Industrias Pampero, C.A.
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Industrias Pampero, C.A.
The Pampero traditional logo
Industry Distilled beverages
Founded Caracas, Venezuela (1938)
Headquarters Caracas, Venezuela
Ocumare del Tuy
Key people Alejandro Hernandez, founder
Industrias Pampero, C.A. is a rum distillery established in 1938 in Venezuela. Together with C.A. Ron Santa Teresa and Seagram's Ron Cacique brands, Pampero has contributed to placing the country among the top ten rum producers and exporters in the world. Its main production plant is located at a nineteenth-century family-owned "Hacienda La Guadalupe" estate, now "Complejo Licorero del Centro", in Ocumare, Miranda state, in the region of the Tuy river valleys, in the fertile central plains.
"Ron Pampero" is typically known by Venezuelans as "Caballito Frenao" (Bitten Horse), mainly as a reference to its popular brand logo, a cowboy riding his wild horse in the Venezuelan plains, a scene comparable to that of the gaucho from the Argentinian plains, or Pampas, so therefore its name ("Pampero" literally means "from the Pampas", though the Venezuelan plains are called "the llanos").
Pampero was created in 1938 by Alejandro Hernández, the son of a fisherman from Isla Margarita.
Pampero is credited for having set the initial standards for rum production in Venezuela, and was the first rum to be accredited ‘Añejo’, by the Venezuelan government. Alejandro Hernández later on joined the political life of the country, occupying the office of Governor of the Nueva Esparta state and even running for the presidency of the country.
Despite popular belief and its long tradition, Industrias Pampero, C.A. is no longer a Venezuela-owned company. After having been a part of United Distillers for some years, it is currently a division of Diageo, the world's largest liquor holding company.
Pampero rums have been awarded several international prizes, including the Gold Award Premium Category for several years, and most recently, the Best Rum at the prestigious 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
All of Pampero rums, being "añejos" (aged), usually have a golden color that comes from having been matured in oak casks for several years, the duration depending on the type of rum.
Pampero Oro (Gold)
Pampero Ron Añejo Especial
Pampero Ron Añejo Aniversario, known for its bottle in a leather pouch
Pampero Selección 1938 Ron Añejo
Since I like the ordinary Pampero Ron Añejo Aniversario I was tempted to buy the 2011 special edition. I have searched the net to try and find out what is the actual difference between the SE and the ordinary one but failed. The Pampero and Diageo sites were so bad and thin on information that it's embarrassing. That companies of that size can't even produce proper information regarding their own products seems like a certain sign that the products themselves means nothing to the company. It's a bad sign...
Back to the rum then. It comes in the same bottle as the ordinary one with a slightly different label and a black leather bag instead. So far I have been pretty disappointed, it all feels like cheap marketing. I have tasted it side by side with the ordinary Pampero Ron Añejo Aniversario, from a bottle that has been opened for a while. I have noticed that my rums change taste after they have been opened for a couple of weeks. They tend to get mellower, a lot of the rough edges disappears. I find it nice since some of the bite disappears and leave a more pleasant drink. This is of course a very bad since the spirits are deteriorating but I am not all that bothered by it. I found the original Pampero a bit harsh but nice when I bought it but after a while I really started to like it after it had lost the worst harshness. For a while it was my favourite bottle. When I bought a new bottle the bite was back again...
So how is the special edition then? I actually like it better than the regular one. I don't know if it's only the difference between my two bottles or if there are some changes to the blend. More additives maybe? The smell is "fuller" on the SE and in comparison the regular is a bit thinner with more noticeable alcohol. It's like the special edition would be the same blend but with older casks of rum used. The same difference is present in the taste. The special edition has a nicer fuller taste with less bite than the ordinary one. I think it's slightly more expensive but I will buy this one instead as long as it's available.
Colour: Light golden brown, the ordinary Aniversario is actually slightly darker.
Smell: Sweet, oaky with a slight bit of alcohol
Taste: Sweet, a bit oaky but not dry or whisky like in character at all. Only small hints of alcohol in the aftertaste.
I rate this rum at 4/5 and will buy it again if it's still available when my bottle is empty.