Boutique rum brand Papa’s Pilar is back with another limited edition expression, this one dropping at the tail end of 2022. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of The Old Man and the Sea, the 2022 Legacy Edition rum features a dark rum blend sourced from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, and Florida. It’s then finished in French oak apple brandy casks for an unspecified length of time. For every bottle sold, Papa’s Pilar will donate $20 to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which benefits reef restoration and conservation efforts.
Let’s give it a try.
Given the complexity of the build-up, the nose of the rum feels surprisingly muted, offering indistinct baking spice and oak elements, then light touches of vanilla and maple. It’s clearly got the DNA of rum buried within, but the initial approach is otherwise quiet and mild, foreshadowing a gentle experience to come.
To my great surprise, the palate quickly ups the ante. Those baking spice notes dig their heels in, bringing up cloves, lots of cinnamon, and a bold ginger kick. Notes of chocolate and some orange peel complement the more straightforward spice qualities, giving the late game something of a Christmas feel, while gentle lashings of oak add some gravity and austerity to the mix. The finish is clean and lightly sweet, readily inviting continued exploration. This rum may be too precious to mix cocktails with, but it sure feels like it would be perfect for the task if you chose to do so with it.
A / $100 / papaspilar.com