In the central parish of St. Catherine, Jamaica there’s the Worthy Park Estate – estate since 1670, sugar factory since 1720 and rum distillery since the 1740s – although rum production has stopped a few times, the sugar production went on uninterrupted. Most recently WP restarted distilling rum in 2005 after it ceased in 1962 due to the World War II and an oversupply of Jamaican rum – more details can be found on their website.
There’s no lack of reviews on the world wide web on this particular bottle, most notably Steven’s from The Rum Diaries where he gives in depth information regarding their production process and marques – check it out here. So why am I doing one too? Because I can and because Worthy Park deserves all the recognition.
Like most Jamaican distilleries, Worthy Park has been focusing more on selling rum in bulk, the reason why you might’ve seen the name on labels of independent bottlers. It’s not the case as much lately, as with the launch their own brand bottling – Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve, IBs have been asked to not use the name anymore, hence some labeling it as “Secret Distilery” or simply not mentioning it.
Worthy Park Single Estate 2006, as you can guess, was distilled and laid in barrels in 2006 making it the oldest distillery release so far. Its marque is called WPL – Worthy Park Light, so low in ester count, but esters are not everything, folks. Molasses based, pot still distilled and aged for 12 years in ex-Bourbon barrels in Jamaica. This is a limited release of 8000 bottles that have been bottled at 56% ABV (cask strength) without any additives, colourants or chill filtering.
On the nose it’s nice and fruity. Nectarines, apricots, green apples, plums, ripe bananas and pineapple. There’s an acidity, as expected, given that this is 100% pot still. Wasabi, lime and orange zest, pine tree. The typical Worthy Park black tea note is balancing everything beautifully. Almonds, nutmeg, pink pepper and a touch of vanilla. Bright, floral honey, this is very inviting.
On the palate there’s so much going on. It starts off with a nice oily mouthfeel and fruitiness and it develops into spiciness and acidity towards the end. Ripe bananas, nectarines, peppermint, mango and plums upfront. Black tea with a touch of milk and some maple syrup, caramel, coconut, cinnamon, black pepper and anise mid palate. Towards the end it turns into dark chocolate, charred wood, a bit of kiwi and a touch of acetone mingled with some wasabi. The finish is long with black tea, honey, acetone and a mild bitterness.
A well balanced Jamaican rum that still has plenty of oomph and complexity without the crazy hogo, somewhere between Appleton and Hampden in terms of intensity, but definitely it’s own beauty. One of the best pot still rums I ever tried and I don’t say that lightly. A bottle of WP Single Estate 2006 will set you back £110 on The Whisky Exchange – a good investment in my opinion.
Worthy Park Single Estate 2006 12 Year Old score:
Value for money: 14/15