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Cockspur Fine Rum

Cockspur Fine Rum  83/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 1, 2011

Barbados is generally considered the birthplace of rum dating back to 1651 where the first recorded written usage of the word Rum Bullion appears. More than two hundred years later in 1884 a Dane, Valdemar Hanschell, founded a business in Barbados, supplying visiting ships with ropes, sails, salt, fresh fruit, meat and of course Barbados rum. Through the years, business thrived and so too did the popularity of his Cockspur Rum.

Cockspur Fine Rum is the flagship brand for the company. It is distilled from Island cane molasses, aged in American Oak, and brought to bottling strength with Barbados’ own coral filtered water. Both column still and pot still rums are used to in the distillation of the rum which bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4/5

The sample bottle provided to me for review is a typical bar style bottle pictured to the left. In size and shape it is similar to many other bottles in use by other spirits companies. This design is based upon a size and shape which will fit most bartender’s shelves and is easy to hold and pour.

The label is quite eye-catching with the large logo of a rooster ‘strutting its stuff’ on the front of the bottle. The only disappointment for me is the metallic screw cap closure. I despise these caps and have had too many experiences of bottle leakage and of the flimsy cap stripping causing me to replace them with corks.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Cockspur Fine Rum is an amber coloured spirit which displays dark inky highlights in the glass. A tilted glass shows a moderately oily sheen which very slowly releases slender but stubborn legs.

The initial aroma from the glass is filled with charred brown sugars, tobacco and dark molasses.  Allowing the glass to decant reveals the scent of baking spices and other dank pungent scents which serves to give the rum a foreboding character. I sense a building mustiness as well as a touch briny seaweed in the breezes as well. The rum displays nice complexity in the glass.

In the Mouth 49.5/60

I began by sipping the Cockspur Rum in my glass, neat, without ice. The mouth-feel was slightly oily, and the initial flavour was very complex bringing a bevy of pungent flavours forward. I tasted charred caramel (treacle) and dark molasses as well as dry fruit flavours of prunes and dates. There is a real sensation of musty leather and tobacco smoke welling up in the rum which makes it seem dry in the mouth. Bits of orange peel provide a little spiciness, and flavours of roasted nuts and charred coconut provide a light bitterness and adds to that dryness. I found that I enjoyed the Cockspur Fine a little more each time I sampled it.

Having said that, the overall flavour is perhaps just a little more challenging than I would prefer. As a result I decided to mix a little cola in my glass to provide some sweetness. I began by adding a small splash of cola to my glass. I increased the amount to find the balance point which I preferred; but, as I added more and more cola I began to realize that the cola was probably the wrong direction to go with this rum. I then tried a Bajan Rum Cocktail, and I was much more pleased with the result. In my opinion this rum takes much better to fruit juice and punch style drinks than it does to cola.

In the Throat 12.5/15

The finish is of moderate length, slightly dry and slightly bitter. Smokey tobacco and charred coconut seem to leave their imprint on the palate the longest. There is a very light warming at the end with some light spices finding their way to the back of the throat.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

This is a rum which walks on the less traveled side of the flavour path bringing a dryer, less sweet and more earthy experience to the palate. If you are a fan of dry lightly pungent rums, then the Cockspur Fine Rum will be right up your alley. I prefer to mix my Cockspur Fine Rum into punch style recipes, but I certainly would not be surprised by those who prefer this rum flavour straight up with or with ice.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipe

A Simple Punch

3 oz Cockspur Fine Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz of Fresh Squeezed Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Simple syrup

Lots of Ice
2 oz Ginger ale

Mix everything over ice in a large glass and garnish as you wish

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


5 Responses to “Cockspur Fine Rum”

  1. Fat Rum Pirate said

    This is my “cheap” gold rum that I enjoy. It’s very pleasant and easy to drink. Definetely better than the likes of Bacardi Gold or Appleton Special (or XV).

    It’s available in England at around £13 a bottle which is only slightly higher than supermarket standard issue.

    As an introduction to rum this is a good start much better than Captain Morgan or Bacardi

  2. paul said

    IV go a bottle off cockspur clear rum and i cant see any off them on ur site,just wondering is it off value?

    • Probably no more than what you paid for it. To be honest I do not track values of spirits and have no real interest in that aspect of the industry. I just like to taste and decide if i like something. What it might be worth doesn’t interest me in the least.

  3. joe morenzi said

    Mr Wolf…..we are trying to get this brand going in Rhode Island. Is there soemthing funny going on with the company? I cannot get to the website..

    Thank you, Joe

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