Need some advice on Jamaican rums


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DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Posted 26 May '23

My experience with Jamaican rum is pretty limited, basically two.  I've tried Smith & Cross, which I didn't like at all, kinda had a tequila taste going on that I didn't care for, and Appleton Estate 12-yr Rare Casks, which I love.

So, having read a bunch of reviews I get that Jamaican rums have a "funk" to them, but that term isn't very descriptive, so I'm asking for a little advice.  I'm looking for another Jamaican rum, but don't want anything that's going to taste like Smith & Cross.  Based on the reviews I've read here I'm not sure what to expect from something like Worthy Park for example, so I'm asking for a bit of help in understanding the relative "funkiness" of the various Jamaican rums that are readily available in stores.

I think I could go a little more funky than the Rare Casks, but not much, so what should I avoid and what should I look for?

WA
wayoutwest 🇬🇧 | 101 ratings Replied 27 May '23

I don't really know how to describe 'funk'. What you will have smelled and tasted in the Smith and Cross is part of a spectrum of volatiles covering the chemistry lab, garden shed and a compost heap on a hot day.

It's worth baring in mind that S&C is only about 3 years old, and so it's funk is especially pronounced.

In comparison, the other Jamaican rums that seem readily available would be Worthy Park, Hampden and Mezan.

I would say that WP has a more pronounced banana/varnish vibe than Appleton, with the flavour being relatively simple. 

The Hampden I would say doesn't so much add volume to the funk, but it's on a different planet in terms of the funk's complexity. There's a whole party of weirdness going on there, but somehow balanced with it too.

The Mezan? Just tastes like banana to me! 

CH
Charles M 🇬🇧 | 149 ratings Replied 27 May '23

I've got a bottle of Mezan 2007/12yo on the go at the moment. It's good, and would recommend it. The Appleton 12yo is good too, but a more commercial style than the Mezan, but I do like and find very easy to drink. (Last lot I got was when my local supermarket were bin-ending it and were selling at less than half price - shame they only had 6 bottles in stock).

MW
mwb1 🇬🇧 | 9 ratings Replied 27 May '23

Les 80 avatar image
Les 80 🇬🇧 | 70 ratings Replied 27 May '23

I had same problem i  didn't like Jamaican rums till i come across Hampden 8 years old them i understood the funk 

Les 80 avatar image
Les 80 🇬🇧 | 70 ratings Replied 27 May '23

If u want real funk try Hampden 8 years old ..its in your face very fruity smells delicious

The worthy park is nice but not really funky 

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 27 May '23

@ wayoutwest -  "I would say that WP has a more pronounced banana/varnish vibe than Appleton, with the flavour being relatively simple."

Are you saying that both WP and AE Rare Casks have a relatively simple flavor, but WP has a little bit more of the same general flavor?  If so, then this would interest me.

Or are you saying that compared to AE the WP has a more simple flavor?

The Hampden I would say doesn't so much add volume to the funk, but it's on a different planet in terms of the funk's complexity. There's a whole party of weirdness going on there, but somehow balanced with it too.

Can you tell me if this tastes anything like Smith & Cross, because I want to avoid that.  If its funky in a different way, then I'm up for experimenting with it to see if its something I like or not.  I think S&C is actually distilled at Hampden, so if its similar to Hampden then that's a hard pass for me.

 

 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 27 May '23

dougw:

I cannot comment specifically on certain Jamaican brands other than Appleton having the least amount of hogo funk. They don't want to alientate their large fan base. Since no one mentioned this, I will mention how Jamaican rum producers accomplish this. It is not too well known that they add rotten tropical fruits to the molasses to speed up the fermentation process. Rotten bananas, papayas, and/or mangoes seem to be their prefered means of speeding up the fermentation process while adding flavor. Then there is the addition of dunder from their muck pits. You will have to look that one up because I find it downright gross! It has been years since I read about it. This all sounds disgusting, but the distillation process removes anything harmful left behind from the fermentation process. Then there is the aging process which can remove a bit of the funk. Less aging like those from Smith & Cross will have more hogo funk.

Les 80 avatar image
Les 80 🇬🇧 | 70 ratings Replied 27 May '23

Smith and cross is designed for mixing more than sipping where Hampden is more for sipping wp and he are very simple rums .. Paul b explains it best .the funk is not for everyone but wp is a very mild easy drink 

CH
Charles M 🇬🇧 | 149 ratings Replied 28 May '23

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 28 May '23

I decided to try this one:

https://rumratings.com/rum/6702-cane-island-jamaica-single-island-blend

It doesn't have a lot of reviews here, and the reviews that it has typically complained about it not being a very good example of Jamaican rum, so that was my clue that it might be something I'd like.  It has a little bit of funk, and a bit of sweetness, overall I find it enjoyable, and you can't beat it for price.

I'm still on the fence on WP.

WA
wayoutwest 🇬🇧 | 101 ratings Replied 29 May '23

Dougw,

It's quite a while since I had a bottle of Appleton 12, but I don't recalk it being like WP. It's a blend of pot and column still distillate, whereas WP is pure pot still. 

I would just say that the WP and the Mezan would be the next least funky.

And Hampden? Indeed, they make the distillates that go in S&C, so yeah, maybe just get a sample of that one!

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 29 May '23

After trying the Cane Island a few times, I think that I'm not opposed to funk, just the amount of it. I think where I am now is a little funk is good, but the S&C funk level is bad.  So this brings up another question.

On the funk scale, is Smith & Cross on the higher end?  Someone mentioned earlier that its only 3 years old, and the funk didn't have time to tone down with aging, so its not intended to be a sipper, its more for mixing.  Maybe S&C isn't really representative of other Jamaican rums that are intended for sipping?

I get the impression from previous comments that WP may be on the lower end of the funky scale, but I'm not sure just how low.  And, I think Hampden is probably on the higher end, do I have that right?

Could someone who's tried them all rate them on a funky scale of 0-10

 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 30 May '23

dougw:

In my more than 5 years on this site, I have never been asked to rank the funk of Jamaican rums. So I have included my own rankings of all Jamiacan rums that I have tried. Jamaican rums are like people! There is good funk and there is bad funk. You can see in my enclosure that I rate S&C quite highly. That one is strictly an aquired taste after several years of trying new rums. Feel free to ask any specific questions on each, but only after you have read my reviews on them!!!

 

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 30 May '23

thanks Paul, I'll give that a good read and will probably get back with a few more questions.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 30 May '23

dougw:

Research is priceless in life, especially on this site!

I am still awaiting your first rum review. You are a very good writer, so give it a try, so long as it it is not from one of those stupid "smart:" phones (which I refuse to ever own at my age).

So, how did I learn how to write so well?  I paid close attention in grade school to "dangling participles" and later learned what it REALLY meant as a double meaning. (grin)

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 30 May '23

Paul,

I've been hesitant on doing any reviews.  I've been an avid wine drinker for 30 years, whisky for about 20 years, and I've read many, many reviews where the writer describes flavors that I either never taste in my normal life, or flavors where I shake my head and can't for the life of me figure out how they got that flavor out of something that I've actually tasted myself.

I've got enough experience to put relative numbers on the 20 or so rums I've tasted, so I'll probably do that.  As far as taste descriptions go, if I can compare one rum to another I'll do that, but otherwise I'll probably leave a pretty short review.  I'm not a big fan of trying to put the flavor I tasted into words, because what I read from other people doing that doesn't seem to ever help me at all.

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 30 May '23

Paul,

I wrote the previous reply before going into your reviews, where after reading a few I immediately realized that your review style is similar to what I described above. 

I read enough of your reviews to get your message on some of the rums being discussed in this thread, you don't seem to like Hampden, with the exception of the Great House, but then you lowered your rating later on that one and went negative on it.  Same with Worthy Park, not a glowing review. Based on all the other reviews I was surprised that you liked Smith & Cross as well as you did, go figure.

You mention using many of the Jamaican rums as mixers, which I never do, I'm a sip it neat drinker only (same as I do with whisky).  I don't typically use ice cubes either, which you mention is common for you, so our drinking styles are a bit different.

I also compared your notes on things I've bought and found that we agree somewhat, and disagree somewhat, so we're not 100% in sync with what we like or dislike.  But, all in all I enjoyed reading your reviews, thanks for taking the time to write them.

I got a chuckle out of your Plantation XO review, with the comment about cutting that stupid net off the bottle, I think I did that within about 30 seconds of opening my bottle.  And I too was less than impressed with the contents of the bottle, didn't dislike it, but found it boring and one-dimensional.

I think I'll hold off on the Worthy Park and Hampden options for now and stick to what I have.  Maybe I'll be able to find them in a bar some day and give them a try without having to buy an entire bottle and not like it.

vomi1011 avatar image
vomi1011 🇩🇪 | 403 ratings Replied 30 May '23

Funk refers to the ester aromas, ester taste extremely fruity. Pineapple, banana, apple and mango are typical notes in high ester Jamaican rums. Smith & Cross tastes mainly of baked apple. It's a Hampden, but the ester content is low. I think it's OWH mark (the one at the lower end). All Hampden marks from LROK taste like pineapple.Worthy Park is more on the banana side (some orange peels are also there depending on the mark).Appleton is a tasty rum but not funky. If you don't like anything like Smith&Cross, then forget the funk, Worthy Park isn't for you either. Hard to say if you'll like a Clarendon. I don't think so either.Since you're coming from a whiskey background, dilute the Smith & Cross to 40% and try it again.If you still don't like it, then try Blackwell Fine Jamaican rum, it's cheap and good.

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 30 May '23

Interesting how the funk gets compared to fruit flavors, I don't get that at all.  When I opened the S&C, my wife immediately said "that smells like tequila", and I agreed with her.  I didn't care for it at all, but fortunately we were visiting a friend, and he loved it.  We finished the entire bottle in two evenings, with 4 or 5 people all drinking it neat.  I recall that the funk level seemed to drop after the bottle was open 24 hours, or at least we all thought it tasted less intense the second night.  I didn't hate it enough to not drink it at all, but it wasn't a taste that I wanted to run out and buy again.  Since I only had it open for 2 days, 3 months ago, the exact details of how it smelled and tasted escape me, but I don't think fruity is a word I'd have used to describe it.  Maybe rotten fruit, but I'm not familiar enough with that to say for sure.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 30 May '23

dougw:

Great reading your responses! So just act like a pirate that is about to be pushed off the plank. Just dive in!!! I guarnatee that you won't drown in all of these reviews, (but I spent 10 years and 200 tanks scuba diving).

When it comes to rum, forget the damn wine snob ratings that always exceed ""88 points". I no longer trust them at all!!! Judge what is right for YOU and no one else!!!

Here is to some good drinking my friend!

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 30 May '23

yeah, I abandoned the wine point ratings 29.5 years ago after 0.5 years of reading them, so I know exactly what you mean.  I've taken the same approach with my rum purchases, but I've found the overall ratings on this site to be very consistent with my own tastes, so that's a plus.  I think having dozens or even hundreds of people rating the same thing tends to average out to a reasonably reliable score.  I think the Jamaican rums fall into their own category of "you either love 'em or hate 'em" so that's why I launched this exploratory thread to try to better understand them beyond the plain numbers in the ratings.

 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 472 ratings Replied 31 May '23

dougw:

You are a smart man indeed!!!  Jamaican rums are in a class all by themselves. Even more unique are Haitian clairins (for super advanced tastes) and rhum agricoles from the French West Indies. However, both of these rhums are made from sugar cane juice instead of molasses. This is a HUGE difference.

Before I got onto this site almost six years ago, I had no idea how many on here separate rums into three categories: English, Spanish, and French. This is based upon how each Caribbean location was colonized. The British Royal Navy also had a lot to do with this, since they provided their sailors with a daily ration of rum up until 1970 (aka Black Tot). Given that the English version of rum had to come from their colonies, this meant Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad (on those first two islands, it is againast the law to add sugar to the final product). French rhums are in a class all by themselves since they are all made from sugar cane juice. Spanish rums are quite maligned on this site because many of them use the solera sytem for blending and many also add sugar. As for me, I am not prejucied at all.  If it tastes good, then I rate it accordingly.

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 296 ratings Replied 31 May '23

Interesting topic. Jamaica has a lot of great rums. So much to explore. I love low and high ester Hampden. Also i think Long Pond TECA has many great flavors and is a must have tried. Maybe the country with the most variety of rums.

The type and scale for Reviews here vary greatly. If you are not sure how to describe the flavours a big help could be the rumX App. I use it as a guide or help while tasting. It is also a great foundation for my rumrating Reviews which take more time. Maybe it helps. 

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 31 May '23

I downloaded the RumX app, looks to be another good data source but potentially an information overload.  I recall reading one of Paul's comments somewhere where he stated that he thinks his rum style preferences aren't consistent with those of the British, is this app what he's referring to as far as British tastes?  I notice the bottle sizes on the app are 700ml so its not U.S. based.

Paul, thanks for the explanation of the English/Spanish/French influences on the rum industry.  I had noticed those differences before, but didn't equate them to their original colonizers, it makes a bit more sense now knowing that's how it evolved.  I've been looking into agricoles lately as well as Jamaican, and now I have to go off and find out more about clairins.

In the scotch whisky world Islay malts have a similar position to Jamaican rum, very unique love it or hate it flavor profile.  I like Islay malts, so I'm not afraid to go off the beaten path and try something out of the ordinary in the rum world as well.  Given my experience with Smith & Cross I'm going to be a bit more deliberate about it rather than just take random shots.  Still looking for a bar in the area where I can sample by the drink rather than buy an entire bottle.

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 296 ratings Replied 31 May '23

RumX is german. There are a lot of independent bottlers in Europa which i guess are not available in the US. But there are also the classic bottlings like Hampden Great House. The only different is the bottle size. Complicated is the Situation with rums which have a lot of sugar. In Europe there are only 20g/l allowed. So for example El Dorado taste different in the US. But for your rating it should not be relevant. You can choose the flavors of the database for your individual Review. 

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 1 Jun '23

@Mr. Rumantic - I'm curious about the overall popularity of aged rum in Europe. 

Aged rums are nowhere near as popular in the US as scotch or bourbon whisky.  The average bar around here has lots of whisky to choose from, but their rum is mostly for mixed drinks, very few aged sipping rums, if any.  I've been to Europe many times, but wasn't a rum drinker until just recently, so I never paid any attention to it while I was there.  So, how does the popularity of rum compare to whisky in Europe?

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 296 ratings Replied 1 Jun '23

Whisky is more popular in Europa as well. You can buy good Whisky everywhere, good rum not. Still the high class Whisky is getting insanly expensive. So more and more switch to Rum to collect and resell. At the same time rum has a long tradition in europen countrys like England, France, Denmark or Germany. Jamaica high ester rum was only for that market for a long time (Blendind or "Verschnitt" in Germany) So there were always hardcore rum lovers. We also have a lot of independent bottlers. They buy Single casks and than they age for some years  and that way we have a great variety of different rums. For example this week i bought a bottle of an old 1996 Barbados Rum from the WIRD Distillery. Mostly there are only 200-400 bottles. So many small releases. Most rums here are aged. Some very old. Aged rums are the big part of the rum releases in Europe. But white rums are getting more interesting and there are many releases this year. Partly with crazy high prices for unaged rums. The market has grown a lot in the past 2-4 years. Rum is getting expansive. There are more and more releases which are only for collections or Flipper. This sucks. But overall Whisky is more commen and popular and rum is still a small market in comparison. 

CH
Charles M 🇬🇧 | 149 ratings Replied 2 Jun '23

One of the problems for the "average" consumer, is that the big brands occupy all the shelf space. For example my closest supermarket, where a lot of people get their alcohol, stocks....

Glenfiddich Orchard Experiment, Glenfiddich 12yo, Talisker 10yo, Balvenie 12yo, Glenlivet 12yo, Aberlour 12yo, Glenfiddich 15yo, Laphroaig 10yo, Ardbeg Wee Beastie, Jura 10yo, etc etc

 

But when it comes to rum.....

Lamb's Spiced, Appleton 8yo, Discarded Rum with Banana Peel, K&S 12yo (though it is the horrid 12 Reserva), Don Papa, Wray & Nephew white OP, Dead Man's Fingers, Cpt Morgan Spiced, Kraken Black, Lamb's Navy, Havana Club 7yo Daek, Mount Gay Eclipse, Woods 100, Bacardi white and various other spiced rums and a couple of lesser Havana Clubs.

 

So you can get a fairly decent 12yo whisky, but really a very very poor rum selection.

 

 

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 2 Jun '23

Where I live I have easy access to multiple Total Wine locations, BevMo, and local places like Chip's Liquor and Del Mesa that have a lot to choose from online that I can pick up locally.  As a result, I have a lot of options to consider, so I'd like to find a place where I can buy some of them by the drink rather than buy the entire bottle.  We have a few places that have tons of whisky, like the Aero bar, but I haven't found anything with much selection of rum.  I suspect we're all in the same situation for by the drink rum options.

Our supermarkets are similar to @Charles M, there's a very basic selection of the usual suspects.

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 296 ratings Replied 2 Jun '23

Where i from buying online is the only option. There i get almost anything. Or I drive more than an Hour for paying higher prices than online with less rums to choose from. It is a shame. But there is no other way. As i said... Whisky is easy to buy. I walk 10min to a "Feinschmecker" or Liquor store. 

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 10 Jul '23

OK, I have an update to this thread, hopefully it may generate some new advice, questions, answers.

After not liking Smith & Cross, I treaded lightly on Jamaican rums by trying a couple of cheap blended versions, one by Cane Island, and the other by Smuggler's Reserve.  I liked both of those, which both claim to be a mix of Hampden, Worthy Park, Monymusk, and New Yarmouth. 

My next step was to try to up the funk levels a bit, so I bought a bottle of Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve 6-10yo.  I was expecting funk, but don't notice much at all, its more like a whisky.  I like it, but its nothing like I was expecting.  I think Les80 had it right when he said a similar thing in an earlier post here.

So, what I'm calling funk, that banana-like smell (and to me it also has a wet German Shepherd fur smell) isn't in the Worthy Park to any significant amount, so it must be coming from the other distilleries in the blends I've tried.  I hear Hampden being talked about a lot for funk, but never tried it.  I'm not familiar with Monymusk or New Yarmouth at all.  Of those 3, which would be the main funk contributor in the blends mentioned above, or would it be too hard to determine?? 

The 8yo Hampden gets a lot of mention about having lots of funk, so I'm wondering if on its own its more funk than I'd like, now that I can see blending it with WP (in the blends I've tried) will tone down the funk quite a bit.

I may have to just dive in the deep end with a Hampden 8yo and make up my own mind, but any additional comments would be appreciated.

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 296 ratings Replied 12 Jul '23

Worth Park has low ester and high ester rums. The Single Estate is more low ester. To me Funk is a combination of overripe tropical fruit und glue. Hampden 8 is a very solide Hampden with some Funk. In the end I guess there is no Definition of Funk. In a way it is something you feel while drinking. I had a Long Pond TECC last weekend. So much Funk 😅

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 13 Jul '23

I bought a bottle of Hampden 8yo today, and I have to say I like it, I like it a lot, and its nothing like I thought it might be.  Its nowhere near as funky as I was expecting, its fruity and delicious, but I see what folks say about it having a bit of a chemical vibe.

Someone on this forum described it as being like a blend of Smith & Cross and bourbon, which I don't get at all.  Its not anywhere near as weird as I was expecting it to be, based on my experience with S&C, and its not really weird tasting at all. 

I also picked up a Hamilton pot still black, and that has a lot of what I have been calling funk.  So, whatever it is that's in the Hamilton pot still black is what I've been referring to as funk.  Maybe its dunder instead of funk and I've been using the wrong terminology, IDK, but if someone could set me straight on the terminology I'd appreciate it.  If Hampden 8yo is actually the definition of funk, then I've been using the wrong terminology all along.

Now I'm wondering about the bottle of S&C that I bought back in Feb.  It was so strange tasting I'm wondering, is it possible to get a bottle of rum that has somehow gone bad in the bottle?  Both I and my wife compared its smell/taste to cheap tequila.  Nobody else seems to ever compare it to that, so how could two people agree on that comparison when its so far out of the norm from what everybody else tastes?  I also read a comment on Reddit that said they had heard a few people say that their recent purchase of S&C wasn't good, but they're not sure what changed or why.  Maybe my S&C experience was just bad timing.

DB avatar image
DB 🇺🇸 | 70 ratings Replied 30 Jul '23

Very interesting! I personally love S&C in cocktails and straight, I don't find it overly "funky" on the taste, some on the nose. Not sure what happened for you on your bottle as it is nothing like cheap tequila.

For me funk is more about the smell than the flavor and I guage this my holding a given sample under my wife's nose and measuring her gag reflex. Ha, ha. A couple of rums that I find "low funk" in both ways I guess I'll say, but nice tasting, are the Myrtle Bank and Appleton 15.

When I first experienced what I though of as "funk", I did not all care for it - now I love it. Give it a chance.

DO
dougw 🇺🇸 | 36 ratings Author Replied 10 Aug '23

hey DB, I gave it a chance, and now I like it, so I think I may have followed the same path as you. 

When I tried S&C I had no idea what a range of flavors Jamaican rums cover.  The Appleton 12yo rare casks was one of the best rums I'd tried up to that time, and from Jamaica, so the flavor profile of S&C was off the charts based on my expectations of what rum should taste like at that time.

Well, I've now expanded my horizons and tried a bunch of new stuff and I bet if I tasted S&C today I'd have a totally different opinion on it.

I'd asked earlier for some help gauging the funk intensity in various rums, and after asking that question it seemed like there's even some variety in what people mean by 'funky' flavors.  So, just in case someone else starts reading this thread for help with Jamaicans, and is trying to navigate the funk spectrum, I'm going to say a bit more about what I found on my funk journey so far.

First of all, what I was referring to as funk can best be described as Hamilton Pot Still Black.  I don't know if that's got a lot of dunder/muck content or what, but its that taste/smell that I originally called funk.  Its also present in WP Rum-Bar, and Doctor Bird to a lesser degree.  And, a less intense version of it is in the two different Jamaican blends that I tried, one from Cane Island, one from Smuggler's Reserve.  I have a difficult time putting it into words, but to me it seems to smell/taste like what I think would happen if you cut a corner off of a fresh piece of sod and whipped it up with water in a blender, but there's another smell going on that I just can't quite identify.  I like it in small amounts, but too much of it isn't a good thing for me, and it seems to taste a little better than it smells.

What many people consider funk is the Hampden ester taste/smell.  That's a totally different thing than what I was calling funk before, so I don't know if I was using the terminology incorrectly, or if funk can be used to describe either this or what I wrote in the previous paragraph.  In this category I've tried Hampden 8yo, 2022 Great House, and Rum Fire.  These are fruity, with banana flavors, and a bit of acetone/industrial solvent smell/taste thrown in.  To me the 8yo is more fruity, the Great House is more industrial.  The Rum Fire tastes similar to the 8yo to me, and at 63% ABV it doesn't seem that high in alcohol when drinking it, I don't get a level of burn like I do with the Great House at 55%.

My last experience is Worthy Park 109, which doesn't fall into either of the previous two categories.  Its got its own smell/taste profile, but I just opened it yesterday so I need more time to get familiar with it.  At less than 1/2 the price, I like it better than the Worthy Park single estate reserve, which also had neither the dirty Worcestershire or fruity/industrial tones to it. 

I was a little surprised at how good a value the Rum Fire, Rum-Bar, WP109, and Doctor Bird rums are.  They all get good ratings here, so I wasn't shocked, but given their price point I wasn't sure how many people were rating them as mixers vs. sippers.  These all work as sippers, maybe not the best you'll encounter, but they are all great values.