When we think of rum, immediately images are conjured up of the Caribbean Islands and Latin America, and you would be correct to assume the majority of rums are made in said places. However this week we were lucky enough to sample a rum from a different part of the world all together, Don Papa Rum from the Philippines.
With rums now produced in various grades, originally, light rum was the version predominantly used in cocktails where as dark rum was used for drinking neat and cooking, the latter has become a now staple figure in consumption with a mixer in which we have seen a surge in the appearance of premium rums with Don Papa being at the top of that list. Don Papa itself is a small batch blend aged in American oak for seven years, charcoal filtered to remove impurities before being popped in a beautifully cool bottle all of which is done on the tiny isle of Negros Occidental in the Philippines.
On the subject of the lovely bottle, you will find the label is quirky, with an aged, pirate look about it. Designed by Stranger & Stranger it features 50 animals and insects, with a Wheres Wally aura about it as you try to find them, all of which are native to the Philippines. Once you break that seal, you get a waft of some sense tingling notes. Very fruity on the nose initially, your first sip is extremely smooth going down, with a strong compliment of vanilla and honey to follow.
Thankfully again our friends at Don Papa have predicted us, like many others, would probably like to explore the mixing possibilities of this beautifully blended rum, and so have attached a vintage looking scroll or the “Field Guide” as its titled, 10 deliciously heady cocktails created especially by master mixologists Kathryn Eckstein-Cornista and Matthias Cadeac D’arbaud for Don Papa. Being The Gentleman Select we also took the most fitting one, and it had to be, the Don Papa Old Fashioned. In the words of Matthias Cadeac D’arbaud “The old fashioned is an all time classic cocktail, served in the best bars for over a century. This Don Papa based Old Fashioned is designed to highlight Don Papa’s magnificence”.
This is a statement we whole heartedly agree with. That combination of liquid brown sugar, maraschino, grapefruit and orange bitters with a twirled couple of slices of orange rind and that hit of Don Papa delivers an Old Fashioned like no other. Rich and full it says you are coolest person in the room, drinking the coolest drink on offer. You made the right choice. Personally I urge you to go and buy a bottle, try it for yourself and experience “the spirit of Don Papa”.