Panama-Pacific 23 Year Old

Panama-Pacific 23-RG1

Product of:  Panama
Aged:  23 years
Price: $59.95 SRP
Alcohol: 42.3% ABV 
Sugar: 0-5 g/L (
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8.5

Tasting Notes
Panama-Pacific 23 Year Old rum’s bouquet amply displays the characteristics of the best Panamanian rum; vanilla, caramel and gentle wood notes.  The appearance is an entertaining demonstration, shining a bright copper-amber color in your tasting glass.  The performance begins as tightly-arranged small beads form at the top of the swirl trace, then slowly, slowly, many of them evolve into long, thin legs dripping at a sultry pace.  Take your time, these visual treats are uncommon even among very good rum.

Aromas abound with heavy buttery flour pie crust, custard, vanilla, beautiful oak wood effects in pre-rancio stage, mild almond, pecan and baking spice (nutmeg), and phenols provide underlying structure to the more ethereal scents.  The initial taste is a segué of continuity; delicious flavors mirror the aromas as the medium-bodied rum coats your palate with oaken vanilla and caramel flavors.  The finish languishes with flavors of vanilla and pie crust, fading slowly but maintaining those flavor until it disappears.

The Jewel City SF CA 1915

The rum borrows its name from the Panama-Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal two years earlier, and to draw the World’s attention to San Francisco as a cultural center.  The expo was San Francisco’s coming-out party after rebuilding from the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire.  The concept itself was difficult, its very existence challenged by the outbreak of World War I, causing understandable fear for travelers and pressure on exhibitor's funds. 

Much fine architecture was built for the expo – iconic structures that have defined San Francisco’s architecture for much of  the 20th Century.  Cultural landmarks, most notably the Palace of Fine Arts, and influenced the city’s Civic Center.  Sadly, the 1989 earthquake destroyed several more structures in San Francisco’s marina district, site of the 1915 expo.  See a map of natures changes at

Palace of Fine Arts SF CA

San Francisco-based spirits importer and wholesalers Haas Bothers is the  visionary and distribution force behind the Pacific-Panama brand.  It was distilled at Ingenio San Carlos “Las Cabras” distillery near Pesé, Panama.  Haas brothers chose the distillery wisely, as it is the source of much great rum.  Considering the source of the rum and its importer, paying homage to the prototype of the World’s Fair seems fair enough.  In any event, the parallel isn’t pushed too far.  And it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is what’s in the bottle.  This is a World-Class rum. 

Reviewed:  January 2016 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017