Mezan Panama 1999

Mezan Panama 1999 Rum review by the fat rum pirateAnother try out with a Mezan rum.  At these prices it would simply have been rude not to give Mezan a fair crack of the whip.  With Mezan trying to do things the “right way” (in many peoples eyes – including their own) I simply had to persevere with their range.

This Panama 1999 is another one of my more unusual purchases.  The original idea was to finally try one of Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez’s rums.  I’d focused on the reasonably priced 7 year old celebrity cash in Ron De Jeremy.  Then I saw this Mezan distilled in 1999 and bottled between 2012 and 2014 (I have only seen that around on the net so it may well be wrong I cannot find a definitive age).

For those who don’t know Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez is a former Blender with Havana Club and subsequently a Master Blender at the Don Jose Distillery in Panama for Valera Hermanos.  Valera Hermanos are responsible for the Ron Abuelo line of rums.  In more recent times Don Pancho has lent his skills to produce several premium products such as Zafra, Origienes series and of course the porn star rum Ron de Jeremy.

I was overall a little non-plussed by the Abuelo 7 Year Old I previously reviewed.  Still I wanted to give Mezan another try out with something a little different.

As Mezan often bottle single casks their portfolio is often changing.  It may be that it is quite difficult to find this rum now as it isn’t one of their 2015 releases.  I was able to pick up a bottle for £30.  It is usually around £35 in the UK.  The bottle is a 70cl and the rum comes in at a very exact 42.2% ABV. The rum is rather bizarrely only available in the UK and…..Russia!

The presentation is signature Mezan – clear, uncluttered and distinctive shaped bottle.  The plastic closure on this bottle doesn’t seem as troublesome as on others and so far it has been easy to open and hasn’t got stuck or clogged.

Mezan Panama 1991 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateI’ve been left a little underwhelmed by previous Mezan offerings but I am encouraged that this rum has been bottled at a slightly odd ABV.  This may present the rum at its best.

The rum in this is column distilled.  It does not state this rum is single cask but single distillery. I can’t find a great deal of information, this is the best I can find “The rums in this small batch have been aged twice in separate sets of white oak American Bourbon casks, to give added structure to the spirit”.  It states on the rear of the bottle that is rum is unblended.

So with all the information I can find lets move onto the tasting.

The first surprise from a column distilled rum is just how fruity and full the nose is.  Most Hispanic/Spanish style “rons” get their flavour mainly from the oak and they tend to be spicy and/or tobacco/tar like. This has a very pleasant nose.   It smells of peaches and apricots, giving way to the more familiar oak aged notes.  Sweet alcohol notes also come through, but they are muted and again very pleasant.  Not at all harsh.

Previously I have found the Mezan’s to have a muted nose – almost as if they have been diluted too much.  Especially full for a rum with no Pot Still distillate.

Sipping (and I will only sip this) is a great experience as well.  The beautifully balanced yet complex nose reels you in and the sipping experience that follows is equally pleasant.  This rum has a wonderful honeyed sweetness to it. Muscavado and Demerara Brown sugar combine with light notes of caramel and a little butterscotch.  It is very almost dangerously shippable.  For some palates it may be slightly to sweet but I find that the finish each sip leaves, balances the sweetness out beautifully.  Gentle oak spices, a hint nutmeg and a lovely smooth long lasting finish.  The heat is just right in the mouth.

Mezan Panama 1991 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateWith each sip you find more little nuances in the mix.  It coats the palate and delivers waves of flavour.  Mezan have well and truly hit the nail on the head with this.  This is one of my biggest surprises since I began the blog.  Often I have been disappointed but rarely have I took a bit of a punt and it pay off quite so well.

At £35 you could pay double for one of the Super Duper Premium Packaged Ultra Sipping Rums (some of which Don Pancho puts his name to), this has to be regarded as a must have purchase at the price.

As I write this review I am learning of a new rum from Panama called Duran – named after the “Hands of Stone” Roberto Duran the former 4 weight Boxing Champion.  All I will say at this point, is it is unlikely that you will ever say “No Mas” to this Panamanian rum.

Ding, Ding Round 1 to Mezan……..

4.5 stars

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