St. Nicholas Abbey has a long tradition of producing rum, and the Warren Family has rebuilt the plantation’s distillery as part of their ongoing restoration process. One of just four distilleries in Barbados, St. Nicholas Abbey has shunned mass production and complex mechanical systems in favour of the traditional distillation process that made Barbadian rum famous over 350 years ago.
Following age-old tradition and expertise, Master Distiller Richard Seale of R.L. Seale and Foursquare Factory has helped St. Nicholas Abbey create a selection of internationally award-winning rums. With a personal interest in rums distilled from sugar cane using traditional methods, Mr. Seale has assisted the plantation in recreating an authentic recipe worthy of the St. Nicholas Abbey name.
The Freshest Cane
St. Nicholas Abbey Rum is made exclusively from sugar cane juice, which is stored as syrup to ensure year-round production since the Barbados crop season has a short run lasting from February to June. The plantation cultivates and harvests by hand a select variety of sugar cane unique to St. Nicholas Abbey. It is the first plantation to start harvesting early in January, and the only independent processor of sugar cane for the production of cane syrup.
The freshly cut cane is hand-fed into the steam mill where it is crushed just once to extract the sweetest juice possible. Within minutes, the juice is fed to the vacuum evaporator which reduces it to syrup; this can be stored for future rehydration during the production of rum in the fermentation pots to ensure premium freshness and quality.
Pot Still Distillation
One of the few distilleries of its kind in the Caribbean, St. Nicholas Abbey has shunned mass production and complex mechanical systems. The distillery employs the traditional pot still method with a rectifying column, producing a hand-crafted, highly distilled rum, preserving the essences and nuanced flavours of the pot still fermentation process.
The fermented cane juice is vacuum evaporated at low temperatures to pasturise the syrup used in the making of the rum, which is distilled in small, carefully controlled quantities using the traditional pot still. ‘Annabelle’ has been customised to St. Nicholas’ specific requirements, producing a superior light rum (highly distilled) spirit worthy of the plantation’s heritage and pedigree.
The well and mill pump provide clean water to the distillery to ensure highest purity.
Aged to Perfection
After distillation, the 15-year old aged rum is barreled in the finest bourbon oak casks and aged to perfection in the St. Nicholas Abbey rum bond. Located in the highlands, the plantation enjoys cooling tradewind breezes that enhance the maturation of the rum.
After three years in oak, the contents of the barrels are removed and re-barrelled to ensure an even characteristic to the vintage.
Continued attention throughout the ageing process has established St. Nicholas Abbey’s selection of rums as a premium brand, consistently lauded as the best in its class.
St. Nicholas Abbey Rum is genuine, unblended liquor best enjoyed straight, with a smooth taste and a lively, sharp finish.
From Barrel to Bottle
The aged rums are hand-bottled in their unblended form straight from the barrel. St. Nicholas Abbey uses elegant glass decanters individually etched with an image of the St. Nicholas Abbey great house.
The decanter is sealed with a mahogany capped cork topped with hand-embossed leather, symbolic of the island’s first mahogany trees, planted by Sir John Gay Alleyne on Cherry Tree Hill over 250 years ago. The label is applied by hand and each decanter is engraved with both a number and date to ensure authenticity.