Review – Westerhall Estate Vintage Rum
Hailing from Grenada comes the Westerhall Estate Vintage Rum. The estate itself covers some 500 acres and is reportedly home to the oldest working waterway in the Western hemisphere. This estate-produced rum is distilled incopper pot stills from sugar cane juice and aged for at least 10 years in oak barrels.
Nose: A blend of molasses and orange curaçao greets the nostrils, followed shortly by light grassy aromas and soft spice. This is a relatively night nose given the decent age, with little on the woody front, and erring more towards a floral and sharp fruit character. Just enough butterscotch and caramel aromas to keep it appropriately ‘rummy’ in character.
Neat: Intriguingly salty up front, but only briefly as a healthy wash of caramel follows shortly after. The mid palate is a little flat, with a slightly rubbery character to it, leading onto a moderately spicy and sweet finish. The sweet notes are toffee-like in character, and as with the nose the impact of the barrel is relatively light. Dry’ish in style, it doesn’t quite offer the complexity of flavour for a true sipping rum, but it’s heading in the right direction.
Mixing: Although not always a runaway success, this is a quite quite capable of impressing in mixed drinks. A ‘heavy-on-the-vermouth-and-bitters’ Palmetto for example helps to counter the drier profile and boost the mid-palate to tease out the core toffee-apple delicate spicing to produce a moreish and lighter version of this excellent cocktail. A Daiquiri by contrast falls a little flat; it’s pleasingly fruity, but falls into an awkward mid-ground with neither the crisp freshness of a quality white rum, nor the depth of character expected from an aged rum. Following the sweet and bittered route, such as with the Old Fashioned and it’s variants is a reliable direction to head, it being hard to go too far wrong. Just be sure not to partner with overly bold flavours such as the cholocate notes in the Mulata Daiquiri, where the tasty flavoursof this rum just don’t quite stand up to the challenge. It does however make for a good choice in highballs such as the Anejo Highball with it’s notes of orange and ginger. The rum offers sufficient depth of flavours to withstand the dilution of such drinks, but also allows the final result to be refreshing and not too aggressively flavoured.
Westerhall Vintage Rum is a reasonable middle of the road aged rum. There is little to actively dislike and it performs solidly as a mixer, particularly in longer drinks. Rating: ★★★
Westerhall Vintage Rum is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.