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Review: English Harbour 1981 Vintage (25 Year Reserve Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 30, 2018

English Harbour Rum is a genuine Caribbean spirit produced by Antigua Distillery Limited (ADL). The rum is named for the Antiguan naval port of English Harbour which was the site of naval confrontations between the English and the French who were the two major naval powers of the 18th Century.

When I contacted ADL several years ago with respect to their rums they indicated to me that the special character of their molasses based rum begins with the fermentation process. They use baker’s yeast during their fermentation and allow it to interact with the wild yeast present in the distillery. The use of open top fermenters aids and encourages the marriage of the different yeasts. After fermentation, the English Harbour rum is distilled upon an all copper continuous still. (The Antigua Distillery operates one of the few remaining all-copper continuous stills in the Caribbean.) According to the ADL website all English Harbour Rum is aged in used American bourbon barrels which are charred on the inside. Interestingly, as each barrel is filled a handful of oak chips is added to enhance the interaction of oak and rum.

The English Harbour 1981 Vintage distilled in 1981 to commemorate Antigua’s Independence. It is the last of the rum to be distilled on the Company’s original Savalle Still which the Company installed when it was first founded in 1933. The 1981 Vintage rum was aged for 25 years in whiskey and bourbon barrels before blending and bottling. It is available in very limited quantities with only 600 bottles released annually. Each bottle is individually numbered for authenticity.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: English Harbour 1981 Vintage (25 Year Reserve Rum)

“… Oak is the backbone of the rum, with a bounty of wood tannin and spice. I taste oak sap melded with dark brown sugar and rich baking spices which have taken the form of vanilla,nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. (I am strongly reminded of fresh cinnamon bins just taken from the oven.) Although the wood spice and oak is readily apparent, the rum remains smooth and easy to sip …”

Please enjoy my review which completes my look at the English Harbour line-up.

Chimo!

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