Wednesday 16 October 2013

Ron Abuelo 12 - a complex classic

After a little break caused by work getting in the way of drink it's back to the grindstone with this little Panamanian number, when I was picking it up the fine people at Edinburgh's Cigar Box  suggested one of these little Cuban numbers to go with it.

I am a martyr to upselling
I've previously sampled and enjoyed the 7 year old from Abuelo and found it a bit more interesting than many other rums of comparable age so figured that bodes well for its big brother.

The history of Abuelo goes back to 1908 when a sugar mill was founded, though it took till 1936 for them to get round to distilling any booze.  Interestingly it's still the local sugar cane that goes into the Abuelo rum, making it a true single estate drink.  Indeed once the sugar cane is crushed and the juices extracted the left overs are used to fuel the still and kettles.

Anyways, to the booze itself.

Once you open up the rather understated bottle and take a sniff there's an initial hit of a slightly burnt caramel
, like the top of a good crème brûlée, after it warms up a little then you get orange notes and a slight smokiness coming through which makes for a very enticing combination.

Once you pour a glass the colour is a nice dark gold and there are good long legs to the liquid

The first sip gives a definite dryness on the lips and tip of the tongue and you expect more of this but then in come a lot of fruity notes, cherries and blackberries layering over the dryness together with a caramel sweetness.

On the finish it's definitely the dry, oaky character that you get but this does clean your palate up quite nicely and the warmth lingers very pleasantly

As a Scotsman I approach Panama with a degree of caution, in the 1690's we tried to establish a colony there which was clearly planned while completely hammered and that went as well as could be expected, but this is a very nice drop. At £32 a bottle this slips down easily and gives a good contrast to the sweeter rums on the market, my one criticism would be the contrast between the dryness and the fruity notes on that first sip is a bit jarring, that being said I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any rum drinkers out there.