Don Q Puerto Rican Rum 1970s
Sebastian Serrallés arrived in Puerto Rico in the 1820s, establishing a sugar plantation on its south coast, where the Destilería Serrallés is still located today. Don Juan Serrallés entered the rum business in 1865 after he bought a small French-made batch still: a pot still with short multi-plated column neck. This was replaced with the now classic Spanish column still distillation regime at the end of the 19th century. Puerto Rico became a US territory at this time, subjecting it to Prohibition in 1917, three years earlier than the US itself. Serrallés was able to survive by producing small amounts of medicinal rum. Following repeal, the Puerto Rican rum market flourished until the close of the second world war, the demand of which had left it with a dearth of aged stock in the face of the island’s declining sugar cane industry. Serrallés recovered however, and continued to expand, acquiring the license for the production and US distribution of Captain Morgan in 1985, which they produced in huge quantities until 2011 when Diageo discontinued the license. Today the Don Q brand, first introduced in 1934, is its flagship product. The distillery blends its products from a combination of heavy and light rum. The heavy is produced on the old “beer column” of its 1934-built Vendome five-column still. The other four have been out of operation since the newer five-column still was installed in 2007, which now produces all the light rum constituents for its blends.
This is a bottle of Don Q rum from the 1970s, named after the famed Miguel de Cervantes protagonist, Don Quixote.