Aging rum under water? I heard a story of a rum company on Grand Cayman Island that actually ages their rum under the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. Crazy? Maybe not. You’re curious aren’t you?
I had to find out more so I got in touch with Walker Romanica, one of the founders of Seven Fathoms Rum, and put him in the interrogation chair. Here are the tough questions I asked.
Seven Fathoms Rum Interview
1. I hear you have an interesting way you age your rum. Tells us a little about Seven Fathoms Rum and what makes it unique?
Seven Fathoms is a very unique rum. It is the very first rum to ever be made entirely in the Cayman Islands. It is made using a copper pot still and aged in bourbon barrels. It is, for the most part, made in a very traditional Caribbean style. That is – up until the point we start aging the spirit. We store our barrels at Seven Fathoms deep (42 feet) below the ocean. We do this – as crazy as it may sound – for a very good reason. We benefit from what is known as agitation. That is to say that underwater the barrels are constantly moving, passing the fresh surface area of the spirit over the fresh surface area of the oak. This enhances the interaction between the spirit and the barrel that we are looking for.
The concept of agitation is actually very old – it comes from a time when barrels were shipped across the ocean on a ship. It became known in time that barrels that had crossed the ocean had actually aged and tasted far better than the barrels that were left sitting on shore. In time, they came to understand that this was because in the hull of the ship, the barrels were constantly rocking back and forth. This movement became known as barrel agitation and to this day many distilleries around the world agitate their barrels. We of course achieve the same effect, just courtesy of the ocean tides and currents. Seven Fathoms is currently the only spirit in the world to be aged in this way.
2. What different flavors of rum to you offer?
We have released two brands of rum from the distillery. Seven Fathoms rum, and just recently Governor’s Reserve, which is a different and more traditional style of gold rum. We do not make any white, spiced or flavored rums.
3. What is your favorite rum cocktail?
Rum Swanky! Swanky is a traditional Caymanian drink that is made using limes, native sour oranges and brown sugar. The recipe can be as simple or as complex as you like, but add some Seven Fathoms rum and you have a truly uniquely Caymanian drink.
4. Are you and the other founders of Seven Fathoms from Grand Cayman?
Yes, we all were either born or raised here.
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