Carta Vieja Rum Master Blender William De Gracia

Published by The Rumlab ago about the Carta Vieja company

Carta Vieja Rum Master Blender William De Gracia article cover image

Since 1915, Carta Vieja is the first rum in Panama. Its slow aging process obtained from the molasses, its unparalleled flavor and quality have given it the passion and excellence of its products.

Its line is characterized by passionately delivering a slow-aged rum, framed in a century-long tradition, where silence and time control the details, integrating them harmoniously until it becomes a rum with style and class.

William De Gracia is the Master Blender at Ron Carta Vieja Panamá. Learn more about him in the next interview:

TRL: Who is William De Gracia?

Panamanian has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is a specialist in chemical sciences with an emphasis on food safety. With more than 15 years of experience in the rum industry. My first experience at Carta Vieja was working in quality control where I immediately understood that all processes, from raw materials to finished products, are supervised by quality control. Currently, I am the master blender where I see different processes from distillation, aging, and formulation.

TRL: What does the rum mean to you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?

Rum is a drink that transmits the passion of the people who create it, it involves many years of work and the evaluation of many processes that occur in each of its stages.

The province where I live is very traditional with rum and it is very easy to find a bottle of Carta Vieja at every party; This in a certain way has always had me closely related to this drink and now that I know the elaboration processes, they make me value each one of the rums.

TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.

I consider three characteristics that are immersed in each rum are:

– Roundness

– Tradition

– Aging

TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

Knowing the rum and all the processes during its preparation allows the consumer to assess the different rums based on their characteristics. There is a wide variety of rums with different processes today from slow static aging or dynamic aging, a new trend in recent years is the use of barrels from different parts of the world and with different uses. It is a spirit with great virtues that need to be recognized by the consumer.

TRL: Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?

The best way to assess the work done is to taste the rum alone in a glass with a slightly closed mouth that allows you to perceive each of the rum’s components. On some special occasions, you can accompany it with a cigar, chocolate, or some type of food that helps you enjoy the experience.

TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

When asked where the best place to drink rum is, I think there is always a time or place to drink rum. It is present in anecdotes with friends and family, parties, and gatherings of good friends, and it becomes a complement to any celebration.

TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

The bartender is a key person in the rum industry, is the person who enhances the flavor of your rums, highlighting the virtues of each one.

TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe

My favorite drink is a classic old-fashioned cocktail: a tablespoon of sugar, 3 dashes of Angostura, 3 ice cubes, and 2 ounces of double cask 8-year rum are placed in the glass, complete with simple soda and an orange peel to aromatize.

TRL: What are your next goals in the rum industry?

At Carta Vieja, we focus on creating experiences and during the last 10 years we have created bases to create new products, a line that we call “signature rum” where we have limited edition products, the use of different varieties of oak and new blends that they include Geisha coffee the best-paid coffee in auctions worldwide. In the last four years, we have begun to age rums in the Boquete District at 1668 meters above sea level. Where annual evaporation of 1.68% has been calculated and the most important thing is located in a Boquete tree trek, a Hotel that organizes a tour where you can learn about the history of the Carta Vieja and  each year the aged rums are used to create a limited edition product

TRL: What benefits has the rum industry given you?

Being a chemist in itself is an interesting profession, but knowing all the processes involved in making a rum has been a unique experience, and having the opportunity to meet people who dedicate their lives to creating, developing, and maintaining their rums with the complexities of a changing market due to globalization are some of the many things that have allowed me to work in this industry.

TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?