Behind The House of Angostura’s Award-Winning Rum

June 09 , 2016 by: The House of Angostura Angostura

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The House of Angostura is known for its iconic aromatic and orange bitters, but what often gets overlooked are the award-winning line of blended rums; specifically Angostura 5 Year, Angostura 7 Year, Angostura 1919 and Angostura 1842.

John GeorgesAngostura Rum is different than other popular rums on the market. For The House of Angostura, it’s all about a distinguished balance.

That’s where Master Distiller John Georges comes in.

Georges joined The House of Angostura in 1982 upon graduating from the University of the West Indies with a BS in Chemical Engineering. Having been with the company for more than 30 years, he knows rum.

Georges has worked in the various stages of production: distillation, fermentation, aging, packaging, and bulk sales. But he has now returned to where his expertise lies. As Georges said, [I have] “been in and around the manufacture and aging of rum for more than a quarter of a century.”

Angostura Rum holds true to its goal of obtaining balance. Georges said a little “dirtiness” is fun, but shouldn’t be overdone. What makes Trinidadian Rum true to its roots is a solid character and distinct flavor notes.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 2.56.40 PMAngostura Rum begins with the thickest, sweetest molasses. It is combined with a bespoke yeast culture — a derivation of the original yeast from when distillation began in 1947. It is part of the DNA of Angostura’s rums – unduplicated by any other manufacturer in the world. Once fermented, the liquid is distilled in multi-column continuous stills that strips water while concentrating the alcohol. After the rum reaches an alcohol content between 80 to 90 percent, it is then aged in once-used American white oak barrels. This process mellows the rum, purifies it by removing smells and enhances the flavor and aroma — which allows the rum to generate even more complex notes.

Once aged, the rum is blended. From there, The House of Angostura’s distinguished line of rums is created. So, what is the difference between each of Angostura’s Rum?

  • 5-Year Old: Spicier and offers a little more bite. This is ideal if you enjoy the taste of rum coming through in your cocktails. It presents chocolate, spice, vanilla and toasted oak flavors and provides a remarkably warm and mellow finish. It can be enjoyed for sipping, but its deep character lends to being blended with stronger mixes, spices, and herbs.
  • 7-Year Old: Richer notes with the flavor of the barrel coming through because of the aging process. It is the start of a good sipping rum. 7-Year Old is packed with mouthwatering flavors that include maple, chocolate, honey and toffee. It presents a rich full-bodied taste that tapers off in to the classic rum finish.
  • 1919 and 1824: Beautiful sipping rums that are both aromatic and flavorful. They can be enjoyed as an aperitif or digestif.
  • 1787: The newest member of the rum range. It is aged for a minimum of 15 years. It is characterized by long, crisp flavors with hints of fried prunes and sweet rounded oak notes entwined with toffee nuances.

Where Georges finds his passion lies within the experimentation behind aging Angostura Rums.

“I was part of the team that pioneered the introduction of our multi-award winning International Rum Range – the brands you currently enjoy today,” said Georges. “You see, I’m not really an expert marketer or PR guru. I’m just the guy who makes the stuff. That’s always where my passions will lie.”

Georges credits his craft to Albert Gomez and Tommy Gatcliffe – two pioneers in Trinidad rum production. Their impact on the history has helped influence Georges’ ever-growing passion for all things rum.

“There are many facets to my job that I enjoy, from meeting our passionate brand advocates around the world, to seeing our rum popping up in the most unlikely bars in the farthest corners of the globe,” said Georges. “It makes me proud.”