English Harbour Rum
by Darcy O'Neil on February 2011
On a sweltering day, what spirit is the spirit you enjoy most? If you said rum, then I like you already. If you said Tequila, I still like you, but not as much. The Tiki crazed people know it, and I doubt there are any vodka bars in the Caribbean, so rum must be the spirit of summer. That is the perfect excuse to go and buy another bottle of rum. So after a little research I decided on English Harbour rum, because of one influential magazines review. That's not the best reason to buy rum, but who really needs a reason?
Originally, I was going to pick up a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, I felt like slumming it, or it could have been the hula girl on the bottle. But, the powers that be, at the local LCBO, have stocked English Harbour 5 Year Old rum from Antigua. Being a sucker for unique rums, and obviously influenced by the media, I decided to get this instead of Sailor Jerry. Remember, at the LCBO, if something comes in, you need to buy it, because it won’t be around for a long, and probably won’t make a return visit.
English Harbour (5 Year Old) was picked as one of the world’s ten most remarkable rums by Forbes magazine. Now, I’d say that is a bit of a stretch just because there is a lot of rum out there. I’m also pretty sure that the general public doesn’t get to taste the “world’s most remarkable rums” because they are squirreled away, in glass jeroboems, balthazars, and nebuchadnezzars, in the back corner of the barrel warehouse. If you want the good stuff you really need to become friends with a master distiller.
English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum
Appearance: Light golden brown.
Aroma: Really nice. The longer it breaths the better it gets. Aromas of molasses, chocolate, vanilla with a light smokiness.
Taste: (Straight) Starts off fairly smooth, but still has that youthful rum flavour. There is a little spicy burn, but not in an aggressive way. The long finish is astringent.
Taste: (With Water) Adding a little water to this rum helps tremendously. It smoothes out the youthfulness and brings out some of those classic rum flavours.
After trying this rum, I’m inclined to agree with Scottes’, that this rum isn’t best served straight. It has a lot of copper still character, but it is still a fairly young spirit. Was it a waste, nope. This rum has its place and for the price is actually a pretty decent rum. Adding water makes a difference, and even though there are a few purists out there, I’m going to say that this rum would work really well with Coke.
To test that theory I gave it a try and the results are that it works well, but not great. There is a bit of a unique after-taste from the combination that I can’t put my finger on. Still, it is a decent rum and coke.