Cockspur V‧S‧O‧R 12



Woodland Radicle / West Indies Rum Distillery

Price approx:






Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR)



british, bajan


single traditional blended rum
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; keeps order, secures the area and protects the ladies. Nature endowed him with a beak, claws and a spurs (cockspur). Natural instincts can be additionally strengthened with diet, steroids and special training. In Southeast Asia, South America, Latin America and the Caribbean, angry roosters compete to the delight of the public for the honor and fame of the breeder. You can bet on the result of the duel.

Western culture unanimously penalizes cockfight treating this practice as animal cruelty. This is the number one reason, although not the only one - for the tax authorities rather  the bets themselves are problematic (hard to control). In Barbados, cockfighting is officially prohibited (i.e. went underground). Anyway, Cockspur logotype doesn't have to be associated with this entertainment. The rooster is culturally ambiguous; may be seen for example as a symbol of male vitality or fertility.

Cockspur V.S.O.R (Very Special Old Reserve) was launched in 1984 as the noblest rum variety in the producer's portfolio and to mark the brand's 100th anniversary. Rum is produced actually in Barbados' West Indies Rum Distillery, but th brand was bought Woodland Radicle has owned the brand since 2017. Current CEO, Steve Wilson, held previously for fifteen years the position as a global head of innovation at Diageo. Steve noticed the potential and has a recipe for success - easy as tweaking the product and distributing it efficiently. The traditionally colored rooster proudly flexing the breast is reproduced here in monochrome red. The label’s subdued design should focus the attention on the noble content.


Steve promised a new opening in brand communication meanwhile forgotten to mention production process details. Filtered out the empty talk on the official website the best you can find is that VSOR being 'well-aged, premium rum'. I dug deeper (using cockspur) and found out that molasses come mainly from Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Mexico; but the whole process of distillation, blending and aging takes place in Barbados. Producer uses flocculating yeast to achieve semi-continuous fermentation within up to 16 hours. There are several methods of distillation in use: modern Canadian-made and an older John Dore four-column continuous still, 'Wash' copper pot still and yet another older copper pot still.

The serif typeface communicates on the label the number twelve. I guess it's not about the legal drinking age in Barbados. Apparently, it symbolizes a hypothetical flavor profile. The blend contains vintages ranging from four to seventeen years. 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
⁖Reviewed on: November 13th, 2020