Advancing Rum

Rum is evolving, with increased interest in its products, origins and history. As people become true rum connoisseurs, Ron Abuelo is helping lead this “reinvention” trend.
Words by Sandy Lindsey | November 29, 2019 | Lifestyle

Over the last few years, Ron Abuelo has immersed itself in the fascinating world of wood. Four years ago, they launched The Finish Collection, their first big adventure into using different types of wood to finish their rums. This year, they launched Ron Abuelo Two Oaks — a 12-year-old rum which, just like The Finish Collection, begins its life in American ex-bourbon white oak barrels. After just over 11 years of aging, the rum is introduced in Extra Charred Virgin White Oak Barrels, specially produced for Ron Abuelo by expert partners in Napa Valley. The resulting rum has a profound smoky character with a sublimely smooth flavor. “It took us almost 3 years to develop this rum, during which we patiently waited and let time and wood do their magic — until we finally got to the liquid we had envisioned,” says Luis Varela, CEO and 3rd generation of the family. The company is constantly looking for new ways to go a step further, always seeking new boundaries to break. With Two Oaks, this is more evident than ever. “The charring level inside oak barrels deemed usual for the industry was between 3 to 4 mm in depth,” explains Varela. “We took it a bit further. Our Two Oaks virgin oak barrels are slowly charred at 180 degrees for 60 minutes to gently open up the grain within wood. We then turn up the heat to 220 degrees for another 60 seconds to obtain an 8 mm charring level, known as deep charring No. 4.” Taking the charring process further in order to deliver a product that is unique and innovative in the rum industry is just one of the many ways they’re working to turn rum into an ultra-luxury category like Scotch;