High quality rum produced at Destileria Porfidio.
The information below is from the Porfidio website:
Welcome to Destileria Porfidio, the home of the finest pure cane rum in Latin America, if not the world.
Until recently, Porfidio was renowned the world over as the producer of the number one brand of pure agave tequila, a range of spirits of exceptional quality. In April 2003 Ponciano Porfidio released his Porfidio Single Cane Rum, a top quality pure cane rum, onto the world market.
This exciting addition to its traditional portfolio of spirits, which is already acclaimed internationally by liquor connoisseurs, is the result of years of research into production and distillation processes of high quality rum.
A unique experience
During this virtual tour of our facilities you can see for yourself how Mexico’s premier distillery makes pure cane Porfidio Single Cane Rum that excels alongside its established rivals.
Tourists are welcome to visit our distillery to watch rum production in action during the havesting season.
Once you have marvelled at the care that is taken in the production of each drop of Porfidio Single Cane Rum, you will be anxious to sample its unique flavour. You are invited to complete your tour with a special tasting of our new pure cane rum.
The duration of the guided tour, including the tasting experience, is approximately one hour.
Destileria Porfidio will never compromise on the quality of the ingredients it demands for its pure cane Porfidio Single Cane Rum.
Virtually all ordinary rum available in the United States is made from molasses, a cheap by-product of sugar refining. Molasses consists of indirect cane sugars which can not be converted into granulated sugar for the market, but can be used for industrial alcohol production.
Premium single cane rum, by stark contrast, is made from freshly pressed sugar cane juice, undiluted and 100% pure.
30 to 40 kilos of fresh sugar cane are required to produce just one litre of our high quality cane spirit. At our Reception Unit, you can see the freshly harvested sugar cane.
Speed is of the essence
For top quality rum, the sugar cane must be cut and processed within two days to ensure the best flavour. Fortunately for us, sugar cane flourishes in the sun-drenched soils of the coastal state of Nayarit, just one hour’s drive from our facility at Puerto Vallarta.
The cane is cut and loaded immediately onto trucks bound for Destileria Porfidio, leaving no time for the cane to degrade in the hot sunshine.
Harvesting is done entirely by hand using the traditional machete, a long curved knife whose blade is honed to lethal sharpness. By avoiding the use of mechanical harvesters our expert pickers are able to select only the healthy and mature sugar cane plants for harvest. Mechanised harvesting results in a mixture of mature and immature, healthy and infected, good and bad sugar cane that produces, ultimately, a rum of very average quality.
Sugar cane can only be harvested from December to June and there is only one harvest per year. Because we insist on freshly cut cane, the production process of Porfidio Single Cane Rum can only be observed from December to May. By contrast, molasses-based rum can be produced throughout the year, since the raw molasses can be stored in tanks or sacks, like potatoes, for several months
Sugar cane for Porfidio Single Cane Rum is harvested without burning, a technique employed by some manufacturers which speeds up the harvesting process on the field to the detriment of the finished product.
Once the three-metre high sugar cane plants have been hand-cut, again using a machete, into 50cm sections, these small pieces are ground down into a cane fibre mash which is pressed hydraulically to extract the cane juices.
Pressing is a time-consuming process. Of each kilo of freshly harvested sugar cane, 70% is fibre and just 30% is juice. However nothing is wasted - the leftover sugar cane fibre keeps our neighbour’s cows happy on a tasty, highly nutritious, natural fibre diet!
As with ultra-premium olive oil, only the first pressing of the cane fibre is used for the production of Porfidio Single Cane Rum. In addition, unlike many of our competitors, we do not dilute our freshly squeezed juice during the pressing, as this would greatly reduce the quality of the sugar cane juice.
The juice derived from mature sugar cane plants contains natural sugar cane sugar, otherwise used for the production of granulated sugar, which is the basis for the subsequent fermentation process.
The cane juice is creamy in colour, similar in appearance to pressed white wine grapes, and is consumed here in Mexico as a highly nutritious substitute for orange juice for breakfast. You are welcome to taste some freshly squeezed, chilled cane juice during the tour. Your children will love it!
A sweet solution
During fermentation the natural cane sugar contained within the juices is transformed into alcohol by tiny micro-organisms.
These ’good‘ bacteria convert the sugar into wine. If ‘bad’ bacteria are allowed to get into the fermentation tanks they will turn the cane juices into vinegar.
There are two methods of fermentation:
• through the use of nutrients in an open-air environment in which case the fermentation process requires only 24 hours;
• in a temperature and humidity controlled, impeccably clean environment in which case the fermentation process requires four days.
The first low-cost, low-quality method is used by the vast majority of rum factories in Latin America and the West Indies. Destileria Porfidio is the only factory in Latin America that implements quality fermentation in a rigorously controlled and therefore ideal environment. Our hygienic fermentation unit can be seen at close hand during the tour.
The unique taste of Porfidio Single Cane Rum is achieved by distilling the fermented sugar cane wine in a traditional hand-operated alambique of the sort used in Europe for fine brandy. This process concentrates the alcoholic content of the wine.
First the alambique heats the wine to a temperature of 98 degrees Celsius to separate the solids and the water from the alcoholic vapours, which then work their way through the distillation equipment. Water evaporates at 100 degrees Celsius. As the alcoholic vapours work their way through the distillation equipment, the alcoholic content - or alcoholic concentration - of the vapour is increased.
The fermented sugar cane wine has an alcoholic content of only 8% alcohol by volume. By the penultimate stage of the distillation process, the alcoholic content has reached 45% alcohol by volume.
In the final stage, the cooling process, the alcoholic vapours are chilled to condense them from their vapour state into their liquid state. During the tour, you are invited to taste some Porfidio Single Cane Rum in all its crystal clear purity directly from the alambique.
Porfidio Triple Distilled Plata Rum is bottled directly after distillation to provide you with a pure spirit with maximum flavour at 45% alcohol by volume.
Some other brands of rum are adjusted to 35% or 40% alcohol by volume through the addition of a considerable quantity of water. The diluted spirit will thus be cheaper on the shelf but the flavour substantially diminished.
If you are looking for a rum that packs an even stronger punch yet retains its smooth quality, Porfidio Single Cane Distillation-Strength is for you. This ‘overproof’ rum is the result of submitting Porfidio Single Cane Plata Triple Distilled Rum at 45% to a fourth distillation, which increases the alcohol content from 45% to 70% (equivalent to 140 U.S. Proof).
A small number of bottles of Porfidio Single Cane Distillation-Strength Plata Rum were released in March 2004. The lucky few who have tasted it praise its excellent taste and unusual mildness compared to other overproof spirits.
Improving with age
Destileria Porfidio released its first rum, Porfidio Triple-Distilled Single Cane Plata, onto the market in April 2003 and has been delighted with its success.
However, not all of the rum is bottled immediately ready for sale once distillation is complete. Since Destileria Porfidio first embarked on rum production in 1998, a small proportion of the distilled spirit has been set aside each year and careful tended while it goes through the natural ageing process.
Allowing the spirit to rest in containers that allow the sugar cane distillate to ‘breathe’ - oxygenation - is a fundamental part of the ageing process. Porfidio Single Cane Rum, like Porfidio 100% pure agave spirit, is aged to perfection in small wooden casks of the highest quality available.
Porfidio Single Barrel Añejo Rum (40% ABV) is aged in virgin American white oak barrels, which enhance the distinctive pure cane flavour and burnish the rum with a golden glow.
Most rum brands, regardless of whether they are made from molasses or cane juice, are aged in used Bourbon barrels or in used Bourbon barrels with a new oak finish.
Porfidio Single Barrel Anejo Rum is aged entirely from start to finish in new oak barrels, which are discarded once used. The price difference between a used Bourbon barrel and a new barrel is $ 30.00 versus $ 500.00; low quality rums simply cannot afford this luxury.
Room to breathe
At 200-litres apiece the barrels used by Porfidio are relatively small. Large barrels containing 10,000 litres have a lower liquid-wood contact factor than small barrels giving them less exposure to the air over time. Thus the oxygenation effect is superior in products which are aged in small wood casks and not big ones. At Destileria Porfidio, we use only small 200-litre wooden barrels for ageing to preserve and enhance the subtle flavour of the spirit.
Since the evaporation factor is 10% per year, we calculate that a barrel filled with 200 litres five years ago, will contain only 100 litres today. Thus we need two litres of Porfidio Triple-Distilled Plata Rum to make one litre of Porfidio Single-Barrel Añejo. This explains the price differential between wooded (Añejo) and unwooded (Plata) products.
A limited quantity of Porfidio Single Barrel Añejo Rum of exceptionally high quality was released in March 2004 to great acclaim.
Cheap not cheerful
Destileria Porfidio has its own state-of-the-art laboratory on site which can analyse alcoholic beverages and determine the ‘superior’ alcohols and methanol content of each sample submitted prior to bottling.
During distillation (see above) the alcoholic volume of the spirit becomes concentrated. However the process also serves to separate the ’head & tails’ from the ’heart‘ of the distilled liquid: ’head & tails‘ refers to the first and last parts which emerge from the alambique; ’heart‘ refers to the middle part.
Woe betide those who indulge in inferior brands of rum! In a high quality product extreme care is taken to remove and discard the ‘head & tails’ which contain high concentrations of ‘superior’ alcohol and methanol, the perfect ingredients for the infamous hangover. Inexpensive rum, in which the ‘head & tails’ are blended with the pure ‘heart’, is likely to inflict unpleasant side effects.
All alcoholic products consumed in excessive quantities will cause hangovers. Many cheap rums, however, cause hangovers even in small quantities.
150 litres of sugar cane wine will produce 20 litres of distilled ’heart’ and 10 litres of ’head and tails’. Of course, by blending the ’head and tails’ with the ’heart’, the cost of the product decreases proportionately by 30% to the detriment of the long suffering consumer.
Destileria Porfidio uses its gas chromatographer to calculate the ‘hangover effect’ scientifically. Only the ’heart’ of the distilled liquid is used; the ’head & tails’ are poured away to leave a crystal clear, refined spirit for you to enjoy.
Each drop of Porfidio Triple Distilled Plata Single Cane Rum is carefully bottled, labelled and finished by hand. We produce no more than 10,000 litres each year so Destileria Porfidio is able to give each bottle its personal attention.
Local craftsmen enclose a three-dimensional glass palm-tree, the distinctive symbol of our rum brand, inside each hand-blown bottle to produce a finished product of undeniable character and charm.
Ready and waiting
All our national and international markets are supplied from our base at Puerto Vallarta and our Warehousing Unit is the centre of the Destileria Porfidio tour. Bottles boxed and labelled stand ready for export to discerning consumers all over the world.
Taste the difference
At the end of your tour of Destileria Porfidio, you are invited to taste three of our products: a sample of Porfidio Single Cane Rum and two samples of Porfidio Agave spirits. These tastings are conducted by experienced sommeliers who will advise you and answer your questions.
On special request and by appointment, we also conduct comparative tastings of various rum brands for convention groups or any group over 50 persons.
A personal message from the CEO of Destileria Porfidio:
Here at Destileria Porfidio we are very excited at the launch of our Porfidio Single Cane Rum which complements our traditional range of excellent agave spirits. We believe in using only the finest ingredients for our brands and the most hygienic and effective production methods available. As a result we feel justified in saying that we produce the best sugar cane spirits in the world.
I hope that you have enjoyed your virtual tour of the Destileria Porfidio and I look forward to welcoming you in person so that you can experience true quality for yourself.
We will make every effort to ensure that you enjoy your visit and that you go home with a greater knowledge of the production of pure rum. We look forward to welcoming you as a true connoisseur of fine spirits.
The Porfidio Distillery in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico is not owned or operated by Destileria Porfidio, S.A., Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The operator uses the 'Destileria Porfidio' and 'Destileria Ponciano Porfidio e Hijos' marks under license from the trademark owners.
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