The first commercially-made distilled rum made entirely in the Cayman Islands was launched last week.
Seven Fathoms Premium Rum uses an underwater aging process thought to be the first ever used with a spirit, said Walker Romanica, one of the co-founders of Cayman Islands Distilleries.
‘By aging our spirits underwater, we are able to take advantage of the kinetic properties of the ocean tides and currents to create a very unique flavour profile and a remarkably smooth rum,’ he said.
After the distilling process, the rum is put into oak barrels and taken out to the ocean, where it is dropped to a depth of 42 feet – hence the name Seven Fathoms.
Cayman Distilleries other co-founder Nelson Dilbert said the aging process is not just a gimmick.
‘[The underwater aging] works very well with marketing, but there is actually science to it,’ he said. ‘The product is always moving and is also subjected to sound waves, which is excellent for the aging process. There is a Japanese company doing it with sake and the French are doing it with wine.’
As a result of the unique kinetic maturation process, Seven Fathoms rum takes on characteristics of rums aged much longer using traditional methods.
‘It’s a gold rum with a light finish and no harshness,’ said Mr. Dilbert. ‘It’s actually a sipping rum with plenty of flavour.’
The idea of making rum isn’t a new one for Cayman Islands Distilleries.
Mr. Dilbert said his company has been doing research for more than six years on making rum, and has been tinkering with the distilling and aging process ever since.
‘We finally produced a product we’re very, very happy with,’ he said.
The idea that motion could help in the aging process of rum goes back centuries, Mr. Dilbert said, explaining that rum produced in the Caribbean in earlier days was found to be quite harsh. However, after travelling across the Atlantic Ocean on British Navy ships, the sailors noticed it had mellowed.
Seven Fathoms will be distilled in small batches, and will be sold only in the Cayman Islands.
The rum has already impressed one critic, author and rum consultant Luis Ayala of Rum Runner Press, Inc.
‘[Seven Fathoms Rum]… is not only revolutionary, carefully distilled and well packed, it is also quite tasty,’ Mr. Ayala wrote. ‘I am sure that in the next decade several rum distilleries across the world will also be adopting this method of kinetic maturation, but Seven Fathoms will forever be remembered as the first one to do so, and do it right.’
The rum will be available in liquor stores after the official launch party at the end of this month.