by Worthy Park
If you've been drinking rum for any length of time, or have had to suffer through us waxing on and on about rum while shopping with us, you are certainly familiar with the words Jamaican Pot Still Rum being thrown around. It's a hot topic in the rum world, perhaps even a kind of signifier of being in whatever ignominious club us scallywags are admittedly a part of. This style of rum, the kind of ancestral rum of Jamaica that in recent years has become beloved again for its robust intensity of flavor, is synonymous for many with the term "funky" - a term thrown around as a shorthand for intensely fruity, pungent, earthy, nutty flavors. The thing is though - not all Jamaican pot still rum is really all that funky, and in fact some of the best examples of the style don't really exemplify any of the main hallmarks of funk. Enter Worthy Park, which often gets overshadowed by other, funkier producers like Hampden Estate or Long Pond because of the more subtle approach to pot still rum they take. The profile is always decidedly Jamaican, but you may not immediately smell it from across a room upon popping the cork. To make an imperfect analogy to Scotch, if Hampden Estate is a big Islay peat monster like Laphroaig, Ardbeg, or Lagavulin, Worthy Park is Springbank or Highland Park - still a spirit with plenty of character, but with all of the elements in a more subtle and harmonious balance.
This elegant, subtle approach to the style is especially apparent in our most recent single barrel pick, one we have been particularly excited about since we first selected it almost a year ago. This very special barrel, 100% first fill ex-bourbon, sat in the hot and humid Jamaican climate for a whopping 16 years, a lifetime and a half for tropical aging. In that time, the beautiful character of the WPL marque (Worthy Park Light - defined as being an ester level of 60-119 gr/hL AA) has become spectacularly concentrated and rich, with the alcohol level naturally reduced to 53% abv. At this level you get a lovely balance of big character and drinkability - it's cask strength, but it's a gentle giant. The proof coupled with both the age and the lighter character of the WPL marque make for one of the lushest, richest, and most easy to love barrels of pot still rum we've ever tried.
On the nose, you get cocoa, maple, fragrant grassland, dark fruits, and a lovely sharp hint of grilled pineapple. The palate shows hazelnut, rum raisin ice cream, dark chocolate, and rich, heavy vanilla pound cake. The finish continues with more maple, strawberry candies, raisins, toffee, and a touch of savory dark rye bread.