Doctor Bird Private Barrel Cask Strength Apple Brandy Finish Rum
Doctor Bird Rum, named for the national bird of Jamaica, which is also emblazoned on the colorful label, is a blend of pot-still rums from Jamaica's famous Worthy Park Distillery. The blend is made up of two very high ester unaged rums, as well as a lower ester 6 year old rum for depth. The standard bottling is then finished in Moscatel casks before being bottled at 50% abv, and has over the last few years developed a cult following among the funk seeking rummy hogo-heads. We've done a couple private barrels with the brand in the past, both finished in Madeira in place of their standard Moscatel, and both have been smashing successes. This time, we wanted to try something a little new, and were particularly drawn to an Apple Brandy finish that checked all of our Doctor Bird boxes. Fruity, funky, and unapologetically enormous, this is exactly what we love the Bird for.
With a distillate as expressive and intense as high ester Jamaican pot still rum, barrel finishes don't tend to dominate in the way they might with something like Scotch, or even American Whiskey. It may seem counterintuitive to call anything about a Rum like this subtle, but in context, the effect of barrel finishes here are just that, and tweak the profile in a measured fashion, rather than smothering. On the nose, it is recognizably Doctor Bird, with a lot of complexity right off the bat. Overripe mango, raspberry, meyer lemon, smoked sweet pepper, golden raisins, gooseberry, a stony minerality, and a hint of the foreboding qualities that one expects, and even craves, with pot still rum, like acetone and rubber bands. On the palate, the barrel finishing comes through much more, with a honeyed apple note that envelops the classic Bird palate beautifully. A hint of barrel tannin and apple skins makes way for more tropical fruits, with grilled pineapple and plantains, lychee, grass, a hint of tart green apple, and a return of the wet stone mineral character that balances the fruit beautifully. The finish loses some of the fruity sweet character for a rush of spice, with cayenne, cinnamon, and mace with a rush of bitter oak as well. The barrel was bottled uncut at 59.9% abv.