Learn more about the Brugal Rum, probably the most famous rum in the Dominican Republic.
Brugal rum is the name of one of the most popular Dominican Republic rums. In the Dominican Republic, Brugal accounts for 80% of the market. Other popular Dominican Republic rum brands include Barceló rum and Bermúdez rum. Collectively the three popular Dominican rum brands are known as the three “B´s”.
The Brugal Company was founded by Andrés Brugal Montaner, a Spaniard from Sitges, Catalonia who had migrated to Santiago de Cuba before making his way to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Here, he would found Brugal & Co. in 1888 using the rum making experience he had acquired while living in Cuba. This moment marked the beginning of a 100+ year family and company tradition to make excellent Dominican Republic rum. In fact, descendants of Andrés Brugal still operate the business out of Puerto Plata.
By 1920 the company opened its first warehouses full of oak barrels for ageing the rum. Today the company has three distilleries: one in Puerto Plata and two in San Pedro de Macorís that produce a wide range of different rums, each with a distinctive flavor. Today, Brugal rums are present in the majority of the Carribean islands and its largest customers are the United States, Canada, Spain and Italy.
Brugal rum is special in that it is entirely produced in the Dominican Republic and continues to preserve traditional rum making methods. Sugar plantations across the island produce the juice that is turned into molasses which is taken to the Brugal distilleries to be stored in large tanks and diluted with water. During the fermentation process, the sugar is transformed to alcohol and the sugarcane molt that is produced is set immediately for distillation. Here, the alcoholic molt is heated to vaporize volatile elements. The resulting substance is vacuum packed and the alcohol stored in oak barrels for different amounts of time depending on the rum that they are to be used for.
Today, the Brugal Company produces many different types of rums that vary by market. In 1888 the company was producing traditional dark rum. By 1920, with the introduction of their new aging warehouses, the Brugal company sought to upgrade their quality and introduced Brugal Carta Dorada rum and Brugal Blanco (White) rum. Brugal Añejo rum, a dark rum aged 5 years, started to be produced in 1952. Brugal Extra Viejo, aged 8 years, is more expensive and was released in 1976. Two of Brugal´s top of the line rums are: Brugal Siglo de Oro (Golden Age), aged 12 years, and Brugal Único, a 30 year rum which is specially designed for rum connoisseurs. Other rums include the “reserve” versions of the previously mentioned as well as special editions such as Brugal Titanium and Brugal 1888 rum.
Brugal Añejo rum has been in the family for 5 generations and is described as having a light, amber color, clear, clean and brilliant sight; a balanced aroma with wood and chocolate notes; and a taste that is pleasant with a lengthy aftertaste. Brugal rum is consumed in many ways but some of the most common are: over ice, mixed with coke (known as a “cuba libre”), mixed with 7-up (“santo libre”), mixed with fresh juices, or straight from the glass. It is also a common ingredient in a wide variety of mixed drinks. Here is an example of a rum cocktail recipe:
- 50 ml Brugal Añejo Rum, 15ml of sugar syrup, and few lime wedges and a small handful of mint leaves in a highball glass.
- Fill glass with crushed ice and mix up ingredients
- Top class with more crushed ice.
- Fill glass with ginger ale.
Today Brugal is the third largest rum producer in the world, after Bacardi and Captain Morgan from Puerto Rico. However, Brugal Dominican Rum boasts its claim to being the largest producer of traditional and “real” rum, aged in white oak barrels and made from pure sugar cane. In recent years the Dominican rum company has increased its popularity in major markets like Europe and the United States and has a lot to gain in Latin America as well. Within the Dominican Republic, the popularity of the Brugal brand is evident to any visitor.
Tourists in Puerto Plata can tour the Brugal factory to learn about the passionate process of traditional rum making and bottling, an art kept alive by the Brugal family after all these years. At the end of the tour, tourists are treated to a free drink and have the opportunity to purchase the traditional Dominican rum at a very competitive price.
On Februrary 6, 2008, Brugal & Co. rum company announced that the Scottish distilling company The Edrington Group had acquired a majority of the company´s shares. They assured the public that despite the take-over, they would continue to produce rum the traditional way the Dominican Republic and that the Brugal family would continue to have an active role.