Worthy Park 10, 2007 (Habitation Velier)

Here is your second rum review for the week. Like Monday’s rum this is from the Worthy Park distillery in Jamaica. It is a year younger and was distilled two years later. The label says it was “aged in the tropics”, presumably in Jamaica before being bottled by Habitation Velier, an Italian outfit that has become one of the bespoke independent bottlers of high quality rums made without artificial flavouring and colouring and so on. Excitingly, this was one of a few releases that made their way to the US in 2018. I purchased this along with another Worthy Park and a Hampden from Astor Wines & Spirits in New York; I’m not sure if they were more widely available as well. At any rate, wherever they were available, I hope they sold out quickly, thus encouraging Velier and any other bottlers who may be watching about the prospects of selling non-mainstream rum in the American market. God knows we’re closer to the Caribbean than is Italy—there should be a way to get us more good rum. Then again it’s not even possible to have booze shipped to me from Illinois, just one state over from Minnesota…Anyway, let’s see if this is as good as Monday’s excellent Cadenhead release.

Worthy Park 10,2007 (59%; Habitation Velier; from my own bottle)

Nose: Very close to the Cadenhead’s 11 yo with aniseed and diesel mixed in with caramel and fried plantains. Gets richer as it sits with maple syrup and honey joining the party. No sign of the oak.  With more time there’s some lemon peel in there too. A few drops of water push the aniseed and diesel back further and pull out more honey along with some toffee.

Palate: Not much of the funk here at first—instead it’s all about caramel and aniseed. Very nice texture and very drinkable at full strength. Gets more acidic as it sits and the funk begins to emerge along with some herbal notes (sage, dill). Okay, let’s add some water. Water pushes the funk back and pull out more acid and finally a hint of oak.

Finish: Long. The funkier organic notes pop out here and it also gets more syrupy and sticky as it takes forever to fade out. The oak that emerged on the palate with water continues on the finish but it’s not tannic, more spicy with clove and cinnamon.

Comments: The same mix of elements as the Cadenhead’s but slightly different emphases. Just as good though and I see no reason to give it a different score.

Rating: 90 points.


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