E.S.A. Field Barbados White Rum

E.S.A. Field White Rum Review by the fat rum pirateE.S.A. Field Barbados White Rum. If you have not visited Barbados, you may not be familiar with this brand. You will however be familiar with the producer.

In 1906 the Rum Duty Act was introduced. It meant that distilleries could not sell their rum in quantities of less than 10 gallons. I don’t know the exact logic behind this. This meant that many of the general traders in Bridgetown became bottlers. Taking “bulk rum” from the various distilleries and blending it to their own preferences. Sometimes sadly with the use of a few additives other than rum and water.

One of these trading companies E.S.A. (Edward Samuel Alison) Field began bottling rum from WIRD (West Indies Rum Distillery/Refinery) which was established in 1893 by German immigrant brothers the Stades.  As a result they produced a white rum which is still the most popular white rum on the island, even today.

The rum was actually called Stade’s White Rum bottled by E.S.A. Field and is still commonly known on the island as “Stade’s” or “see-through”. In 1962 the E.S.A. Field brand, which at the time had both a white and dark rum was acquired by another Bridgetown trader R.L. Seale.

In 1996 production of the rum was moved to Foursquare Rum Distillery. With no links left to WIRD or the Stade’s brothers the “Stade’s” was removed. The rum is no known primarily as E.S.A Field Barbados White Rum. Though as noted above it is still known by its old moniker. You can read a review of Stade’s White Rum over at The Lone Caner.

It’s interesting to learn that what began as three separate traders – E.S.A. Field, Martin Doorly (not included in this particular story) and R.L Seale have all ended up being produced at the same distillery and are still very much a part of Barbados life. Each brand still has a very prominent presence on the island despite all the changes.

Although the brand is no longer exported it does appear that it was available (mostly from French retailers) in a more “premium” looking bottle design a few years back. I have been able to source a bottle as all websites displaying it are long sold out.

I am presuming that Foursquare decided to focus on Doorly’s 3 Year Old for the European market.

E.S.A Field White Rum is 100% Column distillate from Foursquares traditional Coffey Column Still. It is unaged and bottled at 43% ABV.

In the glass we have crystal clear spirit. No colour – unlike Doorly’s 3 Year Old which has a vE.S.A. Field White Rum Review by the fat rum pirateery slight yellow hue.

Nosing E.S.A Field Barbados White Rum it is smells quite boozy. Young immature sweet alcohol. It isn’t a million miles away from a lot of the cheap Trini supermarket white rum we get over here.

Time in the glass to breath reveals a bit more complexity. Desiccated coconut and some banana. Again the sweetness continues to dominate, its light and slightly on the floral side. There’s some molasses and a touch of caramel.

It’s fairly straight forward and definitely doesn’t offer the complexity of Doorly’s 3 Year Old.

As a sipper it’s nothing remarkable. It’s a fairly straightforward white rum. Richard Seale doesn’t like rums being termed as “sippers” and “mixers” but this is definitely not one which I could imagine sipping on a regular basis.

It’s got a bit more body and some mineral like notes besides the sweetness of the nose. It’s got a slightly bitter edge to it. I’d be lying if I said I found sipping E.S.A. Field White Rum enjoyable. It’s not hugely unpleasant it’s just not terribly exciting.

It starts out quite sweet with some fudge and toffee and then you get the mineraly notes and a slight bitterness. The finish is medium with sweet caramel and a touch of molasses. The balance overall is quite good it’s not as “hot” or as boozy as you often find with unaged white rum.

Now whilst Richard might not be fond of terming rums as “mixers” I dare say a lot of this rum that is consumed on the island is not taken neat.

Mixed this rum works well in a rum and coke. The sweet notes of the rum work nicely and I am also getting some fruitier notes and a more pronounced coconut note, which is pleasant. It’s easy drinking. It’s light but has enough flavour to keep me enjoying my drink.

E.S.A. Field White Rum Review by the fat rum pirateI would imagine in cocktails and tropical drinks this will work as well as most other white rums at a similar price point. When this was available in the UK and Europe it retailed at around the £/€30-35. When you consider the price point of Doorly’s 3 and the leap in quality, even at the standard 40% ABV, prior to the switch up to 47% ABV, it is perhaps no surprise Foursquare focused on exporting that, rather than this.

It is definite step up from the Supermarket whites we get here in the UK. I certainly prefer its profile to say Bacardi Superior. Obviously on Barbados it is inexpensive – it certainly could never be quite so cheap here in the UK.

On Barbados you can pick E.S.A. Field Barbados White Rum, just about everywhere in bottles sized from 50ml right up to 1.75 litre bottles.

As a weekend mixer I would certainly pick up a bottle at the right price but much like a lot of “entry level” rums I wouldn’t be paying over the odds for the novelty of it. In its market though it is a good choice. It’s just not going to be blowing anyone away anytime soon.







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