"Though Ron del Barrilito is Puerto Rico’s oldest rum brand, and one highly esteemed, it came to the States in the ’60s. Lauded for its deep, almost whiskey-like complexity, the rum—aged in the city of Bayamón, located inland and to the west of San Juan—is produced in two age-specific expressions. The two-star rests for three years, and the three-star is a blend of six- to ten-year-aged rums.
Ron del Barrilito has been aging its rum in Spanish sherry barrels for over a century, since around 1880.
As the story goes, in 1871, Pedro F. Fernández returned home to Puerto Rico's suburbs from his engineering studies in France, and took over the property where his father had been producing small amounts of rum for guests, as was customary on sugarcane plantations. Fernández developed the rum formula that his family still uses today, which lends the spirit its character, and expanded production. Ron del Barrilito has been aging its rum in Spanish sherry barrels for over a century, since around 1880.
The company’s non-existent marketing isn’t a ploy for special attention. The rum factory itself is staffed by only nine employees, four of whom are family members. Monica Fernández, great-granddaughter of Pedro, answers the phone; Manuel, his grandson, has given sips of over 20-year-old rum to chefs like Eric Ripert on Avec Eric and José Andrés on The Getaway, their respective travel series. "We’re very traditional, but we’re not a traditional company," Monica says, explaining that they’re not seeking endless growth. They only want to make excellent rum." The Eater
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