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Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum Review

In Rum Reviews by 8 Comments

Papa’s Pilar Dark rum is crafted to reflect Hemingway’s passions on both land and sea.Hemingway Rum Company
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Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum Review

  • DISTILLER:  Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum sourced & bottled by Hemingway Rum Company in Key West, Florida
  • SOURCE: Sourced from Florida, Central America & The Caribbean
  • AGE: NAS – no age statement; Solera aged in bourbon and port casks, then finished in sherry casks.
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 86 (43% ABV)
  • MSRP: $35-$40
NOSE: Cane Sugar | Raisins | Dark Fruits | Carmel

TASTE: Sugar Cookie | Angel Food Cake | Vanilla | Rum Raisin Ice Cream

FINISH: Long and sweet for an 86 proof Rum.  The sherry finish gives way to a classic sugar cane finish combined with the essence of dark fruits.

SHARE WITH: Someone who respects and enjoys great sipping rum.  This is not a mixer (although it would be killer in eggnog).  Also share with someone who enjoys sherry finished spirits.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes.  It’s sophisticated and nuanced and for under $40 is a home run.  If this were bourbon, it would cost over $100 MSRP.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: For the price, it is worth picking up a bottle and seeing what you think of it.  I am primarily a bourbon drinker.  But I do enjoy sherry finished scotches and whiskeys.  I enjoyed this pour very much.  If you like to try before you buy, it should be readily available in bars that serve a nice rum menu.

OVERALL: At the first nose, it is sherry forward and reminiscent of aspects of sherry finished whiskeys.  However, the sugar cane is very present and clearly comes through the taste and finish.  It is very well blended while the bourbon, port and sherry notes all linger with the sugar cane.  It’s quite viscous and has a great mouth-feel that coats the tongue and throat.  It is balanced, with the finishes keeping the overly sweet sugar cane in check, creating a complex, sophisticated product.  I cannot stop sipping it.

About the Author

Matt Watson


A long time whiskey lover, Matt evolved from shots of Jameson and Makers & Cokes at the bar to sipping neat bourbons and ryes. He enjoys the subtle differences from barrel to barrel and sees whiskey as one of life’s great adventures. Every bottle has the potential to send you down a new rabbit hole. Matt was born and raised in Metro Detroit. After graduating from the University of Michigan and coaching a decade of High School swimming, he relocated to “Beer City USA” (Grand Rapids, Michigan). Matt lives with his wife and two daughters and runs a business teaching kids how to swim. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, CrossFit, and bourbon hunting.

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  • Tom Jones says:

    I just bought two bottles of this rum. The taste and finish will have you going back to buy more. It’s that good!

  • Jeff Watts says:

    Thanks for pointing out a great rum. I will give it a try. I am always looking for a New dark rum to try.

  • Josh says:

    Great rum, great review.

  • Alzuri Bartender says:

    This rum is a heartbreaker on my shelf since it is one I can only get when I travel, they also produce a younger blonde expression that it almost more impressive based on it youth. Still as a happy bourbon drinker rum is a logical choice of flavor profiles for me.

  • Kat says:

    Happy to see this reviewed! We have just recently gotten in to rum and, being in the heart of bourbon country, it’s hard to find a great selection out. Will definitely put this one on our shopping list!!

  • Anthony Ayers says:

    Do you know what bars in Atlanta Georgia serves Papa Pilar Rum?

  • ArtPirate says:

    I agree that this wonderful rum is a great sipper, but I have to say, it makes a killer Dark & Stormy as well!