Best buy/value in its price range, great taste and overproof to boot (so more drinks per bottle) making it an outstanding value.
Notes: Panama Red is a rum produced by one of the great icons in the rum trade Francisco Fernandez (AKA Don Pancho – but I always call him Patron as a measure of respect). Señor Fernandez has a long history in the rum trade and is an unequalled expert in his field. Among his many other rums are Ron Abuelo, Varela, Ron de Jeremy, Zafra, the blend he makes for the 86 company, Cana Brava, and some new rums due out soon, the 18 and 30-year-old Origenes Panamanian rum which are his crowning achievements.
This rum however is one of his newest efforts and is the first overproof rum he has made that is available here in the US and Canada. Aged in Bourbon barrels, casks of various sizes ( 220 and 500 liter), this rum brings a lot of different elements and aging profiles to a harmonious conclusion by the deft hand,nose, and palette of the Padron.
Appearance: Clear, lovely red amber color in the bottle, slight wisps of sediment in the bottom of the bottle lets you know this rum was not filtered and processed to death.. In the glass it is a lovely gold color and on swirling it coats the glass evenly and develops long legs and tears along the edge line
First Impression: Despite the high-proof the bouquet is nicely balanced with toffee, vanilla,leather, moist plug tobacco and dark fruits, with the alcohol present but not nearly as aromatic and spirituous as one would expect ( which is of course a good thing)
Taste: A lovely, not overly sweet, deep, complex mouthfeel of toffee, molasses, dried black figs,leather, oak char,vanilla, tobacco, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices with only hints of the alcohol drying your tongue at the finish.
Drinks: Although this is a very smooth and subtle rum remember it is almost 30 % stronger than most other rums (roughly) so please pour accordingly in your cocktails.
Every drink we tried it in (which called for a non blanco or white rum) was enhanced by the use of this rum. It mixed well with plenty of flavor, but did not overwhelm the drinks ( which many a overproof rum can) and carries through just about anything you mixed it with including egg nog (which can bury just about anything)
Bottle: Simple classic clear glass rum bottle with slightly bulbous neck, gold rimmed old style paper labels with somewhat more modern looking artwork with the almost obligatory busty redhead portrait at the top of the label and the gold medals on either side – again an almost mandatory design element to a rum label. Very deep almost deep cherry red screwcap closure.
Cigars: A nice maduro, of a not overpowering size , a Nica Libre Hub Maduro, or Macaudo Cafè and Maduro
Other: Remember this stuff is 108 proof – read flammable – so care around open flame,cigars, etc.,
Final Thoughts: Where else could you get such a quality overproof rum for this kind of money. Even the cheap stuff at 80 maybe 90 proof usually sells for more,whereas this is 108 proof so you get more cocktails per bottle and an amazing smoothness and taste.