Down to Earth with Caliche Rum
Destileria Serralles in Ponce, Puerto Rico has struck liquid gold again! Roberto Serralles joined forces with South Beach Nightlife Promoter Rande Gerber to create an amazing new rum called Caliche. I had a chance to interview Roberto about this bottle of beauty and here’s what he had to say:
Me: Who is Rande Gerber and how did the idea of Caliche Rum come about?
Roberto: As one of the original pioneers of South Beach nightlife, Rande knows the spirit business. As the founder of Midnight Oil and The Gerber Group, Rande has worked closely with some of the best bartenders and mixologists across the globe, learning first-hand about the nuances and preferences of cocktail consumers. I was introduced to Rande by a mutual friend and we quickly realized that we had both been planning for some time to develop a super premium white rum and that it would be great to work together on this project. It really was a natural fit to have him partner with this brand. We bring the experience and authenticity of producing superb rums and he injects a level of excitement, glamour and keen knowledge of high end cocktail consumers.
R: One of the rums used in the blend of Caliche is aged using the solera system. Solera is a process for aging by fractional blending, resulting in an end product that is a mixture of ages. There is a 3 layer arrangement of Sherry casks. When using Solera rum for production, you take the maturate from the lower layer casks, which are the oldest. Those casks are then refilled with product from the casks in the middle layer. Maturate from the upper layer is then used to refill the casks in the middle one to replace what was used. The top layer is then refilled with a 4 year old maturate.
Me: I really like the packaging of Caliche. Who designed the bottle and what was the inspiration?
R: Rande worked very closely with a design agency to achieve a functional design that resonated ‘rum’, felt strong, masculine, but stood out on a shelf and on a back bar.
Me: Caliche is an aged rum but it has no color. What is the idea behind the filtration and how is it done?
R: The real skill in making full bodied, aged yet clear rum is in the filtration. You have to be very innovative in how you remove the color without removing any of the wonderful flavor components that aging provides. We have mastered the process of charcoal filtration to achieve that end and feel particularly proud of how Caliche comes through. If you sip it with your eyes closed, you would think it’s a dark rum because it has intact all the rummy, woody notes.
Me: Describe the flavor of Caliche Rum:
R: Unlike most white rums, which are made from products very light in composition, the exceptional blend in Caliche and the special filtration gives the rum an extremely smooth, modern characteristic with a unique, crisp balance of vanilla and citrus flavor and a hint of oak. Upon fist sip, you will experience an immediate rum flavor with a velvety texture that is followed by hints of caramel and vanilla. A citrus flavor lingers slightly providing a crisp note, then cleanly disappears with light tannins and oak flavor. Caliche blends well with standard mixers: coke, soda water, coconut water; classic rum cocktails and artisanal drinks because of its flavor profile.
Me: Caliche has limited distribution right now, when is it expected to go national?
R: Beginning of 2013.
Me: What is your favorite way to drink Caliche? Do you have a favorite drink?
R; I prefer it neat or on the rocks – it’s such a delicious rum.