The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum

The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum. This one is filed under “should have reviewed a lot earlier”. You’ll struggle to find a bottle of this on the primary market. More likely to find a bottle or two at auction or another part of the secondary market.

Quite why I didn’t review it, I’m not so sure I just never got around to it. Distracted by other offerings. A number of other reviewers did review it though and it caused a bit of a fuss as a lot of people seemed to really like it.

As the title suggests this rum is from the Antigua Distillery. As the bottle and box remind us Antigua Distillery is the “The House of English Harbour”.

The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum is a collaboration between Antigua Distillery and Velier. Luca Gargano visited the distillery in 2018 and found a lot of some 27 casks with a high congener count 218 g/hlpa. He used these casks in this outturn of rum and kept one exceptional cask to be bottled at full cask strength as part of Velier’s 70th Anniversary celebration.

Most of this information is provided on the label which gives a fair amount of information but is perhaps less detailed in this respect than usual. You can tell this is Velier collaboration by the 3/4 opaque bottle used, though the label and card sleeve are not in the usual Velier style. When originally released I don’t think I paid much more than £50 for a bottle.

Distilled on the continuous three-column Savalle still, The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum was bottled at 66%.Even at just 6 years old (distilled 2012 bottled 2018) it had a 44% of cask losses due to the Angel’s Share. It was aged in ex-bourbon barrels.

Unlike some of EnThe Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum review by the fat rum pirateglish Harbour’s other releases this did not worry the hydrometer and came up clean. So let’s move on and see what all the fuss was about.

In the glass we have a golden brown rum with an orange hue. Nosing The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum I am immediately put in mind of Foursquare 2004. It has that same very woody ex-bourbon influence. It’s quite “heavy” in the sense it has some very woody dry red wine notes. Not fruitiness but definitiely the more tannic woody notes.

It is a rum which is best left to air for a while and on occasion you may find yourself needing a drop or two water. It’s not so much a “blow your socks off” type of high ester monster but it is quite intense.

In terms of the nose I would say it is more intense than necessarily complex. It doesn’t have layers of complexity. What notes you get – heavy quite oaky spice, vanilla, milk chocolate and a bit of lemon zest are nice but you won’t be bowled over by the nose. It’s still a fairly young rum.

Sipped it’s a little sharp at full strength. Very woody and lots of oak spice and zesty lemon. As mentioned earlier there will be days when you may wish to add a little water. It can be a little too dry at times.

That said when the mood takes me this rum really is very nice. The type of rum that delivers a lot of intense flavour. So each sip is short and you will take a fair bit of time between each sip.

The intensity of flavour on the sip, which can be a little overwhelming ensures that you get a very long mid palate and finish. The intense and quite dry initial entry is very woody and spicy but the mid palate sees the rum develop further complexity.

Sweeter,fruiter notes of banana and a tiny hit of coconut. Lots of darker more bitter plums and a touch of gooseberry. Honey and milk chocolate. All overlayed with some spicy ginger and a touch of chilli heat.The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum review by the fat rum pirate

The finish is long,quite rich – cocoa, raisin and spicy pepper. The woody notes combine nicely with the softer fruitier elements.

In terms of profile you may find this offering might put you in mind of some of the heavier Foursquare ECS or Velier collaborations. I definitely feel in terms of style English Harbour/The Antigua Distillery have a lot in common with Foursquare in terms of profile. A better fit however due to the slightlier spicier profile might be Sunset Rum from Saint Vincent. In particular their Captain Bligh XO. Which I really enjoyed a few years back

This was a great rum at a great price. Apologies for not reviewing sooner!

 

 

 

 

 

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