The manufacture of rum can be summed up in three main stages: fermentation which transforms sugar into alcohol, distillation which concentrates this alcohol and aging which makes it possible to refine the rum according to the type sought: white, straw, old , ...
The first step in making agricultural rum is to obtain alcohol. For this, a sweet juice is inoculated with yeasts of the saccharomyces type. These yeasts convert the sugar present in the juice into alcohol (ethanol). This sweet juice is obtained by crushing sugar cane (agricultural rum), it is then called vesou or by extending molasses from the production of sugar (industrial rum) with water. The wine (liquid thus obtained) is slightly alcoholic (5 ° to 6 °).
The next step in the production of agricultural rum is the distillation of the wine. The distillation makes it possible by heating to isolate the light products (alcohol, aromatic products) from the water. The alcoholic degree is therefore strongly reinforced, since at the outlet of the distillation column the alcoholic degree of the rum varies around 70 °
It is reduced to degrees of marketing which vary from 40 to 62 ° (the most common in Guadeloupe being 62 °, 59 °, 50 ° and 45 °) with spring water.
It is then ready for marketing as a "white" agricultural rum.
The Amber Rum
White rum can also stay a little longer in oak barrels and after a few more months, the "straw" rum is obtained. This rum is also sometimes called "amber" or "Gold" rum. It takes its name from Rum "Paille" with its yellowish orange color of the straw. This type of rum is mainly used in cocktails or in mixed rums and is often not produced by distilleries which rather focus their market on whites or old people.
Like Straw Rum, White Rum can, once distilled, stay for several years in very specific barrels which are generally oak barrels (which have previously been used to age Whiskey or Bourbon).
In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
Rum aging is three times faster than other spirits and aging in a tropical environment is also faster than in a temperate environment (8 to 10% per year compared to 1 to 2% in a temperate climate). An 8-year-old Old Rum is the equivalent of a 25-year-old single malt.
In France an old rum is a rum aged at least 3 years and must comply with a strict production and storage charter. There are various levels of aging (you can refer to the table of appellations ).
In recent years, producers have diversified their range by adding a touch of additional aromas to Old Rums having finished their initially planned aging. They therefore put them to finish aging 6 months to 1 year in barrels that have contained whiskey, cognac, wine, single malt, port or even sherry. We then speak of " Finish ". Often, the name of the spirit that was previously contained in the barrel is mentioned in the name: " Sherry Finish ", " Porto Finish ", " Whiskey Finish " etc.