Papa’s Pilar Introduces New Sherry Finish Rum

The special edition is part of a limited release

Papa's Pilar Spanish Sherry Cask Finish dark rum
Papa's Pilar Spanish Sherry Cask Finish dark rum is a special release from the popular rum brand, which is based in Key West, Florida.Courtesy Hemingway Rum Company

Hemingway Rum Company, the makers of Papa's Pilar dark and blonde rums, has introduced a limited-release of 1,400 six-pack cases of a special-edition Sherry Finish in select United States markets. Inspired by Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, the award-winning rums will surely be of interest to offshore anglers, as they’re hand-selected from ports-of-call in the Caribbean, Central America and Florida.

How the Rum is Made

A team of master blenders created the special-edition Papa’s Pilar dark with seven hand-selected rums up to 25 years old, which are both pot- and column-distilled. After solera aging in bourbon barrels, port wine casks, and Spanish sherry casks, the bold and complex rum was further aged in Spanish oloroso sherry casks for 30 days, creating a unique flavor.

In a quest to get rum back to its roots, the Papa’s Pilar production team chose to embrace a similar methodology used in scotch whiskey, with the goal to allow the rum blend to continue to meld together, while also interacting with the sherry and French oak. It’s also a method used by Cuban rum makers in their rums. The team chose to use French limousin oak sherry casks from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and only for a short period of time, because the grain structure is wider and more open than American oak bourbon barrels.

“By building off the strong base flavors found in our dark rum and allowing additional time for the blended rums to meld together, this special release has developed a slight sweetness combined with a uniquely spicy finish, resulting in a smoothness and complexity second to none,” said Ron Call, head of rum production. “The magic happens in aging - not between the rum and the fresh oak, but between the rum and the broken-down oak from a process that takes many years to develop.”

How the Rum Tastes

The rum has a strong base of different flavors, including vanilla, cinnamon, maple, coffee and almond. There’s a new layer of slight sweetness, followed by a unique spicy finish, imparted by the French oak.

More About Papa's Pilar

Papa’s Pilar recently opened a new distillery and experience center in Key West, Florida, further honoring Hemingway’s contribution to the classic spirit of the city in which he once lived. The 8,000-plus-square-feet facility supports the company’s rum production and features an experience center, tasting room, trading post and, eventually, a rentable event center. Visitors can view a 350-gallon pot still with a custom-made reflux column, which can produce up to 80 gallons of rum per day.

The suggested retail price of the Sherry Finish is $44.99 to $46.99, which will vary by market. The special-edition expression is available in 750-ml bottles in both on- and off-premise establishments in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Texas. They will be available starting mid-November. Check the company's Facebook page at release time for an updated list of places that carry the special edition.