- As the most diverse distillery in the Caribbean, Distilerias Unidas S.A. was originally built to supply distilled spirits for the Seagrams Company who produced and sold a variety of distilled products. Fifty years later this is the only Caribbean distillery producing both grain and molasses based distillates. A combination of pot stills and continuous column stills are capable of producing six million cases of distilled beverages annually.
In the plains northeast of the Andes mountains, outside the town of La Miel and just over 1000 km north of the equator, Hacienda Saruro covers more than 1200 hectares of fertile land at an elevation of about 1000 meters. The combination of climate, naturally filtered water and a stable supply of raw materials make this an ideal location to produce and age fine rums for the domestic and international market. Distilerias Unidas produces their own Diplomatico brand of rums, as well as the Cacique line of rums for Diageo. In addition to rum, their biggest product, domestically grown grains are also fermented and distilled in purpose-built stills to produce vodka, gin and whiskey for the Venezuelan market.
To ensure their source of molasses, Hacienda Saruro sells the sugar cane grown on the estate to the local sugar mill that supplies all of the molasses to Distilerisas Unidas S.A. More than 50,000 tons of molasses is stored in a concrete cellar before it is fermented for about 26 hours in a series of sixteen 100,000 liter stainless steel fermenting tanks to 7-8% abv.
All of the rum production is distilled in a single column still to 56% abv before being redistilled in one of the pot stills, column stills or a batch-kettle still after which it is aged, blended and bottled at the distillery. Only a small amount of bulk alcohol is sold under contract to other blenders.
Around the hacienda, 21 aging warehouses store more than 400,000 barrels of rum and other spirits. While most of the barrels are the traditional, used American bourbon and whiskey barrels, barrels used to age sherry and other spirits are being incorporated for use in new products. Across the Caribbean distillers are looking to alternatives to their traditional supply of used aging barrels as the cost of barrels rises in light of the worldwide expansion of the rum market.
At Hacienda Saruro, all of the rum aging barrels are stored horizontally, a practice that is more costly due to the increased handling and space requirements but provides better contact between the wood and the alcohol. Compared to the space-saving practice of storing barrels on their head and staking them high on pallets, horizontal storage allows better visual inspection of the barrels to detect leaks and provides better ventilation which enhances the aging process.
Today Distilerias Unidas S.A. is a privately held company that is working hard to improve their products by blending the latest technology with the time honored methods of rum production. Expect to see some new products from this innovative company in the coming years, but like all good things in the rum industry, quality takes time.
- There are 11 products in our database distilled by Distilerias Unidas, S.A..
- Cacique Ron Añejo
- Cacique Ron Añejo 500
- Cacique Silver Premium Rum
- Diplomático Ambassador
- Diplomático Añejo
- Diplomático Reserva
- Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
- Diplomático Rum Blanco
- Hacienda Saruro
- Pampero Anniversario
- Pampero Ron Añejo Especial