Move over, Sailor Jerry -- there's a new rum in town. Made right here in Florida, it's a new super-premium spirit inspired by Ernest Hemingway and developed in conjunction with his estate in Key West. The rum, which was released last month in South Florida markets, is currently available only in the Sunshine State.
To put it to the test, Clean Plate Charlie took Papa's Pilar to Dada in Delray Beach, where bartender Manny Alayeto is known for making some damn good mojitos.
The Papa's Pilar team of master blenders -- including founder and rum importer Jay Maltby, Richard Seale of Seale rums, and Angel's Envy bourbon creator Lincoln Henderson -- has established a unique aging and blending process using American oak bourbon barrels, port wine casks, and Spanish sherry casks.
Offering an inaugural dark and blonde variety -- both solera-aged and hand-selected from ports-of-call throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and the States -- each rum has a unique flavor profile and finish. Papa's Pilar dark is a spicy, complex rum that is both pot- and column-stilled and boasts hand-selected rums up to 24 years old. Papa's Pilar blonde has a bit more snap, made from aged rums three to five years old, but is equally smooth and possessing a layered and exceptionally easy finish.
Alayeto said he often uses classic Conch Republic rum to make the bar's signature mojitos, so we handed him a few bottles of Papa's Pilar to see if it made a difference. It did.
"[These rums] are a little sweeter -- very smooth, very easy on the finish. There's none of that alcohol burn that most rums have," Alayetosaid. "It's going to help make these [mojitos] go down even easier. Very dangerous."