TRANSPARENCY AT MONTANYA DISTILLERS
We believe strongly in full disclosure of how, where and from what ingredients our products are made. We believe our customers want to know this information and we believe, like you do, in high-quality, traceable products. We welcome visitors to come and see our process and understand the truth and authenticity of what we do every day at Montanya.
SUGAR CANE: The sugar cane we use at Montanya Distillers comes directly from a family co-op of cane growers in a 50 square mile region of Louisiana, near Lake Ponchatrain. The cane, which is non-GMO, is harvested in the fall months into 6" billets and transported just a few miles away to the Lula Sugar Mill in Belle Rose, Louisiana. There, the cane is pressed and turned into unrefined raw sugar. Mike Daigle and his crew at Lula pack this beautiful, unrefined sugar and its accompanying molasses seperately into one (1) ton totes and ship them directly to Montanya Distillers before the cane ever goes to the refinery or enters the commodity market. We know the people who own the land, grow it, harvest it, and mill it. They are wonderful people.
We historically purchased our sugar cane from Hawaii - from HC&S, a family-owned cane producer primarily based on Maui, via C&H Company in California. This was a commodity product. It came to our attention in 2012 that the C&H processing facility in California may have been using Mexican cane as the Hawaiian supply diminished. Because Mexican sugarcane is a GMO crop and the production process does not meet our standards for environmental, harvest and growing practices, and because we consider ourselves to be an American Rum made with American-grown cane, we had to make a change.
Our Louisiana cane is 100% from Louisiana, 100% family grown, 100% non-GMO and 100% certified American grown! The Lula Sugar Mill generates its own power, boiler combustion and compost from sugarcane biomass (called bagasse) and has a very strong commitment to conservation and community support. They return the water their Mill uses to the watershed cleaner than it came in. We have met and know the mill owners and operators, and we have visited the facilities and cane fields in person. It is our goal to always make our rum from a certified source of American cane and we have done the diligence necessary to assure this.
WATER: Our water is drawn up by a well from an aquifer 350 feet below Crested Butte, CO in Gunnison County in the West Elk Mountain range of the Rockies. The water we use is very minimally treated before it reaches our bottling line. There are no heavy metals or trace elements that are not welcome during bottling. The water percolates through ground minerals, which add body and flavor to the water, and it has a slightly basic pH which is perfect for making a great rum. There is no mine drainage or other effluent contaminating our water source and it is remarkably plentiful! Tests are carried out regularly to assure the highest quality at all times.
FERMENTATION: All fermentations are carried out at Montanya Distillers in our own facility in Crested Butte, CO. We do not use any additives, flavorings, third party distillates, Neutral Grain Spirits, or anything sourced from any other company except raw sugar, yeast, yeast nutrients and a tiny touch of Rocky Mountain honey. Our fermentations last about 7-8 days in open tanks. We use a proprietary yeast.
DISTILLING: All distilling of Montanya rums takes place in our distillery in Crested Butte, Colorado. Between August 2008 and October 2011, all distillations took place in Silverton, Colorado. All aged rums made in Silverton were bottled by November, 2011. All rum is clearly marked with the location where it was bottled.
AGE STATEMENTS: Montanya Oro and Platino rums are aged for about 1 year in American White Oak barrels that previously held Stranahan's Whiskey. The Montanya Exclusiva is aged for 2 years in a Stranhanan's Whiskey barrel and 6 months in a Sutcliffe Vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignon and Port barrel made from French Oak. Early on, we used some Buffalo Trace barrels but we retired them all in 2009. Early on, we also brought some rum to market that was younger than a year, and we did so again in early 2012 due to a growth of demand and the delay in bringing our new Crested Butte facility on line. We are committed to bottling only mature Montanya Rum and not sacrificing quality for quantity and to speed up the process. Occasionally a barrel matures the rum more quickly, and occasionally a barrel takes longer than usual. We taste test on a daily basis to monitor the aging process and progress. Every bottle of Montanya rum is marked with a barrel number. If you ask, we can tell you precisely how many days that rum spent in the barrel.
BOTTLING: We carry out all of our bottling and labeling by hand in Crested Butte, CO. We package our case boxes by hand as well. Our packaging is free of plastics. Our bottles are made in Mexico. Our labels come from the USA and are FCS Certified. Our corks are USA-made synthetic corks from Tapi.
MADE IN THE USA! It is true, Montanya rums are an all American product. Every ingredient inside the bottle is sourced, fermented, distilled and aged in the USA. We take pride in being an American rum. Our Exclusiva bottle is manufactured in the USA, as are all of our labels, hang tags, marketing materials, and labels.
WOMAN-OWNED AND OPERATED: Unlike most distilleries in the USA, Montanya Distillers is co-owned, operated and distilled by women. The whole environment is filled with women who are actively involved in every process from distilling to bottling to management, bartending, quality control, bookkeeping and sales. Come check out the vibe a world of hardworking women can bring to the micro-distilling industry. It is a different scene for sure! Learn more about our staff.
WATER & ENERGY USE: In alignment with our Green Business Philosophy, we are committed to being transparent about our consumption of water and energy. While our distillery, barrel room, and warehouse are 100% wind powered, we carefully track other inputs that contribute to carbon emissions, such as vehicle and airline travel. By partnering with Terrapass, we offset 100% of our carbon production through the support of innovative environmental projects that reduce greenhouse gas.
We welcome your questions, comments and feedback!