Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum

Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDoctor Bird Jamaica Rum. All the way from the US of A strangely enough. I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on a very decent sized sample of this particular rum.

Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum has been causing quite a stir over the other side of the pond. Alongside some Hampden offerings from Stolen (another US Brand), they have given the American’s a couple of rums that us European’s are actually quite envious of.

The Doctor Bird is the national symbol of Jamaica. It is a Swallow-tailed Humming Bird – Trochilus Polytmus it is found only on Jamaica. Hence the bird on the front label of this rum.

Doctor Bird is available in the US for around $25-30 from what I have seen. Where it to grace these shores I would expect a retail of around £40. It is bottled at a hefty 50% ABV. You may see this rum listed as Two James Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum. Two James are the company behind this release.

Hailing from Detroit Two James produce and bottle a range of spirits from Rum, Bourbon Rye Whisky and Gin. This is a rum they have bottled rather than distilled themselves. It has been noted as being a 6-year-old rum from Worthy Park in some circles other have suggested it is younger than that. Some have suggested some Hampden rum is in the “blend” as well. Two James website states that it is a blend of Jamaican rums – I assume not all from the same distillery but I could be wrong.

Aside from the 50% ABV this is noted as being Pot Still only and has been finished or enjoyed secondary maturation in a Moscatel barrel. Moscatel (or Muscatel) is a variety of grape – thDoctor Bird Jamaica Rum Review by the fat rum piratee wines produced from these grapes are very sweet and are often fortified. It is good to see though that this wasn’t a wet barrel as the hydrometer shows zero additives.

Should you become particularly enamoured with Doctor Bird rum you can even get yourself a T-shirt to show your commitment to the brand.

Well let’s move on and see what we make of this particular Jamaican rum.

In the glass the rum is a light brown to straw colour.

The nose is unmistakably Jamaican Pot Still. However, it is very “gluey”. Even by Hampden standards it has a really big hit of paper glue and nail varnish. It’s sharp with a real minty/menthol hit as well. It’s quite difficult to get past these notes initially.

Once your nose has adjusted to the full on assault that is the first couple of attempts at nosing you do get some fruity notes. Fermenting Pineapple Juice and bitter green banana alongside a hint of Mango and some Kiwi fruit acidity. Despite this fruitiness it reminds me of the bitter pot still notes you get from a Fiji rum. There is a bitter/savoury note which envelops the nose.

I probably wouldn’t have guessed this had been finished in a sweet wine cask to be honest.

Sipping Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum at full strength is manageable. 50% ABV is a strength I can usually live wiith. The initial sip is quite woody – not so much aged but definitely a lot of bitter and savoury notes – touch of stewed tea. It’s not a hugely complex sip to be honest. It arrives with a woody burst and some faint hints of pineapple and the mid palate just progresses into a warm burn. Spicy but not over the top. The finish is quite short – overall this rum’s fruity flavour doesn’t linger long at all. It is really just an oaky burn which doesn’t stick around too long. It is not as funky as the nose suggested.

In many ways this drinks like a more woody and bitter Appleton Signature. It’s not the greatest sipper but I suspect it may fair nicely in mixed drinks.At the price point you can certainly afford to use this as a mixer. It should deliver a really nice kick of Pot Still rum.Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

And it does it makes a really good rum and coke or rum and tonic. Works nicely in an Old Fashioned.

Overall it’s not a bad rum. Unfortunately in the context of Jamaican rum and the ready availability of much better rums (both as sippers and mixers) it isn’t a rum I would really look to seek out. The finish hasn’t really done much to be honest. Maybe it needed longer to make some kind of impact. For me it failed to really deliver anything different, like say the Worthy Park Oloroso or Marsala cask rums.

An above average rum outside of the US I don’t think this would pull up any trees to be honest. We are spoilt for choice here in Europe for this kind of Jamaican funk. Solid and reliable but not spectacular. A touch too woody for me and not as complex as I would have liked.

Since publishing this review I have been told by Zan Kong that this is produced using some 6 year old Worthy Park rum and some younger Worthy Park rums. He couldn’t confirm the exact ratio or make up of the blend.  Thanks Zan.

 

 

 

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