One brand of rum that I’ve only recently come across goes by the name of Ron Abuelo. On the odd occasion I’ve heard its name crop up, and seen the bottle in my hands, but never had the chance to give the liquid a go. But now I have! But before I share with you my tasting notes, lets see how Ron Abuelo came about.
The history of Varela Hermanos, S.A (the company behind Ron Abuelo) dates back to 1908, when Don José Varela Blanco, a young Spanish immigrant, built in the town of Pesé the San Isidro Sugar Mill, the first sugar mill in the then recently formed Republic of Panamá. In 1936, following the wishes of his three sons –José Manuel, Plinio, and Julio, Don José began the distillation of alcohol from sugar cane juice for the production of distilled spirits (the cultivation of sugar cane is the main activity for the 10,000 strong population).
In 1976, production was moved to the Don José Distillery. It’s here that the production of Ron Abuelo comes to fruition using 100% Panamanian Estate grown virgin sugar cane honey rather than molasses like most rums. It is fermented, distilled and then aged in white oak bourbon casks.
So how do the Ron Abuelo range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on each –
Ron Abuelo Añejo Reserva Especial – 40%
Sharp on the nose with fruit and berry aromas coming through. Sharp beginning on the palate too, with a rich combination of vanilla, caramel and citrus present. Rather short.
Ron Abuelo 7yr – 40%
A rich nose of sweet red fruit with hints of fresh wood. Powerful on the palate with vanilla dominating until a citrus finish comes along. Warm ending that lingers.
Ron Abuelo 12yr – 40%
Soft on the nose with demerara sugar aromas and hints of citrus blended with new wood. Very smooth on the palate, with developing flavours of dry wood, vanilla and toffee creating a mouth-watering finish.
Fantastic to sip on their own, but maybe ask one of your bartenders to create you this –
5 Mint leaves
45 ml Ron Abuelo Añejo
60 ml Cranberry juice
30 ml Fresh lemon juice
15 ml Sugar syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
In a shaker, muddle the raspberries and mint leaves. Add the remaining ingredients except the ginger ale and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a large wine glass filled with fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a raspberry and a mint sprig.
A refreshing cocktail that demonstrates how versatile this rum is, despite being perfect to sip. Get one, if not all for your drinks cabinet, especially if you get your hands on the Centuria.
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