|Here is the Solera System at Valera Hermano|
|Refilling the top of the la criadera|
The solera system represents several years of rum production and is a valuable asset of the company. This is why you see several parallel soleras systems sitting side by side in the bodega. There are many years of aging involved in making great rum, and the solera is a great way to shorten the actual aging of the rums and allowing the rum producer to get the rum to market sooner. Because some of the "mother rum" never leaves the solera, the actual age of the rum can not be published, but the effeciency of the system leaves no doubt that the rum is on a par with rums that have spent much more time in single barrels.
|Barrel Proof sitting on the "Solera"|
"La Crianza" or the nursery of the "Mother Rum" is where the majority of the aging or toning of the rum takes place as the rum is moved down the system til it finally reaches the bottom row and is allowed to rest with the "mother rum" before removal for bottling. Sipping a barrel proof of the mother rum in a solera is an opportunity that should never be missed. Even at the over proof levels, this rum has a flavor that is almost impossible to describe.
Though some rum experts have described the Solera method of aging rum as "cheating", it does shorten the time necessary to mature the rum and the product is still on a par with many of the older single barrel aged rums. With today's economy, the rum producers need to bring their products to the market sooner, and the solera system allow this without compromising the taste of the rum. ;o)