‘From Crop to Drop’: Botran Rum Puts Sustainability at Its Heart - Rum Raiders
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‘From Crop to Drop’: Botran Rum Puts Sustainability at Its Heart

Botran Rum Line-up

(Photo: Botran Rum)

Botran Rum returned to the US Market with a new look and an emphasis on sustainability. Botran is a “Ron de Guatemala” which is a Protected Designation of Origin and this brand is quintessentially Guatemalan. The estate, distillery and maturation facilities are nestled in southern Guatemala. 

Senior Global Brand Manager for Licores de Guatemala (the parent company of Botran Rum), Ivan Valdez said, “The brand refresh is meant to invite consumers to experience the colorful, joyful and vibrant side of Guatemala while better communicating Botran’s position as one of the top premium rums across the world. Our new vision is to fill every glass with the bright and vibrant spirit of Guatemalan rum.”

After the Botran took a hiatus in 2019, it returned with a brand image inspired by Guatemala that is meant to celebrate the flora, fauna, volcanoes and heritage of the country this brand calls home. 


One of Botran’s core tenets is a commitment to the environment. In 2019, the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification certified the brand, establishing Botran as the world’s first sustainable rum across all parts of the process, “from crop to drop.” Before this certification, Botran worked to self-mitigate the company’s carbon footprint by planting and growing millions of trees since the 1970s. 

Botran rum is made possible because of Guatemala and all the gifts our land offers us. It makes sense that we would want to do everything in our power to respect mother earth and be as sustainable as possible,” said Valdez.

An aspect of Botran’s new image is striving for greater transparency in its product. It starts with sugar cane and this brand uses two varieties Chapina and Preciosa. It is grown in Guatemala’s unique terroir, “vertisol soils which can only be found in 2% of planet earth.”

Rum Production

The rum is not made with molasses, rather it utilizes concentrated cane juice or “virgin honey which comes from the first crush of the sugar cane.” Then, the cane syrup is fermented with pineapple yeast that lasts between 100 – 120 hours. It is then distilled in copper-sectioned stills at the San Andrés Villaseca Distillery. 

The rum then takes a journey up 2300 meters about sea level to Casa Botran in the Quetzaltenango Highlands. The average temperature there (57 F or 14 C) allows for a slower maturation. Botran uses what they call a Dynamic Ageing System (proprietary), which was adapted from the traditional Solera aging system which is characteristic of many Guatemalan rums. The solera method is often heavily critiqued in the rum world for the confusion in age statements. 

The Botran dynamic method is described as the vintages being stacked in columns and each column featuring different types of casks. As the rums are blended under the watchful eye of Botran’s three female master blenders, the casks are repositioned and the process is repeated. The result is meant to infuse the younger rum with the flavors and characteristics of the more mature rums in the column. 

Botran is hoping to spread the word and continue to grow in the US through “liquid on lips” campaigns while continuing to innovate. 

The brand currently makes several expressions and we were able to taste four of them. All the rums The youngest rum in the blends have aged a minimum of 5 years, except for the Blanca which is aged 3 years. The rums are proofed down to 40%. 

Ron Botran No. 8 – Reserva Clásica

Botran No. 8

(Photo: Botran Rum)

The No. 8 is a blend of rums aged 5 to 8 years. The casks used include American whiskey, medium-toasted American whiskey and sherry wine. The rum smells of wood, with a touch of vanilla and sweet sultanas. The taste is wood-forward with a slight bitterness and hints of dark cherry and all-spice. It lingers on the tongue with a subtle burnt rubber finish. This rum would go well with ginger beer to bring out the fruitiness and vanilla of the wood notes.   

Ron Botran No. 12 – Reserva Superior 

Botran No. 12

(Photo: Botran Rum)

The No. 12 is a blend of rums aged 5 to 12 years. The casks used include American whiskey, medium-toasted American whiskey and sherry wine. There are toffee and caramel aromas with earthy cocoa nibs and tropical fruits. The cocoa nibs come through in the taste as well, complemented by vanilla. The finish is slightly bitter like toasted wood. The No. 12 would go with fruity cocktails because it is expressive enough to hold up to bold flavors. 

Ron Botran No. 15 – Reserva Especial

Botran No. 15

(Photo: Botran Rum)

The No. 15 is a blend of rums aged 5 to 15 years. The casks used include American whiskey, medium-toasted American whiskey, sherry wine and port wine. On the nose are dark fruits and raisins. The taste starts sweet with characteristics of dried fruits and caramel. The finish is tannic with lingering walnut notes.

Ron Botran No. 18 – Reserva de la Familia

Botran No. 18

(Photo: Botran Rum)

The No. 18 is a blend of rums aged 5 to 18 years. The casks used include American whiskey, medium-toasted American whiskey, sherry wine and port wine. The scent is reminiscent of hay and plums. The flavor is dried fruits with toffee and raisins. It finishes smooth with a pleasant sweetness.

It was intriguing to taste these different expressions together. The tastes are similar but each has an additional characteristic due to the increased age or the addition of another type of cask in the blend. The Botran Rums are great for someone who is just getting into the rum because they are light-bodied and easygoing. They are especially good for fans of whiskey because the wood notes come through and whiskey lovers will appreciate that. 

The flavors and aromas are the opinions of the writer.

Keep a look out for our house reviews of these rums.

Read Next: 

Going Green: How These Rum Distilleries Are Taking Aim at Pollution

Rums With Unique Cask Finishes

What is Solera Aging?

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Jessica Gleman is the managing editor of Rum Raiders. She received her Ph.D. at the University College of Dublin in Ireland, where she studied the archaeology of ancient alcohol. Jessica has a passion for the alcohol industry, including agriculture, distillation and mixology. When Jessica is not writing about rum, she is also a travel and food enthusiast who loves going around the world and experiencing various cuisines and cultures. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and expertise and learning even more about this amazing spirit.