Westerhall Dark

Westerhall Dark-RG1

Product of:  Grenada (distilled on Trinidad)
Aged:  blend of rums aged at least 7 Years
Price: $EC28 / $US10.50 on Grenada
Alcohol:
 40% ABV 
Sugar:  6-10g/L
Context:
Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:  7.5

Tasting Notes
A bouquet of vanilla and caramel announce themselves immediately upon opening this shiny dark bronze rum from Westerhall.  Swirling quickly produces a crown of droplets, several eventually run as thin legs, but most just hang around at the top of the swirl trace.

Aromas include pleasant roasted blood orange and baked banana, caramel, oak, vanilla, some paraffin and phenolic notes, and of course nutmeg, the soft, nutty, aromatic spice that Grenada is famous for.  Taking an initial sip brings out the forward vanilla and phenolic flavors characteristic of Angostura-sourced rums, and demonstrate how well this rum will stand up in a mixed drink.  A medium-heavyweight body enhances the overall impression, before leading to a very smooth, sweet milk chocolate finish.

Anecdotes
Westerhall stopped distilling rums decades ago.  Afrer ceasing distilling operations, the company sought rums from nearby Trinidad, first with Caroni, and then when that distillery stopped distilling, Westerhall went to Angostura, who they source from to this day.  However, mush of the centuries old distillery has been preserved, and tourists are encouraged to visit and taste the brand’s wide range of rums.  You can see a few photos of the Westerhall Estate and the
distillery's ruins here.

This Dark rum is Westerhall’s attempt to slake Grenada’s thirst for moderately aged god rum.  Their prime competitor is Clarke’s Court’s ubiquitous Special Dark, aka Flanka.”  I like ‘em both, and will drink either depending on what’s pouring at the bar I’m in while on Grenada.  But Westerhall’s Dark offering is a few cuts above the competition.  It’s aged longer, packs more flavor, and strikes a richer compromise between sipper and mixer.

I first encountered Westerhall Dark while sourcing rums to pour during another of the Caribbean Rum Cruises that I host aboard Island Windjammers    fleet of tall ships.  I’ve been satisfied  with every Westerhall rum I tasted since my first journey to Grenada in 1991, and every new aged offering they release over the past decade has been spot-on.  The lucky passengers on the schooner S/V Diamant certainly thought so too, as Westerhall Dark was quickly consumed often and in good company.  Westerhall Dark will now be the ship’s pour on the rum cruises I host out of Grenada.

Dark Green AppleMd-RG1

Cocktail Suggestion:  Dark Green Apple
2 oz Westerhall Dark Rum
1 oz Meyer lemon juice
1/2 oz Clément Sirop de Canne
    - Cannelle, Vanille & Girofle
1/8 Green apple, cubed

Crafting:  Muddle the green apple cubes in a shaker with the Meyer lemon juice and 1 oz of Westerhall Dark rum.  Add a pinch of ground cinnamon, the remainder of the rum and chipped ice.  Shake well (10 - 12 seconds).  Strain into a coupé or martini glass, then garnish with slice of green apple and cinnamon stick.

Opinion 
Westerhall Dark is easy on the palate and the pocketbook.  If you enjoy two widely popular Angostura rums – Single Barrel Reserve and the deeper-flavored 1919 – then you’ll really like Westerhall Dark.  When on the beautiful “spice isle” of Grenada, consider making this this one of your go-to standard-proof rums.  It’s adept at both sipping and mixing.  Westerhall hit a home run for their home market with Dark.

Reviewed: July 2014 while hosting a Rum Cruise on Island Windjammers beautiful tall ship S/V Diamant, sailing North from Grenada, West Indies.

© Dave Russell 2017