Rum season is in full swing. From mojitos to rum punch to the classic daiquiri, if you see us this summer there’s an excellent chance we’ve got a rum cocktail in our hands. That’s why we were pumped when two bottles of Papa’s Pilar showed up at our doorstep ready for drinking.

Named for quite possibly the most beloved rum drinker of all time, Ernest Hemingway, the brand is recent to the rum world. Nicknamed “Papa” he rode aboard the ship “Pilar,” on one of his many adventures. The super premium rum offers both a dark and light option. Here’s what we thought of each. Side note: We’d buy it just because we love the bottle so much.

Papa’s Pilar Dark: Dark rums are typically polarizing, especially when it comes to straight sipping. Papa’s Pilar had a rich, strong molasses smell with a twinge of maple that came through. We poured it over ice and the first sip was strong with spicy notes and hints of caramel, molasses and even a little bit of chocolate. The finish was mostly smooth with only a bit of burn. We can see it being a superstar in a Dark n’ Stormy.

Papa’s Pilar Blonde: The blonde (aka light) offering is where we see the cocktail potential. Sipped over ice, the rum was surprisingly fruity with light flavor and a smooth finish. There was a slight syrupy note but it was easily masked by the flavor. We couldn’t help ourselves and added a little bit of grapefruit soda to the mix, which was a game changer. Next time, we’ll be stepping up our game and making a mojito or something equally delicious and refreshing with Papa’s Pilar Blonde.

You can pick up your own bottles at your local liquor store. The Dark will set you back about $39.99 while the Blonde is a bit cheaper at $29.99. Both are great options if you’re looking for a cocktail base or a fun summer spirit.

Want DIA to review one of your spirits? Email us: