A couple of tastes at work and at tasting events peeked my curiosity about newcomer Parce Rum, a higher end but delicious entry into our rum market (and one with some Chicago roots). Fortunately, I got lucky enough to sit down with Jim Powers, one of the founders of the Parce brand, for lunch at Schuba’s, and chat about these two tasty products (an 8 year, and a 12 year).
Parce comes out of a family’s love for the Colombian rum tradition – Jim’s brother is married into a Colombian family, they grew up with a family friend from Colombia, and through that friendship, they discovered many of the beautiful wonders of that country. Parce is kind of a slang, Colombian version of “hey pal, hey buddy, hey friend.”
Parce rum comes in two variants, an 8 year and a 12 year. Both are 100% that age statement OR older. The sugar cane used is from Trinidad, Colombia, and Panama, with the distillation occuring in Panama. The blending and flavor profile aimed for in that process is done by a Father and Son team in Bogota. All Jack Daniels barrels are used for the aging. The 8 year, a little hotter in the nose, is much drier than you’d expect from the orange-gold color, and the finish lingers, fading from coconut and vanilla to darker, bourbon-like notes of caramel and toffee. The 12 year is mellower, with more hints of tobacco and cola-nut creeping into the complexity.
The 12 is, for me, purely a sipping rum, though you could certainly create some high end and delicious cocktails with it. The 8, well, it fits into a lot of pieces of the cocktail puzzle. You can use it purely for its flavor profile, playing it WITH bourbon or as a substitute. It fits into some of the more traditional rum drinks too, though the darker profile lends itself to using just a small amount. A rum old-fashioned, taking the edge off the heat, and adding bitters to tease out some of the flavors, might be my favorite way to use the 8 year. More to come on that as I explore various rum brands I love some more over the summer and beyond with cocktail recipes.