Don Papa Rum and chef Victor Magsaysay bring a dining experience inspired by Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition
Back when the Earth was young, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan went on a grand expedition like no other. Braving the oceans of the world, his epic odyssey put him on the edges of the Earth in search of the Spice Islands. In 1521, his journey led him to the shores of the Philippines, which also marked the first circumnavigation in the world. This year, we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of that piece of history that contributed to what our country is today. While we couldn’t go around and circle the globe these days, Magellan’s age-old peregrination can be experienced through the very reason he sailed away—spices.
Crafting a taste of Portugal
Don Papa Rum, a premium single island rum from the Philippines, is bringing to the table an exploration of taste with a drink that commemorates the quincentenary of the historic voyage with its latest expression, the Port Casks.
“We have been waiting for a couple of years to release this because it has been ready for a while,” says Andrew Garcia, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Don Papa. “But we thought that 2021 would be the perfect time to release this, because this year is the 500th year anniversary of the world’s first circumnavigation which, coincidentally, landed right here on our shores.”
Dark and spicy yet fruity, the Port Casks, presents a unique experience with its deep notes of “licorice, polished oak, dark chocolate, and muscovado sugar, followed by zesty blood oranges, ripe red berries, and a subtle note of fresh vanilla.” Negros Occidental, the place where it was distilled, also contributed to the crafting of the liquor, with the unique volcanic climate of the island. Inspired by the Port wine, Portugal’s sweet dessert wine, the new expression is aged two years in ex-bourbon casks, before being transferred into rich, ruby-hued Port Casks for an additional five years. The result is a distilled spirit with lingering flavors, reminiscent of dark cocoa powder and dried figs.
Circumnavigating through flavors
Marking the September 2021 launch of the Port Casks is a special dining spread curated by the acclaimed chef Victor Magsaysay. And much like the new rum, the dinner menu is also a nod to Magellan’s quest.
The gastronomic odyssey started with the El Trinidad, inspired by Magellan’s lead ship. A salted boat tart of exotic flavors is definitely a great dish to start with. Next is the A Farewell Gazpacho, a cold Gazpacho in clear flask served with a cumin brioche toast, a course in ode to Spanish explorers. Taking things to the next level is a dish paying homage to Antonio Pigafetta. A play on words, what the chef put on the plate is a delicious piece of porchetta y feta. Filipino datu Lapulapu is in the spotlight in Chef Victor’s fourth dish, a smoked pinaksiw na Lapu-lapu fish with lentils and mung beans. A sweet end is the Ylang Ylang ng Gubat, a flora-infused flan topped with a pili nut.
Championing cultural exchanges
Another thing that emerged from Magellan’s arrival to the archipelago was the cultural exchanges between the two nations Spain and the Philippines. The brad echoes that with an artful take on the bottle’s label. Rather than opting for a seafaring look, the bottle features a surrealist design, mirroring the works of artists Salvador Dali and Antonio Pedro. A kaleidoscope of design elements paying homage to Magellan’s three-year journey, creatures found on Negros Occidental, and the irreverence of Papa Isio, the revolutionary hero who inspired the Don Papa name, are highlighted on the Port Casks’ label and canister pack.
The new Port Casks brings another dimension to the Don Papa drinking experience with its growing portfolio including the original Don Papa 7-year-old, Don Papa 10, Rare Cask, Sherry Cask, Sevillana Cask, and last year’s Rye Aged release.
The limited-edition Don Papa Port Casks (70cl) is now available in Ralph’s Wines & Spirits and Boozy.ph.