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Cockspur 12

Category: Dark
Country: Barbados
Aged: 12 years
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Very Limited
Price: $25-$35
Rating: Four stars

The Review:
The very first thing you notice about Cockspur 12 year aged rum is that it looks EXACTLY what a 12 year old rum should look like.

Cockspur 12 comes in an understated and squat bottle, with rounded shoulders and bubbled neck, complimenting one of the finest honey-amber hues I have ever seen in a dark rum.  All together it adds up to a really appealing presentation.

Unfortunately, the distiller trended back to this side of modern by choosing to seal this masterpiece with a plastic "cork".  I agree that plastic corks are much more efficient at providing much better and reliable seal than a natural cork does, but that does not mean it feels the same.  At the end of the day, there is something ancient and simple about the squeak of a natural cork that helps to add to the pending rum experience.  Luckily, this rum moves quickly to redeem itself.

Once poured, the color becomes more of a golden copper. Molasses, butterscotch, and bourbon whiskey dominate the nose. Aeration releases vanilla and oak along with an undertone of stone fruit.  A very inviting and subtly complex bouquet follows, featuring flavors of vanilla, caramel, brandy, and oak.

At first sip, Cockspur 12 has a strong bite that seems to be sourced equally between alcohol and spices (nutmeg, allspice).  Don't judge me, but there's also a honeyed, earthy aftertaste with a soft backdrop of what I can only identify as buttery marshmallow.

Full bodied and intense yet it does smooth out slightly with time, particularly when a few drops of water are introduced and a couple of choice ice cubes are allowed to mingle.  Even on the rocks, it's warm with a long, dry finish.

I find it somewhat similar in aroma, flavor, and bite to another aged Bajan rum: Doorly's XO. Be warned, however, this rum is not for the weak!  It can quickly go straight to ones head...

In short, Cockspur 12 is a fine sipping rum that, despite some initial harshness, is a pleasure to enjoy slowly.

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