Papa's Pilar Blonde and Dark Rums are produced by the Florida Based Hemingway Rum Company. Named for Ernest Hemingway's beloved yacht, Pilar, the company challenges the consumer to live life as fully as Hemingway did. In their rums they succeeded in creating two dynamically different products. The dark is supposed to embody the land and the blonde the sea. Both are a blend of rums sourced from Florida, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and Panama using a complex Solera method that involves aging the rums in Bourbon and Port Wine barrels, blending them, and finally finishing them in Spanish Sherry casks.
The 750 ml bottle is shaped like a 20th century Infantry Canteens. This shape honors Hemingway's time as an ambulance driver in World War I and journalistic coverage of Normandy in World War II. The cap is secured to the bottle with a chain. Originally the company was going to use natural cork but has since switched to synthetic. Centered high on the bottle, a silver medal with red ink features a rooster states "Solera Blended in the USA". Each bottle provides the details of the rum with a side label that provides the basic information of the product's creation. On the other side of the bottle you will find the required legal information. The back has a small statement and features Hemingway's signature.
This light rum is a blend of column still rums ranging between three, five, and seven years old. Coming in at 84 proof, it is Solera blended using a combination of Bourbon and Port Barrels. After the rum is blended it is finished in Sherry casks.
In the bottle and glass the color of rum is a light straw color. I did observe a small bit of particulate suspended in the liquid and a tiny bit of cork. As I swirl the glass, surprisingly thick legs form and descend quickly down the glass filling the air with the rich citrus aroma of the rum.
The first aroma to kiss the nose is fresh cut grapefruit, as it fades I detect an oak undertone while sweet vanilla floats over the top, dried orange peel, honey almond and just a hint of lime as the scent fades.
The rum leads with buttery vanilla and caramel followed by notes of grapefruit and pineapple. As this fades tobacco and dried orange peel provide a rich, darker feel; a light almond note pops up in the finish.
It is not often that I find a young rum that I enjoy sipping but this one was fun to play with. The lovely robust combination of flavors provides a good taste experience. Considering in whose honor the rum is made, I had to make a classic Hemmingway Daiquiri with it. I suggest when you acquire a bottle that you try the recipe. It has to be one of the best Daiquiris I have ever made. A good challenge for this rum is take one of your favorite rum cocktails and substitute Papa's Pilar Blonde and see how it enhances your drink.