Origenes Reserva Especial 18 Year Old

Origenes 18-RG2-USE

Product of:  Panama
Aged:  18 years
Price: TBD
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar: 16-20 g/L (
estimate)
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 10

Tasting Notes 
Extremely Smooth.  Origenes Reserva Especial 18 Year Old proudly shows a brilliant, polished cherrywood color that radiates depth and golden copper hues from various perspectives around my tasting glass.  Swirl gently, and a crown of beads appear at the upper reaches of the trace liquor, then long-lasting legs form on the sides of the glass, in an entertaining prelude to a sniff.  

Breathe delicately, and you are rewarding with an beautiful  bouquet of caramel.  Somehow I’m reminded of the (pleasant) smells of Morocco’s food bazaar’s when sniffing Origenes 18. I sense aromas of honey, tea, soft cardamom and tanned leather, desert-fruit scents like dates, figs, tart stone fruit, all supported by a soft underlying scent of oak from the used bourbon barrels.  Taste, and the full bodied rum quickly envelopes your tongue in flavors of caramel and dates, and the aromas sensed earlier, ending with a full-length, tapering sweet finish.  Adding a few drops of water or a small chip of ice amplifies the aromas, brings out the bourbon notes in the flavors and dries the finish somewhat.

Don Pancho & Barrels-RG-USE

Anecdotes 
Señor Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez has been making rum for for five decades. His most recent efforts have gone into notable, yet private label rums, including Zafra, Panamonte and Panama Red, Ron De Jeremy, Bohemio, and most recently the excellent Debonaire portfolio.  Maestro Ronero Fernandez began his career in Cuba with Havana Club, then in Panama with Varela Hermanos crafting the beautiful Abuelo rums, and he has consulted for distilleries all over the world.  

After many decades perfecting the art of making, aging and blending rum, Don Pancho has made a rum to suit himself, personally selecting 18 year barrel-aged rums from his private collection, then blending them to perfection to make this exquisite rum. In his own words Don Pancho says: “ Origenes is crafted for the true lovers of rum.  This rum does not follow any current trends in the market.  It is true to the Cuban tradition.”  Don Pancho is a man of the highest work ethic; possessing consummate skill and a passion for perfection.  Above all he’s a Gentleman.  

Packaging is suitably elegant, a substantial wooden cap’s off a natural cork stopper.  The tall, slender bottle tapers outward at the shoulders like an iconic statue.  It’s eight facets approximate a perfect-cut diamond; fair enough.  Fans of Don Pancho’s craft will know how fine the rum is.  A metal medallion bearing Don Pancho’s initials is the only significant adornment.  The back label states simply:  “Origenes Reserva Don Pancho is what rum should be.  No compromises.  Just one man and one vision.

Since Origenes 30 year old rum will be produced in very limited quantities, enjoy this fine younger alternative instead.  Heck, after aging in American oak for 18 years, this Panamanian beauty is mature enough for any rum connoisseur’s discerning palate.  

Don Pancho, Carl & Dave w:Origenes 18

Opinion 
En Español, Origenes means “The Beginning”.  Consider yourself fortunate to sip a rum produced by one who dedicated five decades of his life to producing some of the World’s finest rums.  Yet, Origenes is just the latest chapter in the history book of rum written by Don Pancho.  (Notice the Origenes 30 Year Old)  I believe Origenes 18 is among the finest Panamanian rums available today, and most certainly one of the most balanced sipping rums yet.  Viva Don Pancho y sus Origenes.  Salud, y muchos más próximos años, mi amigo. 

Reviewed:  At the launch event hosted by Don Pancho during Miami Rum Festival in April 2013, and again at The Rum Gallery, May 2013.

Photos:  
1. Maestro Ronero Francisco "Don Pacho" Fernandez among his barrels of Panamanian rum. 
2. Don Pancho shares his 18 year old masterpiece with International Rum Council Co-founders Carlton Grooms and Dave Russell at the launch of Origenes during Miami Rum Festival 2013.

© Dave Russell 2017