J. Wray & Nephew Limited is an integral part of the Jamaican culture and thus they partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports for the celebration of Jamaica’s 60th year of Independence last year.
In doing so their famous (and sometimes infamous) Overproof White has received the “Spirit of Jamaica 60” designation. This partnership means the company’s brands sponsored all the events related to the celebration of Jamaica’s 60th year of Independence. As part of the agreement they also committed to launching a couple of commemorative expressions for the occasion – one of such expressions is their new Parish Collection.
W&N Parish Collection was unveiled at ‘Culture in a Cup’ which was one of the seminars held at the 2022 Jamaican Rum Festival. The collection comes with 14 different bespoke packagings, each representing 1 of the 14 different parishes of Jamaica through different specific landmarks pictured on the label – to be noted that the liquid inside is the same among all 14 bottles. This is a limited edition collection with only 14000 cases launched and being available pretty much only on the island.
The bottle in my picture was kindly provided to me for photos by Roger Barnes, also known as the Rum Reverend, along with a sample for tasting notes. This bottling brings homage to the Parish of Manchester and features a photo of the region’s fishing village, Alligator Pond.
Not much is known about the liquid inside besides the fact that it’s bottled at even a higher ABV than their flagship White Overproof – if I were to speculate, it’s probably still a blend of pot and column stills distillates made at the New Yarmouth Distillery, but I have no idea if it’s a different marque than that of the standard overproof.
The Parish Collection is molasses based, most likely a blend of pot and column stills and bottled at an intimidating 70% ABV with no additives.
On the nose it feels very similar to the White Overproof. Pink grapefruit zest, refrigerated butter, overripe bananas and nail polish. Black olives, pickled onions and sour blueberries. From what I can smell it might just be the standard Overproof at a higher ABV. Tart stone fruits, ripe pears and palm sugar.
On the palate the flavours seem a bit richer. Muscovado sugar, treacle, tart plums and raw cacao nibs. Blueberries, overripe bananas, black grapes and butter. The taste has more different notes from the usual Wray, but it isn’t that dissimilar. Grapefruit juice, black olives, ripe pears and some pink pepper. The finish is long with fresh raspberries and sweet bananas.
This is delicious, this is punchy, this is Wray! It’s different from the White Overproof, but that might be just the extra ABV points doing the job – I tend to think this is just a higher ABV version of the Wray Overproof we all know. And it makes sense, why would you change the profile of a rum with such a recognisable flavour and aroma. For me I just barely prefer this one for its richer profile and increased intensity.
Would love to be able to get a bottle for bragging rights – I’ve been told in Jamaica is priced at about £28 which isn’t bad at all. Well done J. Wray & Nephew Ltd!
Wray & Nephew – The Parish Collection score:
Value for money: 15/15