problem arrived… there is paraffin present in the barrel. Forgetting to erase it with boiling water is the best way to screw up aging rum!
Second step, fill the barrel to extract the most tannins, otherwise the rum will turn into foul wood juice. Pascal decides to do this with Rivesaltes Muscat for 2 months, following an article he had found on the Internet.
During a visit to his wine merchant, this one, aware of the project proposed to empty the barrel and fill it with Jim Bean, just to round it all off. And this time, it will remain 8 months in the small 5 liter barrel!
In order to slightly limit the cost of the project, Pascal quickly chose his favorite distillery, La Favorite! Taking advantage of a return of 2 cubis of Favorite Coeur de Canne from Martinique, the perfect occasion !
After 7 months, return to the cellar for a first testing. Result: the wooded side is already becoming quite important, we will have to monitor this closely so that it risks to be undrinkable … small moment of stress but Pascal is a strong man ! 🙂
Back at home, our apprentice rum breeder notices that the angels have served themselves well and that there is already a liter missing (out of 5, the bastards).
But it remains 1 liter of cubis and the decision is made to add it to the barrel. So we have a Rhum Agricole with the Solera method 🙂
Three months later, last tasting at Hubert’s shop, delivery of a sample for me and the next day bottling due to the positive result of this tasting.
For my part, I confirm that I found it very very good … having tasted it blind, I was very impressed when I learned the whole story!
The epilogue is that the muscat was undrinkable, the whisky has softened (He has 6 bottles left) and Pascal has obtained 7 bottles of La Favorite cuvée « Poseidon« .
So yes, it seems that it is possible to make your old rum at home … but it takes patience (20 months here) and a lot of attention.
Imagine the work of a cellar master who must manage the aging of several hundred barrels!
Merci Pascal !!