Whether you are a rum connoisseur or haven’t even tried it, whilst on tour in Nicaragua it is hard to escape a visit to the rum distillery, factory and museum, Flor de Cana. But then again why would you escape a visit? The rum itself has won numerous international awards and is known as the best rum in Central America, a source a national pride for a country which not a lot is known about by most.
The factory is a family affair and dates back 5 generations, with the billionaire Pellas family running the show, along with many others! The distillery is located 30 minutes outside of the colonial gem of Leon near the rather chaotic town of Chichigalpa, which is also home to the huge San Antonia sugar factory. If you would like to visit please bear in mind it has to be organized through a tour operator beforehand you cannot simply turn up to the factory without prior reservation as numbers are limited, and tours run at set times.
The English speaking tour guides from the Flor de Caña plant, who are usually ex-workers, take you through the step by step process required to produce this world-famous liquor and you are also provided with a history of the factory. A tasting of the 18-year-old vintage is offered so you can sample what all the hype is about!!
The rum is aged in white oak barrels which are made from either American / French oak or Nicaraguan wood and sealed with Nicaraguan plantains. The barrel storage facility is certainly an eye opener with numerous barrels stacked on top of each other from floor to ceiling in a very dimly lit space.
The factory has rum aged from 4 to 25 years, but it is very difficult to buy the 25-year-old stuff we are told, mere mortals like us are limited to the range below. You can imagine the Pellas family kicking back on their private island in Lake Nicaragua sipping the really good plonk that has spent 25 years maturing!
Flor de Caña Extra Lite 4 years
Flor de Caña Gold 4 years
Flor de Caña Black Label 5 years
Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7 years
Flor de Caña Centenario 12 years
Flor de Caña Centenario 18 years
The truth is in the tasting, we all have our own opinions of course, but around the world Flor de Cana rum has been given a big thumbs up so make a visit to its home while you are in Nicaragua.