Sunday, 24 October 2010

St Nicholas Abbey 12 Year Old Rum, RumFest, The Golden Rum Barrel Awards and the New SNA Estate Rum.

RumFest 2010 was on 16th and 17th October and as always we were swamped at the St Nicholas Abbey stand! We rolled out The Barrel again and many fans, old and new, were very pleased to try the now 12 year old rum. Many came back again this year, not only to try the rum but to also get presents engraved for various loved ones throughout the year! "This one's for my boyfriend's 30th in April" said one very happy rum reveller, "it's for my dad's Christmas" said another. Anna did a really great job of managing to fit some 'small essays' on the back of the bottle for some other well prepared people!

It was the launch of St Nicholas Abbey 12 year old and Tatu got bottle no. 4 to take back to Australia, it will be the only one in the whole country, rare indeed! This year also saw the first ever Golden Rum Barrel Awards. Rum aficionado's from across the globe were asked to nominate their top 5 rums in each of the categories. St Nicholas Abbey was very proud to be nominated TWICE! Best Premium Rum up to 12 years and Best Rum Package. Particulary pleasing given St Nicholas Abbey is not yet available in the U.S. Just to be nominated was a real honour for all of the rums in the line up.

Simon and Larry Warren with the award for Best Rum Package!


The brand new batch still with reflux column and condenser

Last year saw the new still installed at St Nicholas Abbey which was the first new distillery to open in Barbados for a very long time. Given the Abbey is surrounded by sugar cane and has one of the last remaining operational steam mills in the Caribbean, it makes sense to use fresh, sugar cane juice to make the rum with. While this is technically an agricole rum, Larry uses a hybrid pot-column still so he can cut the distillation at a high abv to loose a lot of the heavy, grassy esters common in agricole rum. Last year Larry brought a sample of the new rum to RumFest 2009 which by then had had 6 months in new Bourbon oak.

This year Larry brought the same barrel sample over again which is now 18 months old. We had a lot of fun geeking out and comparing and sharing them with other rum lovers at the show. Some absolutely loved the 6 month old with its fresh cane and assertiveness of youth, while most prefered the already more mellow, complex and rounded 18th month old. Both samples are in a very safe place in the Sip Or Mix offices and we're already looking to how they might compare with the 2.5 year old at next year's RumFest! Indeed, the rum is shaping up so nicely we could be looking at a very limit bottling of the 3 year old....

If you're planning to visit Barbados please visit St Nicholas Abbey, to find out more go to:

If you'd like to learn more about St Nicholas Abbey in the UK please email me at:

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