Taste the tradition
Ron Abuelo, the connoisseur’s rum of Panama, produced in the historic Azuero Peninsula, is as much part of the culture and folklore of the country as the pollera and the devil masks which also have their origins in the area. This is why Varela Hermanos, S.A., the distillery which produces Ron Abuelo, decided to open their installations as a tourist attraction.
In 1908, a Spanish immigrant, Don Jose Varela Blanco settled in Pesé in the province of Herrera and founded the San Isidro Sugar Mill, later adding the distillery where Ron Abuelo (Abuelo is Grandfather in Spanish) was born.
Visitors can now tour the sugar factory and distillery and also visit the Varela family home adjacent to the ancient San Jose Church in the town of Pesé.
The visitor arrives at an imposing entrance surrounded by sugar cane and teak. There they receive a Panama hat, a distinguishing feature of the Rum Abuelo brand throughout the world, and a stylish protection from the sun, since the tour to the factory from that point is done in a traditional wood cart pulled by two enormous Cebu bulls.
After seeing the area where the sugar cane is ground and its juices extracted, the smell of molasses leads visitors to the blending and fermentation vats, and then the tour proceeds to where the magic happens: the enormous aging cellars, where the different Ron Abuelo products (Añejo (vintage), seven years, 12 years and Centuria) are aged in imported barrels of white oak. The tour culminates at the Hacienda’s Visitors’ Center with a rum-based cocktail, followed by a lunch and a rum tasting to savor the individual qualities of the four varieties.
Telephone: +507 974-9401 / 6550-4498.