raw material

Raw material:




four column continuous still (modern and John Dore), two copper pot stills



between 4 and 17 years in American white oak casks

sugar added

Sugar added:


alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:






The rooster is a polygamist, but he takes care of his harem: maintaining order, securing the territory, and protecting the hens from outside interference. Evolution has equipped the rooster with a beak, claws, and a cockspur. Natural instincts can be further enhanced with a carefully planned diet, steroid usage, and rigorous training. In Southeast Asia, South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, enraged roosters vie for the amusement of the crowd and the fame of their breeders. Everyone can bet on the duel's outcome.

Western culture uniformly penalizes cockfighting, viewing it as cruelty to animals. Another reason lies in the inability to effectively control the cockfighting's bets. In Barbados, cockfights are officially prohibited, so they went underground. Nevertheless, the rooster holds multifaceted cultural interpretations. Today's hero logo, the Cockspur logo, may equally well symbolize male vitality or fertility.

Cockspur V.S.O.R (Very Special Old Reserve) was introduced to the market in 1984 as the most noble variety of rum in the producer's portfolio and to commemorate the brand's centennial anniversary. The rum is indeed produced at the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados. Since 2017, the brand has been owned by Woodland Radicle, with Steve Wilson at the helm. He previously served as the global head of innovation at Diageo for fifteen years. Steve recognized its potential and has a recipe for success: effective marketing and efficient distribution. This time, the originally colorful logo of Cockspur has been rendered in monochromatic red. The subdued label design aims to draw attention to the rum's noble content.


Steve promised a new opening in brand communication, yet crucial details about the production process are conspicuously absent. Scouring through the official website, one can barely find any substantial information, apart from the vague description that VSOR is a 'well-aged, premium rum'.

I dug a bit deeper (with the cockspur, of course): the rum is crafted in Barbados, where it is distilled, blended, and aged. The molasses mainly comes from Guiana, Barbados, Trinidad, and Mexico. The producer uses flocculating yeast to complete the semi-continuous fermentation within a maximum of sixteen hours. The distillation is carried out in four-column stills (of Canadian production) and, to a lesser extent, John Dore's 79, along with smaller batches in copper pot stills (including Gregg's Farm).

The label features a twelve, and I suspect it's not about the legal drinking age in Barbados. Apparently, it symbolizes a hypothetical flavor profile (yes, you read that right!), as the blend comprises rums aged between four and seventeen years. These components mature in charred American white oak barrels.

Lovely toffee, vanilla and oak.
— as they tell
Green banana, apple orchard. Leafy damp. Poppy seed cake.
— as examined by RumExam
Suggestive of bourbon and vanilla.
— as they tell
Dark chocolate, spicy cinammon strike. Lemon alternating with orange.
— as examined by RumExam
Mandarine, nut tincture.
— as examined by RumExam



Woodland Radicle / West Indies Rum Distillery

Price approx:






Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR)



british, bajan


single traditional blended rum
⁖Reviewed on: November 13th, 2020