Monday, July 27, 2015

Cuban Rum Made in Panama: The Story of Don Pancho

Carlos Esquival and Don Pancho Fernandez
     When Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, master blender for Havana Club for 35 years, decided to leave Cuba after the sale of his brand to an international spirits conglomerate, it was to Panama that he retired.   Already having a long history of travel to that country, and having worked in Panama for theVarela Hermanos, there he was able to continue to make his “Cuban style” rum for many years.   This was a natural choice for Don Pancho that worked for him and the makers of Abuelo Rums for many years. However, it was not with the idea that he would continue to make rum or launch his own brand.

Don Pancho Origenes 30 Anos
     After he met and became friends with Carlos Esquivel, a Panamanian who had deep ties to the local spirits industry.   Together, they would  create one of Panama’s, and the rum industry’s, most important sources: Proveedora Internacional de LIcores, S.A. (PILSA) Rums  a custom distiller whose efforts are behind some of the most important names in the category.  The majority of their work is done under contract for rum clientele who are looking for top quality rums to put their own label on. 

     20 years after arriving in Panama, Don Pancho and Carlos are releasing his first effort bearing his name, Don Pancho Originales rums.   Part of the rums are from reserves dating back to when Don Pancho first started making and blending rums in Panama while still living in Cuba.

     Cuban Style rum made in Panama will be discussed along with
Don Pancho Origenes 8 Anos
the story of Don Pancho and Carlos on the July 29th broadcast of The Connected Table LIVE! Tune in at 2pm ET at The show will be rebroadcast on Link to cut and past and share: Young and David Ransom.

    Don Pancho and Carlos are two of my favorite people in the world of rum.  This should be a very interesting and educational show that I hope that  you will take the time to watch.