Un Espíritu Dos Culturas: One Spirit Two Cultures
Dos Maderas story not only combines the best of two ageing methods on opposite sides of the globe, but also brings two cultures together. On the one hand is the rum producing heritage of Barbados and Guyana in the Caribbean, and on the other is the rich sherry tradition of Jerez in Spain, and specifically that of the historical bodega Williams & Humbert. This sherry bodega was founded in 1877, and is now run by the Medina family, who have been in the wine business since the 1960s.
Williams & Humbert are internationally known for their Dry Sack Sherry and Gran Duque D’Alba, but in the 2000s the family decided to diversify. Like all of their other products, the new rum they envisioned would be something special.
“WE WANTED TO CREATE SOMETHING OF EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY, THAT WAS VERY DIFFERENT”
International marketing manager Gonzalo Medina says: “So we decided to start with rum from the Caribbean. You can find rum elsewhere, but there’s a romance and history of rum production in the Caribbean.”
Aging rum using the Criadera & Solera System
The Dos Maderas aging process is the same that has been transforming sherry and brandy in Jerez in Spain for centuries, and originated in this region. In this traditional Criadera & Solera system, a wine or spirit is gradually blended as it ages, resulting in unparalleled complexity and harmony.
How does the Criadera & Solera
The method makes use of a structure consisting of rows of casks – in this case, the same exceptional casks used by Williams & Humbert to age their sherries. Dos Maderas is aged in casks that have been used to mature either Palo Cortado or Pedro Ximénez sherry, and are nearly 100 years old. The particular sherry that a cask once housed has a significant impact on the finished rum.
In this structure, the most mature rums are found in the lowest solera level, and it’s from these casks that the rum is extracted for bottling. These are then replenished from the row of casks above them, and these in turn by the row above. A blend of five year old Caribbean rums from Guyana and Barbados is used to fill the top row.
The solera casks on the bottom row are never fully emptied. Remarkably, this means that every single bottle of Dos Maderas contains a small amount of rum from the very first batch.