Great, classic type of rum and cheap too boot! Fun, complex and odd, just the way we like them!
Notes: The Funk Jamaican Rum is another new spirit from Proof and Wood Ventures. These are the people who brought us the Redemption Rye, Redemption Bourbon, and later sold of the brand to the Deutsch Family. Being gluttons for punishment they got back into this business again with this rum and some new selections such as Deadwood Rye Whiskey, Deadwood Bourbon Whiskey, Riverboat Rye, and also Ambassador 12 Year Old Bourbon.
The Funk is an unusual Jamaican Rum in that it is an unaged and a pot still rum – many of the Jamaican rums available in the U.S. are dark, aged, and blends. Not to mention usually highly sugared and not very great quality – pretty much very conventional heavy dark rum for mixing.
The Funk is none of these, if Dead Wood and Riverboat whiskeys can be construed as Frontier Whiskies and preferred drink of Outlaws and Cowboys, The Funk Jamaican Rum is the drink of Pirates and Sailors. In another attempt to bring back an interesting and virtually extinct type of spirit The Funk is a HOGO (short for haut goût or high smell) rum. The high is meant in the form of “It smells a bit high” as in rotten or spoiled meat smell. This is due to dunder or other forms of bacteria and extended fermentation where yeast is stressed and odd other bacteria get in the mix. A form of older types of rum, it suffered the same fate as whiskeys and virtually every other type of spirit when the fear of flavor became fashionable in the 1960’s when everything got lighter and blander, and flavorless vodka ruled. HOGO Rum has now, as have many other spirits, started to make a comeback, indeed it is one of the latest as people are trying to bring back extinct styles of spirit, something championed by Doctor Cocktail A.K.A Ted Haigh among others, the movement seems to be gaining some traction and is no longer the sole province of lost souls and wanderers in the wilderness, it is with us at the beaches and gatherings now…
Appearance: Clear, slightly oily looking stuff in the bottle, reminds me a bit of lamp oil really…… Thick oily stuff in the glass coating the glass with a surprisingly light coat on swirling with few legs and mostly a stubborn edge line precipitating tears/droplets – one of the oddest results we have seen actually…
First Impression: Heavy HOGO funk of bananas, estery with acidic type notes, lemon mango and other citrus, oily mysterious and complex stuff!
Taste: Smooth entry which starts a touch sweet then turns rapidly and fading fast, woody, dry then an acidic but sweet delicious thick and cloying ( in a good way) type of taste. Kind of a spicy rum and banana bread type of taste. The color fools you, this tastes like a heavy dark rum but it is clear white. Sumptuous, fatty, fruity, and lovely!
Reminds me of the descriptions of the Black Meat in Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Drinks: Lovely stuff, that calls for tiki drinks, fruit juice, and small paper umbrellas, and really shines in Tiki and Punch drinks along with many older classic rums drinks
Bottle: a rather generic and totally unexciting, tall glass cylinder which looks totally unlike any other rum bottle. Paper label is rather simple but has the suggestion of vaguely psychedelic/marijuana typography and color scheme, with a black screw cap neck capsule.
Other: You can fall down a rabbit hole following things like HOGO, Funk, and dunder. We think that since this is from St Catherines it is a Worthy Park Distillery product. Worthy Park also makes a number of aged rums also.
Final Thoughts: A bit of a Unicorn a white Jamaican Rum ( unless you are talking about Clairin, which is a different story) with all this great flavor too. On the other hand, it is like stinky, funky cheese or tofu, a bit specialized and for only the brave at heart. If you like this kind of rum this stuff is a great deal and unusual for the color – making it a fun Tiki Cocktail rum.
Website: Sadly, no website for this rum. See above in other.