A rum inspired by the great American writer Ernest Hemingway; he had a 12 m fishing boat named Pilar – which was a nickname for his wife, Pauline. This is a photo of Ernest Hemingway and Carlos Gutierrez aboard the Pilar in 1934.
This rum was sourced from 5 different Caribbean and Central American distilleries (pot and column distillation) with 8 different ages. Brought to Florida, where it was fractionally Solara blended in Bourbon, Port and then Sherry casks.
Some sugar is added. Hydrometer Tests, from the Fat Rum Pirate show that about 15 g/liter of sugar is added. That would be high for sugars found in an aged whiskey (usually around 1 g/liter, from interaction with the charred barrel) but low compared to fruit juice or soda (Coca Cola has about 95 g sugar/liter.) A 50 ml serving of Papa’s Pilar thus has a bit less than 1 gram of sugar.
The result is unlike any rum I have tasted before. Delicious notes of cocoa, maple and caramel. Reminded me of a full flavored bourbon like Michter’s.
As for the curious shape of the bottle, the company states
“If the shape looks familiar, that’s because it’s styled after the aluminum canteens carried by US infantryman for most of the 20th Century. The bottle pays homage to Hemingway’s duty as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I and his exposure to the Normandy landings in World War II. Why the chain? US infantry canteens used a chain to tether the screw cap to the bottle. The cap could be left slightly loose on the march – allowing drops of water to slosh out and soak the canvas covering. Evaporation kept the contents cool. Last but not least, etched into Pilar’s bottle cap is a compass – the simple yet indispensable tool that provides comfort and direction to adventurers on land and sea. The compass on Pilar Dark’s cap has the African Sun logo in its center, signifying Hemingway’s adventures on land.”