Macho marketing heralds two excellent rums for holiday season

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.

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