Ancon 10 year Old

Ancon 10 year Old

Ancon 10 Year Old

Craft Rum Box | Serum Ancon

Panama And It’s Rums

Panama is a transcontinental country, which spans parts of North America and South America, and it’s home to some 4 million people. It was once inhabited by indigenous tribes, then Spanish Colonists arrived in the 16th century. If you’ve been following our magazines, or just rum history in general, you may find the 16th century sounds a little familiar and you would be quite right. A lot happened in this century when it came to rum.

Anyway, back to Panama and fast forward to 1821. It broke away from Spain and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia. That was dissolved in 1831 and the Panama and Nueva Granada became part of the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded (withdrew) from Colombia in 1903 and that allowed for the construction of the Panama Canal to be completed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914.

Much like some of the early rums, the idea of the Panama Canal actually dates to the 16th century.

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first European to discover that the Isthmus of Panama was just a slim land bridge separating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Balboa’s discovery sparked a search for a natural waterway linking the two oceans. In 1534, after no such passage across the isthmus had been found, Charles V, the Holy Roman emperor, ordered a survey to determine if one could be built, but the surveyors eventually decided that construction of a ship canal was impossible.

As you can imagine, revenue from canal tolls represents a significant portion of Panama's income, although commerce, banking, and tourism are also major sectors and growing. It’s jungles cover around 40% of its land area and it has an abundance of tropical plants and animals, some of them living only there and nowhere else on earth. Panama is founding members of the United Nations.

I caught up with Rum Sérum’s Export Manager Stepan Stanek to find out a little more about Panama, Rum Serum and it’s Ancon 10-year-old. As he explains, the magic is in the material.

“Panama has ideal climatic conditions for sugar cane cultivation. It is is located at the confluence of air from the Pacific Ocean and heat flowing from the Caribbean. The microclimate of stable temperature and humidity created here improves both the sugarcane harvest and the rum maturation process. This stability allows accurate aging calculations. Soil also plays a key role. Panama is rich in volcanic minerals producing very aromatic sugar cane. Rums from Panama are typically fruity and medium bodied nice to drink rums made from molasses. But Sérum has a special core ingredient - Virgin sugarcane honey. Freshly squeezed cane juice is slowly cooked to evaporate water until it reaches the consistency of dark honey. We use this method to preserve more of the aroma and flavours in our future rum than in traditional molasses rums.”

It’s clear that Panama’s rums have matured from the days of pirates sailing the Caribbean seas whilst swigging from a bottle. What has transpired, is that the top exported product of Panama now is rum, bringing in almost thirty million annually. Rum isn’t the national favourite when it comes to drinks either, the title of that is held by Seco, powerful liquor made directly from sugarcane.

Rum from Panama, much like most Rums can be aged in any variety of barrels from New American Oak to used whiskey or port barrels. The oak may be toasted, which will impart different flavour profiles than a raw, uncharred barrel.

There are plenty of good rums from Panama. If Rum Serum leaves you wanting more than you can try a variety, including names like Ron Abeulo, Malecon, Autentico, Grandar, Iguana, Ron Piet and many more. Panama’s soil is volcanic and therefore nutrient rich and it makes for a fertile growing ground for sugar cane. With so much sugar cane growing in the area, it makes sense that there is plenty of rum being made too!

On the Rum Sérum website, the rum is described as premium, and well awarded. It was created in 2018 and is inspired by magnificent construction of Panama Canal. Its basis is to commemorate its heroes and stories with every bottle, as we strongly believe that some names shall not be forgotten.

Stepan explains more. “We want to have pure and not flavoured rum for people whom prefer the taste of real rum. And, show the unique taste of Panamanian rum, specifically made from virgin sugar cane honey. Sérum Ancon is aged minimum of 10 years in bourbon cask and is very clean and smooth in taste with rich aroma of vanilla, dried fruit, nuts and hint of charred oak. Full-bodied and rounded on palate, with dried figs, dates and raisins developing into spicy and decently wooden tones. Long warming finish turns into dry.”

Redolent and packed with a rich blend of vanilla, raisin, figs, dates, almonds and wood. The palate is beautifully rounded with an exceptional spread of flavours: dried fruit with smooth oaky spice – silky, vibrant and moderately full-bodied.

Sérum Ancon 10-year-old is named after the SS Ancon, the very first vessel that officially passed through the Panama Canal. This cargo-passenger vessel was very supportive during the construction and was honoured by opening this unique waterway.

“We have on the bottles embossed dates 1880 (beginning of building Panama Canal) and 1914 (opening Panama Canal) Serum Ancon is carrying the name of Ancon, the very first vessel officially passing the Panama Canal. This cargo-passenger vessel was very supportive during the construction and was honoured by opening this unique waterway in 1914. This special occasion was celebrated on the ship with the best aged local rums.”

And I would suggest that this rum is certainly fit for celebration.

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Bernadette Pamplin

Bernadette loves rum. She set up a gin focused blog Under The Ginfluence eight years ago. Since then, her passion has naturally spread from gin, to rum and other spirits too. You can find work from her on Gin Magazine, Distiller Magazine, and Spirits Beacon, as well as content for  The Gin Guide.

She’s also the editor of Rum’s the Word, writing articles on rums featured in the box, as well as other rum related topics. Bernadette has built up six years experience in judging for events like Gin of the Year, World Gin Awards, Spirits Business Awards, Gin Guide Awards, IWSC and the American Distilling Institute Judging of Craft Spirits and works behind the scenes, assisting with organising and participating in panels for the Craft Distilling Expo.