It is time for a bunch of Worthy Parks again. A few official bottlings reached me recently but before we discuss them let’s catch up on some of the IBs. Lately, more and more Worthy Parks are hitting the shelves and why the differences in quality are tremendous at times, there’s something many of them have in common: They are getting younger and younger. Apparently Worthy Park still belongs to the rums that are still in relatively abundant supply in the brokers’ warehouses. This time we do a vertical tasting, starting with more recent vintages and then going back all the way to the reopening in 2005, getting older as we progress.
For my recent, larger Worthy Park cross-tasting, click here, but you can find many more reviews by simply checking out the Worthy Park section linked above.
Ferroni Worthy Park 2010 6YO (63,4%): In the 19th century large quantities of rum aged in the cellars of Marseille. Today, Bariana wants to resume this tradition and bottles rum under the label Ferroni. These rums tend to be way overpriced by the way. This one aged in ex-Bourbon and Rye barrels. I am not sure whether this adds up with these short ageing periods in Europe but we will see. Nose: Oh my, I am not sure if this is just boring or bad… Vanilla flavoured alcohol and raw bananas perhaps. Uh… The nose doesn’t give anything away. The barrels must have been sucked out entirely, the double was really unnecessary in my opinion. At the palate we can find apple pie with vanilla sauce and some cinnamon on top. It is infinitely better than the nose but that wasn’t difficult. The flavours are quite nice and work very well together but all in all it is way too one-dimensional. The finish is pretty much just a short extension of the palate. All in all it is not very good, especially not at its price.
SMWS R11.2 “Absolutely Fabulous” (Worthy Park) 2010 7YO (66,3%): Let’s see if this is absolutely fabulous indeed. In the nose I get sour pears, unripe bananas, potatoes and a whiff of herbs. It is a very unmemorable profile and rather interchangeable. On the plus side we have that almost no alcohol penetrates my nostrils. Oh well, perhaps the palate improves upon this ones again but this time it is very similar to the nose. In fact, it is so similar that I am not even going to repeat my associations here. However, we have to add diesel notes and the herbs are now more pronounced. Additionally, there is something in the profile which I feel shouldn’t be there. I cannot quite nail it down but it is rather disturbing note. The finish is rather short with a few woody notes and unripe fruits. I am afraid we have to add this one to the ‘below average’ list.
Isla del Ron Worthy Park 2011 7YO (51,8%): The alcohol burns relatively strongly here. Then pears, Indian figs, light white wine and lots and lots of cinnamon. In the background I can also find some nail enamel. With these young worthy parks, only the tropically aged ones were really good imo, see for example the The Rum Cask Worthy Park 2009 4YO. At the palate we get a similar picture. The pears are now accompanied by vanilla, cinnamon and sugar, and honestly, that’s really it. After a while I also get apple juice and wood apples and if we are really adventurous we might also add thyme. The apple juice carries over into the very short finish. Moreover, I get minimal amounts of wood and pears, which come and go. Well, it is drinkable and I believe that describes it pretty well. Profile-wise, I wouldn’t say it is a typical Worthy Park though.
Rum Artesanal Worthy Park 2005 10YO (59,8%): Lots and lots of bananas in all possible forms. Besides that, the rum is rather heavy on the spices, relatively speaking. The cask must have been quite active. The palate can best be described as chocolate dipped banana. It is really hard to think of anything else here. Then there’s nougat, cocoa and more and more of the banana/ chocolate combination. I know that I’ve complained about the one-dimensionality with some of the younger Worthy Parks but here it works very well. The second sip adds raw vanilla while subsequent ones come with a hint of herbs. My guess is that the spices which I’ve found in the nose turned to chocolate/ cocoa at the palate. The finish is medium long with chocolate, nougat and After Eight. It’s quite good if you are into this particular profile but who doesn’t like chocolate and bananas!?
S.B.S Jamaica (Worthy Park) 2005 12YO (58,6%): The nose presents itself with banana puree, banana chips as well as a mix of sweet pears and sour apples. Behind that a subtle support from the cask in the form of oak and slightly sulphatic notes. Later also wild herbs. The palate is slightly sweeter than the nose and not as heavy on the bananas as some other, younger 2005s. I must say that I enjoy this more mature side of Worthy Park a lot more. In addition to the typical banana flavours I get pears, Indian fig, very faint diesel and floral notes. It’s very nice! Finish: Relatively sweet and decently long without any specific or dominant notes I want to pick out. This should be aged partially in tropical and continental weather, a mix that has often turned out to be superior to only sort of ageing. What is more, these Worthy parks will only get better with time as it seems. Personally, I also like it quite a bit more than the Rum Artesanal for what it’s worth.
The Rum Cask Jamaica (Worthy Park) 2005 12YO (56,6%): The Rum Cask basically always deliver so I expect nothing less. And indeed, this is quintessential 2005 Worthy Park. Bananas meet cherry juice, a bag of herbs, wood apple and tamarind. Just what I am looking for in these rums. The palate easily keeps up with the great nose and comes with different forms of bananas, pears, Indian fig, hints of anise, a good amount of herbs and some of the chocolate notes which we have found so dominantly in the Rum Artesanal. It combines the best elements of the previous rums and it is difficult to name a favorite between this and the S.B.S. But let’s just finish this first. The rum becomes increasingly thin towards the end but carries out for quite some time in the finish with notes of bananas, herbs, and the figs. I’d say the S.B.S is a bit more mature, has a slightly thicker mouthfeel, comes with a bit more wood but is less fruity. However, you cannot really go wrong with either of them if you like Worthy Park.