Abuelo Añejo 7 Años Reserva Superior (40%, Panama)

After the affordable and very light young Añejo Reserva Especial, comes this 7yo Reserva Superior. And as luck would have it, I have the 7yo right here on my lectern, and I’ll review it shortly. First a short history lesson:

The history of the Ron Abuelo brand is actually the history of Varela Hermanos. It starts in 1908, when the Spanish immigrant Don José Varela Blanco established the first sugar mill in Pesé. Panama is then a fairly new country, since it just gained independence from Colombia in 1903. In 1936 Don José started distilling sugar cane juice. In 1976 Don José’s distillery was replaced by a new one that was surprisingly called the Don José distillery. Besides Ron Abuelo, also other spirits are made in the stainless steel column still.

Abuelo 7yoColor: Orange gold.

Nose: Floral and fruity, yet light. Dry and dusty. More dry wood in the mix, but still not a lot. Vanilla powder, toffee and a touch of honey. Luke warm sugar-water. Vanillin from oak. Slightly spicy, balanced and light. Latte Macciato with mocha sprinkles. Appetizing but not very complex.

Taste: Fruity and instantly very nice. Nice half-sweetness matches with the right amount of oak. Fruity and waxy. Toffee, but also a tiny bite. Toasted cask I would say. Much fuller and thicker than the Añejo, but still not very heavy. That’s the Panamanian style of Rum making. This time also an apply, fruity acidity, and sometimes a slight bitter note towards the finish. However, I don’t pick up on those, every time I try this. Nice and easy, no frills and certainly a decent Rum. A little bit of sour oak lingers on in the finish and somewhat later even some menthol.

As far as I know, this is not a lot more expensive than the entry-level Añejo. That one seems to be made for mixing, whereas this one is made to be drunk by itself, or maybe with an ice-cube. It has more going for it than the Añejo and is also nice for mixing, but why should you. Well made, a bit middle of the road and still pretty light. No faults and no off-notes. This may very well be the definition of Panamanian Rum.

Points: 82

Rum Week – Day 5: Malecon 12yo Reserva Superior (40%, Panama)

Well this will almost be a short story, since there is not a lot of information around about Malecon. The label states that it is made the Cuban way.

One from the grape-vine is that it made by an Italian importer, who uses predominantly Panamanian Rums, but not exclusively. So I’m not sure what this is and where it’s from. Sorry…

Color: Orange copper.

Nose: Spirity and woody. Smells a bit like a Single Malt Whisky, with added sweetness. But the wood also gives this a sense of a dryness. Vanilla cola. After some air, more powdery and less balanced as at first nosing. The spicy wood plays a very important role in keeping this together.

Taste: Fruity sweet and very reserved. Nothing pops out. Only in the finish, the wood shows a little spice, and oak. That’s remarkable, since it played such a big role in the nose. Actually this has a slight bitterness towards the end, and the fruits are lovely. An elegant rum. Light.

Some time ago Erik and I did a rum tasting. When this was put in a row of eight whiskies we tasted, this was probably too light to be truly noticed. When I try it on its own it’s a very nice elegant and restrained rum. It is much better now, than I remember from the tasting. It’s light and easily overshadowed by other heavy hitting rums. When you would try this after a Demarara, this would get lost. But on its own it shows it’s lovely quality. So very light, that even the Barbancourt tried earlier blows this out of the water! Elegant, and definitely worth a try!

Points: 80