S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funk

S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funk rum review by the fat rum pirateS.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funk. You can always rely on the S.M.W.S (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) to give their rums an interesting name. It’s quite common within the Scotch Whisky world in general, to find more detailed or more “floral” descriptions, than you might find in the Rum scene.

I’ve often found myself rolling my eyes or even holding my head in my hands, when whisky bloggers are invited to online rum tastings. Some of the notes they make claim to be able to taste are often baffling to say the least. I don’t know if is something to do with the sheer volume of whisky writers, making some feel the need to stand out but a lot of it seems a bit OTT to me.

So what has this got to do with the S.M.W.S? Well as you can see from the title of the review they have a rather unique way of “naming” their rums.

For those wondering, this is is actually a rum from Worthy Park. Now whilst Worthy Park would prefer Independent bottlers not to use the “Worthy Park” moniker many bottlers have found ways around this. Ways which are useful to the consumer. The S.M.W.S for me just aren’t doing this. The naming conventions combined with the “numbering” system aren’t helpful or useful. Yes its “quirky” but for me it’s not particularly inclusive. I suppose as a Members Only Club it doesn’t need to be?

Now as I’m not a member of the S.M.W.S, I tend not to get much chance to try their Independent bottlings. It’s no great loss as being in the UK I have pretty much unlimited access to other bottlers such as Duncan Taylor, Kill Devil, Samaroli and Cadenhead’s. They bottle pretty much everything the S.M.W.S have access to. The Main Run Company in Liverpool being the main source of barrels for these companies. Yes the S.M.W.S will have access to a different barrel of say the 2000 Foursquare “vintage” than Duncan Taylor bottled but are they really noticeably different?

Those that might say “Yes” are not the type of people I have any interest in…..nor are they the type of person this blog is aimed at. I’m certainly not looking to fill this blog full of multiple reviews of the same distillate which just happened to be in a different barrel. How boring would that be?

In all seriousness how different will these really be? I’ll leave that to the “Experts” out there…………..

Whilst the numbering system can be deciphered (people have taken the time to work out which distillery they all refer to) the S.M.W.S seem to think the consumers/members may purchase a bottle based on the description. This is where, even before tasting this rum I was left thinking WTF?

Pushing the Frontiers of Funk“. Worthy Park? Really? I’m not disputing they can turn out a quite “funky” White Overproof and their standard Silver/White rum is no Bacardi but “Pushing the Frontiers of Funk”?

Come on lads and lasses have a word with yourselves.

I’m afraid that when it comes to Worthy Park and their aged offerings they are much more in keeping with Appleton Estate. They offer a more refined version of Jamaican rum. It is not without an element of funk, I won’t dispute that. However, when compared to some of the single cask offering Independent bottlers have been putting out from Long Pond/Clarendon, Hampden and New Yarmouth we are in a completely different ball park on the funk scale.

Which I must be clear – is no bad thing. I’m a big fan of Worthy Park. I just feel this rum has been given (not for the first time) a frankly ridiculous title by the S.M.W.S.

Saying that Worthy Park are “Pushing the Fronitiers of Funk” is like S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funk rum review by the fat rum piratesuggesting Jamiroquai are as funky as a mosquito’s tweeter. Give your heads a wobble.

Anyway rant over lets see what we have in the bottle.

This is a rum from Worthy Park distilled on the 1st June 2013 and aged for 7 years. The split between continental and tropical ageing is not noted. It has been aged in 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrels and has been aged for a total of 7 years. It has been bottled at 66.9% ABV and is one of just 259 bottles from a single cask.

Retail wise the secondary market will be your best bet. Even if you are a S.M.W.S member it may be sold out there by now. When it was for sale it retailed at £61. Not a bad price at all I must concede.

So lets see how S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funk is. Lets us see, if it does indeed “Push the Frontiers of Funk”.

The nose would suggest not.

It’s “standard” (and its a very high standard) Worthy Park. So breakfast tea, milk chocolate, hints of coffee come through straight away. Followed by some coffee grounds, stewed apple and blackcurrants and a nice bit of pineapple and banana. A touch of sourness – some lychee is in the background.

S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funka has a very nice nose, well balanced and approachable even at this 66.9% ABV. Surprisingly so to be honest.

On the sip, it’s quite spicy with some ginger, fennel and some light spicy sweet chilli. This is followed closely by malty biscuits dipped in milky tea – with maybe a chocolate coating on the biscuits. It’s rich and warming and very pleasant.

The mid palate is spicier and fruitier with some tropical fruits, pears, banana and some pineapple juice. The heat is provided by some white pepper.

The mid palate and finish reveal a more herbal and vegetal note. Some pine cones similar to St Lucian rum and some grassy elements reminiscent slightly of aged agricole.

The finish lingers nicely and is the spiciest and perhaps the “funkiest” part of the rum. It has the most kick and spice and has the most grassy/herbal notes. However for me the pineapple and banana notes that make up most Jamaican “funk” are in the background a little. They aren’t driving this into Long Pond or New Yarmouth territory.S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funk rum review by the fat rum pirate

S.M.W.S Cask No R11.11 Pushing the Frontiers of Funks  isa great example of a “mid aged” Worthy Park rum and when released was not a bad price at all. However, I can’t agree with the description given on this rum.

That aside this is a very tasty drop and if you can find it for something similar to the original retail – well worth a punt.

 

 

 

 

 

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