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Cockspur 12 Review

The Arctic Wolf is back with another in-depth rum review.  This time he goes a few rounds with Cockspur 12 Year.  Tune in to see what happens.


Chip iconCockspur 12 Year Old Bajan Rum

By Chip Dykstra


Cockspur 12 Year Old Bajan Crafted Rum   85/100


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 Barbadoes rum. Through the years, business thrived and so too did the popularity of his Cockspur rum.

In the Bottle  4.0/5

Cockspur 12 year old rum is packaged in a clear corked bottle with little to no frills.  The label is simple and understated.  I prefer my premium rums to be in sleeved packages to protect the spirit from the deleterious effects of light and UV rays.  Of course if you drink the contents within a normal period of time, then this is not a problem.  If like myself you collect spirits and drink their contents slowly over time then such packaging is more important.

In the Glass  9/10

The rum looks dark and rich and smells of deep brown molasses, baked cinnamon buns, and roasted pecans.  A faint tobacco (cigar like) aroma is deep in the glass.  There is also a touch of light oil on the sides of my glass.

In my Mouth 51/60

Several flavours jumped out at me on first tasting.  Toasted vanilla and charred molasses grabbed my taste buds first, and then I was subdued by a lurking tobacco richness that swelled up and filled my mouth.  However, old oak also made its presence felt leaving a bitter tannin tinge in the mouth.  Hot spicy cinnamon and roasted pecans nestled in the background.  As I let the drink settle in my mouth the oak and tobacco swelled to overtake the palate leaving a slightly dry bitter sensation.

In the Throat  13/15

The finish is all bittersweet chocolate and cigar smoke.  A buttery feel in the throat contradicts the dryness in the mouth.  (I believe the oaky tobacco flavour and aroma fooled my palate into sensing a dryness that my throat denies.)

The Afterburn  8/10

Somewhere there exists an Altar of Oak that all distillers of rum and whiskey worship.  They set their spirits within this Altar and pray that it will impart its goodness into the distillate.  But with this 12 year old rum, I believe, the rich taste of the spirit was to a point sacrificed in the name of the oak aging.  The spirit was given unto the altar for far too long.  We have a myriad of wonderful flavours, but in the end tobacco and bitter oak tannin have taken more from the rum than they have given.  I truly believe this rum would have benefited from an earlier removal from the Oak barrels.

Suggested Cocktail

In choosing a cocktail for this rum I needed to find a good flavour combination for the oak and tobacco flavour I taste in the Cockspur 12.  I chose to mix with pineapple and orange juice as I thought they provide a nice fruity base to mix the cockspur with.  My recipe is almost the same as for a Berry Cocktail,   I use more juice to make the drink more refreshing, and simple syrop instead of grenedine.  And of course a dark rum instead of white rum,

Arctic Wolf’s Dark Rum Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Cockspur 12 year Old Rum

1 1/2 ounce Pineapple Juice

1 1/2 ounce Orange Juice

1 teaspoon of simple syrup

1 squeeze of fresh Lime Juice

Fill a Collins glass with chipped Ice.  Add the first four  ingredients one at a time pouring slowly over the ice.  Cut a Lime in quarters and squeeze one quarter of the lime over the cocktail into the drink.  Stir and serve.  Garnish with a left over quarter of Lime, and pin with an umbrella if desired.


If you want to read more from Chip, tune in to the Rum Howler Blog