Barbados is an English-speaking island in the Caribbean. Originally the Spanish and the Portuguese visited Barbados, but it wasn’t until 1624 that the English arrived and claimed Barbados for King James I. The fact that Barbados was settled by the English actually influences the style of rum made on the island. Rum is made from a byproduct of the sugar production process called molasses. First, molasses is fermented and then distilled to produce rum. Islands settled by the English, tend to make styles of rum that are fuller-bodied than islands settled by the Spanish where lighter rums are more common.
While Barbados is arguably the first place where rum was distilled, Cockspur Rum is now in its third century of distilling rum, originally established in 1884. Cockspur was first founded by a Dane named Valdemar Hanschell. He came to the island of Barbados after several years of being a ship broker; he turned to running a ship chandlery, supplying visiting ships with all manner of goods from ropes to salt to fresh provisions to rum, of course. Eventually, a partner was brought into the company to expand the export side of the business, and a later merger created Hanschell Innis, the same firm that makes Cockspur Rum to this day.
Cockspur continues in the English tradition by distilling in both pot and column stills. Pot stills give a heavier, richer base spirit, while column stills have a lighter body. By combining these two styles, adding fresh coral-filtered well water, and aging in used bourbon barrels, Cockspur creates some of the finest rums on the planet.
Two of Cockspur’s offerings are particularly interesting and worth buying: Cockspur Fine Rum and Cockspur 12. Cockspur Fine Rum is a great mixing rum to keep on hand. If you like a bit of richness in your rum, Cockspur Fine Rum is an excellent bottle to have. Filled with notes of demerara sugar, cinnamon, butterscotch, and banana, this rum delivers a lot of flavor at an affordable price point.
Cockspur 12, a sipping rum, is a fine addition to your liquor cabinet if you enjoy sipping good rum neat or on the rocks. Cockspur 12 is a blend of rums that offers a medium body, a smooth taste, and a lingering, pleasant finish. Notes of tropical fruit, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and bananas abound on the palate, with freshly roasted coffee beans, cinnamon, and vanilla pound cake are on the finish. Overall, Cockspur 12 is a winner and a well-crafted rum with an interesting and exciting flavor profile.
While Cockspur rums may not be a household name like Bacardi, these are rums worth searching out and exploring. Look for Cockspur Fine Rum and Cockspur 12 at liquor stores and retailers near you.
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product from Cockspur Rums for review. No other compensation from Cockspur Rums was received.