Born in Cuba over 76 years ago, Francisco Jose Fernandez Perez, or rather ‘Don Pancho’, has spent his entire adult life devoted to creating what he believes is the perfect rum. Having relocated to Panama for its excellent sugarcane growing conditions, he now makes rum for his own brand – ‘Don Pancho Origenes’, strictly for the purposes of enjoying what a perfect ‘Cuban style’ of rum really entails.
The collection starts at eight years old (you won’t find anything suitable for a Mojito in these barrels) and moves up to this one, his prized thirty year old expression. The colour alone is enough to make you drool and a display that it would be a crime to mix this rare spirit – only 1500 bottles were released last year, each one numbered and signed by Don Pancho himself. The nose displays soft caramel, vanilla and oak, with a strength of tobacco, praline, pecan and orange peel. On the palate it’s full bodied and complex, with figs, bourbon, cognac and toasted nuts coming through on a very long dry and warm finish. Given its rarity it’s already proving a tricky one to find for sale down under, but definitely a welcome product and a fancy step-up from your everyday Bundy and coke.