Review: White Peak Distillery Cask Aged Rum – Batch 3

Been a while since I looked at a British rum so when I saw an email from White Peak Distillery saying their batch 3 of rum is available I had to get myself one. The White Peak Distillery is located in Derbyshire, England and it’s the county’s first full-scale craft distillery so I’m very curious about their rum.

Max Vaughan, the founder of White Peak Distillery, did not have a track record in the drinks industry, but he had a dream about making spirits in Derbyshire and White Peak is the result of his vision with their very first Wire Works whisky released in February 2022. The name comes from an area in the Peak District, Derbyshire which is characterised by its limestone valleys and gorges and it’s called White Peak.

The folks from White Peak Distillery looked into adapting their whisky production knowledge in order to make rum and after gathering some pointers from some distilleries in the Americas they made their first cane spirit in 2020. They decided to use dehydrated sugar cane juice, more exactly panela or rapadura as a base material, all imported from South America

They are marketing this rum as an Agricole-style rum, which is somehow misleading given that agricole rums use fresh, unprocessed cane juice, but I guess it’s just a way to describe it – I’m curious if their Batch 3 tastes anywhere close to an agricole. It has been awarded a star at the 2022 Great Taste Awards so I have some level of expectations.

Cask Aged Rum Batch 3 uses a combination of rapadura and molasses that have been fermented for 14 days, pot still distilled and aged for 1 year in STR (shaved, toasted, re-charred) and ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 45% ABV with no colouring or sugar added.

On the nose it smells young and rich. Biscuits, bourbony vanilla, lemon zest, peach iced tea and custard. Black pepper, white chocolate and green tea. It certainly doesn’t have the profile of an agricole, aged or unaged. Furniture polish, mango and banana foams.

On the palate the wood influence, while young, is quite present. Cream soda, biscuits, cocoa nibs, saffron and black pepper. Oranges and sweet bananas. Once again, not agricole-y, instead it has the profile of a bourbon. Toasted oak with a touch of smoke and some pears. Hints of cinnamon and chocolate. The finish is medium to long with vanilla biscuits and wood.

It isn’t bad at all, but as I find with most young UK rums, it feels like more time in the barrel would be appropriate. There are a lot of woody vanillin notes coming through and I think some tannins to balance it out would do wonders. I’m definitely looking forward to older expressions as I am almost sure it will be stunning, just not now.

My other complaint would be the confusing “agricole style” statement as this is nowhere near an agricole rhum whatsoever – I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose, but it’s still far from accurate. I bought this bottle from their website for £33 for a 50cl bottle, which isn’t that bad.

White Peak Distillery Cask Aged Rum – Batch 3 score:
Flavour/taste: 48/70
Value for money: 14/15
Transparency/purity: 14/15
Overall: 76/100


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