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Is Parce Rum for real?

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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3496
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:38 am    Post subject: Is Parce Rum for real? Reply with quote

Thanks to Rumaway for the link....

Rumaway - who tends bar - loves rum and from whom and I think you'll be hearing more interesting things. Here's a link to their website:

And a pic...

Now let me be clear and state that I have yet to taste this "Columbian" rum, although I've seen a few reviews that would obviate that possibility. To me though their widespread promotion seems to point to yet another invented product. Let's begin.

First, here's one of what seems like millions of cut and paste PR releases published by the usual suspects/outlets who depend on these to appear knowledgable:

"According to a 2013 poll by WIN/Gallup International Association, Colombia is the happiest country on earth — Parce founders (and brothers) Brian, Jim and Patrick Powers hypothesize that this has something to do with the rum. Upon travelling to Colombia, the three brothers were taken by the country’s beauty, culture, and the warmth and hospitality of its people, and they wanted to share the time-honored Colombian tradition of celebrating quality rum with others."

This is so typical for the marketing mavens. Come up with a romantic story, in this case two brothers (nice, huh) somehow travel to Columbia, were taken with how "happy" the peeps were, and - wait for it - came to the conclusion that this exceptional happiness was due to yup - the rum! So of course - based on this amazing hypothesis, they - of course, of course - decide to make and bottle this Columbian rum based happiness. They sell this Columbian happy drink in both 8 and 12 year old versions.

"...they found the perfect partners for their venture in another family business — the father-and-son duo of master blenders from Bogota, Colombia, Arthur and Brojen Fenandes Domecq. Together, Arthur and Brojen have over 50 years combined experienced working with rum, and the Domecq family boasts nearly three centuries of history crafting traditional wine, sherry and brandy in the south of Spain (Brojen's grandfather, Jose Ignacio Domecq, was known in the industry as "La Nariz" — the nose — for his expertise in sniffing and blending). Parce Rums begin with a selection of sugar cane from Colombia, Barbados and Trinidad. The pressed and fermented juice is blended with natural spring water, and the rum is aged at sea level in charred American oak barrels. "

Oh man, this is where it gets a bit deep. Remember Don Pancho - the old man the marketing boyz looked and sounded the part of a Cuban expatriate who somehow escaped with all the secrets of Cuban (yes, name drop Cuban - anything!), yes Cuban rum. Well now we have the descendants of "La Nariz" (the nose) hooking up with the now ecstatic Chicago brothers - these so called "master blenders" with not just "50 years of combined experience" but - breathe - somehow related to "nearly three centuries" of spirits "crafting".

Would someone please gag me with a spoon.

Time to parse Parce

Let's start with the made up name. "Parce" is alleged to mean "good friend" and of course this happiness producing elixir - they suggest - should be imbibed with the same, ie with good friends. Just one little problem: my partner speaks Spanish and she never heard the word. Neither does Google translator. Nor Bing. The automatic translators can only find "by" or "because" (French). So why did the boyz pick "Parce"? I dunno, I guess just "because", lol. Hmmm.

Now let's move on their meticulously selected Columbian master blenders, the descendants of "The Nose" (sounds better as "La Nariz") and three centuries of allegedly growing spirits experience. Unlike Don Pancho, I couldn't find anything about these "master blenders" short of the hundreds of PR puff pieces littering the net. Double hmmm. At least "La Nariz" translates correctly into Spanish.

Now let's check out the premiumized bottle, which literally shouts out " Ron Columbia". Remember now, the backstory has the Chicago boyz falling in love with Columbian "happiness" due to Columbian rum, which they will now produce with their Columbian master blenders. Just one problem.

The rum in the premiumized "Ron Columbia" bottle isn't Columbian, at least in my view. The Parce Rum Wikipedia site states the following: "While Parce Rum the company is based in Chicago, Illinois, it is distilled in Pesé, Panama.[4] It uses sugar cane harvested from Colombia, Trinidad, and Panama. Once distilled, it is then shipped to Colombia where it is blended, racked, and aged."

Wow! The cane is from various location, and the distillation is in Panama. Now here's where things become a little sticky my Parce. According to the Wiki, the company was formed in 2012, and the first product was debuted in 2014, just two years later. Yet - giving Parce the benefit of the doubt - this product seems to have been, at best, the 8 year old product, which would have had to be produced in 2006, ie six years before they started their company.

To me, this shouts "bulk product", and one that is alleged to be distilled - and probably aged - in Panama. The only thing that apparently happens in Columbia - no doubt under the noses of their master blenders - would seem to be the "blending, aging and bottling". And not all the aging. My guess: distilled bulk rums brought in from Panama, blended and then married in the usual ex-bourbon casks that everyone uses.

You know what's next. Yup, an email to them:

"Hello. Capn Jimbo here of The Rum Project, perhaps the largest free and independent rum review and appreciation site in the world (about 500,000 monthly hits). About your rum, these questions:

1. Basis: appears to made from cane juice, not molasses, yes?

2. Where and by whom is the distilling done? How long after harvest and crushing of the cane?

3. Distilling seems to be via 4 column stills. To what % alcohol?

4. Aging appears to be in spent bourbon barrels, yes? How many previous uses?

5. Since you are a new company, it would appear your 8 and 12 year old rums were already made and aged by some other entity. Who would that be, and where was the rum aged? Was it aged under bond?

6. Your ads imply that only flavors that emanate from sugar cane may be used. That would imply that sugar is added to your rums, yes? How much? Do you add caramel color? Vanilla or other flavoring? Glycerol?

Thank you for your answers. Our readers are mostly very experienced reviewers, and afficianado's who seek and appreciate detailed information about rums.

Capn Jimbo"


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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3496
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update on "Parce" rum...

It's very difficult to find anything on a product with such a limited history, and as expected my detailed inquiry was ignored, so no help from my good friends at Parce. Here goes:

1. Turns out that "Parce" - though not appearing in any translator - is indeed Columbian slang meaning the equivalent of "bro", although used with both sexes.

2. Although the website and most PR pieces imply the sugar cane is from Barbados, Trinidad and Columbia and is used to make "cane wine" (usually assumed to be cane juice) yet another source linked at the Parce Wiki, states its made from blackstrap molasses.

Until or unless Parce responds to the email, we'll never know, although the few reviews I found would indicate its molasses based, unless of course it has been altered in some way. Since many of the Panamanian rums are indeed altered, this is surely possible.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:39 pm    Post subject: I drank a bottle of the 8 year earlier this year Reply with quote

The 8 and 12 year are carried at a liquor warehouse in my area along side the foursquare bottles.

The 8 year if I recall was around 34 dollars. The 12 year was about 65 dollars.

My thoughts are that parce it is as solid rum and offers a clear age statement. The oak is very noticeable and possibly its main note. The bottler also claims to plant a tree for every bottle sold. That said it did not blow me away or anything. After drinking the 8 year I was not running back for more and don't even have a spare bottle purchased yet for my collection.

There are just far better independent bottlers of Panama sources rum. For example Panama Pacific which has a 9 year at 94 proof opposed to the standard 80 of parce 8 year and retails for 29.99. That sourced rum is on its own caliber and far interesting to drink and actually impressed me to a degree.

The Panama Pacific is really nice rum I believe I've talked about it here before and posted my measurements. Both these rums have no added sugars as I tested each previously.
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