Botran Solera 12 Rum is a rum aged for an average of 12 years in a solera ageing system. Guatemalan Rum has its own Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) which is both a designation of quality and geographical limitation. It means than certain processes, fermentation, distillation, ageing in the solera system etc. have to be adhered to.
Guatemala has an ideal climate for growing sugar cane and Botran Rums are made from virgin sugar cane syrup. Botran Rums are aged in a Solera system, this is a system of fractional aging developed in Jerez, Spain for Sherry production. Because Rum is continually mixed in the solera, Botran cannot put the age of the rum on their labels. The labels state that the rums are Botran Solera 12 Rum or Solera 18. This is a rough average of the age of the rums in these bottlings. There will be rums older and younger than 12 or 18 year old in the Solera 12 or Solera 18 respectively.
The oak barrels used for ageing Botran Solera 12 Rum in this solera system are a mix of four different types of barrel – fresh and charred ex-Bourbon Whiskey Cask, ex-Sherry casks and ex-Port casks – I think I am right in saying they are the only Rum producer who use four different cask types. Unlike more tropical Caribbean rums, Botran Rums are aged in a cooler, high altitude mountainous region. This means that the rate of evaporation is slower and allows the rum to mellow of a number of years. This gives the rums a different taste profile. This would not be properly feasible (or economic) in hotter rum producing countries.