English Harbour 5 Year Rum
Though sugar production, and by extension rum production, were once central to life in Antigua, after the abolition of slavery in the early 19th century, both ceased on the island. The taste for rum persisted though, and in 1932, a group of Portuguese rum shop owners joined together to create Antigua Distillery Ltd., initially producing rum under the Cavalier label. In 1993, the English Harbour brand was created, and with the launch of the five year old in 2001, aged rums became their focus.
The molasses, sourced from the Dominican Republic and Guyana, is fermented for 24 to 36 hours in open-top vats using a mix of commerical and wild yeast. This wild yeast is essential, bringing with it a slight briny note, influenced by the seaside location of the distillery. A five-column copper continuous still is used for distillation, and maturation takes place in warehouses without temperature control using ex-bourbon and Tennessee whiskey barrels.
The nose on this five year rum sparkles with oak, brown sugar, sautéed banana and maple. The palate is creamy, toffee-like and silky, with pastry, chocolate fudge, nougat, chestnut and honey.