This is rum that perhaps you won’t have heard of (it is relatively new, being launched in November 2013) but its origins are based at a distillery that you most certainly will have heard of. Soldiers Bay Silver is produced by the only remaining distillery in Antigua, Antigua Distillery. This is the same distillery that produces the wonderful English Harbour range of rums. I wrote a post on their English Harbour 5 Rum here which you can use to refresh yourself.
The first rums to be produced in Antigua in the early 19th Century were basic concoctions made by individual estate owners using crude pot stills, but apparently the rums produced were still light with a depth of flavour. Fast forward to the early 20th Century and to the demise of the estate rum production, the rum trade moved into individual shops whose proprietors formulated their own brands and sold them under names such as Silver Leaf, House and Red Cock. A number of these shop owners amalgamated to form Antigua Distillery Ltd in 1932. The distillery initially sold only two types of rum and an aged ‘mature’ product known as Caballero Rum. 1934 saw the company purchase a number of estates and a sugar factory to produce its own molasses. The factory produced a high quality sugar known as muscovado. The residues of this sugar, known as muscovado molasses, was used to produce Antigua Distillery Ltd’s first bottled rum in the early 1950’s. This rum was a full-bodied, unique rum known as Cavalier Muscovado Rum. Due to a worldwide shift in consumer preference towards rums with a lighter body in the 1960’s, the company adapted its distillation process to produce Cavalier Antigua Rum which was a much lighter bodied rum.
Fast forward and the Antigua Distillery still produce Cavalier Rum along with English Harbour, and the rum for Soldiers Bay.
Soldiers Bay Rum is molasses based and the fermented molasses is left to ‘mature’ for four days prior to continuous copper still distillation. The rum is then carbon filtered and is an unaged product that is diluted to 40% abv before bottling……..but how does it taste……
In the glass: The rum is crystal clear and the immediate scent that hits you is coconut. Lots and lots of coconut. This is accompanied by a little waxy citrus and a big dollop of marshmallow. All encouraging so far.
In the mouth: Oh my word. Straight away the coconut is there, it’s not overpowering but there certainly is a lot of it. In this way it is similar to the English Harbour 5 which carried a lot of toasted coconut, but this is less toasted and more akin to coconut cream. The marshmallow too is evident and hits you like a spoonful of marshmallow fluff! I didn’t pick up the citrus in flavour, only on the nose but there is a little peachy and pineapple note hiding in the background. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the rum is sickly sweet though. It dries out very quickly and leave a beautiful light coconut, medium-ish length finish. No harshness is present and the rum is as smooth as you like. This is headed straight into a daiquiri!
This rum really shines in a daiquiri, it compliments the citrus so well and the coconut sweetness is boosted by the sugar syrup. It occupies the middle ground between two other great daiquiri rums, Plantation 3 Stars and Koko Kanu. It is also great mixed with cola, and is killer with pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup and a little toasted coconut on top….I’ve also added a little white chocolate liqueur to the mix which works well, mood dependent though as the sweetness escalates quickly.
To take you back a step, with all of this talk of coconut, this is not a coconut rum. I was so convinced of flavour tampering that I contacted the UK distributor to query its origins. I was assured that it is solely down to the four-day matured fermented molasses and the rums lack of contact with oak, which is stopping the formation of vanilla and caramel flavours. This rum is ridiculously tasty and at less than £22 a bottle online, it is an absolute steal. It’s versatile, tastes great and is criminally underrated…..a little bit like myself.
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