Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Papa's Pilar

Papa's Pilar have a couple of new delicious rums that literally hit on every point with absolute excellence.
First off: The story. Named after Ernest Hemingway's boat, the Pilar, these two rums are a Solera blend of rums from all over the Caribbean. The Hemingway family is planning on donating 100% of all their profits straight into organizations that promote adventure, literacy and conservation--things that were important to Hemingway and that still are to his heirs.
Secondarily: Packaging--seriously, do I even need to say anything. These look fantastic.
Thirdly: The spirits inside are absolutely incredible.
Papa's Pilar Blonde begins with aromas bursting with a basket of fresh cut citrus--key lime, tangerine, grapefruit with notes of blossoms and vanilla. On the palate these aromas persist but are overtaken by creamy rich, butter marzipan, divinity and dried pineapple. The finish again builds to resolve on nuts with hints of the flavors and aromas delicately dancing away.
The Papa's Pilar 24 Dark begins on the nose with coffee, steamed milk, honey, cinnamon, toasted nuts, vanilla, chocolate, sweet tea, dried fruits and all kinds of other yummy smells. The palate shows all of this but in a drier, more complex manner it is very elegant and well structured. The finish lingers for an eternity while furtively attempting to reveal all of the niceties that you have just enjoyed.
And for the fourth point: Great, unified, cohesive marketing with a fun website and everything you could usually only dream of getting in one brand.

So there... It is not everywhere, but it will be. Want to be among the first to see Papa's Pilar? Come to Miami Rum Renaissance 2013.

You have to see this (and this blog)

My friend Dave breaks it down so well.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Miami Rum Fest!

Here is the press release of my favorite event of the year . . . Want to see how much fun? If you need "insider" photos--I have a couple with close friends and Rum Cohorts . . . Direct e-mail me for them, they are not for public 'consumption' .
 Join us, hope to see you there!

MIAMI, FL -- The fifth annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival -- the largest gathering of rum experts, professionals and enthusiasts in the world -- will span Monday, April 15 to Sunday, April 21, 2013 at the Doubletree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center.

Last year, more than 8,000 rum enthusiasts attended the festival with 20,000 square feet of exhibit space. The new space spans 40,000 square feet, twice the size of last year's event. Festival organizers are preparing for 15,000 attendees.

In addition to a week-long series of VIP parties, tasting sessions and celebrity seminars, the rum festival brings together members of the esteemed International Rum Expert Panel (RumXPs) for their annual tasting competition.

Two full days of Grand Tasting events for the public will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21. More than 240 spirits from the Caribbean and beyond will be available for sampling, along with a selection of island-style cuisine.

New this year is a half-day exhibit session exclusively for the beverage trade on Friday, April 19. Liquor store buyers, food and beverage managers, bartenders and other spirits trade professionals will be invited to attend.

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival attracts cane spirit products and brands from all over the globe. Companies large and small will be on hand to present their rums to a global gathering of experts, reporters, critics and consumers.

South Florida is regarded as the number one rum market in the world, with a high percentage of rum enthusiasts, liquor stores, bars and restaurants offering both popular and top-shelf luxury rum products to consumers.

According to event manager Robin Burr, the Miami Rum Fest has doubled in size each year, a testament to the fact that consumer interest in sugar cane spirits is growing faster than any other category of liquor.

"We're proud to say that our prediction of rum's resurgence in popularity was on the money," said Robert A. Burr, festival organizer and publisher of Rob's Rum Guide. "An incredible range of fine rums, from casual and fun mixers to luxurious top-shelf sipping rums will be on display. There is no better opportunity for the rum enthusiast to sample such a vast selection of spirits in one place."
Rum lovers can choose between $50 day passes to the grand tasting events and $65 VIP tickets that allow early access to the exhibits and complimentary tickets to the celebrity seminars. VIP ticket holders also enjoy access to a private area featuring complimentary cuisine and VIP cocktails.

For more information on the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, activities planned during Miami Rum Week and exhibits at Miami Rum Fest, call 305-443-7973 or visit the web site at

Friday, March 15, 2013


Brand spanking new bourbon. I am drinking from Batch # 1 and it was bottled just last Sunday (3/10/2013)--That is new (today is the 15th and I tasted it for the first time a couple days ago.).
It is a small batch of 8 barrels bottled by a new distillery in Beullton (by Santa Ynez). This is found Bourbon (distilled elsewhere) but I have been assured that Ascendant Spirits in Buellton has every intention of distilling their own bourbon. This bourbon is just a stop gap to whet peoples whistle in anticipation of their own distillate and doggone if it does a great job doing it.
Classic bourbon aromas lead with candied grains, citrus vanilla and fruit. The flavor follow in a dryer, more complex demonstration with enough alcohol to push all the flavors across the palate (45%). The finish lingers graciously showing spice, mint and herbs while restating the gorgeous aromas and flavors from before. This is great bourbon, give it a try.