One of the perks of being a rum blogger that works in a rum bar is that I get to taste rum – a no brainer, I know, but sometimes I get my hands on a sample of rum I wouldn’t normally be able to try. Proof And Wood is one such rum, as the company is US based and they don’t seem to export to the UK.
Proof And Wood is from New Canaan, Connecticut and was founded by Dave Schmier. They are an independent bottler that deal mostly with American whiskies and Jamaican rums that have been aged and finished in various casks. They also have an unaged Jamaican rum bottling branded as The Funk – pretty inspired, eh?
This bottling is part of Proof And Wood’s Curated Collection which is a series of unique and experimental batches. While they don’t specifically mention it, I’ve noticed some of their other rum bottlings to be advertised on various websites as being sourced from Worthy Park, Jamaica so I’m pretty sure this one will be the same – but we’ll see once I taste it.
The 3/2 on the label comes from the maturation process – it spent 3 years in Jamaica in ex-Bourbon barrels before being moved to Kentucky to be aged for 2 years in former Rye Whisky barrels. This release was a marriage of 3 casks.
Proof And Wood Pot Still Rum 3/2 is molasses based, pot still distilled and aged in ex-Bourbon casks for 3 years and 2 more years in ex-Rye Whisky barrels making it 5 years of maturation in oak. Bottled at a decent 60.3% ABV without any additives.
On the nose the usual Jamaican funk seems a bit muted. Red chillies, new leather shoes, dusty cardboard and overripe bananas. Nail polish, pear brandy and pink pepper. I can definitely smell the rye influence, adds some dry woodiness and spice, but it leaves the fruitiness of the Jamaican distillate behind. Craft IPA, nutmeg, hot chocolate and passion fruit puree. Earl Grey tea with milk, palm sugar and almonds.
On the palate it seems both rich and dry. Honey, canned pineapples, melon and pears. Cayenne pepper, pink pepper and rapadura sugar. More fruity Jamaican notes come through on the palate and the rye barrel shows itself towards the finish – it does seem to be Worthy Park distillate. Banana bread, cinnamon, toffee, blackberries and coconut cream. The finish is long with rye banana bread and charred oak.
This has an ester count of 60-119 g/hlaa, but it feels way more intense, probably because of the ABV, but also from the spiciness imparted by the rye barrel. This is really good and interesting, but I would’ve liked more rye whisky notes, I think it would’ve worked even better.
It can be found for around £50-£60 in the US and I’d happily take a bottle at that price. Many thanks to Jazz from Skylark Spirits for the sample!
Proof And Wood Pot Still Rum 3/2 – Jamaica score:
Value for money: 15/15