I have covered the merits of aging cognac by purposefully transporting it in oak casks on a tall ship sea voyage. The liquors’ movement via wave action really makes a difference in the flavor. That’s why I wasn’t too surprised to learn about how Cayman Island’s Seven Fathoms Distillery ages their rum using a similar method except they submerge their casks on the ocean floor and let the wave action work its magic without embarking on a voyage.
Still, aging rum underwater in the ocean is not the most convenient or cost effective method. So why bother? Optimal temperature and humidity levels are key in effectively aging spirits. Compared with land-based approaches, these conditions are much easier to achieve several fathoms underwater. The constant push and pull of the waves and the tides mimic the caring touch of a distiller rotating barrels in the cellar to ensuring complete diffusion of molecules through the barrel. Despite the diligence of even the most committed distiller, the waves are able to massage the rum with a far more consistent and steady precision.
Using this maturation process, combined with time honored traditional West Indian rum making techniques, Seven Fathoms noticeably has a more distinctive flavor profile. Here’s an excuse for your next vacation, head down to Georgetown, Grand Cayman, take a personal tour of their facilities, and bring back a bottle for show-and-tell.
Photo courtesy of Seven Fathoms Rum