Thursday, March 8, 2012

When I Think About Rum: I Think About Panama

     Panama is one of the rum producing countries that really intrigues me.   There are several different distilleries in Panama, all of which produce some really fine rums.     I was the guest of Valero Hermanos while I was in Panama last February.     I got the opportunity see some of the most beautiful countrysides and oceans I have ever seen.    Seeing the Panama Canal for the first time was  just one more thing that made this trip so special.     Valero Hermanos produces many fine rums and is the home of Seco Herrerano a wonderful neutral spirit that could set the vodka world on it's ear once it is truly discovered here in America.

     Ron Abuelo Centuria, one of my all time favorite rums is a celebration of the family producing rum for over 100 years.   It is a tribute to the rum making abilities of the family.    This is a limited edition rum and if you haven't tried it you need to before it is gone.

     The Canal and the countryside only added to my wonderful trip to Panama.    The absolute beauty of the oceans and the spectacular skyline of Panama City held my attention as I traveled around Panama and visiting the distilleries, restaurants, and cantinas.    

     I had the opportunity to meet Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez Perez, the master blender and company director of PILSA.    They are the ones that gave us "Zafra Master Reserve", still another fine quality rum of Panama.

    I found that in Panama that rum making is a real family oriented industry.   for instance, Don Pancho worked for many years for Valera Hermanos, and the still hold him in very high regard even through he has moved on and become a major part of a competitor.    This is a very fine trait that I was surprised to find as I became acquainted with the distillers of Panama.

     I really find myself thinking of Panama when I think of rum, because of the many friends that I have made around the rum industry of Panama and the fine quality rums they all produce.   Looking forward to seeing these friends again this year at the Rum Renaissance next month in Miami.   ;o)