Terroir

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Where Ron Santiago de Cuba is made

Ron Santiago de Cuba is made in the Oriente, South East of the Island of Cuba, in the city after which the rum is eponymously named. Here, the fertile land meets the Caribbean seas under the scorching sun to create the perfect microclimate to grow sugar cane.

Hundreds of sugar cane plantations are scattered across this unique geographical region which, for over 150 years, has been known as 'La Cuna del Ron Ligero' (The Cradle of Light Rum). Some of the varieties of sugar cane grown here have a short cycle, taking just 12 months to reach a maturity ready for harvesting, while others have a long cycle, taking 18-24 months. All Ron Santiago de Cuba rums are distilled only from fermented molasses made from rich sugar cane grown in this specific region. The molasses are noted for their combination of high sugar levels, low acidity, and low viscosity, so making them perfect for fermentation.

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The distillery, Rum Factories of Santiago de Cuba, lies between San Antonio and San Ricardo in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Founded in 1862, the distillery which opened in 1868 occupies an area of 16,430m² and is the oldest in Cuba. And it is owned by Corporación Cuba Ron. This distillery most notably produces Ron Santiago de Cuba, but Ron Caney is also made here.

After distillation, white oak barrels of a wide variety of types are filled with the rum and the casks placed in the Don Pancho ageing warehouse, affectionately known as the 'Cathedral of Cuban Rum'. This sits in the sunbathed east of Cuba, where the land meets the humidity of the sea, creating the perfect environment to age rum.

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The warehouse lies alongside a railway. Locals maintain that the ground shaking from passing trains vibrates the resting barrels, enriching the ageing process. The humidity, proximity to the ocean, and the region's climate, all have a massive influence on the flavour and character of the aging rum.

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A percentage of the rum is lost to evaporation while it matures in the barrels, a loss known in the whisky industry as Angel's Share. Across all Cuban Rums, the angel's share varies from between 7% and 10% but Santiago de Cuban Rums experience losses towards the upper end of this scale at between 9% and 10% due to the high temperatures in this region. The average daytime temperature in the warehouse is 24-25°C, peaking at 30°C in the summer when even during the night the temperature rarely dips below 24°C. This heat is accompanied by humidity in warehouse between 76-84%.

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[Above from copy supplied by the brand. Please do not share this content to anyone below the legal drinking age. Drink responsibly.]