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English Harbour XO

Our friend Dave Russell is back with more commentary about Endangered Rums.  Check it out.


Endangered Rums
by Dave Russell

English Harbour Extra Old is where my passion for rum began.  It ignited my awareness for the fine sippin’ that goes on in the West Indies, and will always hold a special place in my heart.  Up until a few years ago, EHXO was Antigua’s top rum, and sold at prices so low it was easily the best bargain in the Caribbean.

Watching their aged stocks diminish faster than nature’s barrel time could replace them, Antigua Distillery Ltd. woke up and created several new blends, at higher prices.    Yet, the discontinued Extra Old is the original, and some say, English Harbour’s best. In its heyday, you paid less than $30 for a bottle of Extra Old, a blend of rums aged up to 26 years, and clearly the finest rum on Antigua.

Their current top of the line is an exceptional 25 year old beauty called 1981 that’s packaged like a King; the heavy bottle enshrined in a box that hinges open like a pair of saloon doors.  And it’s priced to match – 1981 sells for over $200.

Make sure your passport is up to date, because you must visit Antigua to collect 1981, the only place its sold.  And on the unlikely chance you stumble across English Harbour Extra Old, buy all of it.  Failing that, call me and I’ll buy it.  Extra Old or 1981 – English Harbour rum is the closest you can get to Antigua without actually being there, and you’ll dream of returning with every sip.

To read more of Dave’s work, check out The Rum Gallery.