Zafra Master Reserve


Product of:  Panama
Aged:  21 Years
Price: $39
 40% ABV
Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:  10

Tasting Notes 
Zafra Master Reserve rum delivers a handsome blend of copper and medium-amber color.  Sumptuous aromas of warm caramel, Argentine-style dulce de leche, light buttery milk chocolate, new-and-old-oaky vanilla, brown sugar, mild spices (clove and cinnamon), light cane scents (refined not earthy), leather, and sweet tobacco.  The aromas are substantial, almost heavy, but are given light transport from smooth, almost floral clover-like alcohol that no doubt benefits from prolonged contact with charred barrel wood.  Initial taste delights with mild caramel and light chocolate, again the wonderfully creamy dulce de leche flavor permeates the palate like a tide flowing from front to back of the tongue.  A perfect medium weight body lingers for awhile before the delicate, long finish, revealing greater depth mid-palate and into the throat a few seconds after swallowing.  As much as any rum RnD has tasted, Zafra Master Reserve shows excellent, consistent character and flavor throughout the entire savory experience.

Maestro Pancho-Zafra

Zafra’s back-of-bottle label says a lot about the reverence Master Blender Mr. Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez has for nature’s bounty, human toil over cultivated earth, and craftsmanship.  To quote: “In Spanish, ZAFRA refers to the act of harvesting sugarcane: it is the moment in time when nature rewards man for months of dedicated and arduous labor.  After harvest, our skilled Master Blender transforms the gathered cane into rum …”  He should know.  Prior to Zafra, Don Pancho was instrumental in the production of fine rums in Cuba as well as Abuelo in Panama. He’d been developing fine rum for decades.  Patience is a virtue. Zafra Master Reserve was worth the wait. 

Frequent viewers of RnD know we are big fans of rum from Panama and Cuba.  Little did we know until recently that  many of these rums were influenced and crafted by Zafra’s talented master blender.  With his latest masterpiece, Don Pancho has given the world a true 21 year old gift (not a solera blend). Zafra, In a word is Luxurious.

Reviewed: May 2010 in Miami, at Rum Renaissance Festival, where  the rum earned a well deserved Gold Medal.and repeated frequently at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017