Copalli – you may have seen their products in one or two supermarkets across the country, but primarily in the south. That’s because Copalli, which is based in the southernmost district of Toledo, produces sustainable rums which are being made in the heart of the rainforest in Punta Gorda. It is described as a certified organic product where sugarcane is processed and a French-style of making rum is carried out and bottled into dark and white rum. Byron “Waluco” Maheia takes us on a tour of the Copal Tree Distillery.
Byron “Waluco” Maheia, Sales Manager, Copalli
“We are using the fresh pressed cane juice. There’s a small percentage in the world of rums that is using the fresh pressed cane juice as the raw material. So that’s one. We are the only certified organic rum in Belize and great tasting product, environmentally responsible, we do a lot of sustainable initiatives and it is community based, community driven. Our distillery sits on a three-entity property. So we have three entities on site: we have Copal Tree Distillery, Copal Tree Farms and Copal Tree Lodge. Together, we are the largest employer of southern Belize. We believe about over a hundred and thirty local employees. We currently have available three products. We have our white rum which is a blend of two main types of distillations; that sits at forty-two percent. It’s a beautiful product; it goes very nicely with citrus-based cocktails. We have our barrel rested – the first of our aged line up. We call it barrel rested as opposed to aged because it is only about a year in the barrel. So we get some barrel notes, barrel influences, but not too much to overpower the cane flavour that we got in there. And then finally we have a third product, our first flavoured rum and a true representative of the Toledo district – our cacao rum, a chocolate flavour. We are not using any artificial flavouring, no additional sugars or colouring in any of our products. We are still a fairly new product to the Belizean market and we are getting out there, but certain areas like Placencia or course, PG – any store you go to in PG, you are going to see Copalli on the shelf. PG actually has some of the better prices in the country. But Placencia, we are over in Hopkins, Dangriga and then a few locations in Belize City. All the Naybaz stores countrywide also carries the product.”
Copali Rum Distillery The Toledo District is known for the best chocolate, but the Toledo District also boasts the award winning Copali Rum. Our Belize Watch team stopped by the Copali Rum Distillery in Forest Home Village and guide Desmond Ramirez gave us an extensive tour of the facility.