Warehouse1 - unaged lineup tasting & scores
Updated: Feb 16, 2023
Warehouse#1 - A new and exciting independent bottler based in the Czech Republic. Their first foray into rum bottling is this line of unaged white rums. Beautifully presented, these rums focus on specific 'marks' from iconic Jamaican distilleries, with no barrel influence, presented at a bold 63% offering rum enthusiasts a unique opportunity to taste & compare pure single style rums in their natural state.
Clearly, high ester, high abv rums such as these are going to work fantastically in a range of cocktails, but today I shall review them neat, to get as pure an impression of each as possible.
We have 1 rum from Worthy Park & 2 from each of New Yarmouth, Hampden and Long Pond. I believe I'm only missing Worthy Park WPE. In the Czech Republic these bottles are very reasonable priced... a huge thanks Eric & Lewis for putting in the effort - and hard miles - making these available to rum family here in the UK 👍👏👍
As they're all bottled at a punchy 63%, I shall approach these (with caution) in increasing ester order, so we are expecting some pretty wild stuff towards the end. As always, I poured them 25 mins before reviewing, nose each first and then taste. Today I'm assisted by the incroyable Toots & The Maytals.
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum River Mumma Edition WP/CJN, 63%, 60-120g/hlpa
A first for me, and a close to a first anywhere I've seen, this Worthy Park rum is made from fresh cane juice rather than molasses more commonly seen from them.
Worthy Park, nestled in the beautiful Lluidas valley in central Jamaica is surrounded by it's own cane fields that they generally process into sugar, with the by-product molasses being used to make their rums. Given that they grow their own cane, it's not a huge leap for them to start offering fresh cane juice rum. A very exciting addition to their lineup as far as I'm concerned.
Nose: I've spent quite a while nursing this, as it's predictably new to me. Fiercely aggressive alcohol from the off (I know, it's 63%). Fresh, cane forward, yet quite different from an unaged Agricole. Clean, grassy & floral, almost perfumed, but a dry musky perfume. A little overripe tropical fruit. Some salted butter. Unfortunately the poor alcohol integration is making this hard to approach.
Mouth: Sweet, tangy green apple and floral sweet cane earthiness. A little sour sharpness at the end. Great experience to try a WP cane juice rum. Huge cocktail potential and a pretty reasonable sipper [84pts]
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum HLCF, 63%, 500-600g/hlpa esters
A mid ester Hampden rum. As with all Hampden rums, this is molasses based with the funky, fruity flavours being achieved through their traditional use of wild fermentation, dunder and pot stilling.
Nose: Globs of flavour here, on the nose it's a step up from the CJN. Gets and immediate smile from me. Typical Hampden notes, lots of mouth-watering sweet esters, big rotten tropical fruit. Pineapple and papaya. Lovely stuff. Funky but super approachable. Lots of vinegar. Play-doh. And a good dusting of peppery spice. Gets a little drier as you sit with it.
Mouth: Sweet ester leads quickly to a smoky bitterness. Quite heavy on the vinegar. Not as balanced as I'd hoped. The limited sweetness gets quickly overwhelmed by the smoke and vinegar. Shame as the nose had much promise [79pts]
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum Anansi Edition NYE/HM, 63%, 500-700g/hlpa
New Yarmouth, home of the legendary Wray & Nephew. New Yarmouth possess both column and pot stills but I suspect this fairly high ester molasses base rum was produced, following long fermentation, on a pot still.
NYE/HM is a mark I've not tried before (in fact I've never seen elsewhere - chapeau Warehouse#1!)
Nose: Dry rotten old fruit. So old it's lost much of the sweetness. More closed than the HLCF. A little rancid meat. Lots of musk. Quite salty. Reasonable depth and very dry. Funky stuff, much closer to Long Pond than Hampden in style with a little sour dark cherry that I associate with Long Pond.
Mouth: Fun, zippy stuff. Effervesces in your mouth. A great balance of dry moorish salty meat and sweet rotten fruity esters. Long, clean, balanced finish. My first visit to NYE/HM is a great one. [86+pts]
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum STC❤E, 63%, 550-700g/hlpa esters
The classic mid ester mark from Long Pond. Actually 'mid ester' is a very misleading statement. Mid in this line-up - extreme, wild crazy stuff in any other rum company!
Nose: Deep, dry fermenting cherry juice. A little orchard fruit also at that stage of fermenting rot. And some wood polish. Rich & salty. Not as keen on mid fermenting notes, as opposed to sweet rotten flavours previously synonymous with STC❤E.
Mouth: A sweet fruity start is quickly overpowered by a wave of very powerful sour notes. A touch of mint but it's really a one horse race, the sour vinegary fruit ferment is the only horse in town today. Not working for me. [77pts]
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum Rolling Calf Edition TECA, 63%, 1300g/hlpa esters
And now into the big bruisers.
Sticking with Long Pond, TECA is one of their highest ester marks and should probably come with health warnings! The 4 horned wild bull (or rolling calf as it's known from Jamaican folklore) adorning the label is very appropriate for what we expect to encounter in the bottle.
Nose: Massive, delicious Long Pond. Lashings of rotten succulent dark berries and cherries. A splash of balsamic vinegar. Acetone. Wisps of smoke. Huge depth. Impressive stuff.
Mouth: Tasty high ester Long Pond. Lots of rancio, pungent. Well balanced. Possibly not quite as complex as I'd hoped but really lovely stuff with no single overpowering flavour or bad note. [83+pts]
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum NYE/WK, 63%, 1500-1600g/hlpa esters
Back to New Yarmouth, this time to experience their highest ester mark. Bordering on the legal limit for ester count, these intense pungent rums were historically produced to be used as rum flavour in a variety of products. It's only recently that rum nerds have developed an appetite to taste the most extreme possible flavours. Not expecting anything shy or retiring here!
Nose: Highly alcoholic Maraschino cherries. Heady stuff. Compared to the TECA this has less acetone and more deep rotting fruit. Even rotting veg. Both sweet & savoury
Mouth: Sweet, rotten and indulgent. A little goes a long way here, but it's really beautiful. Rich, deep, fairly complex with lovely sweet esters balancing all the crazy rotten shit. Somehow walking that tightrope of disgusting and beautiful to produce a drink you can't understand why you love, but you definitely do! Super moorish. [88pts]
Warehouse #1 Overproof White Rum John Crow Edition DOK, 63%, 1600g/hlpa esters
No introduction necessary. The granddaddy of funk - Hampden DOK. The highest ester content allowed, unaged, untamed - as wild as it gets.
Nose: Not as sweet as I would expect from a DOK, Lots of acetone. The sweet esters and rotten tropical fruit are there, with some vinegar as usual, but not in the levels I've experienced with other high ester Hampden.
Mouth: Wow that's aggressive. Fun and really interesting but too much for me to sip on. I'm sure this will add an outstanding punch to many amazing cocktails but neat it's one crazy mofo and not as balanced as other DOK I have had. Lacking on the sweet side of the rotten ester notes.
Dark stuff - and not in the colour. This is a macabre rum - weirdly compelling and likely haunt you for a long time after drinking it. [82-pts]
Conclusion: An absolute belter of a first rum line. Love what Warehouse#1 have released here. The pair of New Yarmouth were stand out for me, and an honourable mention must go that exciting new Worthy Park cane juice. Kudos to Warehouse#1 for getting their hands on that and the NYE/HM !