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Now this is some good stuff
Not surprised, this is good! Classic Jamaica, fruity, dried banana and high esters. Aftertaste is long and deep. What’s not to like!
It is the next level of Jamaican rum - all the flavors and aromas of a worthy park rum are easily identifiable in this rum. It is a no-brainer: if you find it, but it!!! And thank me later 👍🏽
This has got everything. Great nose. First sip is very balanced. Flavors of vanilla, cane, oak with faint notes of caramel and spice. Beautiful smooth bite. Everything in balance. Fills the mouth, coats the pallet. Chewy, sumptuous. Now the complexity hits. There are coffee and banana notes back there. This culminates with a long smooth finish. VERY special rum.
Got an opportunity to buy this at the black friday sale for 76€.
Here we have the oldest self-bottling from WP with 12 years and 56% strength. It's a WPL or maybe a blend of WPL and WPM, bottled in 2006.
Smell: It starts out rich and a bit hot with orange zest, mandarins, wood varnish and deep caramel sweetness. The smell is balanced, there is wood with leather notes that gives it more complexity. The WP bananas play a subordinate role here, but they are still clearly noticeable in combination with the wood. The aroma is typically reminiscent of dried banana chips. However, I wouldn't say they dominate the scent. I still notice raisins and other dried fruit, possibly dates. A very nice smell, nothing more needs to be said about it.
Taste: Woody, at the same time sweet start with notes of caramel and orange zest. The bananas are of course also at the start. It seems very floral, becomes sharp and dry in the mouth. I perceive the orange zest more intensely and bright wood notes with vanilla, some tannins rise with a slight bitterness. With a longer dwell time, dark barrel notes develop (old damp wood and some earthy aromas). After a while, the spiciness subsides and he goes more gently with the wood, banana chips, vanilla and some tannins.
Aftertaste: light oak, banana, floral notes
A great worthy park and also from own distillery bottling. Very fruity and still demanding for the purists. I would rate it with 89 points.
Overall rating: 89 points
Fruit: 3.5 / 5
Spice: 3.5 / 5
Value (109 €): 3.5 / 5 -> black friday sale (80€): 4/5
Experience level: professional
Already aroma is typical Jamaica - full of esters. First taste is full, sweet, woody and again esters. Strong but not burning as you would expect from 56%. What I love is aftertaste - very long (few minutes) and full of many layers, dominating by pleasant fruits taste.
Nose: Cherry Cola, Nail Polish Remover, Mahogany furniture, Chocolate Cherry Bonbons, faint hickory nut
Palate: Oak, cracked black pepper, Mahogany furniture, Lemon juice, amazing bourbon, buttery mouthfeel
Finish: Cherry cola, Pineapple, faint Zinfandel
A unicorn! After reading jaw dropping descriptions and glowing reviews of this rum I made it a point to locate a bottle of this. I have read several reviews from what I deem to be reputable sources saying this this was the finest rum they had ever had. Given my love of Hamilton Jamaican Black, a Worthy Park rum, and one of my all time favorites, I had to find out. That task took me quite a while. But after searching for what seemed like forever I finally found a bottle at an acceptable enough price to take a risk on.
This is a pot distilled Worthy Park rum tropically aged a full 12 years in White Oak bourbon barrels and bottled at 57% ABV. Though from sipping it you would never guess its strength. It is extraordinarily smooth in the mouth. So does this unicorn live up to its billing?
The nose is absolutely lovely. Its quite complex and rich but not overpowering. Yet it is not overly decadent. It has both fruit and some industrial notes. Normally, I do not like the industrial type notes but they work very well here. The most powerful note in the melody by a good margin is Cherry cola. But I also get nail polish remover, and the smell of old mahogany furniture. After that I get a decadent note of distinct chocolate cherry bonbons with faint notes of hickory nut. There is another wonderful note in there also that I can't quite place. I have been racking my brain for an analogue but can't come up with anything. On the whole this is a fantastic olfactory experience powerful yet simultaneously delicate in a way that is uncommon among Jamaican pot still distillates.
Taking a sip this rum takes almost radically different turn. In a way it is almost disappointing in the sense that the nose was so lovely I wanted to have that the same experience on the palate. But the palate on this rum is no ordinary feat either, and is quite lovely in its own right even if different from the nose. The palate actually reminds me quite a bit of my experience with Neisson Reserve Speciale though with some clear differences. Instantly on the palate I get bum rushed by Oak, cracked black pepper, and lemon similar to the Neisson. However, the differences end there. The Mahogany furniture from the nose appears followed by a taste I can only describe as similar to an amazing aged bourbon. I am not a bourbon fan and its because of rums like this where I can get those those bourbon notes while still enjoying the amazing nuances of the art of cane distillate. After a while the rum presents with a very buttery mouthfeel which is quite pleasant.
The finish is yet different again. It is not as complex as I imagined but its combination is unique among rums I have had thus far and is very enjoyable. The finish is medium in length and leads off with a return of the Cherry cola note from the nose. However it then morphs in what I can only describe as a dry pineapple juice and faint notes of Zinfandel wine.
The aroma and finish on this rum are so enticing that while drinking it my daughter kept smelling my shirt remarking that "something smells really good....like Cherry Coke".
Overall this is indeed a very tasty rum. It has a very "aged far beyond its actual aging" quality to it. This is a rum where the explanation of tropical aging being equivalent to double or even triple continental aging becomes abundantly clear. This is a rum aged 12 years in Jamaica, but it sure tastes like it has been aged 25-30 years.
So now we come to the final question: is this worthy of true unicorn status and its fairly high price. Not quite, but close. It will require future reexamination. For now, I rate it as excellent and enjoyable and I could certainly see why some might rate it as some of the best ever. But for me it doesn't quite justify the $125 USD I paid for it. It is a fantastic rum to be sure but I get a similar fantastic experience with Hamilton Pot Still Jamaican Black from Worthy Park for 1/5 the price. If you are an absolute age connoisseur, this rum will fit your bill but while it was quite enjoyable for me its not quite worthy of the pure 10/10 due to the experience/price ratio. Though it isn't far off that mark either and if you have cash to burn this is indeed a very welcome addition to cabinet.
Finally, how does it stack up against the aged Hampden? Well, it beats the pants off of Hampden in my opinion. Then again that's personal preference and you are certainly welcome to disagree.
Country of Origin: Jamaica
Distillery: Worthy Park
Final Score: 8.6
I LOVE Worthy Park, and was thrilled to be able to try a pre-release version of this one. Classic WP. Very dry and woody. But the bananas of its youth seem to have been replaced by a cherry note (probably from the american oak) that always irks me. So really, this is an 8 or 9 rum. But for me personally, it's a 7+. Don't let that deter you :)
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