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Allen Pierleoni /

Papa’s Pilar rum is available in blonde and dark.

Macho marketing heralds two excellent rums for holiday season

Published: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 - 10:51 am

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway famously liked his spirits, and naturally favored rum during the years he shuttled between Cuba and Key West aboard his fishing boat Pilar.

It may be a stretch, but the Florida-based Hemingway Rum Company recently released Papa’s Pilar rum, in both dark and blonde. It did so “inspired by Hemingway’s spirit of adventure that’s hell-bent on returning rum to its gutsy roots.” The slogan: “Never a spectator.”

The promotion is a bit macho, but the two rums are excellent and arrive in time for the holiday season. They’re exceptional in balance and taste, a marriage of vanilla and spice, not too sweet, not too dry. The rums are sourced from the Caribbean, Central America and the U.S., and are blended and aged in “American oak barrels, port wine casks and Spanish sherry casks.”

The dark took a double gold medal at this year’s World Spirits competition in San Francisco; the blonde won best in class at the Rum Renaissance Festival in Miami. The dark is 86 proof, the blonde 84 proof. Find them locally for about $40 and $30, respectively.

One more thing: Papa’s Pilar was “developed in conjunction with Ernest Hemingway’s estate,” which will donate “100 percent of royalty profits to organizations that embody causes dear to Hemingway and his heirs,” including literacy and conservation.

For more information and a store locator, go to

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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