Worthy Park is located in the central parish of St. Catherine in Jamaica. Established in 1670, it started sugar production in 1720 and it produced rum since the 1740’s up until 1962 when they had to stop due to an over supply of Jamaican rum following World War II. In 2004 the Clarke family, which owns Worthy Park since 1918, decided to restart rum production and in 2005 they finished building the distillery. The multi-awarded distillery launched the Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve (45% ABV) in 2017 and it became a must-have for rum enthusiasts. You can find the detailed history and sugar/rum production processes on their website.
In my bottle is the same distillate as the aforementioned Single Estate Reserve but at a healthy 57% ABV. This was released for Velier’s 70th anniversary, the Italian bottler and distributor, and is limited in numbers. It’s molasses based, with a 30 hours ferment time using distiller’s yeast. Distilled in a pot still, tropically aged between 6 and 10 years in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 57% ABV without any sweeteners or flavourings. The marque for the distillate is WPL (Worthy Park Light) and has an ester count of 60-119 gr/hL AA, but don’t let that fool you, it packs plenty of flavour… let’s double check just in case.
On the nose this is grand. Ripe bananas, cacao beans, pears and English Breakfast tea. Some anise and peppermint too. Smells buttery/creamy, with some vanilla and raisins. Grapefruit zest, caramel, pineapples, some glue and hints of freshly cut grass. The ABV makes it quite sharp but still inviting with plenty of oak.
On the palate is quite “chewy”. Big oak flavours upfront followed by tropical fruits – bananas and pineapples. Quite a bit of menthol along with the ABV make the tongue tingle. Cocoa butter, strawberry jam, black coffee, grapefruit and walnuts. Apple pie, sultanas, melon and bitter dark chocolate. There’s some liquorice and smoke note to it that reminds me of the Port Mourant flavour profile. The finish is long with peppermint and a oaky bitterness.
All in all this is absolutely stunning. The bitterness I mentioned might be the only thing one could complain about in this rum, but I wouldn’t let that take away from the beauty and complexity of this rum. Priced at around £70 or less I’d recommend you grab one before it runs out. A good link is here, but it’s from Italy so I’d be aware of the current situation before ordering.
Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve Rum Velier 70th score:
Value for money: 14/15