Lluidas Vale (Worthy Park) 12 year old (2006) – The Duchess

What is it? Jamaican Pure Single Rum (molasses derived rum, 100% pot still, from 1 distillery in Jamaica) from the Worthy Park distillery. It’s called Lluidas Vale because Worthy Park don’t like independent bottlers using their name on bottlings, which is fair enough as they can control their brand. Worthy Park is located in Lluidas Vale, hence the name. This rum was from a single cask that was filled in 2006, matured for around 9 years in Jamaica before coming to Europe to finish off it’s ageing until 2018, so a total time of 12 years, at which point it was bottled by Nils Van Rijn from http://www.bestofwhiskies.com under the rum brand The Duchess. The ageing of 9 years in the tropics puts this on par with a European aged rum of around 20-25 years old.

The rum was from marque WPL (Worthy Park Light) which sits in an ester range of 60-119 g/hlaa. And this is 1 bottle from the cask that produced 268 bottles of rum.

Not coloured, not chill filtered and bottled at 57.9% abv.

Sugar? Nope.

Nose: Quite savoury and a lot less banana than with some Worthy Parks, not to say it lacks it though with over baked and burnt banana bread and some banoffee fritters, but we’re generally savoury here; tar, WD40, olive oil, olives, camphor, Tiger Balm and a handful of crushed sea shells. Some salty seaweed, but almost smoked and dried and some sweetness of char-grilled pineapple at the end.

Palate: Full weighty mouth, oily. Savoury here again, although a little more fruit and spice; black bananas, over ripe pineapple, mango and some light toffee with a touch of ginger. Then on to the salt, liquorice, tar, shellfish, olive oil and anchovies. Oak appears here but it’s not tannic or gripping, just shows as black breakfast tea and the taste of a chewed pencil with graphite inside.

Finish: Long. Sweeter here than the nose and palate, some cane, toffee, a little marmalade maybe. Aniseed ball sweets and soft eating liquorice make it a touch herbal. There is some cinnamon, ginger and a bit of milk chocolate as it gets to the end. All through though there’s the salty, oily undertone that keeps it interesting.

Thoughts? Excellent. I like Worthy Park, a lot, but sometimes I find it a little on the sweet side. This takes me back to one of my first ever Worthy Park bottles from Bristol Classic (an 8 year old), which was proper savoury. This isn’t quite that level of savoury but it’s definitely over that side of the fence. Interesting, complex, perfect abv and I’d say the right mix of tropical and European ageing.

I picked this up for £55 and I think that’s a great buy given how independent single casks of rum are heading now. Well done Nils, good selection, and thanks for keeping the price reasonable for us! I’d easily pick up another of these.

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