60 Proof (ABV 30%)
English Harbour Reserve 10 Year Old is a blend of rums that are at least ten years old, with rums that are up to 25 years old. English Harbour uses a five-column continuous still for distillation, one of only two copper continuous stills in the Caribbean. The rum is aged in used bourbon and Tennessee whiskey barrels with a handful of oak chips to enhance the interaction between oak and rum.
Antiguan rum dates back to the early 1700s, with records showing sales to the United States, or what would become the United States, in the 1720s. English colonists settled Antigua in 1632, laying the foundations for slavery and an economy based on sugar production. Native Indians were too susceptible to European diseases and the ills of the rigorous work, so African slaves were brought in to work the sugar plantations, eventually outnumbering white residents nearly ten to one. In 1807, Britain abolished slavery, and all Antiguan slaves were emancipated by the early 1830s. Portuguese workers were brought in to replace the freed slaves, but these workers soon left to work in other capacities, such as trading and cotton production. No stable sugar workforce existed, causing the sugar industry to disappear from Antigua, and rum production disappeared with it.
A NEW CHAPTER FOR ANTIGUAN RUM
Although rum production had ceased on Antigua, the locals still had a taste for it, leading to the establishment of "rum shops". Rum shops would import rums from Barbados and concoct their own blends using different rums and spices. The blends would carry colorful brand names, such as Red Cock and Silver Leaf, and customers would bring in their own bottles to be filled. Rum shops still exist today, but are extremely rare as they became associated with drunkenness over the years and traditional bars became more popular.
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.
ENGLISH HARBOUR RUM PRODUCTION
Sugar production remains absent on Antigua to this day, and English Harbour sources its molasses from the Dominican Republic and Guyana. The molasses is fermented for 24 to 36 hours in open-top fermenters using a mix of commercial and wild yeast. The wild yeast is an important part of the production process, bringing a light briny note to the rum influenced by the seaside location of the distillery.
A five-column continuous still is used for distillation, notable in that it is made from copper, one of only two copper continuous stills in the Caribbean. The column stills produce a lighter style of spirit that is full of character and intense in flavor. Maturation takes place in warehouses without temperature control using ex-bourbon and Tennessee whiskey barrels.
The nose offers tropical fruit, coconut and allspice as well as molasses and caramelized sugar. On the viscous palate, there are notes of vanilla, baked apple, citrus, coffee and oak. The warm and spicy finish offers caramel, cinnamon, honey and charred oak with hints of tobacco notes