Top Aruban rum U.S.-bound

Destilerias Unidas is hoping its success peddling rum throughout the Caribbean and Latin America will translate to the American market.

DU, working with U.S. importer Velocity International, is bringing its aged Aruban rum, Cartavio, here. The rum, Aruba's top seller, has been a staple in many Spanish-speaking countries since the distillery was begun by the Cartavio Sugar Co. in 1929. It already has a solid niche in the Euopean market as well.

In 1929, Cartavio Sugar Co. purchased 10,000 oak cases from Slovenia, at the time the source of the best white oak . The same barrels and the same process still are used to create the rum in Aruba.

"The aging process has not changed at all over the past 76 years, despite modern developments, because the flavor and aroma of Ron Cartavio can only be maintained using the oak casks," said Mario Maggi, executive vice chairman of Destilerias Unidas. "Our rums are handcrafted from all-natural sources, starting with our artesian water through to our traditional distilling process where no additives are used."

The Cartavio line ranges from the white rum Blanco Superior, with sweet vanilla aromas, to the 12-year-old Old Rum of Solera, with hints of spices, light chocolate and light coffee.

Cartavio's distillery has 15 rooms, houses 40,000 casks and contains 8 million liters of aging rum.

"We plan to cover several European countries and the United States with a broad launch over the next two years," Maggi said.

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