We select the finest ingredients to infuse our rum. Real pineapple, coconut, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, ginger root, allspice berries, nutmeg, cloves, star anise pods, cacao nibs from real cacao seeds that have been fermented and roasted, select, fresh roasted coffee beans, 100% lime juice, fresh picked Feijoa, and fresh picked cranberries.
Any flavor that is in our rums is a result of infusing that particular fruit or spice. An infusion means using the rum to extract the flavor rather than some other substance. So, we expose as much surface area of the fruit or spice by crushing, then place it into a vessel with our 160 proof rum to extract the flavors and oils. This means that it is only those spices and fruits and our rum that is in the bottle rather than any other chemicals that might have been used to extract those flavors, or worse, an artificial flavor.
The result is, you have a great tasting spirit with true flavors and no bad after taste.
Making the "Cut"
Stillwagon Distillery prides itself on the true hand crafting of our products from real ingredients. We start with blackstrap molasses and pure sugarcane sugar to produce our excellent rum. We use a small batch distilling process that separates the unwanted elements from the desireable, flavorful portion called the "hearts."
The process of separation during distillation is known as making the "cuts." There are four components to the distillation run: "Foreshots", "Heads", "Hearts", and the "Tails." The foreshots and heads are the first portion to be collected as they evaporate at the lowest temperature. These are identified at our distillery by temperature, scent, and flavor. Once this portion is collected and set aside, the hearts are then collected. The hearts are the portion we barrel and age, infuse with the various fruits and spices to blend for our infused rums, or proof and bottle for our white rums. The tails are then collected after the hearts, combined with the heads, and are stored for redistillation as they still have a significant amount of high quality rum to be extracted.
The cuts are a very important factor in the process. We cut the heads very deep, meaning that with the heads there is a good deal of the hearts that go with them as it isnt a defined separation; it is more like a blended spectrum that you have to select the point that defines your flavor profile to make the cut. We eliminate virtually all the heads, removing the major reason for hangovers and headaches that some experience when consuming a cheaply made spirit.
The cut to tails is also critical. Cutting to the tails too late results in an offensive odor and a noticeably less pleasant flavor. Making the cuts the way we do reduces the profitable portion collected. This means that we have to collect a premium for a premium product. We feel this is well worth the expense and justifies the cost of our product.
We age The Devil's Own Gold Rum in new, charred, American Oak barrels made in Kansas City, Missouri by Independent Stave Company. This means we went to an added expense over using previously used barrels to using a new barrel custom made to our specifications.
Another important factor is that we actually allow the rum to age. That means leaving it in the barrel for a significant amount of time to be mellowed by the carbon, and infused with the vanillins, tannins, and the oak itself. This results in a smooth flavorful gold rum.
The difference is this process is time intensive compared to other processes some use like wood chips and chunks or staves inside of stainless steel or plastic vessels. A stainless barrel cannot "breathe" like a wooden barrel. This interaction with temperature, the seasons, and humidity is what moves the spirit in and out of the wood. The oxidation and movement through the wood smoothes the spirit and gives it an unmatched quality to any other artificial means of "aging."