Rum solera process

Sylvia Simm | 09. July 2024

Rum from old to young!

Rum that has been stored using the solera method has a sophisticated age structure. The solera process is known from Spanish sherry production, but is also used today for rum and whisky ageing. It is a maturation process in which the barrels are stacked on top of each other in a characteristic manner and bottled from top to bottom.

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What is the solera process?

The name solera process comes from the Spanish word 'solera' and means 'lying on the floor'. The bottom row, in which the oldest barrels lie, is called the 'solera'. The rows above it in the usually four-row barrel pyramid are called 'criadera'.

Origin of the solera process

Spanish emigrants brought the solera process for rum production to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The special thing about Solera rum

Rum maturation using the solera method means that a high age indication can be achieved. This is because the age of the oldest rum can be stated, although only some of the rum actually has this age. Young and old rum is married by blending the barrels from top to bottom. Rums aged for different lengths of time have a good balance of flavour and consistent quality.

If, for example, you compare an 18-year-old single cask with a solera rum, the solera rum reaches the same stage of maturity earlier. The solera process therefore saves time while maintaining the same quality.

How the solera process works

For barrel ageing, four rows of oak barrels are usually stacked on top of each other in a pyramid shape. Around a third of the lower row of barrels, the solera, is removed for bottling and refilled with the younger rum from the barrels above, the criaderas. The upper row is then topped up with fresh distillate. This results in a mixture of several age classes and consistent quality. The term solera has survived to this day, although today the barrels are often no longer stacked on top of each other in a pyramid shape, but sometimes even in different places. The distillate is then pumped from barrel to barrel using hoses according to the solera principle.

Which solera rums are available?

Ron Zacapa

A classic among the solera rums is the Ron Zacapa 23 Solera from Guatemala. The youngest rum in the upper range is 6 years old and the oldest in the Solera range is 23 years old. It was also matured in sherry and Pedro Ximénez casks.

Santa Teresa

The Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum was initially matured in the solera process for up to 35 years before being matured in French Limousin oak barrels.

Matusalem Gran Reserva

The Matusalem Gran Reserva from the Dominican Republic is matured for at least 15 years using the solera method.

Dictador Rum

In addition to being matured using the solera process, Dictador from Colombia is distilled from sugar cane honey in both column stills and pot stills.

Discover our entire selection of solera rums here!

 

Comparison of solera rum with blended rum

Both types of rum (link) are a blend of different rums.

Blended rum is a mixture of distillates from different casks or different ages. Likewise, the rums may have been distilled using different processes or come from different distilleries and even countries.

The aim here is to create a product of consistent quality. The master blender ensures a harmonious result.

Solera rum has THE speciality when it comes to ageing. The age of the solera row, i.e. the lowest row of the solera pyramid, may be specified, although younger distillate is added from the rows above. The result is a mixture of old, medium-aged and young distillates. A solera rum is therefore already a mixture of different ages during the maturation period.

Here too, the aim is to create a rum with a harmonious flavour. The result is a rum with at least some old rums.

Conclusion

A blended rum can be stored and bottled using the solera process. However, a solera rum does not have to be a blended rum.

In a way, the solera process takes the work off the blendmaster - the artisan blender!

 

Our rum range

Ron Centenario Editión Limitada 30 Aniversario
Ron Centenario Editión Limitada 30 Aniversario
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
El Dorado Rum 12 Years
El Dorado Rum 12 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
A.H. Riise Non Plus Ultra Black Edition Rum Spirit (B-Goods)
A.H. Riise Non Plus Ultra Black Edition Rum Spirit (B-Goods)
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Papa Rouyo Sanblaj - Élevé-Sous-Bois Rhum 2021/2022
Papa Rouyo Sanblaj - Élevé-Sous-Bois Rhum 2021/2022
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Hampden Estate Rum HLCF with 2 glasses 4 Years
Hampden Estate Rum HLCF with 2 glasses 4 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Cihuatán Rum Tasting Box
Cihuatán Rum Tasting Box
0,2/ l · incl.  VAT
Appleton Estate Rare Casks Rum 12 Years
Appleton Estate Rare Casks Rum 12 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bumbu The Original Rum
Bumbu The Original Rum
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Plantation Rum Sealander
Plantation Rum Sealander
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Ron Maja 8 Years
Ron Maja 8 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Don Papa Single Island Rum 7 Years
Don Papa Single Island Rum 7 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
MacNairs Exploration Panama Rum - Unpeated 7 Years
MacNairs Exploration Panama Rum - Unpeated 7 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
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Sylvia Simm is an experienced employee of Whisky.de. After more than 20 years in online sales and service, she supports the company with her extensive whisky knowledge in marketing. As online editor and content manager, she is responsible for editing and updating the texts on the knowledge pages.

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