As with most matured spirits, blending is of immense importance and cannot be overstated!
Rather than a linear progression following maturation, blending is more accurately seen as a series of steps that can occur at any time between distillation and bottling. As a matter of fact, most rum is blended: a blend of marques, casks, styles, distilleries, or countries. it is a creative and dynamic art that helps to create the desired character, volume, or consistency.
At a single distillery, the master blender may blend different marques, casks, or ages to design a specific rum profile. Similarly, blenders across the world may use their skills and artistry in blending rums from different distilleries to balance or enhance the flavor profile. A pot still rum with weight and expressive character may be balanced with a delicate and light column still rum. A younger rum may add freshness, vibrancy, and terroir, while an aged rum will add depth, spice, and smooth texture. Complexity in a rum is often achieved by balancing these different conditions in a ratio preferred by the master blender at the distillery or independent bottler.
A blender works much like a conductor of an orchestra, expertly weighing the individual parts and using them to create something more than the sum of its parts, a symphony of flavors.
Some practice Élevage, a french term that means rearing, breeding, or caring for your rum. In élevage, the blender is constantly keeping track of the character and progression of the rum, adjusting conditions over months or years to achieve the felicitous result. Techniques may include adding dilution over time, combining, changing, or moving casks.