The origin of the first rum in the world remains a mystery; but the origin of the first light rum has no doubts is Cuba and dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.
Like the birth of the first light rum in Cuba, the rum-making tradition arises in the Midwest in the mid-nineteenth century. This had its beginnings in high producing areas of sugar cane, which was related to the development of the sugar industry and thus the alcohol industry; standing in the center regions of Sagua La Grande, to the north of the present Villa Clara province and Cienfuegos. It was in these two places where spirits, alcohols and rums that distinguished the central region of the country, both nationally and abroad, coming to conquer the most diverse tastes and consumer applications, were created. These products emerged in two major facilities, Alembic "El Infierno" located in the Villa del Undoso (Sagua La Grande) and Distilleries San Lino (Cienfuegos).
The Alembic "El Infierno", founded in 1870, was considered the first major distillery established in America by "Robato and Co." and developed by the Beguiristain family, historically designated as " the greatest molasses cane alembic in the world " during that period, creator of the famous" Carburante Nacional " and with its excellent alcohols was also produced the famous perfume
"Guerlain" in France.
After the War of Independence, it began to be easy for distilleries in the country to export their spirits to Europe. This definitely boosted the credit of "El Infierno" which made consolidate its reputation in all markets due to the quality of its rum, brandy and spirits.
Inventories dating from 1894 record an export to Barcelona, spirits for Montevideo, Canary Islands, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela and the United States. In 1904 their market gets extended and their spirits arrived in France, England, Turkey, and the coast of Africa.
Something not forgotten by the old sailors around the planet is the "Ron del lnfierno" or "Ron de la Marina" produced by this legendary sagüera company for a long time and which was a highly coveted product always present in all shelves and brigantines.
Below, you can see photos of this bottle:
El origen del primer ron en el mundo sigue siendo un misterio; pero el origen del primer ron ligero no tiene dudas es Cuba y se remonta a mediados del siglo XIX.
Al igual que el nacimiento del primer ron ligero en Cuba, surge la tradición ronera en la región central del país a mediados del siglo XIX. Esta tuvo sus inicios en zonas altamente productoras de caña de azúcar, lo que estaba relacionado con el desarrollo de la industria azucarera y con ello la industria alcoholera; destacándose en el centro las regiones de Sagua La Grande al norte de la actual provincia Villa Clara y la de Cienfuegos. Fue en estos dos lugares donde se crearon aguardientes, alcoholes y rones que distinguieron a la región central del país, tanto nacionalmente como en el extranjero, llegando a conquistar los más diversos gustos y usos del consumidor. Estos productos surgieron en dos grandes instalaciones, el Alambique “El Infierno” ubicado en la Villa del Undoso (Sagua La Grande) y Destilería San Lino (Cienfuegos).
El Alambique “El infierno”, fundado en 1870, fue considerado como la primera destilería importante establecida en América por “Robato y Cía” y desarrollada por la familia Beguiristain, más exacto se señala históricamente como “el mayor alambique de mieles de caña del mundo” durante este período, creador del famoso “Carburante Nacional”y con sus excelentes alcoholes se producía también el famoso perfume “Guerlain” en Francia.
Al finalizar la Guerra de Independencia comenzó a facilitárseles a las destilerías del país, las salidas de sus alcoholes para Europa. Esto vigorizó de manera definitiva el crédito de “El Infierno”, que hizo consolidar su reputación en todos los mercados, por la calidad de su ron, aguardiente y alcoholes.
En inventarios que datan de 1894, se da cuenta de una exportación de ron para Barcelona, aguardientes para Montevideo, Islas Canarias, Méjico, Costa Rica, Venezuela y Estados Unidos de Norteamérica. En 1904 se extiende el mercado y sus añejos llegan a Francia, Inglaterra, Turquía, y a las costas de África.
Pero algo que no olvidan los viejos lobos de mar de todo el planeta es el "Ron del Infierno" o "Ron de la Marina" producido por esta legendaria empresa sagüera por mucho tiempo y el cual era un producto muy codiciado y nunca faltaba en los estantes de las goletas y bergantines.
A continuación se muestran fotos de esta botella:
This old bottle belongs to the "El Infernio" Distillery, known as "Ron de la Marina" or "Ron del Infierno".
Parts of the label of the bottle
"Robato and Beguiristain" is written on the anchor referring to the production company composed of Manuel and José María Beuguiristain Robato.
The musical notes engraved on the label are the zarzuela: "Marina" by Emilio Arrieta (1855), which after 1871 became fashionable and was very popular.
The notes indicate the chorus of the song "Brindis" (song of the sea) and it reads like this (these words are also engraved on the label on the label around the neck of the bottle):
"A beber, a ahogar el grito del dolor, que el vino hará olvidar, las penas del amor".
"A beber, a beber, a apurar las copas de licor, que el vino hará aumentar, los goces del amor."
The distillery also had several manufacturing patents were accepted as good at the time:
- "Rey de Oro" Rum.
- "San Cristobal" brandy, for exportation.
- " Siglo XX " Cognac
- "Antillas" Rum
- "Islas" brandy
- "Infernio" Cognac
- Vermouth type "Estrella"
- "San Jacobo" Liquor
The distillery San Lino, was founded in 1862 by Jose Ramon de Montalvo and Rodríguez and Lino Montalvo and Rodriguez in Cienfuegos, area constituted with its vast sugarcane areas, the main source of wealth of the area. By 1859 at a place known as the " lechuzo "Mr. Montalvo, joined Dario Lopez del Campillo, Pedro Camilo del Campo, Francisco Rivera, Antonio Gallart Lopez and others to form a town that spread rapidly through the activity of 3 sugar mills: "San Lino ", "Parque Alto" and "Lequeitio" in the current Cartagena. These three sugar mills were distinguished by the production of honey and sugar of high quality and in one of them, the sugar refinery San Lino had an alembic in 1866, where a fine and aromatic reserved beverage was produced exclusively for the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris. Story tells that it was stored in clay jars under the ground and was perfected with the passing of time, conquering the taste of residents of the area.
Years later, in 1943, a distillery arose in the municipality of Santo Domingo, which first owner was the Cuban millionaire Calá Francisco Blanco, owner also of the sugar refinery Ulacia, current Carlos Balino and co-owner of Washington sugar refinery.
In this distillery, 75 gal brandies were produced. They were stored in a small winery adjacent to the distillery, in 100L barrels. In 1945 the production of alcohol began to also produce absolute alcohol to 99.8 gal to be used mixed with jet fuel which coincided with the final months of world war II, stage in which there was a shortage of fuel in Cuba. These productions were maintained until the end of 1959.
When the Revolution triumphed, it appeared as the last owner of the Washington sugar refinery, Fulgencio Batista Saldivar represented by the CIA Baseco and Banfai, representatives of international banks.
The distillery, as an installation at the sugar refinery, passed into the hands of the Cuban state and on 15 February 1963 began to arrive at it from the distillery "El Infierno" and in order to seek greater production capacity, columns distillation and a small amount of barrels that were placed in the winery where the brandy was aged.
In parallel with these innovations, the rum-making tradition acquired over the years at the distillery "San Lino" was transferred to a facility located in the city of Cienfuegos, "Bodegas Jagua" which enriched and perfected the rum production for years until late 1971. In this year the facility suffers a tragic and unfortunate fire in which part of it was lost, except centenarians aging cellars which were moved entirely to a new house, the Central Rum Factory.
In the early 1972 all existing barrels in the "Bodegas Jagua" began to arrive at the Central Rum Factory to join the barrels from the alembic "El Infierno" that were stored in the small winery neighboring the distillery; and the history and the tradition inherited from the mid-nineteenth century has been preserved, enhanced and transmitted from generation to generation until the present day, so we can proudly say that the Central Rum Factory is today the repository of the richest and genuine rum - making tradition of the central region of the country.
Eng. César Martí Marcelo.
Cuban Master of Rum