English Harbour 5 Year rum boasts all the shelf qualities I enjoy – a short, squat bottle with a rustic label, nicely foiled cork, and general appearance that would like right at home in the hands of a pirate.
To the nose, English Harbour is light and fruity – I detected a distinct note of apples (something I’d not experienced since Old Havana Cuban rum.) To the taste, it retains this fruitiness but also carries some warmth with just a slight tingle. The finish is soothing, relatively gentle, and sweet.
You might notice all the things I haven’t said about this rum – it’s not dark, not heavy, there is no brown sugarry musk or oak kick in the face to let you know your alive. It is in fact a very delicate rum. Meaning it lacks most all the qualities that I personally look for in rum. That said, it’s also rather decent.
In the past I’ve been shamelessly brutal with rums that aren’t “rummy” enough, and English Harbor might seem to warrant similar treatment. But where those others seemed to be hiding from their rum heritage and trying to pretend to be liquours, cognacs, or some other flouncy lubber drink, there’s really nothing wrong with English Harbour – it’s just a bit different from my prefered norm. Hardly the alpha-male of rums, but still worth checking out.