Montanya Exclusiva

What is it? American rum, distilled, matured and bottled at the Montanya distillery in Colorado. The rum is a blend of sugar cane based rum and molasses base rum mixed together for distillation via direct fired Alembic pot stills – you an read more into this on my review of the Montanya Oro. In terms of maturation this one has had a different treatment; the official line is that it’s a 3 year old rum with 2 and a half years in American white oak casks that have previously held Laws Whiskey and then 6 months in French oak casks that have previously held Sutcliffe Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Port. In practice some of the rum may well have been aged longer than this 3 year period.

If you read about the Oro, there are details about added honey to the rum when it’s casked, the same applies here. A small amount of honey (0.04% of each bottle) is added, this appears to have had an impact of my hydrometer when measuring sugar levels, again this was covered off in the Oro review so you can hop over there for more detail.

Montanya are a B Corp certified business. This means that they have been certified as meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and their purpose. They were the first rum distillery in the world to be given B Corp status, they really care about the people and place around them.

In case you are interested my bottle is from barrel number 410.

Not coloured, not chill-filtered and bottled at 40% abv.

Sugar? No. Hydrometer test shows 19g/l of added, but as stated above and on the Oro review, this is most likely due to the honey and the way in which hydrometers are used to measure sugar content.

Nose: Woah, fruit. This baby is massively fruity on the nose; loads of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and cranberry at the start. We’ve got ginger, white pepper and sweet chilli/pimento that follows it up and clove from the cask. After the big fruit and spice it settles in to a little honey, vanilla and a lovely warm pasty note – think breakfast fruit Danish. What’s really nice here is I keep getting a big waft of menthol and eucalyptus darting about which gives an unexpected counter to the juicy red berries.

Palate: Medium mouth feel. Ah, it’s more whiskey forward here at the start with those Laws casks taking the lead over the wine, just like the Oro, although it’s nowhere near as sweet. Spicy with ginger, clove and white pepper. Herbal with that menthol and cane’y, grassy freshness. Then creamy; vanilla, white chocolate bars filled with raspberries and black cherries. There’s this cooling feeling you get in your mouth, which follows the spices, and tastes of cherry stones – it’s an odd thing I find in Talisker single malt and it’s very welcome here. Not as fruity as the nose at all really, it comes to more honey, a little melon maybe, and on the whole stays spicier.

Finish: Medium. Creamy but still a little spicy heat. Milky coffee, chocolate (both white and milk this time), pastries, cherries and strawberry again. It starts to swing back to the nose but doesn’t make it all the way, so it’s a mix of the noses fruitiness and the honey and spices from the palate. Really nice.

Thoughts: Again, as with the Oro, unusual. This baffles me, in a good way. It’s very fruity indeed, you definitely get the wine casks on the nose, the whiskey casks have an intense impact on the palate, but it’s this odd mix of cane juice and molasses I’m struggling to calibrate my brain to. Montanya rums don’t taste like any other rum I’ve had before and that is really interesting and exciting. It’s a style all on its own.

I really like this rum. I prefer it to the Oro quite a bit, I did find that a little too sweet for my preference. This is much dryer, more complex and a lot more interesting. Be warned though, it’s very easy to drink, as my almost empty bottle will attest. I would just say that I’d prefer this up to at least 43% abv but preferably 46% as I think it’d really push those flavours. In the scheme of things though this is a very minor quibble.

So the damage? £45. That’s a fiver more than the Oro and for me a massive jump up. I’d happily spend £45 on this, I’ve been very much enjoying it.

You can pick this up from Master of Malt here:

Montanya Exclusiva

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