Another independent release from Berrys’ Bros and Rudd. This time they have bottled a Latin style rum from Panama.
Perhaps the best known rum brand from Panama is Ron Abuelo. Until recently you could argue that one of Don Pancho’s many blends – Ron de Jeremy Reserva was better known/ more infamous. That rum is no longer from Panama – it is now a Caribbean blend.
As mentioned Panamanian (is that right?) rum is made in the “Latin” or “Cuban” style. The rums are light and produced on column stills. There are a couple of famous distilleries in Panama. However it can be a little confusing trying to work out all the differing names they are known by. As far as I am aware Don Jose (or Varela Hermanos home of Ron Abuelo) and Las Cabras are the two biggest distilleries in Panama.
Which distillery this rum comes from – I have no idea there is no information on the bottling. I’d guess Don Jose as that is mostly where other indie bottlings have got their Panamanian rum from.
Trying to get information from Central and South American rum producers is difficult. They seem to have grown into a culture of smoke and mirrors. Which is a shame. They do “adulterate” their rums – claims of macerated fruits and wine being added via what they call aguardiente are commonplace. They have done little to refute this over the years. Instead they try to fob people off and at times they can get quite defensive and abusive. Latin Temperement? You got it!
This rum is bottled at 46% ABV. The hydrometer reveals a lower ABV suggesting some additives. Not excessive amounts but a little. I picked this up at one of my local haunts rather than online. They had, had it in stock for quite some time until I turned up and bought all the Berrys’ bottlings. (I’d estimate this bottling is from about 3 to 4 years ago). I paid £38 if I recall correctly.
You get quite a lot of information on the rear label of this bottling. Unfortunately, it is mostly about Berrys’ you get some tasting notes for the rum but no actual information on distillery, still etc.
The rum comes in the standard tall Berrys’ bottle and is in keeping with the rest of their range. You likely can get a Panama rum from Berrys’ at the moment. It is however unlikely to be this vintage. Berrys’ have an ever changing line up of rums all only really differentiated by the country and age.
When poured the rum is a quite vibrant gold colour. The nose is light and balanced. Notes of sweet honey, maybe a touch of sherry. There is also a very nice smoky oak which sits nicely alongside the sweetness. Notes of sweet peanut brittle and a faint hint of menthol.
At 46% ABV it is immediately and dangerously sippable. It reminds me very much of the Mezan Panama’s. For all I have “knocked” rum from Panama (I don’t believe I have I’m merely pointing out some shortcomings) this is, for a light column distilled rum – very tasty.
It’s not a difficult or particularly complicated rum. Reasonably complex – the sweetness plays nicely alongside some very rich and spicy wood and a touch of smoky tobacco. You get some nice sweet fruits on the opening – apple, pear, raisins, a touch of sherry which give way to a nice smoked finish. The finish is reasonably spicy – I am pretty sure this rum has been solely aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. It is short though. All in all the overall experience of the rum in the mouth is fairly short lived.
Which makes it one of those rums which you sip often and as a result the bottle doesn’t last too long.
It’s not as good as the Mezan Panamas I have tried but it is better than my limited experiences with Ron Abuelo.
All in all not a bad rum for the price I paid anyway. If you like the lighter style but not overly sweet you should enjoy this. Solid enough if unspectacular.
If you can’t find this particular rum still then you may find another Panama vintage. It likely will be fairly similar though dont’ quote me on that.