Having walked down the 15 stairs that separate the outside world from the cellar, you will have travelled back 165 years in time. The Suau cellar is a real journey into the past. From the appearance, to the smell, taste, and even touch, everything will suggest that you have entered another dimension.
A LITTLE HISTORY
This adventure began back in 1840 when an intrepid merchant and sailor who was originally from Mallorca, Mr Juan Suau Bennaser, managed to merge his adventurous spirit with his business mind. He started to export Cuba’s renowned rum to Europe and the rest of the Caribbean, along with other similar beverages. For that purpose, he set up his own distillery with half a dozen stills that he exported, and using a ship named “El Mallorquín” he transported his products to wherever they were needed.
On one of his trips he stopped over in Mallorca, met the woman of his dreams, and began to reconsider his lifestyle. He sold his boat, but not his business, as he moved it to his island of birth and continued to do what he knew best, make quality liqueurs: rum, spirits, herb infused liqueurs, and an anisette drink “La Paloma”. In addition to lending its name to the neighbourhood where it was produced (close to what is now the Pere Garau Market), it was also exported all around the world. Years later, it was to be the favourite drink of the mythical revolutionary Mexican general, Pancho Villa, accompanying him during his formidable gun battles.
Production of the famous brandies at the Suau cellars got underway at the start of the 20th century, with different brands: “Madelón”, “Jaime I”, “1229”, and finally “1851”.
THE CURRENT ERA
Suau brandy or “El Barquito” as it is also known, was created in 1951 and it is now available in 15, 25 and 50 year varieties. However, one hundred years on, the purely handcrafted process, is carried out in the exact same way as when the adventure first began. It is the hallmark product of Suau cellars, the brand that is renowned not only on the island, but also by connoisseurs around the world. Not for nothing has it obtained and continues to obtain recognition at any international competition it is presented at, whether in China or France, to name just two distant examples.
At present, the descendants of Juan Suau no longer run the company, more than thirty years have passed since Juan Mora and the Barceló family, from S’Alqueria Blanca, took charge. Now, the third generation of the Barceló family is in charge. David Álvarez Barceló greets us and full of pride, he invites us on a tour of the Suau cellars, a real living museum.
In addition to the renowned brandies, and a spectacular gin named Premium -just like our magazine- that involves four distillations instead of the two of the previous Suau gin, as well as top range ingredients, such as lemon and orange peel, bitter almonds, coriander, Orris root, Angelica roots, liquorice root and of course, juniper berries, we would say that the finest new product is Orange. It is an 8-year-old brandy that combines classic brandy with a touch of marinated orange, giving it a unique flavour. It is produced using Valencian and Curaçao, due to their unique taste. Three distillations are carried out and once the orange has been combined with the brandy, it is left to mature for three months in white American oak barrels in order to create a balanced product. Almost all of this new product is exported, especially to the United States, where it is in very high demand.
THE CELLARS, A UNIQUE PLACE
The Suau cellars are located in Pont d’Inca, in Marratxi, and the listed building is very unique. If you have never been, it is a must-visit destination. The features include a striking 40-metre-high outside chimney, a remnant of the building’s past as a flour factory, and the cellar where bottles and wooden barrels are packed in a carefully organised way. This area is where the brandies are left to slowly age, and some of the casks are more than 150 years old.
The upper floor is a veritable museum of bottles, brands, tools, and stills where you will feel as if you have been transported back to an era when things were handcrafted, and this policy is kept up by the Suau company.
The cellar is open for individual and group visits, and it is also an excellent place for holding all kind of events, such as a meal for a small group, a presentation, wedding, tasting, or a party for more than 500 people. It makes any event a great experience, and numerous guests can attest to this. Also, you can become the owner of your very own cask. Thanks to Club Suau, a select group of people, currently numbering 450 -with a maximum of 500- , can have their own barrel with a 32 litre capacity. You can watch your own reserve age, and enjoy a signature brandy, numbered and named. In Mallorca we offer a unique destination and product, Suau Cellar, now we just need to let the world know about it.
If you would like further information, you can contact the company by telephone at 971 600 802 or via their website www.bodegassuau.com.