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In the mood for white rum? Read our expert review of this top-scoring bottle, produced in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Montanya Platino is proud to be from a female-founded, -owned and -operated distillery in Colorado. An early mover in the craft spirits game, this distillery has nailed the art of making rum – its white expression is a particular favourite, bursting with baking spices and a dry nuttiness. We loved it in Montanya’s Sonic Rum cocktail, where a combo of tonic and soda helps open up the complex flavours of the rum without diluting them too much.
Montanya rum comes straight from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. But the story starts on the other side of the earth. Founder Karen Hoskin was on a beach in Goa, India when she fell in love with aged rum. Her discovery of rum owed a lot to serendipity – she was gasping for a drink after six months living a sober life with a local family (beer and a lot of other alcohols didn’t agree with her), and so she found herself enjoying a measure of an aged Indian rum called Old Monk. Karen became obsessed with rum and by the 1980s was a keen mixologist, rocking up to parties with a drop of the good stuff and the know-how to get the best out of it.
Despite her love affair with rum, Karen didn’t dive straight into the Montanya dream. Instead she ran a successful graphic design business, helping people realise their brand’s potential. She raised a family in Arizona and then Colorado, but in 2007 a holiday to Belize changed it all. After years of helping others with their dreams, Karen wanted to pursue her own. Enthused by the boom in craft brewing she sought to be an early mover into the craft distilling category. In 2008 the permits had been granted, the premises kitted out and the Montanya Distillery was opened.
The business began in Silverton, Colorado, making a home in a stone building that was once a brothel. Distilling was an arduous task in this 800 sq ft premises – fermentation took place in the basement, distilling and tasting at street level, and bottling and ageing on the top floor. In 2011 the brave decision was taken to move the business and the family to Crested Butte, where there is now an office, a distillery and tasting room, plus a bottling facility just a couple of miles out of town. The firm benefits from Crested Butte being 9,000ft above sea level – the high altitude helps exaggerate the maturation process (the oak barrels shrink and expand more often, imparting more flavour into the rum).
Montanya Platino rum is aged in American white oak barrels, which previously held Laws Colorado Whisky and Montanya Oro. After maturing for a year, a touch of honey is added to help draw out some of the deeper flavours and the rum is filtered through a coconut husk carbon filter to remove colour. The end result is a biscuity delight full of warm baking spices, smooth vanilla and darker notes of ground coffee and cardamom.
Such a complex and sophisticated rum doesn’t need to be tampered with too much, but can do with a little coaxing to open up some of the deeper flavours.We enjoyed the signature Montanya Sonic Rum: pour a double of Montanya Platino over ice and top up with half tonic and half soda before garnishing with a slice of lime. Just make sure not to skimp on the tonic and soda.
This review was last updated in February 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.