Holmes Cay Jamaica 2011 Wedderburn (Clarendon) 10 year – 59%
Stats: Independent bottling of 2011 pot distilled rum from Clarendon/Monymusk in the medium ester Wedderburn style. This rum aged in ex-Bourbon casks for 3 years in Jamaica’s tropical climate followed by 7 additional years in the UK. Four casks were purchased by Holmes Cay, producing 1,050 bottles at 59% ABV with no color, sugar or other additives.
Source: I originally received a small sample as part of a trade in which I tried it blindly. Later, I was provided a full bottle in which to distribute samples for an Austin Rum Society virtual tasting event we did with Eric Kaye of Holmes Cay. I held a few ounces back for myself to formulate this review
Conditions: Enjoyed neat in a Glencairn over a few sessions. I will share both my initial blind impressions as well as notes from the bottle I was provided by Holmes Cay.
1st Impression: Blind
Nose: Baking spice, heat, vanilla, green olives, motor oil
Mouth: Damp soil, earthy greenness, black pepper, overripe pineapple, underripe banana
2nd Impression: Full Sight
Nose: Copper, shortbread, dirt, some olive brininess, seaweed, tres leches
Mouth: Punch of flavor and heat, bandaid, rubbing alcohol, honey, dirt, cinnamon, eucalyptus, old oak, anise
Final Thoughts: I’d never met a Clarendon I liked until I had this one. The usual combination of bandaid, antiseptic, tar, industrial funk, and flowers is unequivocally unappealing to me. But this one tames those odd notes and takes you on an interesting journey. It doesn’t have the fruitiness of Hampden or the delicacy of Worthy Park, but it’s unmistakably pot still Jamaican rum. Would not be an everyday sipper for me, but not a bad one to have in the arsenal.
My Rating: 3+
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle