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Rum Review: Cockspur 130 Overproof

Cockspur 130-Proof Overproof Rum Review

Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum

Overproof rums are a staple of Caribbean culture, where you’re far more likely to find folks enjoying an overproof-based rum punch than wee drams of pricey aged rum. And while you’ve likely had a bit of the ever-present Bacardi 151, there are much more tasty entries to this category. One such rum is Cockspur 130 overproof rum. I was recently provided with a sample by Cockspur USA; let’s take a closer look.

Distilled by West Indies Rum Distillery, Ltd. on Barbados, Cockspur 130 overproof arrives in a clear upright bottle that is easily grasped by the slightly bulbous neck. The label features Cockspur’s famously proud rooster strutting from right to left. The red band on the label and red metal closure seem to imply flammability, which is of course appropriate given the alcohol percentage. Simple, handsome, and without a lot of fanfare, this bottle says only what needs to be said.

In the glass, the rum is perfectly clear. A swirl in the snifter produces a host of fast-moving legs, after which a second set of droplets form and move more leisurely toward the bottom. The nose bears a fair bit of astringency, but we expect that from a 65% ABV spirit. The aromas, however, are more pleasant than one might expect. The nose begins with some buttery grass, followed by a pronounced note of raspberry sorbet. There is also a bit of ripe cherry and a hint of fennel. Granted, overproof rums aren’t for sipping, but let’s try it neat and go from there…

The rum leaps onto the palate with a ton of heat and spice. The mouthfeel is slick and slightly oily—it’s as if the distiller added back just a bit of the tails for flavor and viscosity modification. There is red and black pepper, but the raspberry note is still here, along with a hint of cocoa. The buttery grass note rounds things out nicely, but the alcohol content is just a bit too high to dig much deeper; let’s dilute with a bit of water and try again.

After adding what I thought might be too much water, I’m surprised to find that the perceived strength is still quite high. The aromas are the same, although the astringency is clearly less pronounced. The main difference is less burn on entry, which allows me to push through and detect additional flavors including a pair of spices: cinnamon and nutmeg.

All in all, the Cockspur 130 Overproof rum was far more pleasant than I had expected it to be. The raspberry note along with grass and butter make for a delightful combination that is sure to work well with fruit juice, soda, or even in an overproof Daiquiri.

On to the scores:

  • Appearance 1/1
  • Aroma 1.75/2
  • Mouth feel 1/1
  • Taste 3.25/4
  • Aftertaste 2/2
  •  Total 9/10

Buy Cockspur 130 Online

Does overproof rum figure into your favorite rum punch? Please share below.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2014 11:28 pm

    Nice review Josh. You should do your best to see if you can get any of Velier’s full proof line of rums, which show what rums issued between 50-65% can be if done right. They just seem to be made with a little more flair than standard overproofs (such as the various 151s, Appleton White, or the Cockspur you reviewed here). It would be interesting to get your take on the differences.

  2. January 21, 2014 8:00 am

    It’s so nice to see a complete review of an overproof, good on you Josh for adding water.

    For some unknown reason, so many amateur reviewers think its a test of manhood to review OP’s at full strength, their esophogeal tissue be damned, and fail to follow up with a proper tasting with added water. The only question?

    How much to add?

    It’s entirely proper to add good water especially to OP’s, but also to most (if not all spirits). It is well accepted that something around 43% (86 proof) is the preferred proof for tasting but there is another important factor, namely that even a few drops of water release all the available aromas and tastes from all proofs.

    Thus you will frequently see Ralfy commonly add a teaspoon or two of water to a cask strength or even lower proof whiskys.

    Other resources are more exact. To correct an overproof to 43% the formula is: 30 x ((proof/86) -1) = cc’s to add to one ounce of booze. On this basis:

    Your 130 proof: add 15 cc (pretty close to Ralfy, eh?)
    At 151 proof: add 22 cc (roughly 1-1/2 tsp)

    For the formula challenged, the home distillation folks have a handy app here:

    But you might consider even adding five or ten drops of water to even an 80 proof spirit. This will not really change the proof much, but it will release all the aromas and flavors available. Tasters might consider adding good water to all your drams. The safest choice:

    Distilled. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but here in Florida we’re goin for a swim now…

  3. January 24, 2014 1:46 pm

    I enjoy overproof rums I wish we could find more of them in the Southeast. I’d like to work with a variety this year beyond my favorite two. Great article my man.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      January 24, 2014 4:23 pm

      They are quite fun to play with. Thank you very much!


  1. New Rum Review: Cockspur 130 Overproof | Inu a Kena

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