Many of us know Ernest Hemingway from reading “The Old Man and the Sea,” his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, when we were in high school. And that’s not to mention his other classic books, including “The Sun Also Rises” and “A Farewell to Arms.”
But now there’s another way to appreciate the great American author, known for his concise literary style and manly demeanor. Namely, sipping a Hemingway brand rum.
In fact, Papa’s Pilar, the rum inspired by the author and created through a licensing agreement with the Hemingway estate, has been around for nearly a decade. (“Papa” refers to Hemingway’s nickname and “Pilar” to the name of his beloved boat.) But the brand has made an effort to become more selective, recently introducing what it calls its “Legacy Edition” . It is a blend of hand-selected rums, the oldest of which is 24 years old; the liquid is finished in rye casks and sherry casks, adding to what is touted as its “distinctive” quality.
There’s nothing new, of course, in celebrity-bound minds — even celebrities who are no longer with us. (Hemingway died by suicide in 1961.) In this column, we wrote about a John Wayne bourbon and an Elvis Presley coconut water flavored vodka, to name just two examples.
In Hemingway’s case, it’s all part of a much larger branding effort: David Stickles, whose licensing agency First Light Brands works with the Hemingway estate, notes the many Hemingway-themed articles, such as glasses, pens, fishing tackle, even bedding. The latter is billed as follows: “Although your days may not be as exotic as his, you can rest easy and rejuvenate on the Ernest Hemingway luxury mattress collection.”
Stickles told Deadline it doesn’t stop there: Many more Hemingway articles are “in the works,” he said via email.
While some might wonder if there really is a connection to be made between the Nobel Prize-winning author and a luxury mattress, there is definitely a connection between Hemingway and rum. Hemingway tasted his fair share of the spirit when he spent time in Cuba — so much so that a variation of the daiquiri, the rum-based cocktail, was created in his honor. Of course, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that Hemingway had a drinking problem. Indeed, a famous quote attributed to him states that a good scribe should “write drunk, edit sober”. In truth, Hemingway was said to drink most of his time when he wasn’t working, but he drank anyway.
What we think
We still think rum gets overlooked as a serious sip, largely because many associate the spirit with mixed drinks. Not that we don’t love a refreshing daiquiri ourselves, but a good aged rum can have just as much flavor and complexity as a good Scotch or bourbon. Certainly, Papa’s Pilar Legacy speaks to this notion. It’s sweeter than some aged rums – you’ll pick up a big molasses note, almost bordering on maple syrup – but it has a mysterious, inviting warmth, with a final touch of peppery spice.
How to benefit
The Papa’s Pilar team say to have this one groomed – and we totally agree. Still, if you insist on a cocktail, Papa’s Pilar’s head distiller Ron Call suggests using it in a whiskey-based drink, like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
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How Ernest Hemingway became a rum brand (and a mattress brand) – CNET – ApparelGeek