Review: DropWorks Super Funk Drop

Lewis Hayes, the man behind Black Parrot and Merchant House rum bars in London, is also the person responsible for the biggest rum distillery in Europe, DropWorks. They are doing some very interesting experiments, with Shaun Smith as their Head Distiller, and this Super Funk Drop is one of them – I’ve already reviewed their standard Funk Drop, so feel free to have a read for more context.

Earlier in October, my little event, the British Rum Expo, brought together 9 different British rum makers at Trailer Happiness in London in order to showcase their products – some readily available to purchase and some… very exclusive. DropWorks was one of the brands attending and it was then when Lewis, very excited I might add, introduced me to their Super Funk – which, unfortunately, falls into the very exclusive category as it’s not meant to hit the market anytime soon.

Update: This is actually available to get from the distillery.

The Super Funk Drop was more of an experiment to see just how funky their rums would get by using methods that are reminiscent to Jamaican rum production. They started with the same process they use to make the Funk Drop to which they added a few steps.

So they fermented cane syrup and molasses based dunder for 8-10 days using their own wild yeast (which is 3 different yeast strains living symbiotically) and once the fermentation was visibly done they added the muck (basically aged dunder) and left it sit for 3 more weeks. During the distillation, in order to increase the acidity, they have added their own cultured cane vinegar which was made from some of the alcohol they previously fermented. The result was Super Funk, an overproof white rum with an ester count of 930 g/hlaa.

Packaging wise, they went with the standard Funk Drop bottle to which they added sort of “warning” stripes stipulating this is actually Super Funk – while simple, it’s quite cool and it makes sense for something that’s not commercially available, at least for now.

DropWorks Super Funk Drop is cane syrup based, fermented for more than a month using cultured wild yeast, dunder and muck. Pot still distilled with cane vinegar and bottled at 63% ABV without any additives.

On the nose it has an intense, vegetal smell. Green grapes, oregano, green chilly peppers, unripe plums and toffee. Fresh printed paper, white cardboard, green olives and paint fumes. There’s an interesting array of sharp flavours. Coconut water, ashes, passion fruit and bananas. Pink pepper, stone fruits, mothballs and mango.

On the palate it gets even more intense. Overripe pineapple, stone fruits, oregano and a mezcal-like note. Green peppers, iron, blackberries and Maraschino liqueur. Intensely medicinal with some moreish flavours. Toffee, coconut water, plums, candied strawberries and a touch of liquorice. Some ashy layers and nail varnish as well. The finish is long with tropical and not-smoky mezcal notes intertwined.

While the methods used to increase the ester count in Super Funk Drop are pretty much textbook Jamaican, do not expect a rum similar to Hampden or Long Pond, it’s pretty much its own beast in its own category – I like to call it British Funk – heard it here first… hopefully!

It has a vegetal and fruity profile that you don’t really find in many other high ester rums. It’s unique in its own way and delicious at that as well – hopefully we’ll see DropWorks releasing this or a version of this in a blend soon! Or who knows, maybe we will see an Ultra Super Funk Drop, either way, I’m excited to see what they do next.

Since it’s not for sale, I’ll just give it maximum value for money score, same as the Funk Drop… at least until I see a price for it.

DropWorks Super Funk Drop:
Flavour/taste: 56/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 86/100


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