Botran Reserva is a new rum variant with a robust flavour profile

GUATEMALA. The Botran Family, maker of fine rums from Guatemala for more than six decades, is reintroducing Botran Solera 1893 and unveiling a new variant, Botran Reserva.

The rums will be sold in selected markets in the US, as well as throughout Europe and Central America.

Botran Solera 1893 is described as a blend of select rums aged between 5 and 18 years, offering balance and roundness. Botran Reserva is a blend of Solera rums aged between 5 and 14 years, featuring an approachable complexity with well-balanced flavours of freshness and age, according to the company.

Both rums will be available in a 750ml size at selected duty free stores across the Americas from June 2010. Botran Reserva has a suggested retail price of US$24.99, and Botran Solera 1893 is US$34.99 in the US.

“We are thrilled to reintroduce our flagship brand, Botran Solera 1893, with a new look, along with Botran Reserva, a new variant with a robust, yet accessible flavour profile,” said Jorge Galbis, Managing Director of RCP Corp, the marketing and services agent for ILG’s portfolio of rums.

“We are confident that the artisanal craftsmanship for which the Botran family is known will carve out a strong place for Botran Solera 1893 and Botran Reserva in the thriving premium rum category.”

Botran Rums are made with the finest sugar cane harvested from the Botran family estate in southern Guatemala, which is pressed into virgin sugar cane honey, a process unique to the Guatemalan style of rum production. This liquid is then fermented, distilled and taken to the mountains for ageing, where the rich signature flavour of the rums is refined through the ageing process, Sistema Solera.

The Botran family’s adaptation of this centuries-old ageing system involves individually sampling and skilfully blending younger and older rums into a variety of barrels. The rums are aged in a combination of American whiskey, re-charred American whiskey, sherry and port barrels, allowing for the liquid to take on the characteristics of each.

Botran’s flagship brand, Botran Solera 1893, has a new look

“The Botran family’s uncompromising dedication to quality and superior taste is present in every step of the process, from the sugar cane fields through distillation, ageing and to the final blending. We take pride not only in ageing our rums, but also in truly nurturing them through a hands-on process,” said RCP Corp Commercial Director Paul de la Torre.

“This dedication is what differentiates Botran Rums from other rums on the market. We have a successful track record of producing premium rums and have harnessed our rich history to offer consumers an enjoyable premium rum experience at an entry-level price.”

Botran Rums in travel retail

The Moodie Report spoke to RCP Corp Regional Director Travel Retail Americas/Latin America Frank Quinones at the 2010 IAADFS show in Orlando to find out more about the company’s travel retail plans.

The reintroduction of Botran Solera 1893 and unveiling a new variant Botran Reserva are big moves for the Botran brand. What’s been the key motivation behind the timing, and the focus on those two lines?

Frank Quinones: We undertook an evaluation of our Botran rums, consumer trends and market dynamics, that highlighted a few opportunities we felt could be addressed very well by the Botran trademark. Given the current economic climate and the continuing growth of the premium rum market, Botran Reserva is well positioned to offer consumers high quality rum at an affordable price point for those wishing to upgrade their rum experience. Botran Solera will continue to be the flagship of the brand in a redesigned pack.

How confident are you that in a crowded marketplace Botran can carve out a strong niche?

The Botran family has an uncompromising dedication to the production of premium rums. We are very confident in our products – from the uniqueness our “Solera” process, the quality made possible by our Guatemalan origin (quality of our raw materials, volcanic soils) and knowledge of our world-class rums. We have done extensive research among consumers and trade to better focus our offerings on what consumers are seeking. We do not see it as carving a niche, so much as delivering to consumers a unique premium rum proposition for a growing demand of premium rums.

Artisanal product: The Botran family has “an uncompromising dedication” to the production of premium rums

Please tell us about the positioning of the respective lines.

Botran rums offer consumers tremendous value for money and a great introduction to the world of premium rums. Although not inexpensive relative to standard priced rums, we are confident that our rums will over deliver in quality and taste, and that rum enthusiasts will soon label them a “steal”.

What is the thinking behind the tagline “˜Not just aged, nurtured’?

We wanted to convey the artisanal and handcrafted nature of our product while reinforcing the family rum tradition and involvement in the creation of this world class rums. It is a family affair. What better way to capture both messages? The creation of Botran rum is a very hands-on, artisanal process that requires the greatest attention to quality and care beginning in the sugar cane estate in Southern Guatemala, the distillation, ageing in our Sistema Solera and bottling.

Any plans for a roll-out beyond the first-year focus of Central America, US domestic and Spanish domestic?

We are in the market for the long haul and want to do it right; we will [launch] in different key markets as soon as we can and to the best of our ability, to ensure successful launches and brand focus. Our goal is to have global presence but when the time is right.

How key is the travel retail channel in terms of both a shop window and a volume opportunity?

The travel retail channel is very important within our brand development strategy. We see the premium dark rum category as a travel retail natural, given its sophistication, knowledgeable global travellers and their appreciation of high quality unique propositions at unrivalled value. As mentioned, this is the essence of Botran aged rums.

Botran rums can be enjoyed on the rocks and provide a balance of oak and sweet notes for cocktails

What is the relative positioning of Botran versus Zacapa?

These two trademarks have coexisted within our rums portfolio for over 30 years. In addition to their intrinsic differences and flavour profiles derived from the distillation, ageing and blending, Zacapa and Botran rums have different target consumers, occasions and manners of consumption. Zacapa appeals to a sophisticated, more mature drinker of super-premium dark spirits such as Scotch, malts and Cognacs. Zacapa is considered the world’s best rum. It has established itself by its high-end luxury appeal for those who know what they want and are willing to pay for the best. The best way to fully appreciate Zacapa is on the rocks or neat.

Botran rums are focused on offering rum consumers an entry way into premium rum with a tremendous taste experience, at an accessible price. While delicious on the rocks in its own right, Botran rums provide a balance of oak and sweet notes that makes exceptional cocktails.

Any other comments about the new line-up?

We are committed to our craft and want to be an active participant in the development and repositioning of the premium rum category around the world, adding value to our business partners by providing high quality profitable products for a demanding, ever more knowledgeable consumer.

For details, contact Frank Quinones, RCP Corp, Regional Director, Travel Retail Americas/Latin America, 5200 Blue Lagoon Drive – Suite #420, Miami, Florida 33126, US, tel: +1 305 269 6746. Visit