On the banks of the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Nagua lies just ten feet above sea level in the Northeastern Dominican Republic. Its tropical climate (the average temperature is nearly 80° and thenaverage annual rainfall is over 50 inches) has created an economy rooted in agriculture - Nagua produces and processes incredibly flavorful bananas, coconuts, pineapples and peanuts. In addition, Nagua is home to Coralina Farms, a 2,000-hectare plantation that produces 100% organic, sustainably-farmed cacao. Owned by the Preston family - the Preston's have been harvesting cacao for over a century in the Dominican Republic - Coralina Farms produces rare, heirloom varieties of the bean.
Daniel Prieto Preston, master distiller at Cacao Prieto, imports cacao beans from his family's farm in the Dominican Republic to his distillery in Brooklyn, New York. There, he and his team of distillers hand-roast each bean. Following the roasting process, his team cracks each bean and separates the cacao nibs from their husks using a vortex winnower that Preston - a former aerospace engineer - invented himself. The winnower eliminates more husk than ordinary separators, leaving behind unadulterated, raw cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are then mixed with organic cane sugar (also imported from the Dominican Republic), and the mixture is fermented using a strain of beneficial yeast cultivated at the distillery. Following fermentation, the mash is distilled inside a 1,000 liter, Christian Carl copper still imported from Germany (Preston also designed the still).
The still produces a distillate similar to a cacao-flavored brandy. This distillate is infused with additional organic cacao, resulting in a darker, more luscious rum. Afterwards, the rum is aged for approximately one year in lightly toasted and heavily toasted American oak casks. The aging rounds out the flavors of the rum, providing for a smoother, more even drink. Following its slumber, Preston brings each barrel of rum to proof before filling each bottle by hand.
Bold and flavorful, Don Rafael has a nose of milk chocolate with a hint of roasted coffee and honey. The initial flavors of caramel, vanilla and oak gently fade to notes of incredibly rich, dark chocolate. Winner of the Double Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Don Rafael Cacao Rum has darker, more raw notes of organic cacao than Don Esteban Cacao Liqueur. Certified Kosher, Don Rafael can be sipped neat or used in a cocktail - pick up a bottle today!
80 Proof (40% ABV)
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Nose of chocolate with hints of roasted coffee, honey and brown sugar. Initial barrel notes of oak, vanilla and caramel fade and notes of dark, rich cacao predominate. Lightly coats mouth and has a deep, lush finish.