An astounding rum from Ron Abuelo. This Panamanian rum is produced by Varela Hermonas SA, a company who’s history is nearly as long as the country itself. First founded in 1908 by Don José Varela, the company now produces over a million litres of spirit alcohol a year. Unusually, they grow and mill their own cane, one of few distilleries to do so.
This fantastic, long aged rum has been matured in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey casks, in a solera system. This system is often used in the production of Sherry and brandy. Here a large collection of barrels is maintained. Bottles are drawn from the oldest barrel, usually about a third of the barrel at a time. After this the barrel is topped up with spirit from the next oldest, which in turn is topped up by the next, and so on. This ensures a wonderful consistency of flavour and age, with some spirit in this rum aged as long as 30 years.
On the nose this rum offers up dense, thick sweet aromas of treacle, vanilla custard, cornbread, maraschino cherries, overripe bananas and cigar smoke. The palate brings a chewy mouthfeel, with a rich, sweet tropical fruit note, and jammy berry flavours. Oak builds into the palate, with it rounding out on flavours of leather, toasted oak and woodspice. The finish lingers for some time, with bittersweet oak, brown sugar and dried fruits. A classic rum, which rewards slow drinking and patience.