Panama is one of those rum territories to keep an eye on in Latin America. The history of Panamanian rum only really begins with the construction of the Panama Canal at the end of the 19th century.
The impressive Varela Hermanos distillery, a former sugar factory founded in 1908, produces the very elegant Ron Abuelo, Panama's flag bearer, but also the Ron Malecon, created in 2000, as well as the Ron Malteco, made from pure cane juice. The distillery has its own sugar cane fields and grinds approximately 90,000 tons of cane per year. Panama Grander rum, is distilled at Alcoholes del Istmo, with the particularity of being without additives or coloring. Zafra rum, created in 2016 and distilled in two types of columns, offers a certain finesse during tasting.
Panamanian rum can be described as “continental Cuban style” as the production practices are comparable. These are mainly light rums, distilled in columns, whose identity, in recent years, has been shaped by the master rum maker Francisco Fernandez, known as “Don pancho”, a Cuban who has been living in the country for several years.