Classique Wines and Spirits is proud to include Zafra Rum from Panama in our portfolio!
Zafra is a Super Premium aged rum with two expressions: Master Reserve Aged 21 Years and Master Reserve Aged 30 Years. The 21 Year is currently available in the State of Missouri.
The name “Zafra” means “the harvest of the sugar cane”, and is a word synonymous with rum. The term became well-known internationally during the 1960s due to its importance in Cuba. Many leftists visited Cuba during the zafra season to help harvest sugar cane, Cuba’s principal crop. The zafra season in the Caribbean runs from January to May.
Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez began his career in Cuba in the early 60s working with his father, a wine and spirits merchant. After earning a degree in microbiology, he decided to pursue his passion for creating great rums. In the 1970s as Director of the Cuban Beverage Industry and Master Distiller for Havana Club, Don Pancho led the renovation of the rum industry in Cuba, introducing modern technology, renovating cask inventories and modernizing plants and distilleries. He also helped to improve fermentation, production and blending techniques that set the standard worldwide with iconic products that can still be seen all over the globe. His work enabled him to travel the world and interact with myriad beverage industries including Scottish Whisky and Polish Vodka. These multicultural exchanges enriched his knowledge and skill and made Don Pancho the quintessential Master Blender he is today, with a unique and personal touch. After the sale of Havana Club, Don Pancho moved to Panama and discovered a neglected distillery in the Herrera region of Panama dating back to the early 1900s. Now after a successful 50-year career and countless industry awards, at an age when most are enjoying retirement, Don Pancho considers himself in his prime. He has created a rum with no compromises – rum he can truly call his own.
Hand cut sugarcane from Panama, a country known worldwide for its inter-oceanic channel, relies on nature’s abundant and pure rains to provide the large volumes of water to make the channel navigable. The generous rain is also the secret to plentiful sugarcane yields, which is transformed, fermented, and processed into Top Grade Molasses. The spirit is then reduced to 75% alcohol for the start of the aging process, which is done in American Bourbon Oak casks of 220 liter capacity, selected specifically to age Zafra Rum. It continues to carefully rest in a rum cellar, under the watchful eye of the “Maestro Ronero”, quietly and patiently. The alcohol is reduced as needed until it reaches perfection at 40% ABV.
The Master Reserve 21 Year has a dark, amber color with copper hues. On the nose, the aroma transports one to a rum cellar filled with the essence of oak. The rum is balanced perfectly with fruit and spice, resulting in an elegant and inviting aroma. The rum opens up exceedingly smooth on the palate. The oak is sweet, assertive, yet not dominating, finishing long with creamy oak flavors.
Zafra Rum has received many honors, including a 95 point rating from Beverage Tasting Institute and a Gold Medal at the 2010 RumXP.