One of the fun things about participating in rum festivals is that it gives you the opportunity to experience rums years before they reach your home market place. That is the case with almost every rum I have discovered that was produced by “Don Pancho” Fernandez. Without further ado, let us explore Origenes Reserva
Especial: a rum that Don Pancho states is blended from a selection of barrels aged 18 years.
Origenes Reserva Especial has the same distinguished bottle design as the 8 and 30 year old rums. The bottle is sealed with a plastic cork with a wooden cap secured with a black and gold safety strip. The black, white and gold label provides the basic information about the rum and the legacy of Don Pancho.
The rum has a dark walnut color that only lightens slightly with an amber hue in the glass. Agitating the glass creates a solid thick ring that reluctantly releases equally thick, slow moving legs.
When I poured the rum into the glass the smell of caramel filled the air. I covered the glass and let the liquid settle for a few minutes. When I returned to it I discovered notes of honeyed fruit,
cocoa, a hint of leather, and oak.
The rum was silky smooth as it hit my tongue. A wash of caramel enveloped my mouth. As it began to settle, dark cocoa sat firmly in the middle of my tongue with hints of Bourbon and oak
popping and leading to the finish.
My second sip was consistent with the first, but I discovered hints of dried fruit, with just a touch of honey, dancing with the Bourbon and oak finish.
Don Pancho Origenes Reseva Especial comes in at 80 proof which is consistent with the rest of the line. This rum has the subtle balance I expect to find in a spirit with the age statement of 18 years. I am a bit surprised at the strength of the bourbon note, but find it quite enjoyable paired with the fruit and cocoa notes.