Monday, July 18, 2011

Destileria Serralles and Don Q Rums

     Destileria Serralles was founded by the Serralles family in the mid 1830's when they moved from Cataluna, Spain to Ponce, Puerto Rico.     The Serralles family founded and successfully ran a sugar plantation that grew, harvested and refined sugar to send to the United States, Great Britain, and France.    The Sugar Plantation eventually grew into a "Company Town", complete with a railroad line,worker housing and eventually an airport, most of which have been annexed into the town of Ponce.
 In 1865 the family opened their rum distillery on the plantation, "Hacienda Mercedita", named for the family matriarch Mercedes Perez.

     Juan Serralles Colon imported a still from France and he was able to produce his first casks of rum.     The Serralles plant produced many local brands, most of which were very short lived .     It wasn't until 1932 when the Don Q  Brand was launched that the company became competitive with Bacardi.     In 1985 the with the guidance of Felix Juan Serralles, Sr,\. Puerto Rican Distillers Inc. was purchased from Canadian liquor magnate Joseph E. Seagram and Sons LTD.     After the purchase, the company grew rapidly.     Serralles acquired Captain Morgan, Palo Viejo, Ron Llave, Ronrico, and Granado for production and distribution in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.     The loss of the Captain Morgan brand to Deageo means that they will shift their promotion to more traditional local brands  like "Palo Viejo" and Ron Llave.     The current President and CEO, Felix Juan Serralles, Jr, the great grandson of Juan Serralles, has lead the company to a position of having produced over 60% of the rum produced in Puerto Rico as well as several other enterprises under "Grupo Serralles".     This company is one of America's 100 oldest family owned businesses.  

     The Don Q brand itself has done very well throughout the world in it's targeted middle price rum category.    Produced from molasses, water, and mash fermented with yeast,  and distilled in a continuous 6 column still and aged up to 1 year in oak barrels.    The proprietary recipes of Destileria Serralles provide the distinct taste that Don Q is known for.     Don Q is distributed in the United States, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Spain and various other countries throughout the world.    

     The name is in honor of the famous literary character that tilted at windmills, Don Quixote.        The top of the line is "Don Q Gran Anejo", which is a fine blend of rums that range in age from 3 to 12 years in bourbon casks.     The light mahogany color and fine legs lead straight to the sweet aroma that matches the taste you get on the palate.    The finish starts off smooth, but turns harsh at the end.   This is an ideal rum for higher end cocktails that beg for a sweeter and spicy flavor.   The flavors are great to bring many of the tiki era drinks to life in place of several other of the Jamaican rums.      Give it a try and you won't be sorry, enjoy.     ;o)