The first thing he asked was: Where are you? Madeira. Ok, so … can you come along to La Palma then? You can check out the distillery! Sure man, great, see you in 3 days!
So we sailed and there they were! Santi and Jose, the Master blender and the rum distiller themselves, to catch our ropes at midnight, when we entered the bay of Santa Cruz de La Palma silently like a whale.
After a lot of welcoming rums, all of us were invited to see the process of real rum making, from cutting cane to labelled bottle, at full closeness. Jose’s father was the first one to show me the alambique, their ancient column still which makes aguardiente directly from guarapo, the pure sugarcane juice only on woodfire. While the crew got naked and splashed by the waves at the backside of the distillery, Jose, Santi and I made arrangements for the first export of Aldea Rum in oak barrels, putting the local customs in front of a new challenge. But, as on a fairly small island, everyone knows everyone, despacito and with a little help from a friend all went smoothly and Tres Hombres started the ocean crossing with 3 barrels of 15-year-old Aldea rum! The five months of sailing in the hold did no bad to the rum and our 4th edition of Tres Hombres Rum was the start of a beautiful cooperation between Aldea and Fairtransport. Nowadays Aldea is the biggest supplier for Tres Hombres Rum and Jose presents me with new editions of organic rums and very old specialities every year.
This year, for celebrating the 10th anniversary, Jose put 2 barrels of the oldest rum he has onboard, from 1991! Those barrels will cross the ocean 2 times and part their journey together in April 2023 in Amsterdam, where one will be bottled for our dear readers and one will continue to sail back to La Palma. There, at their bodega, it may rest for some more time in between the younger barrels, which will listen excitedly to the stories of the ocean traveller.
P.S.: If you like you can reserve your bottle of ED.64 La Isla Bonita Captain’s Choice 2023, Vintage 1991, even with your favourite number of bottle (from 13 onwards;-)