In 2019, we toured Papa’s Pilar Distillery in Key West for an upcoming article. After the tour, we sat at the tasting table with our tour guide and the director of operation and marketing, sampling Papa’s Pilar Blonde and their new limited edition Lost Cask Blonde, with only 700 bottles available. After just that tiny sample, we left with bottle number 240. For whatever reason, it’s sat on our shelf until now.
The story behind The Lost Cask begins in one of Papa’s Pilar warehouses. Staff had found three bourbon barrels of Papa Pilar’s Blonde in a far corner. The markings on the barrel showed they had been resting there for three years. Master blender, Ron Call, took these barrels and blended the limited edition Lost Cask Blonde.
Our article about Papa’s Pilar Blonde in September 2019 was very favorable, receiving 4.25 out of 5. The nose had a wonderful vanilla note that engulfed our senses. On the palate, the vanilla became buttery, bringing back memories of hard butterscotch candies we had as kids. The finish was smooth and satisfying. Further sips brought out hints of orange and even a bit of almond.
The Blonde is aged for one to seven years in Kentucky bourbon and sherry barrels, then blended using the solera method. It’s unclear exactly how old the “Lost” barrels were, but judging by the richer color, the three extra years gave the rum more of a golden hue.
The characteristics of this rum remind me of a much older rum that requires my full attention. The nose is very earthy, with notes of leather, cherry tobacco, and a subtle hint of coconut husks. I like that the palate is not sweet, and the leather and cherry tobacco take the point. The coconut husks then blossoms on the finish giving me a long and satisfying warmth. The explosion of the finish makes me wonder if I missed anything on the nose or palate.
There is an immediate bright aroma that hits my senses when Clint pours our samples. The golden liquid hugs the glass and leaves long, slow lacing. I stay with the nose for quite a while because it reminds me of something I can’t pull up. I will agree with Clint on the earthy notes, but I’m leaning more toward almonds in their shell with a slight hint of butterscotch. At first, the liquid tingles my palate, leaving me hard-pressed to find any notes. The second sip allows the butterscotch and almond to come through. My finish is nothing to write home about. It lingers but leaves nothing to contemplate.
We had different opinions about Papa’s Pilar Lost Cask Blonde. Clint enjoyed the rum from start to finish, while Terry was left wanting more. We wonder if sitting on the shelf changed the characteristics of the rum. We’ll be happy to share with you to see what you think.
4.0 out of 5
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.