Montanya Distillers was established in 2008 by Karen Hoskin and the distillery is currently located in Crested Butte, Colorado. They make some great rums and they also engage in a lot of sustainability and other projects that aim to have a positive impact on the environment and local community.
One of such projects was the launch of Montanya Valentia in 2019, initially a limited bottling, it eventually found its place in their core range alongside bottlings such as their Platino and Exclusiva. “Valentia” translates as “bravery” and “valiance” and it was released as an homage to the women that are involved in the craft of distilling. I was distilled by the Montanya distiller Renee Newton and it was finished in whisky rye barrels from Catoctin Creek whose whiskey was distilled by Becky Harris.
As the Montanya website states, what makes Valentia special is that “it is female distilled in a female-owned distillery, finished in a barrel that comes from a female-owned and female-distilled Rye, and was bottled by a female crew.”
The rum itself uses unrefined sugar and molasses as a base material. They source this from a family of farmers in Belle Rose, Lousiana, hence why the juice is processed to a degree so it’s suitable for transportation.
Montanya Valentia is molasses and urefined sugar based, pot still distilled, aged for 4 years in Laws Whiskey House oak barrels (I assume the bourbon ones) and finished in former rye whiskey casks between 6 and 12 weeks. Bottled at 40% ABV without any additives.
On the nose it has a sweet, rich flavour. Rapadura sugar, floral honey, ground coffee, strawberries and melon. Tonka beans, dusty furniture and pencil shavings. It seems to have a good balance between the sweet and dry notes. Dried peaches, sultanas and yellow apples. Black peppers and some charred wood.
On the palate it tastes a bit Scotch-ish. Peat smoke, charred wood, blackberries, blueberries and ripe red apples. Floral honey, rapadura sugar, ginger and black pepper. Has quite the wood influence backed by the unrefined rich sugar flavours. Cacao nibs, peaches, cinnamon and a touch of cardamom. The finish is medium to long with orchard fruits and burnt oak.
Woody, spicy, moreish yet dry. This quite a complex tipple and a good gateway to rum for Scotch drinkers – it has a Highland whisky sort of profile, but it’s definitely very much a rum.
It’s priced at £45 (The Whisky Exchange) a bottle which might seem like a hefty sum if you look through a whisky drinker’s perspective – it’s only 4 years old after all, isn’t it? Well try it first and then make up your mind, but at the end of the day this is tasty and by buying it you’re supporting a good company with great ethos.
Montanya Valentia score:
Value for money: 14/15