Enjoy a rum tasting adventure in sunny Spain, taking in everything from its fascinating history to its mouthwatering tapas culture. Our tours will journey you to some of the most spectacular locations and the finest drinking spots for true rum fans.
A product of the Caribbean, rum is often referred to as the “noble spirit” of islanders. With its history rooted in the grueling plantation days, this sweet alcohol is a huge part of their past. But Spain plays a crucial role in the story of rum too, with stories of how small distilling operations were happening even before the plantations (although not on record). It also played a part in introducing sugar cane to the Caribbean, which led to the development of the much-loved molasses rum.
Our rum tours will take you to some of the most significant historical locations, including major distilleries where you can learn all about the art of rum production. Join us on a discovery of Spanish-style rum (ron), inspired by islands like Cuba and Puerto Rico, and explore the varieties ranging from light-bodied to oily, round and complex. Compared to French-style rum (rhum), which is fruity and dry, it is often much lighter. And compared to English-style rum, which is often spiced, dark and vivid, the flavors are much cleaner. Spanish Caribbean rums are a delight on the palate and entice even the most advanced rum aficionados.
Tasting new rums is made even more exciting with culinary delights around every corner, amazing sights, and spectacular scenery in Spain’s most coveted cities. We take an insightful approach to our tours to ensure that they are both fun and educational, appealing to every type of drinker.
When it comes to rum tasting, there are three main styles that come out of the Caribbean. Shaped by colonial history, rums can be made in French, British and Spanish style. While most Spanish-style rums are made in Caribbean islands such as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, Spain has many links with these islands.
Not only was Spain the mother country of these colonies, but sugar cane was first introduced to Caribbean shores by Christopher Columbus who had brought it over there from the Canary Islands in 1493. And only a short few decades ago was sugar cane still being grown in the south of Spain, where rum making has been a long-standing tradition.
The famous Arehucas distillery in the Canary Islands is still in action today, and Spanish-style rum is consumed all over the world, and is often considered to be a favorite rum style for serious connoisseurs.
Spanish brands of rum are mostly distilled and aged in the usual Caribbean regions, and are then bottled or finished by Spanish producers. Taking on the Spanish rum tradition of distilling from molasses (not sugar cane as French rum is made with), the finished product is always very smooth, mild and light in character.
Barcelona is the Spanish capital, and the perfect destination for travelers who want the best of both worlds; city and beach all within a short distance of each other. Steeped in history and adorned with beautiful architecture, this is a city is a culture magnet. From its stunning Gothic quarter to the Catalan Modernist architecture or the works of Gaudi, Barcelona is a charming place to stroll around at any time of year.
The region around the city is also home to the famous Casa Barcadi, one of the earliest branches to open after the HQ in Puerto Rico. This is the world’s most popular rum label, enjoyed in almost every country and recognized in every language.
Other areas that are great for rum include the province of Granada which is home to the small family-run Ron Montero Distillery, Milan which is home to Santamania Urban Distilleries, and parts of the Canary Islands.
The best time to plan a rum tasting holiday to Spain is either in spring or autumn when the weather is pleasant but there are less crowds. The most popular time to plan a holiday is during the peak summer months. This is when there’s promise of hot weather, ideal for going to the beach. But even in the shoulder season, the temperatures are still warm enough for beach days.
Rum tasting is fantastic throughout the year. Distilleries such as Casa Barcardi in Sitges opens all year round from Wednesday to Sunday.
A Wine Paths rum tour in Spain combines the best of history, sightseeing and culture with the finest rums and authentic Spanish food. Whether you’re interested in trying a variety of rums, wish to discover the best rum and food pairings, or you’re a serious drink enthusiast with a thirst for knowledge, our tours are made to inspire. We create bespoke holidays to appeal to the most discerning of foodies, winos and rum drinkers, and can build unique experiences that cater to your palate.
By taking an insightful approach to distilleries and rum tastings, we can ensure that our clients have an unforgettable time.
How does Spanish rum compare to Caribbean rum?
Spanish-style rum is a variety of Caribbean rum, so Spanish rum brands will taste very similar to popular brands found on the islands. A lot of Spanish rums are made in the Caribbean and are then finished in sherry casks in Spain. Labels like Bacardi, which are headquartered in Puerto Rico, also have a branch in Spain.
What are the flavor distinctions between Spanish-style and French-style rum?
French-style rums are made from fresh sugar cane, whereas Spanish rums are made with molasses (the byproduct of sugarcane). In terms of flavor, French rum tends to be grassy, floral and earthy, while Spanish is smoother and lighter.
What about English-style rum?
The Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Barbados and St. Lucia are known for producing English-style rums, and these tend to be darker rums with a fuller taste. They retain a greater amount of the underlying molasses flavor, and are traditionally blended to be dark, rich and aromatic in profile. This style of rum includes a lot of the dark and spiced rums found in bars across the world, and are commonly consumed with mixers as a party drink.
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