Papa’s Pi­lar Rum

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The con­nec­tion be­tween Ernest Hemingway and Papa’s Pi­lar rum is in­ten­tional. The fledg­ling rum pro­ducer in Key West, Florida, is named after the great Amer­i­can au­thor’s Wheeler 38, the muse for Hemingway’s leg­endary love for sea­far­ing and sport fish­ing. The com­pany is so tuned into the ad­ven­tur­ous spirit of its pa­tri­arch that even the bot­tle is shaped like a World War II wa­ter can­teen, com­plete with cap and chain. At present, Papa’s Pi­lar comes in a light blonde, 84-proof rum, that has a sub­tle nose that wafts of cit­rus, co­conut, and vanilla, and fin­ishes on the clean, dry, and slightly nutty side of the pal­ette. To me, the blonde would be a per­fect fea­ture in a warm-weather cock­tail with some pineap­ple juice or a splash of La Croix. My pref­er­ence, though, is for Papa Pi­lar’s dark rum. Cre­ated from a few qual­ity sources, in­clud­ing a 24-year aged rum, the blend is fin­ished in Span­ish sherry bar­rels where it picks up ad­di­tional sub­tle fla­vor and aroma notes from the cask. This one is a sip­per, like a qual­ity Ken­tucky bour­bon but with a slightly sweeter fin­ish; it has a vel­vety smooth­ness to it, and fea­tures all the great­est char­ac­ters from cask-con­di­tioned liquors. —JC


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