Worthy Park Cask Selection Series 8 – Quatre Vins – 2013

20210128_161457What is it? Pure Single Rum (100% pot still, molasses based, single distillery) from the Worthy Park distillery in Jamaica. This bottling has been done as part of the “Cask Selection Series” and is number 8 in that line-up. It was distilled in 2013 and matured tropically in first fill ex-bourbon casks for 4 years before being moved over into a variety of casks for further maturation, in this case ex-Monbazillac, ex-Sauternes, ex-Moscatel and ex-Jurancon casks (all sweet or desert wines), for a further 2 years – I believe this was done in Europe – making it around 6 years old. I don’t know how the blending was done for this but most likely the rum was split into 4 and each one matured for the extra 2 years and then blended back together again. It’s possible that the entire batch was moved from 1 cask to another in turn but I find that unlikely.

This bottle is one of 1318 produced.

Bottled at 52% abv without any colouring added. I don’t believe this has been chill-filtered either.

Sugar? No.

Nose: You get the Worthy Park banana immediately, butterscotch, sultana and coconut. We’ve got cask spices in here too with ginger. nutmeg and mace, a few peppercorns and a sweet chilli/pimento note. Part way through there’s a bouillon or vegetable stock note and some Bovril (bear with me here, it’s quite nice) – there’s a definite meaty note sitting midway on the nose that reminds me of Mortlach Scotch Single Malt. Oh no, whiffs of spent matches are starting to appear and some heavy sulphur notes arrive at the end. Bollocks.

Palate: Full mouth. Quite sweet at first, I’m very much getting the desert wines and sweet dried raisins, they are quite overbearing initially. We then get our Worthy Park banana, some drier brewed black tea, candied pineapple, papaya and black grape. There’s some heat in here too with ginger root, clove, red chillies and peppercorns again, but it’s a sweet type of spice. A little sulphur again but not as bad as the nose and it gives a nice smoked ham, like Brunswick, note which is really nice.

Finish: Medium. Spicy and sweet again, milk chocolate covered chilli and ginger mix, salt & pepper roasted cashews and a pineapple glazed smoked ham. It finishes quite sweet with intense dried grapes.

Thoughts? This is an odd one this. I’ve gone back to it quite a bit as initially the sulphur was pretty bad; I’m very susceptible to sulphur, it’s a genetic thing, some people get it badly and some don’t. I must admit that I found it very strong and it took a good month to settle down and blow off. What’s left gives a savoury, meaty undertone to the fruity rum which is very interesting. It drinks a lot older than the 6 years it has seen, but the problem is the sweetness from some of those casks really dominates and over sweetens the rum. It sits on top of the rum blend and doesn’t every really integrate well at all with the Worthy Park style here.

This is £70ish and as interesting as this has been as an experiment it’s not one I’d buy again, go for one of the other Cask Selection bottles, probably the sherry ones, if I were you.

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