Rum Review: Cockspur 12
Cockspur 12-Year Rum Review
In my previous review, we sampled Cockspur’s latest offering: their 130° white rum. Today we set our sights back twelve years, when a similar rum was laid to rest inside used Bourbon barrels in the hot Barbadian sun.
The Cockspur 12-Year arrives in a clear, classic bottle; the label is handsome in its simplicity, and there’s a nice bulb at the neck provides a good grip. I did have a problem with the cork on my particular bottle–it broke and I had to replace it, but not a problem for me, as I always have a variety of corks in inventory.
In the glass, the rum presents as a beautiful mahogany with bronze and copper highlights. A swirl in the glass produces a great number of droplets that fall slowly back to the bulk. The nose has a mild astringency, but the most noticeable aroma is that of smoky oak. After the smoke there is a banana note, followed by a mix of citrus–lemon and orange. There is a distinct Bourbon vibe happening here–the spiciness is reminiscent of a high rye mash aged in a heavily charred oak barrel. After allowing it to breathe for a while, a candied caramel note appears as does vanilla and crème brûlée.
Time for a taste…
The rum enters and commences with delighting all areas of my palate; the balance is strikingly good. There is a brightness that is tempered by a hint of sweetness, followed by a smoky, spicy note. There is also a fair bit of chocolate here, along with the aforementioned banana, lemon and orange. Subsequent sips bring candy shop imagery with caramel and butterscotch, followed by a few dashes from the spice rack: black pepper, allspice, and a hint of nutmeg.
The Cockspur 12 fills a really great niche in the market–it’s made by West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados, so it has that classic Barbados style. But the blending of course, is really where it all comes together. While remaining a rum-lover’s rum, the extra smoke and Bourbon notes take the Cockspur 12 into a category of crossover spirit for the American whiskey drinker. And at this price point I can’t help but feel that Cockspur has managed to accomplish what Mount Gay (Rémy Cointreau) was attempting to do with their Black Barrel expression.
This rum will find a happy home in your bar whether you are a rum or a whiskey drinker. It’s great on its own, but also makes a heck of an Old-Fashioned or other classic cocktail. It’s smooth enough to blend in with other ingredients while still maintaining its assertive smoky character. I’m a big fan, and I expect you will be too–especially at its ~$28 price point.
Now the scores:
• Appearance 1/1
• Aroma 2/2
• Mouth feel 1/1
• Taste 3.5/4
• Aftertaste 2/2
• Total 9.5/10