Don Papa is arguably one of the most premium rums hailing from the Philippines and the first to ever come from a single island.
Official website: donpaparum.com
Being a relatively young rum brand, Don Papa was founded by then Rémy Cointreau manager Stephen Carroll in 2012. During his trip to the Philippines, Carroll was enthralled by the stories he was hearing about the finest sugar canes found in Bacolod and the surrounding areas. Up until then, the area did not feature any rum distilleries, so Carrol founded the Bleeding Heart Rum Company and started manufacturing rum from sugarcane of the Negros island which is considered to feature the most premium sugarcane in the country and is often called "sugarlandia" by the locals and rum lovers alike. One of the things that accentuates the uniqueness of Don Papa's rums is the fact that they’re aged in the volcanic climate of the active volcano Mt. Kanlaon.
Despite being hardly a decade old, Don Papa quickly gained worldwide prestige and quickly became exported to most of the world.
The name itself is a tribute to a real person from the Philippines history – the late 19th Century leader known as Papa Isio, who helped to repudiate the Spanish from the island and was able to temporarily liberate it. The figure of Don Papa featured on the bottles is inspired by Papa Isio to a degree but instead is said to feature the "spirit of sugarlandia".
Over the years Don Papa developed an ever-growing portfolio of high end rums aged for the minimum of 7 years in a variety of different casks.
The product that quickly became the brand’s flagship and must-have for every rum enthusiast is the original Don Papa 7-year-old with its characteristic tones of candied orange, vanilla, and honey.
The newest addition to the vast and fascinating array of premium sugarcane beverages is the limited edition 7 year Port Cask aged rum. This super-premium rum was released earlier this year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Earth’s first circumnavigation that ultimately lead to the Spanish landing in the Philippines. The label of the bottle portrays the three years-long journey of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who forever changed maritime navigation and helped shaping the world’s transformation from the old world to the new.
Despite arguably being one of the darker and gloomier of Don Papa's rums, Port Cask's taste palette features the ever so familiar tones of blood oranges and vanilla accompanied by dark chocolate, licorice, and muscovado sugar. This unique combination of flavours is what makes Port Cask truly exquisite and gives it almost an eerie spirit.
Rare Cask is another limited edition of Don Papa released in a small batched in over toasted American barrels which enriches this rum's distinct tones of cacao, oak, and wild mint. Being kept unfiltered and unblended, this rum had been bottled at a high strength of 50.5% ABV. Only 6000 bottles of this rum have been made and each bottle is numbered and presented in a magnificent wooden box.
Masskara is Don Papa's infused rum inspired by the fantastic and energetic spirit of the Masskara festival that takes place in Bacolod every October. As the name suggests, the festival features many fascinating masks and faces which is also reflected on this rum's label that features a colourful and playful take on the Don Papa "spirit of sugarlandia". This rum is infused with pot still infusion of calamansi and siling labuyo which are both indigenous spices. The aroma has a rich scent of honey accompanied by fresh citrus. The taste is very smooth and fresh, featuring pronounced flavours of candied fruits and sweet citrus. The finish presents a long and rich taste of the best honey in the Philippines.