The small town of Chichigalpa in North West Nicaragua stands in the foothills of awe-inspiring San Cristobal, just one of a string of volcanoes punctuating the landscape of the Central American nation aptly nicknamed the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” Over the centuries the soil has been enriched by volcanic ash and pure water from Nicaragua’s freshwater lakes. Rich and fertile, its land is ideal for growing various crops including sugar cane which, for over 120 years, has been grown at a plantation in Chichigalpa.
In 1890 Francisco Alfredo Pellas, the owner of Chichigalpa’s San Antonio Sugar Mill, first used the molasses produced from the sugar cane to create rum. In so doing, he created a family legacy which would blossom over the decades into a global rum brand of distinction.
Within 50 years the plantation had set up a dedicated company to produce rum on a large scale and by the 1960s the Flor de Caña brand, named after the sugarcane flower, was being exported to Mexico and the rest of Central America. Still made with molasses from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery, this single estate rum is now available in over 40 countries worldwide and has emerged as one of the world’s most highly praised rums. Since 2000, for example, Flor de Caña has won more rum awards than any other rum brand.
What sets Flor de Caña apart is a unique slow-aging process, perfected by five generations of the Pellas family. The rum is distilled five times by the Master Distiller in accordance with a process that has remained unchanged to ensure consistency of taste. The rum is then naturally slow-aged in white oak barrels and left undisturbed to allow the amber colour and smooth flavour to develop.
Flor de Caña produces light and dark rums, both of which are highly praised. The 4, 5, 7, 12 and 18 Year Olds have all won multiple gold medals at various international competitions.
The star of the collection is the Flor de Caña Centenario 25 which has been slowly aged for a quarter of a century. The result, a smooth, luxurious taste with hints of vanilla, wood and cocoa, notes of fruit, almond and caramel and a long, buttery finish – a rum Francisco Alfredo Pellas would be proud of.