Sugar Cane is the soul of Mandalay Rum. Mandalay Rum is made from Molasses produced while refining indigenous Myanmar sugar cane. It is fermented and distilled into the raw spirit that will be aged in Yamane Casks to become Mandalay Rum. After going through the aging process, a hint of sweet sugar cane aromas still lingers from the processed sugar cane.
Fermentation is the process in which the raw alcohol of Mandalay Rum is made. During fermentation, the invertase enzyme breaks complex sugars, Sucrose in Molasses, down to simpler forms, Glucose & Fructose, which is then converted into ethyl alcohol by the Yeast cells. This mixture only contains 10% alcohol and isdistilled to remove impurities which can cause headaches and increasing the alcohol's strength.
Distillation is one of the keys to ensuring Mandalay Rum’s quality. It is the process of extracting ethyl alcohol from the fermented wash using heat to split ethyl alcohol into congeners spirits, fusel oils, and rectified spirit. Congeners spirits and fusel oils are disposed of as they are the culprits for headaches whilst the rectified spirit is carefully extracted to begin the aging process which further improves the flavor and aroma of the spirit.
Mother Vats are the heart of Mandalay Rum. Mother Vats have been in use since the founding of the brand. Many are decades old, containing aged spirits of a similar age. Rectified spirits, selected by sensory and chemical analysis are poured into the mother vats for mixing and a portion of the volume is removed for ageing in casks. The portion removed is then replaced with aged spirits from the casks. This process ensures consistency with our blends and imparts an aroma of rum from the decades old original blend, with its very own piece of Mandalay Rum’s heritage. Hence, the name “Mother Vat” was conceived as every single drop of unaged spirit goes through the Yamane walls of the mother vat before ageing in casks to be born as Mandalay Rum.
Ageing in Yamane Casks creates smoothness, smokiness and woody flavors present in more premium spirits. During ageing, the hemicelluloses embedded in the cell walls of Yamane wood used for Mandalay Rum casks, break down, introducing aromatic esters and sugars imparting smokiness, woody flavors and a mild sweetness. This process occurs more quickly in the hot climate of the Mandalay region. Thus, the effects of a short period of aging in Mandalay is equivalent to a much longer period of aging in cooler climates such as Scotland, providing a quality product in a fraction of the time and cost. After Ageing the spirit is blended once again to ensure consistency and quality.
After Ageing the spirit is blended once again to ensure consistency and quality before bottling. Double blending is a rare technique that has been passed down from blender to blender at Mandalay Distillery. The expensive technique of blending both before and after ageing is a rare process that ensures the utmost quality and consistency in each drop of Mandalay Rum.
The Chemistry of Manadalay Rum
Distilled rum originates from suger cane plantations in the Caribbean. It was a useful way of disposing of molasses, a by-product of refining sugger cane. There is not a single standard for rum, with different countries having different regulations for the spirit, but it can be loosely split into dark, gold, light, and spiced rums.