Montero Palido

Montero Palido

Product of:  Spain 
Aged: 2 1/2 - 3 years 
Price:  €11.90 - €15.00 in Spain

Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context:  Premium Aged Rum 
RG Rating:  8

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.  Ron Palido Montero exhibits light, tanned natural leather color in the glass.  A complex collection of  well balanced aromas are initially sweet like cane stalks, honey and maple, then earthy, mildly mineral and dry, with slight vanilla, oak, hazlenut and butterscotch scents. Light, pleasant alcohols complement the aromas and assist their protracted delivery to your senses.  An initial creamy taste is succeeded by drier maple, vanilla, oak and butterscotch flavors, wrapped within a true from-the-barrel-sensation.  The medium weight body is more substantial than the color and light alcohol would lead you to suspect and finished slightly warm with white pepper, then subsiding to oak, caramel, light milk chocolate and dry vanilla. 

Three production and aging techniques add to Ron Montero’s unique qualities:

1. Aging in new oak barrels differentiates Montero from most other rum distillers who typically obtain used oak barrels from the American whiskey distillers. Montero claims they obtain a smoother product this way, and their rums indeed exhibit smooth textures beyond their relatively young age.

2. Vacuumed distillation: conducted at lower temperatures, enabling separation of the desired components from the non-desired.

3. Filtration further eliminates non-desired compounds, without losing the Aguardiente's main desirable characteristics.

Ron Montero is a 46 year old family rum distillery in the southern coast of Granada, Spain. The area has a long history of sugar cane plantations spanning more than 1.000 years. The plant was brought by the Arabs through northern Africa, and is thought to have originated either from India or China. Indeed, history tells us that Christopher Columbus transported the sugar cane plant from southern Spain to the West Indies during his second voyage to the New World. The Martin family owned the first and last sugar cane factory in Europe, which closed in April 2006 after 145 years, and has thus been in contact with sugar cane and its associated products, for several generations. Azucarera del Guadalfeo was founded in 1861 and closed in 2006; the last sugar cane factory in Europe. Ron Montero uses the distilled alcohol from these distilleries to manufacture its two rums: Ron Palido Montera and Ron Montero Gran Reserva.  Current rum production amounts to of 240,000 litres annually, mainly distributed to the surrounding areas.

The Montero family owns, as a separate company, two  distilleries called Azucarera del Guadalfeo.  The smallest of these distilleries uses the traditional method of continuous distillation whilst the other distills using a vacuum method. This allows the distillation to occur at lower temperatures, maintaining many of the alcohol's natural properties. Together, these distilleries are Spain’s largest producer of rum based on sugar cane molasses. 

The aguardiente always comes from the vacuum distillery. The 'Destilado de caña', by law in Spain must be under 96.5% alc/vol.  Both alcohols are filtered separately, and then go on to age in 500L American oak barrels. Almost unique in the rum industry, Montero buys new unused barrels, and gives them a special, traditional treatment before the fermented sugar “wines” are introduced. Montero employs the 'Criadera y Solera' ageing method commonly used by Sherry producers from Jerez de la Frontera. Briefly, Montero empties half of a barrel's content into the barrel below, mixing the content of the different barrels and their different ageing periods. For the Ron Pálido, Montero uses one 'solera' and one 'criadera' (two layers).

Ron Palido Montero is nicely complex, delicate and dry, loaded with flavors and a depth of character born from traditional family craftsmanship.  If only I visited Spain more often…

A Deep History - Montero’s has previously been distributed almost exclusively for local consumption, and their export intentions are unclear, so their rum’s may be difficult to find outside of Spain.  The rustic Old World pride built into Montero’s Gran Reserva is obvious from the first glassful. Montero has a musty element that differentiates it from both sweet and dry Caribbean rums. It’s all craftsmanship.

Reviewed:  June 2009 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017