Worthy Park Blind Taste Test

I posted this to my Instagram stories and it seems to have drawn some interest.

When I posted about Worthy Park 109 a couple days ago, I mentioned that this new black rum from Jamaica tasted more like a Demerara rum from Guyana than the funky rums that Worthy Park is most famous for. Those Worthy Park rums are most notably expressed with Rum-Bar Overproof, but also many of the Hamilton rums that use Worthy Park distillate as their base. And then some people said that 109 didn’t taste anything like a Demerara and I was only looking at the color. Well, I’ll never turn down a challenge.

Hence the blind taste test with some Jamaican, Demerara, and blended rums. I compared the WP109 to Hamilton 86 from Guyana, Blackwell Black Gold from Jamaica, and the new Hamilton Zombie Blend that is a blend of rums from Jamaica and Guyana.

Tasting Notes

To me, the 109 tasted most similar to Hamilton 86. I know that caramel coloring is present in both and in theory does not impart taste, but to me these were very close. The 109 being 100% pot still and higher ABV did have a better mouthfeel and a richer taste.

The Blackwell was a poor choice for this comparison, since it was so clearly not really in the same league as the others. Beside the lower ABV (40%) there definitely was a sugary taste that made it stand out. The color isn’t that black either. I should have maybe tried Coruba instead. I find the Hamilton Pot Still Black to be quite funky (using Worthy Park distillate) so that wouldn’t really have been a good comparison either. In other words, Worthy Park 109 isn’t just a higher proof “black Jamaican” but something a bit different.

As for the true Demerara/Jamaican hybrid, I found the funky notes in the Hamilton Zombie Blend to be quite forward. While delicious and wonderful (and easily sippable at 59% ABV) it too didn’t really taste like the Worthy Park 109.

As I mentioned in my post the other day, I found the rich and heavy and boozy characteristics of the Worthy Park 109 to be delightful in a Mai Tai where I’m looking for rich and heavy and boozy. This one is a keeper.

Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve

A reacquisition for a product I bought a couple years ago and went empty very quickly. This is a wonderful aged Jamaican Rum expression from Worthy Park.

Bottled with a blend of rums aged 6-10 years in the tropics, this is 100% pot still rum and so flavorful, even at 45% ABV. If Appleton is too mellow and Hampden is too funky, then Worthy Park is, well you know – just right. Very approachable and yet still a great way to introduce newbies to how great Jamaican rums can be. The flavor lingers long after you finish drinking it, but doesn’t completely blow out your tongue.

This is Worthy Park’s mainstream aged expression. It comes in a fancy bottle and while cask-strength aficionados might balk at the price considering the ABV, I’d compare this something like Mount Gay XO. Maybe not the best “pound for pound” but something that perfectly captures what I’m looking for with a sipping rum and worth the slight premium for a trusted brand. Sometimes you don’t want cask strength but you still want it to be great.