We strongly believe in full disclosure of how, where and from what ingredients our products are made. We believe our customers want to know this information and we believe, like you do, in high-quality, traceable products. We welcome visitors to come and see our process and understand the truth and authenticity of what we do every day at Montanya.
The sugar cane we use at Montanya Distillers comes directly from a family co-op of cane growers in a 50-square-mile region of Louisiana, near Lake Ponchatrain. The cane, which is non-GMO, is harvested int 6” billets in the fall (starting around October 1st) and transported just a few miles away to the Lula Sugar Mill in Belle Rose, Louisiana. There, the cane is pressed and turned into unrefined raw sugar and molasses.
The crew at Lula pack this beautiful, unrefined sugar and its accompanying molasses separately into 1-ton totes and ship them directly to Montanya Distillers before the cane ever goes to the refinery or enters the commodity market. We know the people who own the land, grow it, harvest it, and mill it. They are salt of the earth farmers and millers (and you can meet some of them on the blog: Isabel and Will Thibaut and Gene Adolph).
We historically purchased our sugar cane from Hawaii from HC&S, a family-owned cane producer primarily based on Maui, via C&H Company in California. This was a commodity product. It came to our attention in 2012 that the C&H processing facility in California may have been using Mexican cane as the Hawaiian supply diminished. Because Mexican sugarcane may be a GMO crop and the production process does not meet our standards for environment, harvest and growing practices, and because we consider ourselves to be an American Rum made with American-grown cane, we had to make a change.
Our Louisiana cane is 100% from Louisiana, 100% family grown, 100% non-GMO and 100% certified American grown! The Lula Sugar Mill generates its own power, boiler combustion and compost from sugarcane biomass (called bagasse) and has a very strong commitment to conservation and community support. They return the water their mill uses to the watershed cleaner than it came in. We have met and know the mill owners and operators, and we have spent time in their facilities and cane fields in person. It is our goal to always make our rum from a certified source of American cane and we have done the diligence necessary to assure this.
Our bottling water is drawn up by a well from an aquifer 350 feet below the barrel house and bottling facility, which is two miles south Crested Butte, CO in Gunnison County and the West Elk Mountain range of the Rockies. The water we use is very minimally treated before it reaches our bottling line. There are no heavy metals or trace elements that are not welcome during bottling. The water percolates through ground minerals, which add body and flavor to the water, and it has a slightly basic pH which is perfect for making a great rum. There is no mine drainage or other effluent contaminating our water source and it is remarkably plentiful! Tests are carried out regularly to assure the highest quality at all times. (You can read more about how we use water in this blog post.)
All fermentations are carried out at Montanya Distillers in our own facility in downtown Crested Butte, Colorado. We do not use any additives, flavorings, third party distillates, Neutral Grain Spirits, or anything sourced from any other company except raw sugar, yeast, yeast nutrients and a tiny touch of Rocky Mountain honey at bottling. Our fermentations last about 6-7 days in open tanks. We use a proprietary yeast strain.
All distilling of Montanya rums takes place in our distillery in Crested Butte, Colorado. Between August 2008 and October 2011, all distillations took place in Silverton, Colorado. All aged rums made in Silverton were bottled by November, 2011. All rum is clearly marked with the location where it was bottled on the label. We far exceed the legal requirements by always telling our customers the following information on our labels: where the rum was distilled and bottled as well as how long it was aged and in what type of barrel(s).
Montanya Oro and Platino rums are aged for 1 to 2 years in American White Oak barrels that previously held Laws Colorado Whiskey. The Montanya Exclusiva is aged for 2 years in a Laws Whiskey barrel and 6 months in a Sutcliffe Vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignon and Port barrel made from French Oak.
Very early on for a hot minute, we used some Buffalo Trace barrels but we retired them all in 2009. Early on, we also brought some rum to market that was younger than a year, and we did so again in early 2012 due to a growth of demand and the delay in bringing our new Crested Butte facility on line.
We are committed to bottling only mature Montanya Rum and not sacrificing quality for quantity and to speed up the process. Occasionally a barrel matures the rum more quickly, and occasionally a barrel takes longer than usual. We taste test on a daily basis to monitor the aging process and progress. Every bottle of Montanya rum is marked with a barrel number. If you ask, we can tell you precisely how many days that rum spent in the barrel.
We carry out all of our bottling and labeling by hand at our barrel house and bottling facility two miles south of the town of Crested Butte. We package our case boxes by hand as well. Our packaging is free of plastics. Our bottles are made in the USA and Colombia and are Cradle to Cradle certified. Our labels come from the USA and are FCS Certified. Our corks are USA-made synthetic corks from Tapi.
MADE IN THE USA!
It is true, Montanya rums are an all American product. Every ingredient inside the bottle is sourced, fermented, distilled and aged in the USA. We take pride in being an American rum. Our Exclusiva bottle is manufactured in the USA, as are all of our labels, hang tags, marketing materials, and labels. We work with Greener Printer to assure that all of our printed materials meet the highest environmental standards in production.
WOMAN-OWNED AND OPERATED
Unlike most distilleries in the USA, Montanya Distillers is owned, operated and distilled by a high proportion of women. Our work and leadership environment is filled with women who are actively involved in every process from distilling to bottling to management, bartending, quality control, bookkeeping, PR, communications and sales. Come check out the vibe a world of hardworking women can bring to the micro-distilling industry. It is a different scene for sure! We believe the environment inside our distillery should reflect the environment outside of it, which we all know is 51% women. Learn more about our staff.
WATER & ENERGY USE
In alignment with our green business philosophy, we are committed to being transparent about our consumption of water and energy. While our distillery, barrel room, and warehouse are 100% wind powered, we carefully track other inputs that contribute to carbon emissions, such as vehicle and airline travel. By partnering with Terrapass, we offset 100% of our carbon production through the support of innovative environmental projects that reduce greenhouse gas. We keep an active scorecard of ourselves so we always know about our water and energy use, track improvements we make and report to our customers who we are doing.
We welcome your questions, comments and feedback! Contact Us