Montanya Distillers, a craft rum distillery and Certified B Corporation® based in Crested Butte, Colorado, has added a new addition to its rum family — Valentia (Val-en-tee-a). This American-made, premium, limited-release rum celebrates the progress women have made in becoming a vital part of craft distilling. Renee Newton, a distiller at Montanya, first distilled Valentia more than four years ago, and it has been aging in oak ever since.
“This rum is a five-year dream of mine that’s coming alive,” said Karen Hoskin, CEO and co-founder of Montanya Distillers. “People often ask me about the challenges of being one of the first women in craft distilling and now I get to tell a different story, of women who are distilling and making beautiful spirits.”
The Valentia is finished in rye barrels from Catoctin Creek Distillery, which was distilled by Becky Harris, also a female founder, owner and head distiller. Valentia is a single barrel, double maturation rum that Montanya bottled with a female crew on November 19. It will first be released in Colorado, with wider distribution to follow.
“The name Valentia is the Spanish word for courage, bravery, and grit because that’s what it’s taken for women to get to this point in a male-dominated industry,” continued Hoskin. “When we started, there were no women and that has changed greatly in the last decade. It’s rewarding to see.”
Valentia is an aromatic rum with a natural sweetness, hints of vanilla, cardamom and ginger, and peppery notes from the rye barrel. It is the first Montanya rum that does not include a tiny touch of caramelized honey. It is pure rum distillate from non-GMO Louisiana sugar cane and Colorado aquifer water. It contains no added sugar and nothing else except the yeast that brought it to life.
Valentia is the first Montanya rum to debut this new Cradle to Cradle certified glass bottle. Strategic partner Constellation Brands helped conduct a market study to confirm Karen’s sense that the shape of this new bottle more accurately conveys the premium quality of Montanya’s American rum. The bottle is produced by O-I out of Illinois and is a vital partner in helping Montanya reduce its environmental impact. Other Montanya rums will start to appear in these new premium bottles by January 2020.
- Flavor: Natural sweetness with peppery notes from the rye barrel. Hints of vanilla, cardamom, and ginger with a subtle rye finish.
- Nose: Very aromatic with scents of vanilla and fall spices.
- Distillation: Pot distilled
- Aging: Three and a half years in white American oak from Laws Whiskey House and three months in Catoctin Creek rye barrels.
- Color: Light amber
- Proof: 80
- Recommendations: Sipping rum, or classic-spirit forward cocktails such as an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Montanya’s Ti Punch.
“It’s been great to be a part of Montanya for so long,” noted Newton on distilling the Valentia. “This one was fun to make and Valentia’s flavors and lightness delightfully surprised me. It’s gentle, slightly sweet palate is smooth and it’s going to be a good one to keep us warm and toasty this winter.”
A portion of the sales from Valentia will go toward the scholarship fund at Women of the Vine and Spirits, which supports women as they work toward their level 1-3 certification through Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
If you’d like to attend Montanya’s launch party in Crested Butte on Nov. 22, come to the distillery at 7 p.m. for live music, complimentary appetizers, and a complimentary sample Valentia cocktail and taste.
To learn more about Montanya Rum, the distillery, distribution, and the company’s focus on sustainability visit MontanyaRum.com.