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Tasty, but not quite great
I’m a fan of English Harbour rum and this one doesn’t disappoint me.
This rum must be the best you can get to this ridiculous low price. I haven’t found anyone that can compete so far.
It has also been on Forbes list of the ten best rums in the world and gold award winner in 2005.
Today there’s only one remaining distillery in Antigua which is the Antigua Distillery Ltd (ADL). It was founded when some local rum shop owners got together in 1929 mainly to streamline purchasing and management of the molasses and to get better control over the production, and three years later the company saw the light of day.
1933 they moved to the new built distillery on Rat Island in St. John. Then they had a 4-column copper Savalle Still. At that time the molasses was bought locally.
In the beginning the owners blended and bottled the rum under own label to sell in their shop. It was first in 1947 they released a joint rum, the Cavalier.
In 1991 they replaced the Savalle still with a new 3-column copper John Dore still, and just three years later the English Harbour Rum was released named after the harbour in the south of the island which Admiral Horatio Nelson and the English fleet used during the 18th century.
Today there’s no sugar cane plantation in Antigua instead the molasses is bought from Dom. Rep. and Guyana. After arrival it’s fermented in open-top fermenters were the added yeast marries with wild yeast.
The 5yo was successfully released 2001.
The included rum is aged in former bourbon and Tennessee whiskey barrels between five and eight years before blended and bottled at ABV 40%.
The aroma is nice and I recognize vanilla, oak and some fruits. In the mouth and palate I recognize the same flavors but there are also some smokiness and spices. The finish which is medium long goes the same way.
Overall a very well balanced rum and a perfect everyday rum to an exceptionally low price.
Pictures: My ADL shelf & My opened bottle out in the Stockholm archipelago.
Bought this in a 50ml bottle, just to expand my rum horizon, and let it rest for about 30 minutes in a (covered) tasting glass before trying. It doesn't really open up but I get some fudge and wood on the nose, not unpleasant but it also shows very little character. On the palate nothing really changes, (soft) influences of wood and a light fudge-like taste, enhanced by sugar. It is not a really sweet rum but it is just barely semi-dry. Goes down easily and drinking this is no punishment but the taste is also very forgettable.
When you can buy this for around €20,= I understand that this can be a go-to rum though I think nicer ones are available for even less. What I don't get is that after drinking this anybody is still willing to throw €60,= at this distiller to try their 10 year old version. This rum does not invite you, let alone seduce you, to try their 'better' rums. There is no ambition to shine in this one so why try?
This rum has reached a fine quality in 5 years on used bourbon barrels. The balance is great. The nose is mild and a little tannic with notes of figs, molasse and caramel. These notes also appear when you take a sip, followed by a little oaky spicyness and a fairly smooth finish.
Origin: Antigua and Barbuda
Aroma: The aroma is heavy, buttery, with the impression of caramel, sweet and spicy, a little lacquer. Clearly recognizable coconut tones. (88 b)
Taste: The taste is no doubt that drinking rum. The sweet-spicy, distinctive. (86 b)
Summary: This is a dense, heavier style of rum, suited to cooler weather, I got him to such a Christmas feel. Nice rum that warms the body and soul.
The nose is rich, it reminds me of older sipping rums, molasses, orange peel, in the taste there is toffee, oak and dried fruits, the aftertaste goes towards bitter, with hint of coconut. Quite smooth for 5y old, can be sipped. No sugar added, quite decent for the money, with distinctive taste. As I do not fully appreciate the bitter tones the score between 6 and 7. In direct comparison with another 5y old made by Angostura, I am not trying to suggest there is some similarity in these two - I just happened to buy these two together, I like Angostura a bit more.
Sherry and molasses nose, but watery, simplistic taste with zero mouthfeel and no follow-up. There is nothing terrible about this rum, but these days there are so many excellent choices out there that you needn't settle for something as mediocre and undistinguished as this. Too dull to be a decent sipper, and not enough character to stand out in cocktails. A give-away rum for sure.
Probably not a great idea but I am writing this review after drinking another rum (Bacardi 8). I just reviewed that rum here at rumratings.com . These rums are quite comparable and given this is aged 5 years to 8 for the Bacardi that's pretty decent. I found the English Harbour easier (smoother) on the palate than the 8 which was better mixed as in an Old fashioned. Comparing these products a day apart is a little strange. On its own merit the English Harbour has a nice smokey overtone. I think I'll enjoy this even more in a mixed drink. For now I'll have to say "on the rocks". Update to follow!!
I think it has a very pleasant nose. Lots of molasses and vanilla. Spicy, but not artificially spicy. Taste wise, I'm not sure that I'm capable of picking out the individual notes, but it's very pleasant. It has a fairly long finish, pleasant as well. My feelings on this one may change as I mature, but I've spent more on rums that I enjoyed a lot less!
I like this rum. I think a few people are being a little overly critical on this one. Good dry whisky like taste at first and then undeniable rum finish. Not my very top shelf but the next shelf down from that.
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