The link between pirates and rum has been immortalised in popular culture, yet few stories tell of the connection between a pirate parrot and a bottle of grog. This is the kind of tale that’s told through Ron Piet 10-Year, an easy-sipping Panamanian rum bottled by the Knut Hansen gin distillery in Hamburg, Germany.
So, come and learn about the voyage of a brigadier’s bird and the flavours of a rum that is sure to leave its mark on your tastebuds.
The folks at the Hamburg distillery have crafted a great narrative for this rum, which centres on a parrot. The companion and pet of a notorious pirate, the parrot sailed the seas with his owner, presumably revelling in mayhem until the day their ship was attacked by other pirates and the bird was the only survivor.
Escaping on a single barrel marked with the words ‘Ron 10 Anos Panama’, the parrot drifted through the ocean and was too weak to fly. After several days at sea, the barrel drifted into the harbour of Hamburg and the bird was saved by a bartender who took him and the rum barrel back to his bar.
Sensing the parrot was lucky, the bartender punched a hole through the barrel and discovered some amazing tasting rum and named the parrot Ron Piet in honour of the liquid gold. And so the legend was born and lives on.
The rum is produced at the San Miguelito facility in Panama with sugarcane harvested in the Herrera province. The sugarcane is crushed in a grinder, cleaned and heated until molasses is extracted and then goes through a two day fermentation.
After distillation, the rum is matured in white oak ex-Bourbon barrels and then left to age for ten years. At the end of this process, the spirit is bottled in Hamburg in a hexagonal bottle with a gnarly label that showcases Ron Piet in all his badassery and it’s one of my favourite parts of the product. It’s got some serious steampunk vibes going on!
The bottle itself is referred to as the ‘six edges of happiness’ to reflect the feelings that the drink is sure to inspire as soon as the cork’s cracked open.
There’s a mild, tropical aroma to the rum. Wood, smoke, rubber and bananas come together in an understated mixture. The first sip changes that instantly, with a strong impact of orange and cinnamon that morphs into spicy notes of anise and dill pepper.
The spiciness is ephemeral, crackling in the middle of the mouth and then disappearing by the time it’s down the hatch. Savoury, slow burner notes of wheat and mushroom come in with the aftertaste and the overall texture is smooth and gentle.
Mixed with coke, the rum is a match made in heaven, creating additional strawberry yogurt and peach flavours.
With a standout story and standout flavours, Ron Piet 10-Years is an exceptional rum for representing Panama on the world stage of spirits and I’d definitely recommend it to rum geeks and occasional drinkers.
Nose: Wood, smoke, banana, rubber
Mouthfeel: Orange, cinnamon, anise, wheat, mushroom, dill pepper