St. Nicholas Abbey 8 Year Old

St. Nicholas Abbey 8 year old

Product of:  Barbados
Aged: 8 years in single barrel 
Price: $70
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar:  0-5 g/L (estimate) 
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:  10

Tasting Notes 
Extremely Smooth.  St. Nicholas Abbey 8 Year Old starts on beautiful note, and continues to impress.  Eight years aging in used American oak bourbon barrels produces a rum the color of polished brass with a slight green hue, slightly more pale then the distiller’s exceptional 12 and 10 year old rums.  Aromas are beautifully composed, revealing themselves in balanced layers, starting with caramel, leather, vanilla, butter, charred oak, butterscotch, and finally mild coconut, nutmeg, a hint of paraffin and mango.  Tasting brings buttery caramel, milk chocolate and butterscotch, layered with some vanilla and the soft leather texture.  A medium body carries the fine aromatic scents and flavors well into the long tapering finish that reinforces the sweet caramel, throughout the duration.

St Nicholas Abbey 8 Year Old

Anecdotes 
There are so many reasons to vist St. Nicholas Abbey on Barbados.  Touring he immaculate estate grounds and restored Jacobean Mansion is a breath taking experience.  Annabelle is an awesome sight – equal parts still and statue – rendered in polished copper and stainless. The rum is world class, the punch is tasty, and lunch is served (a favorite is the Flying Fish sandwich).  And if you return an emply SNA bottle, you can have it refilled for half price straight from the barrel.  Perfect rum on sale; that’s a bargain by any rum aficionado’s definition. 

SNA Bottling machine

There’s more to learn about St. Nicholas Abbey by visiting the reviews of their 12 Year Old and 10 Year Old (discontinued) rum, as well as a Photo Tour of the distillery.

Opinion 
St. Nicholas Abbey makes some of the world’s finest rum.  As of this writing, single cask bottlings of 8 year old and 12 year old versions are available, filled by hand just four at a time on the machine pictured at right.  The 8 year old is slightly softer and lighter, whereas the 12 year old has a depth of flavor, harmonious complexity and color that any rum would envy.  Both are equally delicious, and I cannot honestly say I prefer one over the other.  Deciding between them is the stuff of dilemmas; a choice between two great options.  No sympathy from you?  You’re right, their individual appeal has more to do with my momentary mood than any qualitative difference.  Perhaps the best St. Nicholas Abbey rum is the one you’re sipping at the moment.  Right now it’s aged 8 years.

Reviewed: October 2011 and February 2012 at St. Nicholas Abbey on Barbados.

© Dave Russell 2017