Recently, a document from Oliver & Oliver got into my hands. It contains some interesting company information and I am looking forward to share this knowledge with you. Thanks to Orlando, Maria and Kierstin for translation and correction help.
Origin and philosophy of the company
Juanillo Oliver, a Catalan and Mallorcan arrived in Cuba in mid-nineteenth century as a Spanish soldier and began the family lineage on the Caribbean island. After finishing his military service, instead of returning to the mainland, he decided to settle in the center of the island, in an area that later became known as Oliver, near the town of Las Placetas. It was here that he chose to raise his family and to begin the cultivation of tobacco and sugar cane. Shortly thereafter, the family started companies to take advantage of their crops.
They built mills to grind sugar cane for the production of sugars and alcohols, starting very early in the artisanal production of rum and brandies. Both their rum and cigars were known in central Cuba and gave fortune and fame to the family. With the arrival of the second War of Independence, separatists destroyed and burned the producing farms and ranches from the East to the Villaclara region, and so, in 1898, the Cubaney mills were destroyed.
After Independence had been achieved, the family abandoned the sugar cane production and continued in the cultivation and production of tobacco and other businesses and agricultural activities until the year 1959; the arrival of the Revolution.
In the years following 1959, many of the family members left Cuba and their descendants spread throughout the world. In the late eighties, a member of the younger generation returned to Cuba and his curiosity led him to plunge into the family history which he studied rigorously.
Among the hundreds of files and documents he reviewed, he found the original formulas used by the family in the nineteenth century in their production of rum.
Encouraged by the discovery, the descendants of Juanillo Oliver committed themselves to revive the Cuban rum. The Dominican Republic, sharing the characteristics of climate, topography, and geology with Cuba, was chosen as the ideal country to resume the manufacturing of the family rum.
In the early nineties, the Oliver family began to develop their rums in San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic.
Cuban immigrant engineers and master blenders were hired for advice to help prepare the plant for the production of rum in the pure Cuban style. Since then, the same procedures, parameters and formulas set by these technicians remained and are still used by the present exiled master blenders and technicians, all with extensive experience in their professions.
The plant began by purchasing 100,000 liters of distillates and malts that had been aged for 15 years, forming the first stock production in the Oliver House which represented the basis of their mother rum and origin of the rums currently being bottled.
The corporate reorganization under the corporate name of Oliver & Oliver took place in 1997, transferring the ownership of the plant and all its assets for subsequent operations.
Pavol Kažimir, Dominican Rum Guide
Other articles by Pavol Kažimir:
Oliver & Oliver - A Tour and Tasting of Cuban Tradition