Rum Review – Papa’s Pilar Blonde and Dark Rums
From It's just the booze dancing... on Sep 18, 2013
Two weekends ago, Mrs. G-LO left me home alone with The Boys (aka our two sons) on a Saturday night so that she could attend a bridal shower / bachelorette party for my future sister in law in Atlantic City. As luck would have it, The Boys were a bit tired that night, so both of them were asleep by around 9PM. Since I knew that Mrs. G-LO would be out for quite some time, I decided to take advantage of the situation and sat down to finally review the two Papa’s Pilar Rum samples shown in the above photo which I received from RoBro Marketing back in mid July.
Although I have always been a fan of a well crafted Rum cocktail, I can’t say that I’ve spent much time drinking it straight, so when I started to do a bit of research about these Papa’s Pilar Rums (i.e. a bit of Googling), I was curious to see how they would hold up on their own. Here is what I was able to find out:
- Pilar was the name of Ernest Hemingway’s boat, a customized 1934 Wheeler Playmate Cruiser.
- The Papa’s Pilar Rum brand was co-created in 2009 by Miami advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
- There is no Papa’s Pilar Rum distillery. The Rums used to make Papa’s Pilar are sourced from distilleries in Florida, The Caribbean, and Central America.
- Papa’s Pilar Blonde and Dark Rums are created using a Solera aging and blending process that involves aging in Bourbon barrels and Port wine casks followed by finishing in Spanish Sherry casks.
At around 9:30, I started nosing the Papa’s Pilar Blonde and was instantly intrigued by the aromas. As I have already mentioned, I don’t have any experience with Rum tasting, so I quickly decided to recruit Limpd for some help and a second opinion. After a quick round of back and forth text messages, Limpd popped over at around 10:30 to assist with the review.
Here are our results…
Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum
- ABV: 42%
- Appearance: Pale blonde color that reminded us of a Pinot Grigio or perhaps a Ginger Ale. Lots of thick slow moving legs form after giving it a swirl in the glass.
- Limpd: Slightly medicinal with a witch hazel or menthol like quality. Once you get past the alcohol, it turns sweet with hints of simple syrup, vanilla, and caramel.
- G-LO: Very sweet and citrusy with lemon and lime zest, vanilla, whipped cream, and light brown sugar.
- Limpd: A fair amount of cinnamon and black pepper spice at the onset. Syrupy sweetness kick in at mid-palate. Ends with a lingering Red Hot candy finish.
- G-LO: Light and somewhat watery mouthfeel. A bit of alcohol burn at the start. Once you get past the alcohol, you get a vanilla buttercream sweetness. Lemon zest shows up at mid-palate along with a mild chile pepper heat. It all comes together in the end, i.e. vanilla creaminess, citrus, and a bit more heat. Medium finish with a lingering light brown sugar and vanilla sweetness.
Conclusion: We both found the Papa’s Pilar Blonde to be much more interesting than we expected. Most white Rums that we’ve tried straight tend to be a bit one dimensional, but this stuff has a delightfully layered flavor profile which we’re sure has a great deal to do with the Solera process. We could totally see ourselves sipping this Rum on occasion, or using it to create a really delicious cocktail.
Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
- ABV: 43%
- Appearance: Antique copper or chestnut color. Again, lots of thick slow moving legs form after giving it a swirl in the glass.
- Limpd: Medicinal at first followed by toffee, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- G-LO: Rich and aromatic with hints of dark brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and dried fruit. Very Banana’s Fosterish.
- Limpd: Tastes a lot like the aged rums that I’ve sampled. The Port Wine and Sherry influence is readily apparent. A little woody with sweet vanilla, cherries, and then a little licorice showing up in the finish which doesn’t last very long.
- G-LO: Somewhat thicker mouthfeel with a touch of oiliness. Very sweet with an almost nutty quality. I’m thinking roasted hazelnuts. Mellow and easy drinking with just a hint of cinnamon bite showing up in the finish. Picked up some dried figs in the aftertaste.
Conclusion: It’s funny how expectations work! We thought for sure that we would have preferred the Dark Rum over the Blonde Rum, but it turns out that the opposite is true. While there was absolutely nothing wrong with the Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum, we both found it to be a touch too sweet for our taste.
I guess when it comes to Papa’s Pilar Rum, the gentlemen preferred Blonde.