In the first half of the 19th century, the Mallorquin entrepreneur Juan Suau and Bennassar was sailing the Atlantic aboard his ship El Mallorquín between Mallorca and Cuba, where the distillery was founded, and he transported all his products wherever there was business to be made. In one of his trips, Suau fell in love with a young Mallorquin woman, daughter to his father’s business partner. He was forced to consider his choices and decided to settle down in Mallorca and move his business to the island in 1851.
This was the beginning of a journey for this family company between two islands, importing the best raw materials from Cuba to produce their famous rum, today known as Ron Jungla, and exporting their anise, La Paloma, which gave its name to the neighborhood in Palma where it was produced, and whose fame crossed oceans thanks to the contacts Suau had in America.Read more
Captain Suau sold his boat, but not his company, which he had already installed in Palma in 1851 and produced what he knew: the traditional drinks of the Caribbean. And with it came Beautiful copper stills and countless instruments from the liquors that we now store and display as jewelry in our museum. The museum is opened in 2001 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Bodegas Suau in Mallorca.Read more
This move was due to the high quality of our brandy and the warmth and enthusiasm with which it was received everywhere. There is also a story around the brandy: Before producing the 1851 brand, we had been manufacturing different brandy’s such as “Madelon” “Jaime I”, “1229” (highly sought after by collectors nowadays). In 1951, while commemorating our one hundred years of existence in Mallorca and being aware of the excellent quality of our brandy, we launched the brandy commonly know as “El barquito”.Read more
The stars of Bodegas Suau have been brandy, rum, and anise, as they occupied the shelves in the old taverns of the American continent. They had a wide portfolio of clients, such as the well know leader of the Mexican revolution Pancho Villa, who is said to have celebrated several victories with this liquor.
As the next generations of the family followed, a lot of the contacts in America were lost and the business was restricted to the islands. All kinds of liqueurs were made, such as anise and gin, but the distillery began specializing in rum and brandy, a drink consumed by people with any social status.
The business was successful and the heir, Federico Suau, bought 30 American oak barrels of 850 liters, each one with 80-proof cane spirits distilled in Havana to add to the distillery. But luck ran out. That same day in 1936, the Spanish Civil War began and so did hard times.
The barrels stayed in the Barcelona port and never made it to Mallorca. The Suau brandy continued to be produced with great effort with the distillation of wine from the Mallorquin town of Felanitx. Federico began making a living making perfumes with his knowledge of herbalism, achieving some success.
When the war was over, Federico returned to Barcelona to recover some of what was lost, but he became even more ruined. At that time, he reached a private agreement with the Mora family to try to bring the company back from ruin with the condition that Federico remain as master of the winery.
In 1989, after 50 years at the helm of the company, the Mora family entered an economic crisis and the Barceló family came in as majority shareholder, saving Bodegas Suau and taking charge of management. Since then, the two families have collaborated. The company was able to get back on track, since it became popular at that time to have a glass of brandy with a cigar in company of friends. With the turn of the century, the distillery’s products started appealing to a younger crowd thanks to the launch of a new gin that had been adapted from old recipes, always following the values of high-quality distillates produced since the distillery’s origin. The company met a new distributor managing to sail the seas with the Suau products once again.
The company has changed its image to adapt it to a more modern style, changing the bottles and how they’re packaged, but maintaining the ship that represents the origins of the business. Currently, Suau products are sold in 25 countries, including China, Germany, and the United States. Its brandy is the only one produced on the island and it is so popular in Mallorquin taverns, you don’t just order any brandy, you order a Suau.
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