Ernest Hemingway’s Classic Honored In Rum Bottle With Innovative AR Experience – Forbes

Papa’s Pilar 2022 Legacy Edition is perfect to gift to Ernest Hemmingway fans.
A rum brand is celebrating the 70th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea in an unusual way.
Papa’s Pilar, which honors Hemingway as it is named for his boat, The Pilar, is releasing previously unreleased clips of Hemingway that are narrated by
Dr. Guy Harvey, a conservationist and artist, whose sketches illustrate the novel throughout the video. The video is unlocked through a phone camera that opens an Augmented Reality experience on the 2022 Legacy Edition bottle of Papa’s Pilar.
“With the release coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the book it only felt right that we infuse the entire bottle with Ernest Hemingway’s spirit and legacy,” says Kyle Groth, EVP of corporate development and digital strategy for Papa’s Pilar. “The AR experience gives our consumers a front row seat to what inspires us the most about Hemingway and why we hope to carry on his legacy with this release and each release thereafter.”
To bring this project to life, the Key West-based distillery teamed up with tech studio TACTIC, who has previously created AR experiences for Coca-Cola, White Castle, and the United States Postal Service. The release took five months to develop, Groth says. “The experience is built on 8th Wall, the leading web AR platform,” he says. “Between the design, TACTIC’s modern touch and Guy Harvey’s altruism, this is a release we’re proud of from every angle.”
The bottle itself is wrapped in genuine leather and inspired by World War II canteens. Inside its decorative casing, there’s an embossed notebook and pen that Hemingway aficionados and writers will appreciate. “Hemingway was constantly seeking epic adventures and extraordinary experiencing so the packaging was inspired by his quest for exploration,” says Lindsey Kops Mundy, vice president, brand guardian for Papa’s Pilar. “Much like our flagship Papa’s Pilar bottles, each element was purposefully designed as an homage to Hemingway.”
The leather wrap is a nod to Hemingway’s time spent in World War I as a an ambulance driver and as a war correspondent during World War II. “It’s also meant to elicit that sense of adventure in us all,” Mundy says. “The journal and the pen were designed for our patrons to document their own adventures as they draw inspiration from Papa Hemingway and his legacy. It also showcases our story.”`
Retailing at $102.99, the brand will donate 20 percent of each purchase to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which works toward reef restoration and conservation efforts. The brand is also promoting an “Anniversary Bundle,” which includes not just the 2022 Legacy Edition bottle, but also a copy of The Old Man and the Sea and a branded ice sphere tray.
“This release felt like the perfect opportunity to feature Dr. Guy Harvey, who is a longtime partner and friend of the brand,” Groth says. “Harvey credits The Old Man and the Sea as his inspiration to begin sketching marine life. We’re honored to feature his amazing work and have him narrate the experience.”
The foundation itself features a cause “near and dear” to the brand’s heart, Groth says. “Although working with the foundation has been a long-term effort, this felt like there was a clear, through line with this specific release as we are celebrating a man and his love for the ocean,” Groth says.
The rum itself is boasts unusual, apple-forward characteristics because it was aged in French oak, apple brandy barrels. The highly aromatic dark rum is sourced from a blend of rums from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela and Florida.
“Innovation is at the heart of each release,” says Ron Call, master blender for Papa’s Pilar. “I consider this release our ‘honey barrel,’ which is a term typically reserved for bourbon. With apple-forward characteristics being so rare in rum, I can’t help but think that we found our honey barrel in the making of this unique expression.”
Call notes that the rum boasts prominent areas of vanilla bean and honeysuckle with a rich, dark, honey finish that is best enjoyed either neat or over ice. “I recommend a large ice sphere for an optimal experience,” he says.


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