Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve

Owner

Manufacturer:

Worthy Park Estate Ltd.

Price approx:

50

Origins

Terroir:

Jamaica

Regulations:

Geographical Indication “Jamaica Rum”

Classification

Style:

british, jamaican

Gargano:

single traditional pot rum
raw material

Raw material:

molasses

distillation

Distillation:

Forsyths Double Retort Pot Still

aging

Aging:

6-10 years in American white oak, ex-bourbon casks

sugar added

Sugar added:

no

alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:

45%

additives

Additives:

caramel colour

Pretext

Jamaica has a special place on the rum map of the world: thanks to its history and tradition, craftsmanship and craftsmanship, reputation and prestige, finally a dedicated group of admirers and a growing wave of popularity.


The Jamaican style is distinguished by a complex bouquet coming from high oesters concentration. This is due to yeast selection, longer fermentation, dunder or muck pits use. Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve breaks this pattern a bit, as it's made entirely of low-ester (by Jamaican standards) WPL marque. It doesn't matter though; it's still a full-fledged and thoroughly Jamaican product.


Historically, rum was distilled at Worthy Park between 1741 and 1962. The company was reactivated in 2005 and within the family in the fourth generation as Gordon Clarke took over the reins. Two years later its own brand Rum-Bar was launched aiming for the home market. Young bulk rum was sold to large players (e g. E&A Scheer and Bacardi) and independent bottlers (e.g. Velier, Compagnie des Indes, Bristol Spirits). Some barrels were carefully preserved though. I appreciate that foresight: trade financing current activities, building reputation and at the same time successive preparation for the debut of premium brand Worthy Park; with the flagship Single Estate Reserve (2017).


However, the Worthy Park key activity is sugar production, continuously since 1720. The manufacturer achieves the highest efficiency in the country: one ton of sugar from nine tons of sugar cane. This efficiency has been sustained for over fifty years. As is widely known, molasses is a sugar production by-product. Worthy Park uses its own and hence the brand name: Single Estate.


Basically we refer here to an imprecise, non-codified term being inevitably vulnerable to interpretation or modification. So let's use a descriptive synonym, kind of visually appealing 'field-to-bottle' assigning a raw material, terroir and the entire production process to one company operating in a specific location. Simple and clear, at least in theory. Getting lost might be easier than you think, though. Just take a look.


Peter McConnell - a long-time manager at Worthy Park - tried for years to take over more and more sugarcane plantations to benefit from economies of scale. Hence Worthy Park leases Caymanas government and Tulloch private land and grows its own in Lluidas Vale and Enfield. They generate altogether up to 55% of sugar cane. The rest comes from local two thousand independent farmers. To a large degree Worthy Park doesn’t own plantages from which rum comes and it could be argued if it’s entitled for ‘single estate’ description. Silly deliberations, really. Worthy Park produces 7,000 tons of molasses per year; half uses for its own purposes and to our delight, the other half sells to Spirits Pool Association Ltd.


Worthy Park spreads wings and undoubtedly needs the strong partner's support. A local tycoon, Wisynco Group manages the distribution channels. Its CEO, William Mahfood, doesn’t like the public awareness campaign 'Are You Drinking Yourself Sick'. He feels offended if somebody counts the number of sugar cubes contained in the flagship drink CranWata. Mahfood says that Wisynco has invested "hundreds of millions of dollars" to promote CranWata, hence you can’t defame. Furthermore rejects “the claim that sugar causes obesity“ and encourages “individuals to educate themselves about their own health and relationship to sugar.”


This thread seems less silly to me. It has something to do with definitions, clues, scientific research (where results correlate with clients convictions), sugary drinks tax, media involvement (just don’t make advertisers angry), defending the interests (corporate and social), with David, Goliath, decency.

Procedure

The sugar season in Jamaica lasts from January through the end of June (mainly with a machete; 15% mechanical harvesters). The sugar factory transforms raw material into brown sugar, dark molasses and bagasse - a biofuel driving steam turbines and ensuring producer's energy self-sufficiency (power failures are frequent in Jamaica).


Single Estate Reserve is made entirely of light pot WPL marque (60-119 g/laa), preceded by a 30-hour fermentation at a controlled temperature of 30° C using a proprietary yeast strain. 100% copper pot-still Forsyths twin / double retorts. Dunder spread over the fields as fertilizer.


There is no age statement on the front, though the back label reveals an aging range between 6 and 10 years. Rum thinned to 70% abv before filling into American white oak barrels (after Jack Daniel's). Aging in St Catherine with angel's share 4-6%.

Aroma
Punchy with upfront aromas of light tobacco and toasted oak with spicy fruit – raisins and plums. With time light notes of vanilla become evident.
— as they tell
Tropical composition: banana, limette, brown sugar. In the background: prunes and vanilla pudding.
— as examined by RumExam
Taste
Luscious and tropical fruits with a soft, buttery and almost creamy texture. Dry a slightly bitter, soft tannins are rounded out by toasted oak and nutmeg.
— as they tell
Pineapple with ginger and creamy toffee.
— as examined by RumExam
Afterburn
A hint of black pepper finished off with a touch of ginger as it lingers with it’s soft, dry finish.
— as they tell
Dark cocoa and cloves.
— as examined by RumExam
⁖Reviewed on: January 24th, 2022