The American rum industry has experienced a boom in recent years and a company that is at the forefront of this exciting frontier is Colorado-based Montanya. Founded by Karen Hoskin, this distillery is producing some brilliant rum and one of the brand’s finest offerings is Valentia.
This smoky, smoldering drink is a reflection of the passion of the Montanya team and the determination to highlight women who’re doing some awesome things with rum.
Montanya is an ethically-minded distillery that is committed to sustainability. Karen set up the business in 2008 as a celebration of her love of rum that spans over 30 years and started with her introduction to Old Monk rum.
Karen’s passion for what she does caught the attention of Renee Newton, who joined the distillery and poured her energy into crafting unique rum. This culminated in the creation of Valentia, which is inspired by Renee’s hard work and translates to ‘courage, bravery and grit’ in Spanish.
The rum was bottled in November 2019 and although it was originally meant to be a limited release, the Valentia has become a part of Montanya’s core lineup.
Valentia is a pure, single-barrel, double matured rum that’s bursting with flavour. The drink is aged for four years in Laws Whisky House barrels and then finished in Rye barrels from Catoctin Creek, imparting a distinctive Scotch quality (in my opinion). Compared to other Montanya rum, the Valentia doesn’t have any honey added to it. There’s also no added sugar or sweeteners.
I was able to try a sample of Valentia during the first European online rum festival and it immediately jumped out at me for the whisky-like profile. On removing the top, an inviting spicy aroma filled the air, which reminded me of ginger and cloves.
The first sip revealed notes of chocolate and toast, while the second brought in peaty flavours and an undercurrent of coconut. Notes of caramel and honeysuckle trickled through towards the back of the throat and then I was ambushed by a fiery burn. It was the best kind of ambush.
Montanya Valentia will provide you with all the liquid courage you need. It’s ballsy, bright and sessionable. A great addition to any rum connoisseur’s collection.
Nose: Ginger, clove, mushrooms
Mouthfeel: Coconut, chocolate, toast, honeysuckle, Scotch whisky