After two 16 yo Caronis bottled by Duncan Taylor (here and here), let’s move over to Jamaica and a 10 yo Worthy Park bottled by Habitation Velier. Most of the excitement among whisky geeks for Jamaican rum seems concentrated in the wild and wacky rums of the Hampden distillery but Worthy Park has a strong reputation too. Indeed, I have a hundred percent record with Worthy Park. I’ve only had and reviewed two others—this 10 yo from 2007 and this 11 yo from 2005—and I had them both at 90 points. Will that streak continue with this 10 yo? I certainly hope so.
Worthy Park 10, 2005 (57.8%; Habitation Velier; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: A bright nose with lemon peel mixed in with plantains. Some vegetal funk behind the brighter notes. The lemon picks up with time and there’s a bit of butterscotch as well. With a few drops of water the softer notes expand—more butterscotch—and there’s sweeter fruit now too—apricot. Gets stickier as it goes.
Palate: Light caramel and lemon peel to start with the funk coming up from below. Remarkably drinkable at full strength. On the second sip there’s some pepper and more citrus—orange now. The funk picks up with every sip and there’s more aniseed too. Okay, let’s see what water does. Here it brings out more of the herbal notes and some machine oil notes as well.
Finish: Long. Gets more herbal here (sage) and then the citrus comes back strong. As on the palate with time and water but the lemon peel comes back again at the end.
Comments: My Worthy Park streak remains alive. There are no fireworks here, just perfectly balanced rum with a lovely interplay of fruit and funk. Hampden is more extreme and more entertaining but Worthy Park’s pleasures shouldn’t be taken for granted either.
Rating: 90 points.
Thanks to Michael for the sample.