Rum Journal: Antigua’s English Harbour Reserve 10 Year Old Rum

Every island has a different taste.

Sure, there are diverse rum offerings on every island (some more than others, for sure). But the more you travel the Caribbean through a glass of rum, the more each island’s peculiar taste profile begins to manifest itself.

A Puerto Rican rum tastes like a Puerto Rican rum. A Bajan rum is distinctly Bajan. A Grenadian rum will have its own signature notes. Try them in a sequential flight and this will become instantly clear — a map of the region charted in cane.

Of course, there is variance — but every island has its own unique flavor profile; every island seems to like its rum a certain way.

Here at Rum Journal it’s something we’ve long chronicled — and something that makes comparing rums in the Caribbean such a difficult task – every rum is different, just as every island makes its rums the way it likes them.

The Antigua Distillery Limited has been producing rums in the northeast corner of the Caribbean for almost nine decades.

And while it produced its popular Cavalier rum (the island’s most popular rum) for decades, it wasn’t until 1994 that it produced what has become its flagship: English Harbour.

This copper-still rum, named for Antigua’s most famous harbour (with a nod to its historic naval tradition), is ADL’s crown jewel, the sipping rum that is the top-shelf cane spirit across the island.

English Harbour 5 is the standard, the one you find on every bar shelf in Antigua.

But its 10-year is something rather special, the one you really need to try — and to bring back on any visit to the island. (There’s a rare 1981 edition, too, but that’s a story for another time).

This blended rum has an aroma of vanilla and cane sugar, with a flavor profile of brown sugar, oak, toffee, vanilla, floral notes and a hint of black pepper. The finish is balanced, with a suggestion of barrel char that effortlessly decorates a very round finish.

It’s got a drinkability that belies its lightness.

It’s subtle and delicate, unmistakably elegant but with a unique personality.

In short, it tastes like Antigua.

And that is a very special thing indeed.

Rum Journal Review: 92 Points

— CJ

 

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