It has been my pleasure to travel the Americas and Caribbean exploring distilleries, learning about companies and their products. The first time I visited the island of Grenada I had the opportunity to tour Westerhall Estate. What I found was lovely grounds, the remains of an old rum distillery, a museum, and finally aging houses along with a blending and bottling facility. At the end of the tour we sat down and explored their line of products and it was no surprise that Westerhall Vintage Rum, now rechristened Westerhall 10XO, was locked in my memory as one to revisit at a future time.
Westerhall 10XO is a blend of rums aged a minimum of 10 years in used Bourbon barrels and blended to 80 proof. The base product is sourced from Angostura and then aged on site.
Westerhall Estate uses the same 750ml bottle for 10XO as their Plantation product. It is sealed with a black security wrap with 10XO boldly shown on the neck. This is a big update from the gold wax that used to adorn the bottle. The label has been updated as well. Previously, it was consistent visually with the bottle used by Plantation; however, now it stands out visually with a large “10XO” that you can spot from across the room. The tan front label provides the minimum information about the product with the new design showing off more of the rum in the bottle.
The rum has a dark brown color that lightens with amber hues when it is poured in the glass. Swirling the liquid reveals a nice solid band that produces medium sized legs that descend quickly down the glass. As I swirl the rum it is easy to spot a light green ring where the rum touches the glass, visually confirming that this is a true aged blend.
As I poured the rum in the glass I noted a bouquet of caramel, spices and a light floral grassy note fill the air. I let the liquid settle and, in addition to the caramel detected, I discovered cinnamon, cocoa, a touch of vanilla, with nutmeg coming in at the end. This combination of aromas makes me think of all the spices grown on Grenada. It is not uncommon to smell them drifting in the wind depending on where you are at on the island.
Sipping the rum reveals caramel and smoky oak forming the foundation with honeyed vanilla taking the high notes. The mid-line is filled with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa. I detect a light pop of salt along with coffee and cloves as the rum slowly fades in a dry finish.
I always enjoy a rum when it transports me back to its island of origin and Westerhall 10XO achieves that. From the aroma to the glass this was a pleasure to sip. A quality sipper it is a fine ingredient for any cocktail calling for an aged rum. Add an ice cube or a little bit of water to open it up and bring the spices out to play. Westerhall products are currently available in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Please visit www.Westerhallrums.com to learn more about their products.