Don Papa No.7 Small Batch Rum

Don Papa No.7 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDon Papa No.7 Small Batch Rum. This is how the Bleeding Heart Company who produce Don Papa are marketing this version of their very popular Don Papa Rum. This is the original Don Papa which was released back in 2012. Don Papa No.7 has proved to be a very controversial and divisive rum ever since.

It hails from Sugarlandia (I kid you not), Phillipines and Don Papa is a tribute to Papa Isio. His legend was instrumental to the independence of the island during the Revolution of the 1890s. The figure of Don Papa on the bottle is inspired by Papa Isio.

Don Papa No.7 is marketed as a Small Batch Premium rum made from the finest sugar cane. Even though it is produced on a Multi Column Still. It has been aged for 7 years in small oak barrels. You will find Don Papa in most online stores (one French rum stockist has famously refused to carry it at all) at around £32 for a 70cl bottle. It is bottled at 40% ABV. Marks & Spencer stock it though they note it in their stores as being a Spiced Rum. Which is very interesting

So why is Don Papa No.7  so controversial and why are some stockists refusing to sell this rum? Why are M&S selling it as Spiced Rum, if it is Small Batch Premium Rum?

19 g/L of additives as per the Hydrometer Tests and paid laboratory tests have shown 2.4 grams per/liter of glycerin and 359 milligrams per/liter of vanillin. There is also information out there to suggest that the rum also has a mixture of sweet fruit flavourings added to it as well. So lets see how this one tastes……

In the glass Don Papa 7 Year Old is a classic golden brown with an orange and red hue. It’s glistening and inviting.

On the nose Don Papa 7 Year Old delivers huge wafts of cheap Cream Soda. It smells a lot like a vanilla and lemonade ice cream float. Only with a bag of sugar added just to make sure its plenty sweet enough.Don Papa No.7 Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Artificially cloyingly sweet Cherries – like Maraschino cherries steeped in cheap sherry or despicable 4 Euro Spanish Brandy. Don Papa 7 Year Old smells quite similar to A.H Riise’s Navy Rum only (believe it or not) even sweeter and more cloying.

A small child would like the smell of this particular drink. It smells like the inside of a traditional sweet shop. Sherbet, artificial sweeteners, liquid candy. Rum you say? Not on this nose.

It would be easier to say what isn’t on the nose. Well first of all there is vanilla – but its artificially saccharin sweet vanilla, not anything to do with oak ageing. Which is also lacking in any kind of presence. No sense of ageing with this particular concoction. Nor is there any kind of alcohol note. It’s so ridiculously sweetened that you don’t get any notes that are rum or even alcohol like. There is perhaps a hint of some spice there but whether is it natural or artificially added is debatable.

If this was a Spiced Rum or rather if it were widely labelled as one – I wouldn’t have such an issue with it. Unfortunately, shit like this and Bumbu are giving people the entirely wrong impression about rum. The idea that anyone that enjoys this kind of sweetened garbage is going to move on and drink “pure” rum as some kind of gateway is laughable. They’ll stick drinking this bollocks 99.9% of the time. Real rum or pure rum will be too “rough” for them. I’ve seen plenty evidence of this at Rum Festivals and sadly from looking at

I really don’t want to but I’ll take a sip. It surely cannot be as bad as the simply revolting nose.

Wrong – its absolutely rotten. Cloyingly sweet with a disgusting overnote of saccharin and fake sweeteners. Aspartame attack – along with vanilla essence and god knows what other rubbish they have added into this. They talk of ageing this in various casks – which seems unlikely and frankly there is no point ageing the “rum”. Is there seriously a rum at the base of this confected shit show? It must be rotten if there is, as I can see no other reason you would pour so much sugary syrup into a rum that was even half decent.

For all its sweet sugariness, its really very drying and bitter on the palate once it all settles down. It’s just a gloopy overly syruped mess. It bears no resemblance to any rum that has ever graced the Caribbean. I would love to see the equivalent shit like this try and masquerade as Scotch Whisky in the Whisky world. It would be shot down in flames in minutes of release. Not so with rum – with so many “expert spirit” writers out there you can find any number of misinformed freebie reviews out there saying how great this is. Which is perhaps part of the bigger problem.

As other RDon Papa No.7 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateum focused reviewers have rightly pointed out this is fake rum – I would even question if legally it should be available as “Rum” in the EU. Some retailers have taken to listing this as Spiced Rum. Maybe enforcement of the EU directives would see this re-labelled but don’t hold your breath on that.

Hideous muck, even when mixed it competes with whatever you try mixing it with. Giving its sickly sugary fake cherry and vanilla note to any drink you are trying to make.

Don Papa No.7 is best avoided and sadly Sainsburys have recently started stocking it.





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9 comments on “Don Papa No.7 Small Batch Rum

  1. Just stumbled across your blog/website, starting with this review. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment and have started reading through the others on this site. I’m delighted that such a thing exists on the Internet…. an educated and informed review of one of my favourite spirits (and this is coming from a predominantly Irish whiskey drinker!). Very well done and keep up the great work!!

  2. […] more and more, dictating the conversation about rum. And they’re steering us away from the more unsavory brands and towards the good […]

  3. […] nach sehr zu Unrecht), den Dos Maderas 5+5 PX (nun ja) und – in einem grandiosen Verriss – den Don Papa No.7 Small Batch Rum (dem man kaum widersprechen kann). Mehr Zuspruch finden hingegen Hampden Diamond H 2010 7 Year […]

  4. I tried a sample once. Kept telling myself that I shouldn’t knock it untill I tried it. I managed two sips before pouring it down the drain. Couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth all day. In a way I’m impressed, they actually found a way to distill marketing bullshit.

  5. Please, keep yourself updated… EU has had this product relabelled as a “spirit drink” for several years now…

    • And if I may add, you are being very down looking on people drinking it, saying they will never evovle 99.9% of the time… Do you run market studies on an european scale to back your claim ?
      You forget that many rum brands could never have existed if Don Papa hadn’t cleared the path for them.

      You may hate the product, fine, but it’s no reason to despise people who enjoy it and forget some of the rare, yet important benefits, it brought the rum market in general.

      • Don Papa is NOT labelled as a Spirit Drink. Show me where??? Don Papa has paved the way for more garbage products nothing to do with rum. Rare and important benefits? To be honest the people I do dislike are those that try and defend rubbish like this. Or those that peddle it as rum. It’s not rum.

        • Well…
          Open Google and type “Don Papa contre étiquette” and there you go… You will see the mention “Boisson Spiritueuse”, meaning “spirit drink” in french. It has been the case for several years now…

          Once again, check things out before making such bold statements. It dosn’t make your blog and point of view look good.

          And I said “rare YET important”, not “rare and important”… It makes quite a big difference. Once again, the issue with your article is that is doesn’t take the state of the market into consideration at all…
          Let’s focus on the french market if you don’t mind, since it is the one I know and can talk about (been part of the industry for several years now).

          15 years ago, for 99% of the french population, rum was a strong harsh booze made in the french caribbean just good to be cooked with. End of the line. Seriously. The last 1% knew rum could be more than that because they travelled to Guadeloupe or Martinique or had family living there.

          Wether you like it or not, Don Papa has helped MASSIVELY in getting people to understand that rum can be more than that.
          And again, wether you like it or not, I Have witnessed UNDEREDS of times consummers starting with very sweet rums or spirit drinks and then move to a more proper style of rum. It is a fact. It takes more or less time to achieve that (and I agree with you that some will never change their taste, but they are not 99.9% as you suggest, you are VERY far from truth here…), but people DO GET educated.

          • In case you hadn’t noticed the blog is in English and nowhere is Don Papa noted as Spirit Drink. Look on their own website. Its marketed as rum. The 99.9% was an off the cuff remark. Nothing more

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