What better way to celebrate National Rum Day than to go on a rum tour? And that’s exactly what Love Not Likes and Worthy Park had in mind for us bloggers who were up for the thrill. Everyone knows Jamaica is rum country and we’re proud of it!
On a rainy Friday morning, I met up with the group at Cafe Dolce to have a delectable breakfast sandwich and a soothing cup of warm coffee. The B.E.L.T. sandwich (short for bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato) sure hit that breakfast spot and has now become my morning sandwich of choice. After the crew ate, we loaded our bus to start our journey to the Worthy Park Estate in Lluidas Vale, St. Catherine.
We journeyed to Ewarton and took a left where, as a child, my journey had always taken a right to go up Mount Rosser. We continued for a few minutes more through communities and stretches of sugar cane fields that hinted to our destination. Then just around a bend, passed a few bamboo clumps, was the most beautiful spread of landscape I have seen in the longest while!
Misted with early morning dew drops, the plains of Luidas Vale and Worthy Park expanded all the way to the horizon. Excitement peaked as we were near our destination. A quick descent into the valley and we were greeted with even more sugarcane fields and the sign that couldn’t be missed, welcoming us to the Worthy Park Estate. Of course, it would have been remiss of us as bloggers and content creators, if we didn’t grasp the photo opportunity!
The bus drove through a well manicured driveway passed buildings that were to be a part of the rum tour. The rain began on the way to the visitor center but we were pleasantly greeted with an umbrella for each person and a rum punch cocktail sure to ease the cool temperatures the rain brought on. Day drinking and loving it! As alcohol before 12 pm is definitely a treat in my book! More pictures were taken and once we were settled, a brief introduction video of the tour was shown to us.
A little backstory before I tell you about the tour. Worthy Park Estate was established in 1670 but had to halt production in 1962 for various reasons. They restarted in 2005 and with efficient production and distribution processes in tact, not only to produce world class rum but also supply molasses to other producers locally and internationally.
The tour started at the distillery all the way through to bottling and ageing, bestowing a wealth of information to us. Our guide spoke about the “copper pot still” and how hot the room gets when the rum is in production, the White Oak bark that makes the barrels and the tubs in which the alcohol is stored and aged, the amount of rum and rum cream bottled mechanically and by hand and even the importance of their location to having the best tasting aged rum! We visited the warehouse where the rum is stored and even got to see their oldest rum in production! I have to admit that I wanted to stay in the warehouse a little longer to get a little of the “Angel’s Share”.
The Angel's Share is a portion of the rum that is evaporated over the years in storage while ageing. If you stood long enough in the warehouse, they would probably have to roll you out as if you were a barrel yourself.
Soon, we were back at the visitor’s center knowledged with the history and the process, ready to taste the results of it all. We were to sample from the Rumbar/Worthy Park line: the Rumbar Silver, the Rumbar 63% rum, Rumbar Gold, Worthy Park Single Estate Rum and the Rumbar Rum cream.
It was more than a tasting, it was also a savoring, discovering experience! With each sample, we were carefully instructed as to how to treat the rum. “Swivel”, “swirl”, “smell”… “what do you smell?” Between raisins, the White Oak bark, molasses, and cinnamon and countless more, we experienced the myriad of scents that were evoked throughout the taste discovery. We were later gifted with sample bottles of their popular Rumbar Rum and not long after, whisked off for the final leg of our Worthy Park Estate trip.
The bus pulled over to a path in the sugarcane fields that were to host the content creation for bloggers, influencers and sponsors alike! This trip was sponsored by CPJ Limited and SunFactory Jamaica who provided refreshments and sunglasses for all of the bloggers and influencers present.
We each donned our conceptualized outfits and props and stood amongst billowing blades of sugarcane leaves while the renowned photographer Michael Moodie snapped away masterfully behind the lens. The perfect way to end a Love Not Likes excursion.
These Love Not Likes trips are a delightful way of connecting and collaborating with sponsors and fellow bloggers and influencers in a wonderfully curated experience for all involved. Kudos once again to the team for arranging such an excursion!
I strongly urge you to experience the Worthy Park Estate Tour! Reservations are preferred and can easily be made through their website or their Instagram blog. Not only is the tour suited for locals but internationals as well who want to get to know what makes Jamaicans and their rum so AWESOME!
Until next time! ~Vanessa