The first thing you notice about Zafra, after noting the classically elegant packaging, is the brilliant amber/red sunset in the bottle. The color is burnished bronze, a color I most expect to see in my Bourbons, the barrels in which this rum is aged.
21 years in the making, Master Distiller Pancho Fernandez has done it again; he’s created a masterpiece.
Nosing a spirit offers the promise of what’s in the glass. Oftentimes, however, once one sips, the check in not in the mail. Not so with this rum. Zafra promises a light entry of deep & toasty caramel & chocolate with hints of butterscotch in the midst, ending with an angel’s touch of sweet. It’s not robust, rather, the flavor just keeps languidly moving forward, like a well-played romance.
Toss in a drop of water and Zafra stays true to its flavor. Playfully, it teases with hints of black cherry. The more it sits (not that this is a feat I’d be able to accomplish), enter elements of praline and reminiscence of mint.
But the best is yet to come. This rum lingers; in fact, it gives several encore performances; you just don’t know when to stand up, yell !BRAVO! and take your leave.
Zafra is well-structured & well-balanced with a healthy dose of sophistication.
Get out the backgammon board, light a Churchill, play some ‘Bebo Valdez Live at the Village Vanguard’, pour some Zafra and revel in the moment. You won’t care in the least if your opponent wins 5-0!
Product of Panama; 40% ABV
Available in South Florida October 20, 2009