|At UK Rumfest 2012|
Don Papa Rum was named after Dionisio “Papa Isio” Magbuelas, who supposedly worked at a sugar plantation and played a key role during the late 19th century Philippine Revolution. It’s believed to be the world’s first “single island rum” made from sucar cane harvested on the island Negros. After distillation, it’s been resting in small bourbon barrels for seven years before being bottled. I first tasted it at UK Rumfest in 2012, and just recently it was launched in Sweden by Bibendum.
Nose: Very sweet with vanilla, butterscotch, overripe tropical fruit and baking spices. Mouth: Sweet and oily with dominant vanilla and tonka bean notes, which evolves into raisins, ripe apricot, candied orange peel and some heat from cinnamon before fading out and revealing a tiny bit of oak. Wow, this is one sweet and intense rum, maybe a bit too much.
So, let’s see how it works in a Mai Tai (30 ml Don Papa Rum, 30 ml Saint James Rhum Paille, 30 ml lime juice, 15 ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 7,5 ml simple syrup, 7,5 ml orgeat syrup – shake with ice cubes, strain into a double Old Fashioned-glass filled with crushed ice, garnish with spent lime shell and a mint sprig) – and even after mixing it with a more dry rhum agricole it’s way too sweet with very dominant notes of vanilla and funky tropical fruit. If I had more rum to play with, I think I’d try it in a Rum Old Fashioned without adding any sweetener.
In conclusion, I’m not sure how they managed to get so much sweetness, vanilla and fruit flavours from the bourbon barrels. The first one or two sips are nice, then it becomes too sweet. It’s not bad, but pretty unbalanced, at least according to my palate. Proceed with caution.