Worthy Park Estate
Contributed By: Karen Cadien
Strangely enough I am not a rum drinker yet I am drawn to rum tours. I was told that maybe I am enamored with the smell of rum since my body is unable to process it. I can certainly talk about the best aromatics as opposed to telling you definitively about the best tasting rum in Jamaica.
Another thing I can share is about the tours themselves.
I will commence with the newest kid on the block, the Worthy Park Estate Rum Tour, which started around 2019. While I could easily dismiss the tour as a shameless rip off of the mother of all rum tours in Jamaica, Appleton Rum Tour, I will resist as to be fair, the Worthy Park Estate has its own particular charm and historical significance.
One of five distilleries in Jamaica, Worthy Park Estate is located in the parish of St. Catherine, in Lluidas Vale, which is elevated some 1200 feet above sea level. The estate, which dates back to 1670, sits on some 10,000 acres and is a sight to behold with its picturesque view of endless rows of sugar cane. I assure you that you will be flipping out your phone or cameras every second to snap the brilliant scenery. Seeing it is just not enough…you need to store it on a hard drive!
I am not going to get into the details of the tour itself because it is like any other rum tour in that you get a sanitized version of the history of the place, be it verbally or in this case, via a virtual tour, with an effervescent narrator. Then you get to tour the distillery, aging warehouse and bottling facility. The big difference between this distillery and many of the others is that it is state of the art. This is in part due to the fact that the estate resumed rum production in 2004 having ceased in 1962 due to a glut in the spirits market.
The tour ends with a sampling of the award winning products from the estate. They are: Rum-Bar White Overproof (2007), Rum-Bar Cream (2010), Rum-Bar Gold (2014), the Worthy Park Estate Rum-Bar Silver (2017) and Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve (2018). These spirits are distributed to 20 states in the USA, 13 European countries and 4 countries including China and Japan in Asia, 5 Caribbean countries and South Africa.
Their rum is unique for a number of reasons: they own their sugar cane fields; 100 percent Estate produced molasses (which they supply to other distilleries); spring water through limestone aquifer (similar to Hampden Estate); proprietary yeast strains; fermentation on site; Pot-Still only; tropical aging; blended and bottled on site and no sugar or flavours added.
As for the historical significance of the Worthy Park Estate, it has the first known record of rum production in Jamaica, which dates back to 1741, way before any other distillery in Jamaica. The cultivation of sugar cane has continued unabated since 1720 and currently, the estate produces 30 percent of Jamaica’s sugar and was the largest producer in 2017-18.
It remains fully owned and operated by Jamaicans.
Worthy Park awaits! Join us for a tour as part of your private Cultours Jamaica itinerary.
Who am I?
I am most passionate about traveling and exploring new places. As implausible as it may sound, I do think this zeal is coded in my constitution given my parents’ penchant for travel and adventure in their early years.
I am currently employed as a Public Relations Manager focusing on issues of police oversight in Jamaica, which partly requires me to travel islandwide for community engagements. In doing so, I have been able to merge my passion with my substantive job, as I am constantly stumbling on remnants of times past which I adore, as a tertiary graduate in History, Literature and Communications.
Thus, touring and engaging people come naturally. I am usually planning and assisting locals and tourists alike in locating the roads less traveled as a licensed part time tour guide.
I look forward to sharing my immense love of travel with you during your time on the island.