Thursday, December 21, 2017

Don Papa Filipino Rum Launch Dinner in Boston

I love tasting new spirits, especially those that come from unusual places. Don Papa Rum is a Filipino rum from The Bleeding Heart Rum Company that recently launched in Boston.
Specifically, Don Papa comes from the island of Negros, which is also dubbed Sugarlandia. The province of Negros Occidental produces more than half of the country's sugar. About 100 years ago it was the largest sugar producer in the world.

I recently went to a dinner at Shojo to celebrate the launch of Don Papa's rums in Boston.
Don Papa Rum @ Shojo
Don Papa is founded by Stephen Carroll, who was marketing director of Remy Cointreau. There are a number of rum distilleries in Philippines, but there are only two that export out of the country - Tanduay and Don Papa.
While rum is a popular spirit in the Philippines, a Filipino aged rum is a pretty rare proposition. But the Bleeding Heart Rum company had inherited a warehouse that happened to be filled with aged rums, and it started off the Don Papa line. Don Papa is named after Papa Isio, a leader of the Philippine revolution, and it is aged at least 7 years in American Oak. They also recently released the 10 year aged rum in the US market, which currently comprises of New York and Boston.

We started with a few Don Papa cocktails and a whole suckling pig.
Don Papa Rum @ Shojo
Don Papa Rum @ Shojo
Don Papa's aged rums are good for a number of classic cocktail variations from Dark & Stormy, daiquiri, and rum Old Fashioned. The oak aged rum is sweet and smooth - the hot weather of Negros means they get higher wood extraction and the angel's share of aging rum quite high, indeed. The resulting rum is sweeter than usual. I quite liked it as an Old Fashioned.
Don Papa Rum @ Shojo
Shojo set out a lovely feast of spring rolls (an ode to Filipino lumpiang), red miso chicken skewers, chicken wings, and Chinese-style lobster
Don Papa Rum @ Shojo

We also tasted the 10 year old rum at the end. The aroma reminded me of figs and vanilla. They use old Woodford bourbon barrels. The 10-year rum has a focused sweetness thanks to the accelerated aging in the tropical country. The climate makes Don Papa an interesting rum, worth trying out if it's available in your market.


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