In preparation for my adventure at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, I’m indulging in my lone souvenir from Panama: a bottle of Abuelo 7 year old rum that I purchased at the airport.

I was hoping to bring back some rum, but I couldn’t bring any through security as I didn’t have checked luggage, so I had to settle for buying my bottle of Ron Abuelo at duty free. It was a little disappointing because I found a great liquor store near my hotel on the final night in Panama City — they had some interesting local spirits that weren’t available at the airport.

abuelo rum
Abuelo rum and a shot glass from Amsterdam

While I was in Gamboa, I kept hearing about Abuelo rum. It is the most popular local brand, and it’s cheap. A typical bottle costs about $7. I decided to splurge on the aged rum for $12.

It has a light, pleasantly sweet aroma that coincides with its amber hue. It’s not overpowering, and requires a close sniff to appreciate. The flavor is also light and smooth with a little sweetness up front. It has a mild, delayed burn and virtually no bite.

I know there are cocktails in which to use aged rum, but I wouldn’t bother with this one. This is an enjoyable rum to sip (but not quite as enjoyable as my Scotch).

Have you tried Abuelo rum? What did you think?



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