It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade since Papa’s Pilar first arrived on the scene.
It came with a wonderful story: a sense of adventure, the Hemingway legend, a smart and fun bottle design modeled on a World War II canteen.
But immediately upon arrival it was clear that it was not simply creative marketing: this was a serious rum, both the “younger” blonde rum and the aged dark blend.
Made of a blend of rums from across the Caribbean Basin, Pilar burst on the scene as a highly drinkable, interesting rum, the kind that pleased aficionados but, even more importantly, was endlessly appealing to rum neophytes.
It’s still true today; the dark and sherry are outstanding, reliable rums — and should you share a bottle with a bourbon or scotch drinker they’ll immediately fall in love.
Indeed, in the last decade, few rum brands have been doing as much to change the perception of rum in the United States from a low-grade, mixing product to a premium sipping spirit.
Much has changed for Pilar in 10 years; the brand and its blending team led by Ron Call have regularly experimented with a range of cask finishes, a variation of proofs, and, more recently, a new ultra-premium “Legacy” edition released in small batches each year.
That began last year with a rye-finished edition, and now, for 2022, there’s a new one.
And it’s the most exciting rum the company has produced yet.
This is the Papa’s Pilar Legacy Edition 2022, and it’s a signature Pilar blend (with rums from countries like the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama and Florida (where the company, in Key West, has a new, active distillery whose rum now finds its way into the Pilar blend).
What’s different here is that the rum is finished in French Oak Apple Brandy casks.
The result, is well, tremendous.
So what is it like?
The 44-degree rum has an aroma of almond, key lime and mocha.
The flavor profile is marked by green apple, tropical fruit, oak, graham cracker and honey and a whisper of marzipan.
There’s a wonderful, slightly fruity finish – one that comes with an edge.
This is an exceptional rum. It’s the most elegant rum the brand has ever made, slightly more delicate than the typical Pilar, terrifically balanced but oozing with personality.
There’s a sense of romance, of adventure. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a decade, and a fitting tribute to the legacy of the brand’s famous forebear.
It’s the kind of rum Papa would say “[warms] me all through my body and my spirit.”
Rum Journal Review:
Papa’s Pilar Legacy 2022