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Rum Review: Westerhall Estate

Westerhall Estate Plantation Rum Review

Westerhall Estate Plantation Rum

Located in Grenada, the Westerhall Estate was once a vertically-integrated operation, making everything from sugar to rum. Today the estate stands as more of a museum to showcase days gone by. Its water wheels stopped spinning in the 1970’s, and today their rums are sourced from Angostura in Trinidad. But as students of the noble spirit, we know blending is where much of a rum producer’s art is displayed, so let’s take a look and see what Westerhall has to offer.

Bottled at 43% ABV, the Westerhall Plantation Rum ($29) comes in a short bottle dipped generously in wax. As is the case with many such presentations, the wax looks cool, but in practice is difficult to deal with. Without a string to suggest where to remove it, my bottle ended up looking pretty ragged once opened. Alas.

The label indicates the rum is a blend of cane juice and molasses distillates, which is a surprise to me, as I was unaware Angostura was making cane juice rum.

In the glass, the rum is a deep golden color with flashes of bronze. A swirl of the glass yields a hefty ring from which a uniform set of droplets descend somewhat quickly.

Moving in for a nosing, I’m hit with the impression of ripe fruit including ripe bananas, melon, and mango. After the fruit comes a host of aromas from the bakery:  shortbread cookies, vanilla, almond, and hint of cocoa.

The rum washes over the palate with a bright assertiveness, and as the fruit and cookies again make themselves known, so does the strong impression of tropically aged oak. We now get some citrus added to the mix represented by Seville orange peel and Meyer lemon—both of which are quickly rounded out by Chantilly cream and a hint of molasses. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but not watery. The spice is not dominant, but what is present features prominently in the tannic finish, showing cinnamon, cardamom, and red pepper. Subsequent sips provide more sweetness in the form of the vanilla cream, and things generally get more pleasant as they go along.

Score: 8.5

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