Worthy Park Special Cask Release Oloroso

Worthy Park Special Cask Release Oloroso Rum Review by the fat rum pirateWorthy Park Special Cask Release Oloroso. It was around 3 years ago I first tried Worthy Park’s “Rum Bar” range. A gold, white overproof and a Rum Cream. At the time I wanted more. I wanted to try some aged Worthy Park juice.

Due to the lack of, at the time “official” Worthy Park aged releases I found myself at the mercy of the Independent bottler. Fortunately I found some bottlings that were much better than the Bacardi Single Cane effort (which they “dosed”) from the likes of Bristol Classic Rum and Kill Devil to name but a few.

The reason why no “official” Worthy Park bottling was in existence was due the relative youth of the new distillery and the need to sell “bulk rum” to make the distillery profitable. The state of the art Worthy Park that exists now has only been operational since 2005.

In 2015 I was advised by Zan Kong that Worthy Park were looking to create a more aged line of rums to complement the Rum Bar range and really get the Worthy Park name out there as a thing in Jamaican rum.

As often seems to be the case in rum you wait for one particular rum to come along and then you get three all at the same time. So in late 2017 we saw the release of Single Estate Reserve and two very limited bottlings in the shape of Special Cask Release Oloroso and Marsala.

Special Cask Release Oloroso is a very limited release. Only 428 70cl bottles. The rum was easy to find in mainland Europe but more difficult to source in the UK. I paid around £75 for a bottle which at 59% ABV is probably a single cask and cask strength effort. It was aged for 4 years in ex-bourbon and 1 year in ex-Oloroso casks. Oloroso is a fortified wine – a sherry. Such finishes make for really interesting rum (in my opinion). Again this rum is 100% Pot Still. It was distilled back in 2012 and bottled in 2017. As far as I know the rum in the Marsala and Oloroso bottles is essentially the same. Same age, same distillation etc. But don’t quote me on that.

In the glass Worthy Park Estate Special Cask Release Oloroso is a vibrant golden brown colour. With yellow and orange tinges. Nosed the rum is very much a Worthy Park. Nice notes of breakfast tea, a touch of green olives and a nice dollop of honey.

Influence from the Oloroso cask is noticeable in terms of an overall sweetness – stoned fruits, gooseberries and a real hit of salted caramel.Worthy Park Special Cask Release Oloroso Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

It’s fairly menacing with notes of tar and burnt tyres mixing alongside a slightly sulphur like note which smells just a tiny bit “off”. This throws the overall balance off slightly. I’d have preferred not to have this note. It’s perhaps a touch too sherried?

Sipped this rum really shows its full 59% ABV. I’ve been enjoying this one with a spoon or two of water to be honest. It brings out some more flavour but also tempers the more feisty nature of the spirit.

The initial entry is sweet with notes of Christmas cake and burnt alcohol. Raisins and glace cherries. The mid palate reveals more of the rubbery and tarry notes – the sulphur returns but its less distinct. It has a good deal of spice and a oaky feel to it towards the finish. Familiar Worthy Park notes of stewed tea are present alongside a touch of spicy chai. The salty briny notes you sometimes get struggle to get past the Oloroso finish. I’m getting a fair amount of walnut and cashew.

Overall it is drier and less sweet than the Marsala and even the Estate Reserve. The sherry notes are there but they also impart a dryness and a sharpness to the rum. It’s complex with a lot going on. It has a good length to it in terms of finish. The finish is quite spicy – pepper and a touch of nutmeg, there is a nuttiness there as well peanuts with skins still on.

It’s good to see Worthy Park willing to experiment and move in different directions in terms of finishes. It is good that distilleries such as Worthy Park having the confidence to produce releases such as these.

Worthy Park Special Cask Release Oloroso Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThere are some excellent Worthy Park rums out there from Independent bottlers but they do not offer a great deal of variety in terms of different finishes etc. It is important going forward that rum consumers get behind “official” distillery releases from the likes of Worthy Park, Hampden, St Lucia Distillers and Foursquare. Independent bottlings are great but we will only see fully tropically aged rums if we buy direct from the distillery. It may be more “exclusive” or “cool” to buy a fancy Independent bottlings but you will find over the next couple of years that these distilleries can easily compete with independent bottlings.

Due to the sheer amount of reviews I’ve had to do lately this one slipped a little. Going forward I will make sure rum is reviewed while it is still available in retail. It’s no good telling me how great a rum is if you can’t buy it! If you wish to read more about Worthy Park’s “Signature Range” pop over to Rum Diaries Blog and read his musings.

Much like this rum they are really rather good!








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