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Review

Caballito Gin

Distillery

Destilería Don José, Compañia Panameña de Licores (Varela Hermanos), Pesé, Herrera Province, Panama, South America. Distributed in the USA by Varela Imports (a subsidiary started in 2001) based in Miami, Florida.

Website

Varela Hermanos.

History

The company was started in 1908 as a sugar mill by Don José Varela Blanco in Pesé, Panama. In 1936, persuaded by his three eldest sons (José Manuel, Plinio and Julio), they entered into the production of liquors. Today the company is run by the third generation of the family and are responsible for 90% of all liquors produced in Panama and have a product range which includes over a dozen different spirits.

Production

The Gin is made from molasses and sugar cane (it could almost be Rum) with added sweeteners and distilled in column stills. There is a horse’s head on the label in reference to its name (see Name below). The phrase “La Legitima” is also on the label, which translates as “The Legitimate” - an important phrase to protect you from illegal home produced spirits. The bottling, into tall clear cylindrical bottles is carried out away from the distillery at their main bottling plant in Panama City.

Category

Tropical Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

35% (70 Proof).

Price Range

$. Very hard to find in the USA, even online. This is best obtained in South America as many of the countries (not just Panama) have it available.

Botanicals

Unknown – although juniper berries and citrus (of some description) are included.

Name

The name in Spanish means (little) horse. In Mexico there is a statue of King Charles IV of Spain (1748 – 1819) on horseback, this is referred to as “El Cabalitto” (The Horse) – it is possible the Gin is named after this.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is a strong aroma of alcohol and very faint citrus notes. On the palate this sweet spirit has a strong alcohol burn with some citrus notes but hardly any real discernable Gin flavor.

While not a smooth sipping Gin, this is a very low price one making it popular with people on restricted budgets. It is best used as a spirit to mix in long drinks and punches.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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