Every time I step through the local liquor store, a part of me always wants to venture out into new territory. I will always consider myself a bit of a beer snob, but at my age, it’s time for me to begin imbibing more “adult” beverages. It’s time I sat down and carefully sipped a good bourbon, scotch, vodka or rum and experience the blood, sweat and tears that went into crafting said beverage.
Rum was once a very noble spirit in the world’s eyes. It was served aboard warships, rationed to visionary explorers, and used to sustain the Founding Fathers as they plotted revolution in the United States. Ernest Hemingway was this type of man – an adventurer who lived life to the fullest. He indulged us with glimpses of a vibrant life by stitching together distant cultures, passions, and people using the power of the written word.
My first foray into this uncharted territory of ‘adult beverages’ took me to a lovely blend of pot-distilled and column-distilled rum from the Caribbean, Central America, and the United States. Sanctioned by the actual Hemingway Estate, Papa’s Pilar Rum has been on the market since 2013 but has recently seen its popularity and sales increase due to it’s one-of-a-kind look and taste. ”Papa,” of course, was Hemingway’s mark-an autograph if you will- and “Pilar” was the name of his fishing boat. When put together, they are intended to convey the rugged, adventurous spirit of the famed writer. Papa’s Pilar Dark and Blonde rums are crafted to reflect Hemingway’s passions on both land and sea.
When you lay your eyes the appearance of this rum, you know some thought went into it. It has a beautiful, distinctive shape, designed to resemble an infantryman’s canteen. The cork top, engraved in silver with a compass, is chained to the bottle, just as it was on a soldiers’ canteen. While it’s not a very practical design for a rum bottle, it makes for one hell of a gorgeous liquor bottle.
Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum has a brawny aroma of brown sugar and cinnamon: sweet, dark, and rich. The flavor is extremely sweet initially, with lots of caramel, vanilla, and citrus, but then the spice starts to come on, like cinnamon, truly balancing it out. Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum is also very sweet at first sip, but then slowly rounds out with citrusy notes of mandarin, grapefruit, and key lime mixed with vanilla, almond and a touch of oak. Both rums are extremely clean and oh, so smooth.
Honestly, I’ve never ever quite seen a rum have such an impact on me like Papa’s Pilar. Everything about it is simply big, bold and excellent -- just like Hemingway himself. And who doesn’t want to drink like Hemingway?