Review: Companero Panama Extra Anejo

Companero Panama Extra Anejo is coming from 1423 – World Class Spirits, a Danish company that works with, among other spirits, different rum producers to bring some interesting bottles on the market. I first heard about them with their S.B.S (Single Barrel Selection) range which features rums from around the world taken from selected single casks and bottled in a limited edition run. The Companero range features 3 bottles so far: Companero Ron Gran Reserva, Companero Ron Elixir Orange and the one I am going to talk about – Companero Ron Panama Extra Anejo. It’s a 12 years old (tropical ageing) column still rum from Panama aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and bottled at 54% ABV; distillery unspecified. There is more to this, but I’ll tell you after the tasting notes, you’ll see why.

On the nose: oh my… chocolate, a lot, dialed to 11. Not unpleasantly though, it’s like home-made cocoa filling, a bit nutmeg-ish.

On the palate again: chocolate. Dark chocolate, toasted cocoa beans (duh), some oak spices, but chocolate is the main player here; marshmallows. It has an oily/creamy feel in the mouth. On the finish you get some coffee and cacao lingering along with a slightly misplaced sweetness (although too weak to bother me). Now I know what you think, all this liquid says is pretty much “chocolate”. There is a complexity to it, and I know there are other notes there, but all my brain can communicate me when I am drinking this is “chocolate” and “childhood”.

There is an explanation for the chocolate flavor. Thanks to Indy Singh Anand who was kind enough to provide me with info on the rest of the process that this juice goes through. So the 12 year old rum is taken out of the barrel and then cocoa beans are placed inside the barrels and toasted with them. Then the rum is put back in there to rest for about 9 months where it gets all that cocoa and chocolate flavors. The drink is at 54% ABV to let the rum shine through, otherwise it would have been overwhelmed by the cocoa infusion. I totally agree with that, and I am ok with its balance overall. As I’ve been told, this is a rum made for cocktails rather than sipping by itself, but it does well on its own as well in my opinion.

The reason I spoke about the cocoa beans infusion at the end is also my only complaint about this rum. This is exactly my experience, I went online, I looked the rum up (my introduction with the specifications found online) then I bought it and tasted it (the tasting notes) and I was surprised by the intense chocolaty flavors and then I asked where is that coming from (the bit about the infusion). My complaint is that, while the website provided the tasting notes, nowhere was mentioned (as far as I could find) that it was an infused rum. I have no problem with infusions and I am happy with my purchase, but people should know what they are buying. Also “Cocoa beans infused 12 years Panama rum” doesn’t sound like bad marketing, at least for me. Other than that, if you like chocolate in the slightest measure, this is great! Also you can always surprise your guests with some chocolaty Old Fashioneds this Christmas.

Companero Panama Extra Anejo score:
Flavour/taste: 45/70
Value for money: 11/15
Transparency/purity: 7/15
Overall: 63/100


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