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Cigar Spirits: Papa’s Pilar Bourbon Barrel Finished Dark Rum

8 Nov 2018

Scotch whiskey has long utilized barrel maturation in casks formerly used to age bourbon, sherry, and other types of wine to add complexity and additional flavors to the finished spirit. More recently, other whiskies have gotten in on the cask finishing game, especially bourbon. Consider Angel’s Envy, Belle Meade, 1792, and Issac Bowman, all of which are finished in port barrel casks after a period of traditional aging in new charred barrels.

But whiskey isn’t the only spirit to leverage cask finishes. Rum has been getting into the game, too, including (but hardly limited to) various Foursquare and Papa’s Pilar offerings.

Today we’re trying a new limited offering from Papa’s Pilar Rum. (The brand is named after the boat owned by noted rum enthusiast Ernest Hemingway.) Papa’s Pilar Dark is an 86-proof combination of “solera blended” rums (sourced from Florida, the Caribbean, and Central America) aged up to 24 years and finished in Spanish sherry casks.

The new limited Papa’s Pilar Bourbon Barrel Finished Dark Rum amps that up with an additional round of finishing in bourbon barrels. Bottled at 95-proof, the $45 rum began arriving in select states in October with 2,000 cases made.

The deep mahogany, reddish-brown rum features a fascinatingly unique nose with vanilla bean, custard, nutmeg, figs, and Dr. Pepper. On the palate, the bourbon influence is evident, with oak, honey, candied almonds, and dry sherry. The finish is long with wood tannins and spice cake.

Distinct is the word that most comes to mind when sipping this rum neat. It’s a testament to the art that is blending and barrel management, resulting in a rum that might not be a regular sipper, but certainly is enjoyable as a unique change of pace.

Pair it with a medium-bodied, balanced cigar like the Arturo Fuente King T Rosado Sun Grown, Bolivar Royal Corona, Illusione Epernay, or Paul Garmirian Reserva Exclusiva.

Patrick S

photo credits: Stogie Guys

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