From the misty Mazateca mountains of Oaxaca comes a rum so beautifully expressive of sugar cane that it might just make people forget about agave. Paranubes is made in a high-altitude 'cloud forest' about six hours by car from Oaxaca City. Four varieties of cane are harvested in the forested hills, transported out by burro, then driven to the distillery. The fresh-pressed cane juice is fermented naturally in pine vats, then moved to a copper column-still fired by spent cane fiber. The rum is distilled to proof: nothing added or removed. The result is smooth, round and sweet--not as funky as rhum agricole and more elegant than cachaça. It’s complex and smooth enough to sip neat, but the silky texture makes for an irresistibly sleek daiquiri. *Year's Best Spirits 2017* (JM)
An agricole rhum from Oaxaca, the region better known for mezcal, this is an exciting proposition. The liquid is clear in the glass, with a pungent, funky scent and bold notes of banana and cinnamon on the palate, finishing fiery, though with a pleasing, fleeting grassy exhale. (KN)
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