Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve

Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum Reivew by the fat rum pirateWorthy Park Single Estate Reserve. I’ve been waiting quite a while for this one. I’m a big fan of Worthy Park’s Rum-Bar range. Which include a White Overproof, a Gold rum and a very tasty Rum Cream.

Over the past couple of years Independent bottlers have been releasing quite a lot of rums from Worthy Park. In the main these have been Single Barrel bottlings that were mainly aged in a European climate.  They were sold young by Worthy Park.

Worthy Park was re-opened in 2005. It was originally closed back in the nineteen sixties for largely political reasons. As a result Worthy Park are only now beginning to have a stock of aged rum which they can work with and create blends under their own name for commercial consumption.

This rum (and two other limited releases which I will also soon review) was showcases at the London Rumfest in October 2017. It finally reached the UK via the Whisky Exchange in January/February 2018. The rum currently retails at £49.95 for a 70cl bottle and comes in at 45% ABV and is wholly Pot Distilled blend.

The rums in the blend are aged in once used ex-Bourbon barrels and have been aged between 6 and 10 years. They have noted on the rear label that this is “Pure Single Rum” under the Gargano Classification.

Presentation wise Worthy Park have opted for a 3/4 almost stubby style bottle. Clear use of the Worthy Park name and labelling make it clear it is their product. A modern black and gold picture highlights the distilleries mills and sugar cane. The bottle is sleek and modern and the labels is devoid of any fairy tales. Just information the likes of me appreciate – what it is, where its from and how it was made. A very substantial wooden topped synthetic stopper completes the look.

I like the presentation and I think it is the kind of thing which will catch the eye of Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum Reivew by the fat rum pirateserious rum drinkers and the more casual consumer. It looks “Premium”. (I will confess at this stage that I was asked by Zan – as I’m sure others were on ideas for the presentation – I was particularly clear on the bottle shape and strong branding).

Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve is Worthy Park’s first step into the Premium rum market. It is a highly competitive market but the brand is getting talked about more and more in rum circles and it really does offer an alternative to Appleton Estate and Hampden rums. Worthy Park has its very own identity.

Like other Jamaican rum producers Worthy Park do not use “Dunder” or “muck” pits instead they work hard to produce their own unique yeast strains to help with their rum production. The Worthy Park distillery itself is modern and quite high tech compared to other Jamaican producers. However, they are still steeped in producing a traditional authentic Jamaican rum, so do not worry about getting a homogenised Diageo like product.

I’ve been waiting a while to try this rum and I’m sure some of you are wondering whether it is worth a purchase. So without further ado lets see what we get in our glass.

In the glass Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve is a vibrant golden to dark brown with a nice yellow/orange hue.

At 45% the rum is quite “strong” for a commercial release – and the nose reflects the extra ABV. You can smell the rum without having to delve to much into the glass. It’s very “typical” of a Worthy Park release and shouldn’t surprise anyone who has tried any of the Independent bottlings or Worthy Park’s own Rum Bar Gold. It is, however a lot more refined than their Rum Bar Overproof.

Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum Reivew by the fat rum pirateChocolate, toffee and caramel create a pleasant sweetness to the nose, this is backed up with notes of slightly stewed English Breakfast tea and a hint of malt whisky. This gives the rum an ever so slightly savoury or more “grainy” note.

Further nosing reveals banana and coconut. The nose is more along the lines of an aged Appleton Estate rum than a Hampden, Monymusk or Long Pond. It’s not aggressive or overly funky. It is more refined and softer than those heavier Jamaicans.

There is a lot going on though and the nose is certainly more rounded than some of the European aged Worthy Park rums I have tried. Softer, gentler with slightly sweeter flavours and a touch more complexity.

The first sip of the rum is quite spicy. You get a lot of the interaction with the bourbon barrel. Notes of oak and vanilla along with some slightly hot ginger. Further sips reveal more of the sweeter notes – toffee, milk chocolate and a less spicy ginger sit nicely alongside vanilla and hints of coconut and pineapple. The mid palate is quite gentle and makes for a very easy sip.

The notes of breakfast tea, so prevalent on the nose are not quite so evident until the finish. When they make a return alongside some more spicy oak and a touch of lemon zest. There may even be a hint of cardamom lurking in there. The finish is long and very enjoyable.Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum Reivew by the fat rum pirate

This has a touch more “funk” in the shape of banana and tropical fruit (which runs mostly in the background but follows all the way through the nosing and sipping) than Appleton Estate’s offerings. It is slightly less oaky giving a touch more sweetness. In comparison to Hampden, Long Pond etc it offers a more refined, more polished Jamaican rum. But no less flavourful. Its just perhaps an easier more mellow version.

Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve rum is very much a Jamaican rum but it really puts its own stamp on what Jamaican rum can be. This is full flavoured yet easy to drink. It will appeal I believe to both newbies to Jamaican rum and “old timers” like myself.

I’ve enjoyed this every bit as much as the Habitation Velier 2005 I reviewed a while back. I’m pleased to see Worthy Park getting out there with their own “brand” on the shelves.

I could (and might well in the future) give this rum a 5 star rating but for now I’ll keep the bar high and see if they can exceed themselves beyond this rum…..

Unmistakably Worthy Park and more than worth the £50 pricetag.

 

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