St. Nicholas Abbey, Barbados’ youngest distillery, started distilling in 2013, even though they were already bottling rum since 2009. While the distillery is very new, it is home to one of the oldest sugar cane plantations in Barbados and possibly also the entire Caribbean. It seems plausible that rum has been distilled here at some time or another in the past, which would make it one of the oldest distilleries in the world but there do not seem to be any historical proofs for this. Today it is mainly a tourist attraction and the fully renewed great house hosts wedding ceremonies and other events. Anyway, let’s try a pair of the rums they’ve actually distilled themselves. This is completely new territory for me so no matter what, we’ll probably learn a thing or two.
St. Nicholas Abbey White (40%): So what do we have here!? The nose is extremely flat, slightly sweet and not very aromatic with some brush cleaner. Deeper in the glass also some vanilla but I cannot find much more. The palate is slightly better but the taste still cannot convince me. The rum is quite sweet with vanilla, sugar cane, vanilla sugar, caramel and toffee perhaps. Meh. What is more, it doesn’t get any better. The finish is short and now rather dry. This doesn’t work for me at all. Something the rum world doesn’t need. (50/100)
St. Nicholas Abbey 5YO (40%): My initial guess is that aging can improve this juice, but probably not a whole lot. The “White” just wasn’t flavourful enough. Nose: Vanilla, toffee, powdered sugar. Once again, that’s it, quite to my dismay. Palate: The 40% aren’t precisely smooth and if I wouldn’t know better I’d say this is sweet supermarket booze. Some oak, some vanilla, some more alcohol, some weeds and a hint of powdered sugar. Oh my. I am seriously starting to question if this even is an improvement on the unaged spirit but it has to be. The finish is just as short and one-dimensional though, just with the (welcome) addition of some of the typical cask aromas. Well, well… (55/100)
This is the ultra light Bajan rum style I guess. No matter what, it barely made it to the “drinkable” side of the 100 scale in my book. Sorry folks of St. Nicholas Abbey but this just cannot be it… Thanks to Mr. Charles for the samples.