My first encounter with this rum was during the blind tasting competition at the Miami Rum Festival. We later met with the company and its representatives where they formally introduced the judges to their rebranding of the Origenes line. They announced that the product line will be known as Don Pancho Origenes. This 8 year old rum is produced at the Las Cabres Distillery in Panama. It is aged in used Bourbon barrels, blended to 40% abv and bottled. Origenes has been available in Europe and during the festival Michael Lindell, Terlato Wines International East Region Manager of Artist Spirits announced that the entire line would be available in the United States this year.
The entire Origenes product line shares the same distinguished bottle design. The custom designed 750 ml bottle has a long handle with a cut design that reminds me of a sharp looking award plaque. It is easy to spot on the shelf as they are no other bottle designs like it. The plastic cork is secured with a black security wrap that descends down the neck of the bottle.
The dark amber liquid maintains its color in the bottle and glass. Swirling the liquid produces a thin ring with matching legs that slide slowly down the side of the glass.
When I poured the rum in the glass I was surprised by the sugar sweet aroma that filled the air. As the rum settled I picked up notes of molasses, brown sugar, and oak.
The sweetness from the aroma is front and center when I sipped the rum. While the entry is smooth, the smoky oak notes form the foundation of the rum with the sweet caramel, touch of banana, and light vanilla notes forming the body. As the flavor fades toward the finish their is a subtle pepper pop and tickle of alcohol on the tongue. This transitions to a light dry finish.
I have experienced quite a few of Don Pancho's rums over the years and what surprises me the most about this product is the simplicity of the flavor profile. While I enjoyed it, I could not help comparing it to other eight year old products on my shelves and wished that is had been a bit more dynamic. It sweet smoothness makes it a comfortable sipper, and the flavor profile provides a core cocktail ingredient for mixologists to create with.
This review appeared in "Got Rum?" magazine.