The Heritage of Rum

07 Dec 2014
3 min read
FOUR interviews Robert Collins, MD of Flor de Caña

How does the company reflect its Nicaraguan roots in its rum today?

Since the beginning, Flor de Caña has stood for an unwavering commitment to creating the highest quality rums, a commitment that comprises expert craftsmanship, the finest natural ingredients and a proprietary “Slow-Aged™ method. Even today, the sugarcane for our rum is still grown and processed at the company-owned mill in Chichigalpa, and the distillery and barrel houses are located on our own plantation. The company is still owned and managed by the Pellas family and led by our Chairman Carlos Pellas. Flor de Caña is one of the best ambassadors Nicaragua can have. On each bottle are symbols of our heritage, such as the volcano and the sugar cane.

How does FDC extend itself so prolifically throughout Central America?

By choosing the correct partners for distribution and implementing the correct strategy, we have long been the #1 rum in Central America and we now have presence in more than 50 countries on 5 continents.

What is it about FDC that makes everyone love it?

Its unique flavour, that comes from our proprietary “Slow-Aged™ method. Consumers enjoy discovering this rum and sharing with their friends.

How does the Slow-Aged rum you produce differ from other rums on the market?

The term Slow-Aged™ characterizes the natural, undisturbed aging process used to produce all Flor de Caña rums. The natural temperature, ventilation and duration of the aging process of Flor de Caña ensures that no excessive flavors or aromas are added to the final product. Flor de Caña utilizes natural ingredients and the spirit is slowly aged for years in charred, white oak barrels previously used to mature American bourbon whiskies. Flor de Caña still uses the original barrelhouses in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, built without air-conditioning or electrical ventilation. These original barrelhouses are affected only by the natural climate conditions of the tropics, allowing the rum to slow age naturally and acquire its amber color and exceptionally smooth taste without using any artificial ingredients or aging accelerants.

What do you want from your new partnership with William Grant & Sons USA?

To become the Premier, Premium-Plus Latin American rum.

How did the launch of your ultra-premium 25-year-old “crown jewel” rum go?

The launch of our Flor de Caña Centenario 25 has exceeded our expectations. For the first year, we offered it exclusively in Duty Free stores. The demand was so great, however, that we expanded sales to local markets. In September 2014 we launched Flor de Caña Centenario 25 in the US with extraordinary sales.

What does the coming five years hold for FDC?

Continue to grow the business though innovation focus on the Ultra premium segment.

What, in your opinion are the best 3 ways to enjoy FDC?

Flor de Caña has a complete portfolio of rums that includes variants from 4 to 25 year-old rums. Each variant makes the best cocktails you can have, but 3 of our recommendations are:

Flor de Caña Centenario 18 is best served on the rocks and with a twist of orange

Our signature cocktail named Nica Libre is made of Flor de Caña Gran Reserva 7, sparkling water and a twist of orange. The oil from the orange peel enhances the aroma and flavour of the rum.

The Official Drink of Nicaragua is “The Macua,” a delicious and refreshing cocktail made exclusively with Flor de Caña Gran Reserva 7 or younger rums, along with Orange, Guava and Lime juices

We hear you’re based in Panama – was this a relocation for business or pleasure?

Our move several years ago to Panama was for business reasons. Panama is very well connected to all the countries of North, South and Central America, and it’s easy to travel from here to Europe, Asia and Australia, where our business is growing.

What is your tipple of choice after a long week?

I enjoy a Nica Libre made of Flor de Caña Gran Reserva 7.