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Caña Brava is made from sugar cane
grown in the region that surrounds the distillery. 

The Region

The central province of Herrera, Panama, is known for its abundant sugar cane fields that grow in nutrient-rich volcanic soil fed by rivers stemming from mineral-rich mountain springs. The result is cane of the highest sugar content, perfect for making molasses for the production of fine rum. Caña Brava is named after the wild sugar cane that grows in the fertile Herrera region.

 

Caña Brava is made from sugar cane grown in the region that surrounds the distillery.
The volcanic mineral rich soils in Herrera are perfect for growing sugar cane.
Sugar Cane Fields. Herrera, Panama



Las Cabres Distillery

One of the great rum distilleries of the world.

The Distillery

Las Cabras Distillery was first erected in 1919 as a sugar mill. Since then ownership has passed between the government, international investors, and failed businessmen.

In the mid-nineties, "Don Pancho" and Carlos Esquivel discovered the neglected warehouse. Beneath the overgrown grass they uncovered a copper column still with a small medallion inscribed with ‘Cincinnati 1922’. "Don Pancho’s" skills and experience were soon put to good use, and Las Cabras was transformed into one of the great rum distilleries of the world.

The Las Cabras distillery
was founded in 1919.
Stills made by the American
Copper & Brass Works in 1922.
Caña Brava Rum Distillery




Don Pancho

"Don Pancho" is a Master Distiller with over
45 years of rum making experience.

Don Pancho

Francisco "Don Pancho" J Fernandez is the Master Distiller at Las Cabres. While making rum in his native Cuba for more than 35 years, he mastered the "Cuban method" before moving to Panama in the early '90s. Within a few years, he started producing rums in Panama following the traditional and revolutionary methods that he knows better than anyone. Minister of Cuban Rum for over 35 years and the man behind the Las Cabres Distillery for more than 15 years, "Don Pancho" also has a degree in biochemistry.

Working with "Pancho" to make Caña Brava Rum, the 86 Co. soon recognized that it was partnered with a legend of rum making. We were humbled and honored that he was lending his craft and skills to create Caña Brava Rum, rum that would enhance the making of daiquiris on any given day.

"Don Pancho" was mentored by his father, Don Antonio Fernandez Castro. "Pancho" began formulating his own products long before he officially entered the Cuban rum industry in the '70s, where he would be taught the ways of 'Carta Blanco Rum' by Don Ramon "Ramoncito" Fernandez Corrales.

 

Don Pancho is a distiller with over
45 years' experience making rum.

"Rum like that we drank when
I was a young man in Cuba.”

- Don Pancho


"… it became clear that we were
working with a rum making legend.

- The 86 Co.

Francisco Don Pancho Fernandez, Master Distiller at Las Cabres



Flavor

Dry with just a hint of sweetness, medium to full bodied
with a silky mouth feel with a finish that is
clean, long and surprisingly fruity.

Nose

Balanced nose of fresh cut green grass with floral honey and pure molasses on the back. Light oak shows with vanilla and coconut flavors.

Taste

The palate has great pure fresh sugar cane juice and citrus with notes of dark chocolate balanced with molasses, cacao butter, vanilla and spices hinting allspice and cinnamon. Dry with just a hint of sweetness, medium to full bodied with a silky mouthfeel and with a finish that is clean, long and surprisingly fruity.

Caña Brava Rum Distillery



Making Caña Brava

Caña Brava is a 3 Year Old
Aged and Filtered Rum.

Mashing & Fermentation

The sugar cane is chopped and crushed for the cane juice.

The juice is boiled to crystalize the sugars, which are removed by centrifugal spinning, leaving behind the molasses.

Molasses is mostly sugar, but it also contains large quantities of vitamins and minerals that add aroma, flavor and complexities to rum.

The raw sugar cane molasses is diluted and fermented with the aid of "Don Pancho's" distinct natural pineapple yeast.


Distillation

Caña Brava rum is distilled through five continuous stills to an ABV of 92-94%. The first 4 stills are copper plated. The last still is 100% Copper and Brass.


Aging

Caña Brava is distilled to an ABV of 94-96% ABV, the rum is cut to a proof of 75% ABV and placed into new American oak barrels.

Aged for 18-24 months in the new American oak barrels.

It is then removed from the oak barrels, cut to 49% ABV and transferred to used American whiskey barrels (a mixture of bourbon & Tennessee whiskey barrels) and aged for a further 12-24 months.

Caña Brava rum is a 3 year old aged and filtered rum.

It is aged in a combination of new American oak barrels and used American whiskey barrels


Blending

Blended with older rums for consistency.

Every blend was tested in Daiquiris and other famous mixed rum drinks. This is how the final blend was chosen.

When we first went to "Don Pancho" to make Caña Brava, the youngest rum he had was 6 years old. We used some of his older rums in the blend to ensure consistency of style.

The journey to create the final blend of Caña Brava is a story that features some of our favorite rum drinks. Every blend we made was tested extensively in Daiquiris as well as Cuba Libres, Mojito's, Hemingway's and El Presidentes to name a few, but the main focus was on the Daiquiri. Dushan Zaric, of the 86 Co., would head down to Las Cabras with a bag of sugar and limes and test the blends with Pancho and bring his favorite ones back for our friends to try.

We increased the ABV from 40% to 43% to give a little extra kick and hold more flavor in a cocktail.


Filtration

Caña Brava is a 3 year old aged and filtered rum.

Caña Brava Rum goes through 3 different filtration processes

1. Carbon filtration

Carbon filtration is the defining stage of creating 'Carta Blanca' style rums. It removes the bigger oak flavors and strips most of the color the rum has picked up during aging. This is the key step in creating Caña Brava's balance between aromatic sugar cane distillate and the subtle flavors of vanilla, wood and sugars from the aging.

2. Millipore Cellulose Filtration

This is the standard particle filtration that virtually every spirit goes through (including spirits that say they don't filter).

3. Cold Filtration

Once the rum has completed the first filtration, we pour it in to a tank that lowers the temperature of the liquid to an average of 30˚F/-1˚C. This increases the density of the liquid and allows it to eliminate protein particles.

Caña Brava contains no added macerations, esters, aldehydes or caramel color.


 

Caña Brava Rum Fermentation Process
Caña Brava Rum Distillation Process
Caña Brava Rum Distillation Process
Caña Brava Rum Aging Process
Caña Brava Rum Blending
Caña Brava Rum Filtration


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