If there were one spirit in the world that could represent exploration and the excitement of new horizons, it’s rum. Once rationed to both the military and world travelers in search of new land, the sugar-based liquor is also one of the few spirits that’s impossible to pin to just one or two locales (or even three or four). Made all over the world, rum was once seen as a coveted spirit, and when Papa’s Pilar began a decade ago, it sought to revive that same ethos. Now, it celebrates its 10th anniversary with a very special expression that once again takes inspiration from the brand’s namesake.
Ernest Hemingway has been called one of the most prolific American authors of all time, and yet his reputation as a global traveler and connoisseur of world culture has often preceded his talents on the page. As a poster child for the 20th-century American mythos, Hemingway resided outside of the U.S. for much of his life, including in Paris and Cuba, the latter in which he owned a home from 1940 to 1960. The move to Cuba was said to have been life-changing for the writer, who had recently become separated from his wife and thus inspired to pen the iconic novel For Whom the Bell Tolls from his estate Finca Vigia.
There’s a famous photograph of Hemingway at Finca Vigia in 1946 with an inexplicable decanter on the table behind him. Papa’s Pilar anniversary expression, simply called Ernest, is housed in a replica of that decanter. Coming from a trio of hand-selected casks from South and Central America, Ernest is an XO rum that’s been aged for as much as 23 years before undergoing a double-finishing process, first in American white oak barrels and then in a combination of Cognac and Armagnac casks. The bespoke packaging concludes with a gold-embossed cork and a leather collector’s box with a wooden stage.
Given a limited run of just 400 bottles, Papa’s Pilar Ernest Rum will be priced at $599 upon its July 21 release. Members of the Hemingway Social Club will get early access the day prior.