“Rum” is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane by-products like molasses. The etymology behind the name is unclear, but production is much like other spirits. After distillation, rum is aged in oak barrels. Most rum comes from the Caribbean, but there is also much production in Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil. It is typically produced in “light” and “dark” varieties, with light rum being used in cocktails and dark rum drank straight.
Rum has a long and interesting history in America, with it being a luxury item in colonial America circa. 1660. For a while it was even used in place of gold for trade between America and England. Part of the fallout of the Sugar Act of 1764 was a disruption of the rum trade which, among other things, contributed to the American Revolution.
There are no international rules and regulations for what constitutes rum. Proof, aging, and other standards for rum very country to country, so no clear definition exists of what “rum” actually is. Regardless, seven general categories are frequently used to describe different rums. “Light Rums” have little flavor, may be filtered to a clear color, and are generally used in cocktails. “Gold Rums” are medium, aged, and dark in color. They may be aged in the barrels previously used for bourbon. “Spiced Rums” are often just spiced gold rums. They are dark in color and may contain many additives. “Dark Rums” are even darker than spiced or gold rums and are often aged in heavily charred barrels longer than gold rum. They have a much stronger flavor of molasses and are often used in cooking. “Flavored Rums” are simply flavor infused rums used for mixing or drinking straight. “Over proof Rums” are greater than the standard 80 proof, with common varieties around 150 proof. “Premium Rums” are aged long periods of time in carefully produced batches and are typically drank straight.
There is no criteria for rum production, but many countries require at least one year of aging in wood or stainless steel containers. The aging container determines the color of the final product, with dark rums coming from oak barrels. Since most rum is produced in tropical climates, the ageing process is shorter than with other spirits. Another side effect of tropical climates, is that the “angel’s share” (amount lost to evaporation during aging) of rum is often higher than other spirits. After aging, rum is typically blended and colored for consistency.
The TerrePURE® process reduces the alcohol “burn” you experience while drinking any of our spirits, but the effect is particularly noticeable with rum since these spirits have a much more complex, sugary base to begin with. In order to capture that complexity in every sip of our rum, we couple our innovation with the time-honored traditions of rum production. For example, although we do not need to barrel age our spiced rums, by processing these rums in the presence of oak staves (thus allowing direct exposure and commingling), we can achieve the reduced burn typical of TerrePURE processed spirits and impart the wonderful flavors, colors, and aromas typical of great spiced rum. The end result is a product with great character and sophistication you can taste, something only possible with TerrePURE.
Rum is generally 80 proof.