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Limited Edition Worthy Park Rum Review

Jamaican rum has a special place in my heart. I get asked what my favourite rum is all the time and I never have an answer for it. However, if someone put a gun to my head and told me to choose a rum country, I’d likely say Jamaica. Those funky fruity flavours are hard to resist, especially the milder iterations. The LROKs and WPMs of this world. All those different marques, from high to low esters, provide an immense variety in flavour profiles.

 

Worthy Park is somewhat mild on the funky fruit scale, certainly compared to Hampden and some of the graveyard rums that come rolling out of Long Pond. That’s not to say WP doesn’t produce higher ester rums. Their highest ester marque is WPE at a max of 800 esters. In comparison, Hampden has a max of 1600 esters with their DOK marque. With Worthy Park it’s all a little more subtle. That’s not necessarily good news for the ester junkies, but it works just fine for me. Over the past 10 years I’ve become a bit of a Worthy Park fan. This despite me not liking everything they produce. I’m not into 109 for example. I know a few people will block me on Facebook now and will never return to this website. I’m simply not the target group for this expression. I believe it’s more aimed at cocktail drinkers, which I’m not. To me it’s a caramel bomb when sipping it, which is how I’d want to drink it. Rum Bar Gold is another that doesn’t really get me enthusiastic. Rum Bar Overproof is great, although I prefer Wray & Nephew and Rum Fire over it. Rum Bar Silver is a real winner. Super fruity at 40% abv, which makes it so versatile for mixed drinks and for blending with other rums. Your Appleton 12 not exciting and fruity enough? Add a little Rum Bar Silver. An injection of fruit without increasing the abv. The Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve is a good daily sipper. The 2006, 12 year is fantastic. The one that blows my mind is the 11 year 2006 Forsyths WPM that was released by Velier. One of the best rums I’ve ever had.

 

A few years ago Worthy Park started releasing limited edition expressions with different ages and different marques in bottles with pretty red labels. That got me intrigued. Being in Canada, they aren’t easy to get of course. However, I managed to get my hands on a 3, 5, 9 and 14 year, all bottled in 2020. The 3 and 9 were generously gifted to me by 1423 owner Joshua Singh, when I visited him in Denmark. A large sample of the 14 was donated to me by Canadian Rob Singh. The 5 I bought in Canada. There are stores in Alberta that carry it and will ship across the country! What an invention!


I tasted these semi blind. I knew which rums, but not in what order.

 

The Cast


Worthy Park 3 year – Distilled 2017 – WPE (<800 esters) – 57%

Worthy Park 5 year – Distilled 2015 – WPL (60-119 esters) – 68%

Worthy Park 9 year – Distilled 2011 – WPL (60-119 esters) – 58%

Worthy Park 14 year – Distilled 2006 – WPM (120-239 esters) – 54%



Nosing


Rum 1

A little sharp. Oak, mineral stones, musty wood, banana, stewed pears, nutmeg, molasses, candle wax. After sitting for a while I’m also picking up marzipan and chocolate….it is actually more like chocolate paint. Someone should invent that!


Rum 2

Very funky, tons of fruit, light varnish, oak, coconut, vanilla, glue and a pineapple note that reminds me of Hampden. Has to be higher ester.

 

Rum 3

Red fruit, tomato???, strong on oak, leather, tobacco, pine, raisins, vanilla, lavender, nutty. Wonderfully mellow and complex.

 

Rum 4

Seems like a fiery young beast at first. Banana, pine, menthol, oak, tobacco, light leather, molasses, light paint, olives, brine. It mellowed quite a bit after a while.

 

Can’t pick a winner on the nose. There are some similarities, but so many differences at the same time. It’s a sensory journey in all four.

 

Tasting


Rum 1

Raisins, oak, varnish, minerals, slightly metallic, strong banana, pepper, caramel. It’s a bit fiery, likely somewhat young and high abv. Finish is quite long and oaky with a hint of bitterness.

 

Rum 2

Pineapple, oak, banana, lots of funky flavours, briney, a little thin and young. Finish is on the simple side with some caramel and a little bitterness, which is surprising for such a young rum.

 

Rum 3

Ginger, oak, citrus, banana, strong raisins, pine, mint. The finish is long and solid with as good as no bitterness.

 

Rum 4

Lighter profile. Oak, citrus, menthol, banana, caramel. Finish is unremarkable. It’s ok, it’s easy, not exciting me.

 

Reveal

 

Rum 1: Worthy Park 5 year

Rum 2: Worthy Park 3 year

Rum 3: Worthy Park 14 year

Rum 4: Worthy Park 9 year

 

Conclusion


This tasting proves again that it’s hard to get bored of Jamaican rum. There is a recognizable base in them, but there are so many differences to explore at the same time. It’s fascinating!


The 14 year is the clear winner from a sipping perspective. Nicely layered, balanced, soft and complex rum. That was the expectation though, so not a big surprise. The surprising one is the 5 year. I actually thought the 5 was the 9. It has a lot of maturity for such a relatively young rum. It’s the best value for money from this lineup. In comparison, the 9 year is lackluster. An easy, somewhat basic sipper or solid mixer. Slightly disappointing.


Lastly, the 3 year is great. It has daiquiris written all over it. Not as much depth of flavour as the 5 , but a lot more higher ester fruity elements to it, which makes sense when looking at the marque. I tend to prefer WPM and WPH when it comes to Worthy Park. WPL is usually not adventurous enough for me, but it works well with this particular 5 year old. I’m happy I bought a backup bottle!  

 

Scores

 

Worthy Park 3 year – 76

Worthy Park 5 year – 80

Worthy Park 9 year – 68

Worthy Park 14 year – 86

 

Click here for info on the scoring method.

Click here for the complete list of reviews.




 


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Ian Tuck
Ian Tuck
Apr 30

I've got a 13 (Florida Rum Society) and 16 (B&B Barrel Select) to try next time you're here!

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Replying to

Love it! Impatiently waiting for the invite :D

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