Don Papa

Don Papa

I love a good rum. I work a lot with many rum brands within my work which means I occasionally come across new expressions, or indeed new names, and have the honour of experiencing. A product of the Philippines made the jump to the UK back in February and has been enjoying a wave of promotional activities ever since.

Hold on. A Philippine based rum? Not your usual breading ground for the rum market, but then again this site is no stranger to rums originating away from the Caribbean.  So what makes Don Papa such a highlight of the year? Lets take a look –

Don PapaDon Papa, or The Don as it is also named, is said to be inspired by the story of an unsung hero. During the Philippine revolution, a former foreman at a sugar plantation Dionisio Magbuelas, or better known locally as ‘Papa’ Isio, played a key role within, freeing Negros from the Spanish rule and leading to the independence of the Philippines. The rum, created back in 2011, is to honour Papa Isio, remembering his ‘spirit of independence, irreverence and sense of justice’.


The rum itself? Don Papa is a small batch rum, created on the isle of Negros Occidental, the sugar capital of the Philippines. It is distilled from sugar cane and then aged for 7 years within oak barrels, located in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon. Once matured, it is then blended and bottled.

Don Papa had its official launch for the UK a few weeks back at Trailer Happiness, London, headed by Don Papa Rum Ambassador from Bar Zelda in Paris, Matthias Cadeac D’Arbaud. But it’s The Bleeding Heart Rum Company who are responsible for the creation, with Stephen Carroll, a former Remy Cointreau executive, heading it up. But ultimately, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Don Papa – 40%

Light, fresh vanilla on the nose, slight green fruit aromas, with a line of sweetness. Light, slight oak but with a developing hit of vanilla on the palate. A warm dry spice nears the finish, with hints of lime. Long.

Not a bad sipping rum at all! Don Papa have joined forces with a young, up and coming bartender named Kathryn Eckstein, who has shown off the versatility of Don Papa –

Don Papa Rum Ambassador Matthias Cadeac D'Arbaud (2nd from left)
Don Papa Rum Ambassador Matthias Cadeac D’Arbaud (2nd from left) at Trailer Happiness UK Launch

Liquid Butterscotch

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

40 ml Don Papa
20 ml Butter Syrup
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
Orange Juice (not concentrate)
Dash Cinnamon powder

Method – 

Shake all ingredients within a shaker over ice. Double strain into a Martini glass and garnish with mint leaves.

A different recipe than your usual classics, but one that will emphasize the richness of the brand. A new addition to your drinks cabinet for sure, with the label alone sure to ask questions from your fellow rum lovers. Keep an eye out for the name, it seems that rums from all over the world are catching on to the palates of the consumers.

Who needs the Caribbean when you have the Philippines?

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



One thought on “Don Papa

  1. Actually, the Philippines is no stranger to rum. Local brand Tanduay is the world’s second largest rum brand, a close second to Bacardi.

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