"Bushy's" Best Matured Rum

Bushy's 4-USE

Product of:  Antigua
Aged:  3+ years
Price: ~ $6 on Antigua
Alcohol: Undeclared 40-42% ABV (estimate)
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:  7

Tasting Notes
Very Smooth.  Bushy’s displays its age as an attractive honey gold color like highly polished maple wood.  In the glass, legs form quickly and drip nearly as fast.  Aromas are predominantly vanilla and butterscotch.  Secondly there are fresh oak with some char, mild nutmeg spice, coconut, walnuts and a subtle paraffin sense.  Upon initial tasting, the light body quickly transports slightly sweet flavors that closely resemble the aromas, with butterscotch, mild vanilla and coconut.  A dry finish fades pleasantly but all too quickly.

Bushy's - Window Shopping

If you don’t where to look for Bushy’s, you’re likely never to find it.  Sold only at a small shop that combines post office, bar, and gas station at the cross roads called Bolans Village on Antigua, Bushy’s rum is about as hidden from tourists as you can imagine.  

Even the bottle is nondescript.  The label bears no age statement, source or alcohol  percentage.  Under the screw cap I was surprised to see a half-length cork stuffed into the bottle, ensuring a leakproof seal. I guess you’ll have to either take my word for it or go to Antigua and find out for yourself when I say that Bushy’s is one of the best tasting bargain rums ever.  Well it should be; the rum is distilled at Antigua Distillers Ltd, makers of many beautiful and delicious rums, such as English Harbour 5 Year Old, Reserve 10 Year Old and the pricey 1981 25 Year Old.

Bert, proper gentleman and proprietor of Papa Zouk’s Fish and Rum shop on Antigua, let me in on the secret of Bushy’s with a sample taste at his restaurant.  Surely I needed directions to the general store where Bushy’s is sold.  Next day, Bushy himself greeted me in the super friendly way of all Antiguans.  I heard how it's aged and blended, then sampled some of his botanically spiced under-the-counter rum.  An unassuming guy, Bushy appeared keenly interested in my opinion.  I walked out very happy, with the bottle of fine aged rum reviewed here, all for about $6.00.  And now you can too.

Bushy's-My First taste

John Gonçalves, aka “Bushy” passed away in November, 2013.  He was a caring, fun man who makes an instant impfression on me, treating me better than he needed to, like his newesr friend when I stopped into his shop for a bit of rum.  Bushy's the rum is like the man; unpretentious, colorful, and enjoyable in every way.  Bushy’s has enough vanilla and butterscotch flavors to stand up to Ginger beer and lime in a Fidel Castro or a Daiquiri or even cola in a Cuba Libré, but I suspect Bushy drank his rum the quickest easiest, most fun way possible.  Anyway, that's the only way.  It's worth venturing off the beaten path and stopping in tiny Bolans, Antigua, the only place you’ll find it.  At such extremely affordable price, you could drink it all day and night.  RIP John "Bushy" Gonçalves.

Reviewed:  April 2011 at Bushy’s pace on Antigua, and again in May 2012 at the Rum Gallery.

© Dave Russell 2017