virgin sugar cane honey
four-column continuous still
12 years in 200 litres white oak ex-bourbon casks, solera
Alcohol by volume:
There is a situation at every meeting that someone has to start first. Therefore, I am handing over to you an Panamanian 12-year-old grandfather (Spanish for abuelo). Don José Varela Blanco, who is watching us carefully from the bottle, founded the first sugar factory in the newly established republic and having sons at last, began distilling with them. And so, to this day, the family remains at the helm, and Varela Hermanos (and therefore brothers, so grandfather sons) is the strongest national brand in the segment.
Panama is a picturesque country with an equatorial climate, located at the crossroads of the Americas. Brothers-grandfather-sons, but rather their descendants, manage 1,200 hectares of sugar cane plantation with a thousand farmhands with machetes. I really do not know on what terms of employment they are working there and I wouldn't want to harm anybody, but the fact is that the Panama is the land of large wealth disparities. Nevertheless, Abuelo sees its unique selling proposition in responsibility for the natural environment, and derives all its pride from the terroir concept.
Grandpa focuses on ecological farming and sustainable development. He was the first in Panama to give up burning fields before harvesting. The base of rum is sugarcane syrup (and molasses?), fermented between 36 and 48 hours. Distillation takes place in a four-column still and then rum is aged in 200 liter bourbon barrels.
Abuelo is created using the solera method, i.e. pouring the spirit from younger to older barrels, from top to bottom and with constant replenishment of higher levels. In such circumstances it is in vain to find reliable information whether the age on the label means the oldest rum in the blend or maybe of the average age. For sure it's not the age of the youngest ingredient. Inaccuracy like that excites consumers primarily focused on numbers.